Erik Wemple

Erik Wemple has most recently been quoted in an article called Trump on challenged surveillance claim: Hey, check with Fox News. Erik Wemple said, “At a joint news conference Friday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, President Trump fielded a question from a German journalist as to whether he felt it was a “mistake” to accuse British intelligence of assisting former President Barack Obama in allegedly surveilling him. Wrapped up in the question was a pivotal question about the relationship between the Trump White House and the conservative media. After all, the claim about British intelligence stemmed directly from a report by Fox News’s Andrew Napolitano, a former New Jersey judge.”. Erik Wemple has been quoted a grand total of 10 times in 10 articles.

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Earlier this week, this blog considered a question from a reader about whether Fox News could be categorized as an organ of the mainstream media. The answer: In terms of reach and impact, absolutely. In terms of standards, no way. The trouble is that Fox News, seizing on a convention of mainstream newspapering, has set up a stark division between news and opinion divisions - with programs like “Special Report” in the former and “Fox & Friends, ” “The O’Reilly Factor” and “Hannity” in the latter.

At a joint news conference Friday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, President Trump fielded a question from a German journalist as to whether he felt it was a “mistake” to accuse British intelligence of assisting former President Barack Obama in allegedly surveilling him. Wrapped up in the question was a pivotal question about the relationship between the Trump White House and the conservative media. After all, the claim about British intelligence stemmed directly from a report by Fox News’s Andrew Napolitano, a former New Jersey judge.

There was a time when a guy like Judge Andrew Napolitano could make some marginal remarks on Fox News, and only a large plume of non-White House officials would take him seriously. Perhaps a website or two would pick up on them. Then everyone would move on to other matters.

David Cay Johnston, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who came up with two pages from Donald Trump’s 2005 tax return, ripped the White House for its handling of his Tuesday scoop. “This is, to anybody in the news business, totally unethical, ” said Johnston in a chat with Joe Madison on SiriusXM News & Issues. “They took my exclusive story before it went up at DC Report, which is my website, DC Report. They went and gave it to other reporters, that’s just you don’t do that. I’ve never had a company or a White House all the way back to Nixon do anything within a million miles of that and then they acknowledged the document but they had this nasty statement that they put out. And they never officially got back to me they put out a statement, which tells you this really got under Donald Trump’s skin.”.

There has been some speculation that President Trump orchestrated the tax-return leak that last night turned MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow into a Twitter sensation.

The world would be a much better place if cable-news outlets would act like newspapers when they have scoops. Which is to say, just publish them. Cable news, however, is cable news - an industry that tussles over ratings to such a degree that quiet humility has ceased to be an option. If your show has something new, it behooves you to hype it. And so, early yesterday evening, the Twitter account of the “Rachel Maddow Show” promised viewers this.

It was a cross between Poynter.org and “The Five.” Today at a journalism conference titled “Covering Trump” and organized by the Columbia Journalism Review, a Breitbart editor faced off against representatives of four news organizations that - well, let’s just say that their one-time leader is not now a top adviser to President Trump. John Carney, financial editor for Breitbart, asked his fellow panelists, “Do you think you have enough people who understand and sympathize with Trump’s worldview in your news organizations or do you think you are predominantly staffed by people who view Trump’s point of view as not just wrong but probably also evil?”.

President Trump likes to boast about how, as president, he’s in an exquisite position to judge the value of news reports coming out of the White House. “Here’s the thing: The public isn’t - you know, they read newspapers, they see television, they watch. They don’t know if it’s true or false because they’re not involved, ” said Trump at that memorable Feb. 16 news conference. “I’m involved. I’ve been involved with this stuff all my life. But I’m involved. So I know when you’re telling the truth or when you’re not. I just see many, many untruthful things.”.

Days before taking office in January, then-President-elect Donald Trump shouted down CNN correspondent Jim Acosta after his news organization had reported that the highest officials in the U.S. government had been briefed on a dossier outlining alleged contacts between Trump World and Russia. “You are fake news, ” said Trump in a combative posture that made no shortage of headlines.

BuzzFeed has started that process and pledges to continue pursuing it. So why post the documents now?

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