Want to see how Rupert Murdoch’s media empire is at work for President Trump? Look around — you can’t miss it. In the past week:
— The New York Post published and then mysteriously deleted a story about Trump accuser E. Jean Carroll.
— Fox News Channel’s newscasts and talk shows have barely mentioned Carroll’s newly published allegation that Trump sexually assaulted her in the 1990s. Trump says she is lying.
— Archived text messages revealed that Sean Hannity texted Paul Manafort like he was a PR agent.
— The Washington Post came out with new reporting about Jeanine Pirro using her Fox perch to trash Jeff Sessions after he blocked her from a job at the Justice Department.
— Trump called into Sean Hannity’s show for a 50-minute-long chat.
— He tweeted out videos from Hannity’s show, Pirro’s show, and Lou Dobbs’ show.
— And Fox announced that Tucker Carlson will have an exclusive sit-down with Trump at the G20 this weekend.
Yes, Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal does fantastic reporting. Yes, Murdoch’s other outlets employ excellent journalists too. But these seven examples show how the Murdoch-Trump back-scratching never stops. Much of it happens in public, but some happens in private, and is only uncovered through dogged reporting…
Murdoch lieutenant ordered removal of NY Post story about Carroll’s assault allegation
Oliver Darcy writes: “Wondering what happened to the New York Post’s story on Jean Carroll’s sexual assault allegation against Trump? Well, Marianne Garvey and I got to the bottom of it. Sources told us that Murdoch lieutenant Col Allan ordered the story to be removed from the Post’s website. Allan is, of course, the longtime former Post editor who Murdoch brought back as an adviser to the tabloid. He’s a self-professed supporter of Trump. People inside the Post suspect Murdoch brought Allan back to the Post to steer it in a pro-Trump direction.” Read the full story here…
— Yashar Ali tweeted Monday night: Ever since Allan “came back to the NY Post, its coverage has become even more pro-Trump…”
Silence from the Post
Darcy adds: “Since Friday, I have been trying to get an explanation about what happened from the Post. On Sunday, I was told there would be no comment. But the Post spokeswoman did not dispute the account of events that I presented to her…”
“The Loudest Voice” premiere
For further evidence of Fox and Murdoch’s influence, look no further than the red carpet outside the Paris Theatre in NYC on Monday night. The Showtime network threw a premiere screening and party for “The Loudest Voice,” a seven-part miniseries about the rise of Fox News and the fall of Roger Ailes. Stars Russell Crowe, Naomi Watts, Sienna Miller, and Seth MacFarlane were on hand, along with numerous other cast members, executives, and reporters.
The series will debut on Showtime this Sunday…
The warping power of partisan media
The group More in Common is out with a new study that asserts “Americans have a deeply distorted understanding of each other.” The group says “Americans are less divided than most of us think,” but there is a “Perception Gap” that’s hurting all of us. And the news media doesn’t help: “We found that the more news people consumed, the larger their Perception Gap.”
— Key finding: “Not every media outlet is the same… Some news sources are associated with larger Perception Gaps, in particular Breitbart, Drudge Report and popular talk radio programs such as Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh. But large Perception Gaps are also associated with liberal sources such as Huffington Post and the Daily Kos. Only one media source is associated with better understanding other Americans’ views: the traditional television networks of ABC, NBC and CBS. Overall, these findings suggest that media is adding to a polarization ecosystem that is driving Americans apart.” Read the study here…
“A viralizing engine” for progressives
Joseph Romm of ThinkProgress is starting a progressive news aggregation site called FrontPageLive.com. He says it’s a “viralizing engine” for the left, the way The Drudge Report is on the right. And one of Romm’s collaborators is… former Fox News correspondent Carl Cameron.
A version of this article first appeared in the “Reliable Sources” newsletter. You can sign up for free right here.
Carl Cameron’s critique of Fox
“I was one of Fox’s first hires. The idea of fair and balanced news appealed to me,” Cameron said in his video for the new site. “But over the years, the right-wing hosts drowned out straight journalism with partisan misinformation. I left.”
>> Cameron told Wemple, “I have a lot of respect for the people that try to do journalism there…”