Tag Archives: NBC

Yep, Donald J. Trump said it

That didn’t take long.

Just days after reports surfaced that Donald J. Trump sought to slither his way out of remarks he made a dozen years ago to a TV entertainment reporter, we find out that the man who would be president made the hideous remarks.

Billy Bush, the disgraced “Access Hollywood” host to whom Trump bragged about grabbing women by their private parts, has written a New York Times essay that shoots down the assertions that Trump has made in private.

Trump reportedly told associates in the White House that the audio recording heard around the world in the waning weeks of the 2016 presidential campaign were made up. The voice wasn’t his, he said.

It makes me wonder: Who in the world does the president think he’s kidding with that ridiculous assertion?

Bush writes in the Times: Of course he said it. And we laughed along, without a single doubt that this was hypothetical hot air from America’s highest-rated bloviator. Along with Donald Trump and me, there were seven other guys present on the bus at the time, and every single one of us assumed we were listening to a crass standup act. He was performing. Surely, we thought, none of this was real.

It damn sure was real, man.

Read the rest of the Times essay here.

The revelation that Trump made those remarks in 2005 and Bush’s reaction to it in the moment cost the host his gig as a co-host of “Today.” He was let go by NBC and was thoroughly disgraced.

So it appeared that Trump sought to persuade White House aides that Bush was canned for no reason.

Ridiculous … in the extreme.

Mr. President, you are not president of a nation inhabited by 300 million-plus rubes.

Donald Trump: man with all the wrong responses

Leave it to Donald John “Fake News Conspirator in Chief” Trump to say precisely the wrong thing in the wake of a growing scandal involving men who have been accused of mistreating women.

NBC News announced that “Today” co-host Matt Lauer got canned because of alleged “inappropriate sexual behavior” with female colleagues.

How does the president respond? With a tweet, of course: “Wow, Matt Lauer was just fired from NBC for ‘inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace,” he wrote on Twitter. “But when will the top executives at NBC & Comcast be fired for putting out so much Fake News. Check out Andy Lack’s past!”

Lack is the president of NBC News and the man who announced Lauer’s firing this morning prior to “Today” going on the air.

Trump’s obsession with what he calls “fake news” would be laughable, were it not that the president himself is the No. 1 purveyor of outright lies and phony conspiracies.

Of course, the president isn’t going to offer any kind of cogent comment on the issue that took Lauer down, given his own problems in that regard.

Thus, he is left to blather about something that has no connection to reality.


Mind-boggling series of events keeps head spinning

My mind is officially boggled.

I awoke this morning, looked at my social media news feed and saw that NBC fired “Today” co-host Matt Lauer for “inappropriate sexual conduct.” It didn’t end with that stunning announcement.

Later today, I saw that NPR icon Garrison Keillor also has been let go by the public radio network for, um, similar conduct.

This is getting even more stunning than it was before.

NBC went straight for the throat in canning Lauer. The network didn’t wait for any further substantiation of the allegation that came from a network colleague. At this moment, I don’t even know the particulars of what the woman accused Lauer of doing to her.

The network acted immediately on hearing what I am going to presume it believes was a credible accusation.

Network news icons are falling like tall timber. Bill O’Reilly, Charlie Rose, Matt Lauer, Garrison Keillor. Those are just the biggest of the big names. Then we have the likes of Mark Halperin and Glenn Thrush who have lost their jobs over accusations of misbehavior with women.

When is this going to end?

I haven’t even mentioned — until this very minute — the accusations that have sullied the reputations of political leaders. It’s a bipartisan affliction.

I’m beginning to think that employers will need to revamp the applications they ask prospective employees to fill out. Many businesses ask applicants if they’ve ever been convicted of a felony. That’s fine.

They will now likely have to ask: Have you ever committed an act that someone could construe to be sexual harassment … or worse?

This wave of dismissals amid accusations looks for all the world like a purging that needs to occur.

George W. Bush gets back into the game

Welcome back to the political arena, Mr. President … even if you remain on the edges of it.

George W. Bush, who maintained stone-cold silence during Barack Obama’s presidency, has now decided to weigh in on some of the issues dogging the current occupant of the White House.

He is being a gentleman about it, but one cannot help but believe that his genteel approach to criticism masks an attitude with a bit more bite.

NBC’s “Today” host Matt Lauer interviewed the 43rd president this morning. Bush made quite clear that he disagrees with Donald J. Trump’s view that the media are “the enemy of the people” and that the war against terrorists isn’t a war against Islam.

The former president had made a pact that he wouldn’t criticize President Obama. He said the job of being president is difficult enough without former presidents weighing in with their own view of how to run the country. If Obama wanted his help, Bush said he could pick up the phone, call and ask for it.

As National Public Radio reported: “Lauer noted that President Bush — who took the country to war in Iraq and who presided over an economic crisis — faced plenty of criticism from the media while in office. Lauer asked Bush, ‘Did you ever consider the media to be the enemy of the American people?’

“Bush chuckled and then answered: ‘I consider the media to be indispensable to democracy. We need an independent media to hold people like me to account. Power can be very addictive. And it can be corrosive. And it’s important for the media to call to account people who abuse their power, whether it be here or elsewhere.'”

As for Trump’s assertion that the enemy are “radical Islamic terrorists,” Bush said: “You see, I understood right off the bat, Matt, that this is an ideological conflict, and people who murder the innocent are not religious people. They want to advance an ideology, and we have faced those kinds of ideologues in the past.”

I cannot get past the personal aspect of what the former president might think of the current president. It was Trump, you’ll recall, who called the Iraq War a “disaster.” He also launched intensely personal insults at the ex-president’s brother, Jeb, who was one of 15 Republican Party primary opponents that Trump vanquished on his way to the GOP nomination.

Bush didn’t attend the GOP convention; neither did Jeb, nor did the men’s father, former President George H.W. Bush.

Blood, as they say, is thicker than, well, almost any other substance.

No one should expect George W. Bush to throttle up his return to politics into a full-time endeavor. Still, I happen to one who welcomes his world view while the current president struggles to get past serious questions about national security and whether the Russians helped him get elected.

A new ‘dump Trump’ movement surfaces


Media Matters, a left-leaning media watchdog organization, has raised a perfectly valid and intriguing question.

How can a major news organization cover the president of the United States when the president has a “fiduciary” connection to the network?

Media Matters is referring to Donald J. Trump’s continued association with an NBC-TV show, “The Apprentice,” where he will remain as an executive producer.


NBC — and its affiliate networks, MNSBNC and CNBC — cannot possibly cover Trump with any degree of impartiality if Trump is getting paid by NBC for his relationship with “The Apprentice,” according to Media Matters. What if the network felt compelled to cover the president aggressively? How does that square with the possibility that negative news coverage would harm the president’s public standing and, by association, harm the TV show he serves as an executive producer.

As Media Matters declared: “There is simply no way that citizens can trust the reporting of NBC News, CNBC, and MSNBC. Executives have put hard working reporters at these outlets in a completely untenable spot: No amount of disclosure is sufficient when the network is financially invested in the president.”

Well … ? How about it, NBC?

Trump now must decide: Do I show up to debate Hillary?


I cannot believe some media outlets are actually asking this question seriously.

Is Donald Trump going to agree to debate Hillary Rodham Clinton now that we know who will moderate these three events, or will he back out?

Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, has agreed to face Republican nominee Trump who, apparently, hasn’t yet agreed formally to show for any or all of them.

It seems that he wanted to see who the networks would select as moderators. Now he knows.

NBC’s Lester Holt will moderate the first one; ABC’s Martha Raddatz and CNN’s Anderson Cooper get the second one; Fox News’s Chris Wallace gets the third one.

All are capable journalists. All are tough-minded.

And all of them, apparently, have had some “issues” with Trump.

Thus, we get the question about whether the GOP nominee will show up.


The tempest over his feud with Fox’s Megyn Kelly is going down already as a serious back story of this amazingly unpredictable campaign. Trump didn’t show up for a debate when he learned Kelly would be one of the co-moderators. His absence obviously didn’t harm his nomination chances.

Trump has bitched about moderators before. All of the journalists named as moderators have questioned Trump hard on some of the answers he has given. Will his notoriously thin skin prevent him from being questioned yet again?

He’s also griped that the debates were scheduled opposite televised NFL games, which he said would drive down viewership of the debate — which, quite naturally, he alleges is a conspiracy to get Clinton elected.

The only thing I can surmise if Trump were actually to refuse to show up for any of these three joint appearances is that some of the conspiracy theorists are right about one thing: Trump is throwing this election because he truly doesn’t want to be elected president of the United States.

Moderators become part of the campaign ’16 story


Admit it if you dare.

You’ve been wondering who would moderate the three joint appearances scheduled with Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton and Republican nominee Donald J. Trump.

Now we know.

Lester Holt of NBC will do the first one; ABC’s Martha Raddatz and CNN’s Anderson Cooper will co-moderate the second; Fox’s Chris Wallace gets the call for the third one.

This normally wouldn’t be a y-u-u-u-u-g-e deal, except for what happened in the first GOP gathering in 2015 when Trump bristled openly at the first question posed by Fox News’s Megyn Kelly, who had the “gall” to ask Trump about his previous statements about women. You know, the “fat pigs” stuff.

Trump didn’t like the question. Not only that, he kept up the feud through much of the GOP primary campaign, refusing to participate in a later event moderated by the same Megyn Kelly.

He demonstrated a preposterous level of petulance.

He made the media the issue, which plays well with the Republican base, given that they hate the media, too.

Moderators aren’t supposed to become part of a political story. This year they have been. Remember, too, when CNN’s Candy Crowley in 2012 corrected GOP nominee Mitt Romney’s assertion that President Obama didn’t refer to the Benghazi attack as an act of terror.

Oh, but this is a new era. Trump has ensured that the media will become part of the narrative because, as he discovered, the base of his party’s voters love gnawing on that red meat.

Will he go after Holt, or Raddatz, or Cooper or Wallace?

Or, will any of them provoke a fiery response with a question that Trump deems to be untoward?

Gosh, I’m getting all tingly now just waiting for it.

GOP comes down with ‘buyer’s remorse’


Buyer’s remorse must be spreading.

British voters agree to pull Great Britain out of the European Union and now might be regretting that decision.

Now we hear that most Republicans in this country want someone other than Donald J. Trump to be their party’s presidential nominee.

In both cases, I fear that voters will have to live with the consequences of their decision.


A poll published by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal say that 45 percent of Republicans want Trump to be their nominee. They want someone else to carry the banner into the fight this fall against Hillary Rodham Clinton and the Democrats.

Sorry, folks. Here’s the thing: Trump has won more primary contests by far than anyone else. He’s collected enough convention delegates to win the nomination on the first ballot. He’s going to be the GOP nominee this summer when delegates gather in Cleveland.

We have a saying in Texas that goes something like this:

“You dance with them that brung ya.”

Sure, Trump has a seemingly endless list of failings as a national political leader. No need to detail them here. You know what they are.

But he’s won a fair-and-square primary fight against a large field of opponents, most of whom were much more qualified than he is to become commander in chief.

He’s your guy, GOP.

Good luck at the dance.

Polls, polls … and more polls


Is it me or have the media become more obsessed with poll coverage in this presidential election cycle than ever before in the history of mass media in this country?

Of particular interest to me are a certain type of intraparty poll that measures candidates’ relative strength against each other.

These surveys drive me nuts. Bonkers, man!

Why? They’re meaningless.

Here’s the latest: NBC says Hillary Rodham Clinton holds a nine-point lead over Democratic Party primary rival U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders. That’s nationally.

What, I ask, does that mean? Does that mean if we had a national political primary that Clinton would beat Sanders by nine percentage points?

Maybe. Except that we aren’t going through a national primary election cycle. Candidates are trudging through these primaries state by bloody state, where the voters in each state have different perspectives, different worries and concerns, different philosophies.

Wisconsin is going to have its Democratic and Republican primaries today. Sanders is favored at this moment to win the Democratic primary; U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz is favored to win the GOP primary.

Still, the media keep reporting that Donald J. Trump holds a diminishing national lead over Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich in a national poll of Republican voters.

I’m running out of ways to say this: I do not care about national intraparty polls. They are not relevant to anything.

Some TV pundits the other evening were saying that they perceive fewer “horse-race” questions coming from the media as the primary campaigns head toward the home stretch. They say they’re hearing more “policy-driven” questions … allegedly.

More policy and fewer polls, please.


RNC fights back: severs tie with NBC

horse race

Can it possibly true that the Republican National Committee doesn’t like its party’s presidential candidates to answer tough questions?

Someone, tell me that’s not possible.

The RNC has lashed out at CNBC and its parent network, NBC, by severing its relationship with the media outlet because of the nature of the questions asked by CNBC moderators this week at the GOP debate in Boulder, Colo.

This means NBC won’t take part in future Republican debates.

The questions weren’t “fair,” according to RNC chairman Reince Preibus. They were of the “gotcha” variety, he said.

I happen to agree with the view that the CNBC moderators did a poor job during the debate. My issue with them was that the debate became a madhouse during its two-hour duration. Candidates were interrupting each other; they were interrupting the moderators; the moderators were interrupting the candidates. Then came the attacks from the candidates against the mainstream media and CNBC.

One of the candidates, Ted Cruz of Texas, then said he thinks Republican debates need to be moderated by pundits who are friendly to the GOP. Donald Trump said more or less the same thing.

Look, the issue shouldn’t be the toughness of the questioning. What on Earth do any of these folks believe will await them if any of them gets elected president next year? Are they — and their political party apparatus — really fearful of tough questions that seek to determine the candidates’ ability to think on their feet and deal with unexpected occurrences?

I cannot believe what’s happening here. The Republican National Committee needs to get a grip on what it is demanding of the media that cover its candidates’ quest to assume the most powerful office on the planet.