Jan
04
Fox News Infighting For Trump Access


>>Oftentimes when critiquing the media the
topic of access to politicians comes up. And recently the Hollywood Reporter gave the
access to some internal emails with Fox News. And it determined that, yeah, they’re very
much concerned about access to Trump administration officials, including Steve Mnuchin. Now interesting enough, they back stab one
another between shows within the network in order to gain access to these politicians. And I wanna give you a few examples. So in April of 2017, a producer Lou Dobbs’
Fox Business Network program Played up the show’s ratings advantage over Maria Bartiromo’s
morning show when trying to land an interview with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. So here’s what the email read and this is
written by the producer, Secretary Mnuchin next week you think?, the producer said in
an email to Mnuchin’s spokesperson. He is doing Maria Bartiromo you know, much
lower ratings than us and I say that in an endearing way.>>No, you don’t.>>Nope, not at all endearing, just trying
to S talk her, if you will so he comes on your show instead. Let’s just be honest.>>It’s incredible. I mean, okay, so let me give you more. In June of 2017, the producer wrote back,
my dearest Tony!>>I already love this man.>>No, okay, let’s stop for a second.>>My first role here at TYT, this is after
my temporary position filling in for JR was up and I really wanted to stay here. And you were like, you wanna be the guest
booker, in addition to doing marketing or whatever. And I never wrote an email like that in my
life, my dearest Tony, my dearest so and so, it’s condescending.>>I almost thought they were gonna write
my beloved.>>Okay, let me give you more.>>I’m sorry, that’s reserved for Kim Jong-un.>>We fell in love. All right, my dearest Tony. I see Mnuchin is doing Varney tomorrow. I am hurt!>>Just when you thought it couldn’t get any
better. I am hurt, my dearest. How hard you’ve betrayed me. I thought we were betrothed, and there you
are on another Fox program.>>I am hurt! I really, really need him for Lou. She then added, thank God, I just asked someone
from Stuart Varney’s show and they said he won’t be doing their show. That’s great news. This is some shady stuff, man.>>Yeah.>>Can you imagine if I wrote an email like
that to like the spokesperson or the assistant for whoever? Like let’s say Obama, I’m just throwing a
name out there. Like I want Obama on No Filter but then I
hear that Obama agreed to do The Damage Report.>>I love that idea, yeah.>>And I’m like, my dearest so and so, I am
disturbed that you would allow Obama on the Damage Report. This damages their reputation, disgusting.>>All right, by the way, Damage Report’s
a great show. You should watch it.>>Okay, no, I was gonna do something similar,
like Nina Turner. You were like, he’s already booked on Damage
Report. You undercut John with, do you know my view
count is higher than Damage Report? Please.>>That’s so shady.>>So my betrothed, please come on my show
instead.>>Okay, there’s an important commentary here
when it comes to access to politicians. We’ve talked about it before. We’ll talk about it again. But I will say that this shows me how different
TYT is from almost any other so-called newsroom, right? Because we genuinely like each other. John’s my legitimate friend. I did a toast for his wedding.>>Yeah.>>I can’t ever imagine sniping him like that
behind the scenes.>>When I was at MSNBC people were super competitive. I had a producer warn me when I was getting
great ratings as a fill in host, be careful, people are gonna be out for your head.>>My God.>>I’m like, why? I’m doing great. He said, what kind of a sucker are you? What do you mean why, I’m doing great? Because you’re doing great. And he told me that other hosts don’t want
fill-ins who do better than them, which almost never happens. But if you do better than them in the ratings
when they’re out they’re like, no, I’m done with guy. No way, that’s embarrassing.>>Look, I get that. I get the human instinct. Because if you have a fill-in that’s better
than you and somehow the ratings skyrocket when you’re on vacation and the fill-in comes
in, well then your job is really gonna be jeopardized there, right? But within a company where you’re talking
about two full-time hosts, two full-time shows, you want that network to succeed. It’s not gonna succeed with one well-performing
show.>>They don’t care about any, all they care
about is themselves. But, I mean, the idea that you would have
someone fill in for you and then take over a show, like wait a minute.>>See, I know I seem to have an ego, for
good reason sometimes you’ll think. But if you don’t, then you’re happy when other
people succeed. I know it seems crazy to TV people, right? But it is possible that, especially if you
agree and you wanna actually empower people, it’s wonderful when they succeed and they’re
part of your same network.>>Let me give you some more of these emails. By the way, this is all fighting for Steve
Mnuchin, which I can’t imagine. I wouldn’t fight for Steve Mnuchin if my life
depended on it. I wouldn’t even fight for my own life to get
Steve Mnuchin on the show. I’d be like, all right, just take me I’m done. Okay, it’s over. All right, let me give you more. A few months later, a different Fox Business
Network producer requested that Mnuchin appear on Bartiromo’s show. During a discussion of when to schedule the
interview, the producer said, as long as he is NOT on CNBC or another Fox Business Network
program, please, okay.>>By the way, just look, legit reason why
they care so much is not just the exclusive because people think, my God, Mnuchin’s on. I gotta turn on to Fox Business, a sentence
that has never been spoken in the English language.>>Never.>>It’s because then the clips that come out
of that interview get covered by the rest of the press.>>Mm-hm.>>But if you’re the second one to do the
interview you get a lot less coverage. The first person to do the interview gets
all the coverage for the rest of the media, which might then help your ratings later. So that’s the phenomenon, just giving you
the context.>>And then Bret Baier got involved in one
of these instances. So in the fall of 2017, a planned interview
with Mnuchin on Bret Baier’s weekday Fox News show was scrapped after his production team
learned that Mnuchin would also appear two days earlier, not even on the same day, two
days earlier on Chris Wallace’s Sunday morning show. We would really like to have some sort of
exclusivity with our interview, Baier’s booker wrote. And then eventually Baier himself sent an
email, and this is what he said. Okay, we assumed you knew that a major Sunday
show interview, or two, two days before a sit down with me would take a little of the
steam off the booking. We would love to have the Secretary on, but
maybe later in September now. So that kinda goes to what you were saying,
Cenk, you wanna make sure that someone doesn’t steal all your thunder before you have your
sit-down interview with a Trump administration official, or any politician for that matter. But I think the important lesson to take away
from this is think about what this signals to a person in a position of power when you
have so-called journalists fighting for you. If they’re fighting for you, then you have
leverage and you’re able to reject people if they critique you even a little bit or
if they say something hard-hitting about the Trump administration, something honest or
truthful about the Trump administration. You’re far less likely to grant that particular
show an interview if you know that they’ve been critical. Because you get to take your pick, right? It’s like a buffet of friendly media outlets
and shows that you can choose from. So why go with someone who’s gonna be critical?>>In fact, that might partly explain why
Lou Dobbs is so over the top. The other day he said that Trump might be
receiving accolades for centuries from here, right? Like it was so over the top it literally sounded
North Korean. And they’re this close to saying he has no
anus.>>Okay, and so there isn’t anything that
Lou Dobbs couldn’t take and make into reverence for the dear leader Donald Trump. It’s so overwhelmingly over the top. Part of it is he wants to get an audience,
partly he’s lost his mind, but the third reason is access. Cuz if he can kiss Trump’s ass harder and
longer than Bartiromo, then he’s gonna get access to more guest from the Trump administration
than Bartiromo is. So that’s how this game is played.>>Yeah.>>Now to be fair to them, they actually do
have access where as, and with the stuff that’s said on their shows does get covered widely. And that’s an advantage that TV has, which
drives them to this level of competitiveness. Here a guest could say anything. Unless it’s damaging to progressives it’ll
never be covered, right? I’m just keeping it real. So it doesn’t really matter if they say it
on No Filter or Damage Report or Secular Talk or Young Turks, etc. I remember Mel Brooks once stopped in, this
was a million years ago, and broke huge news on our show. It was Young Frankenstein was going to go
to Broadway. At that time he was super hot on Broadway
and he’s Mel Brooks, he’s a legend, and it was like a big deal. We told all the press, my god, Mel Brooks
said on the air, and here’s the tape of him saying he’s gonna bring Young Frankenstein. No one ran the story.>>Two weeks later he told the New York Times
or something, and the coverage exploded and every outlet covered it. Like, my God, Mel Brooks is bringing Young
Frankenstein to Broadway. But, dude, we sent you a video of him saying,
where you could see it was him, saying it. And you’re like, it doesn’t count. It’s just the mainstream media is so weird.>>Yeah, I mean, it seems like they don’t
really have any taste for you from the very beginning.>>No, they view people with power already
and money as legitimate. Anyone who is not already incredibly wealthy
or incredibly powerful the mainstream media views as illegitimate, and it affects all
of their coverage. So, yeah.>>It’s interesting because it really depends
on, if you’re in the media, it really depends on what your objective is. Because if your objective in the media is
to get these big names on your show so you can make news, so other news outlets applaud
you or run some sort of coverage of your interview. Then yeah, you’re going to go out of your
way to not really do your job, just do things to attract those people onto your program
because it’s really ego-driven. You want that attention. But really the whole point of getting people
on your program is to have interesting conversations that your audience can benefit from. Your audience is supposed to have something
to take away from that conversation. But a lot of these big wig, hot shot people
in cable news and the mainstream media don’t care about that at all. It’s all about their own egos and getting
media attention. Who cares about that?>>I never said, like the idea that they would
care about their audience is hilarious. Part and parcel of those promises to gain
that access is don’t worry, you won’t get any tough question here. And so our audience will not get to find out
the whole truth about you. We’ll cover it up and make you seem better
than you actually are. And that’s obviously the number one problem
with this craven desire to get access to officials. Just being friendly with folks and getting
them on your show is not a big deal unless you are tilting your coverage. And you could see clear as day from Fox News
and Fox Business, it is as tilted as it could possibly be. And now you see from the internal emails that
they pretty much promise that. One last thing, the Mel Brooks story and how
we got him on the Young Turks like 12, 14 years ago is a super fun story. And there’s a Young Turks host who’s really
good friends with Mel Brooks. Although those two stories are different. I wanna tell that in the post game, okay? Okay.>>So TYT.com/join and become a member and
get all of our fun post games where we also dish about other inside baseball about the
media and how it works too. So check it out. It’s great for members and members make this
show happen. Thank you guys.