May 6, 2017

While the rest of us were watching AM Joy, there was a fascinating discussion on CNN about Rupert Murdoch and Donald Trump that we shouldn't skip.

Did you know the so-called president talks to Rupert Murdoch DAILY?

Did you know the Justice Department is investigating just how and whether Roger Ailes had bundles of cash to distribute to "Friends of Roger" via the Fox News Accounting Department with no oversight?

Do you think justice will be carried out against Fox News?


CNN, to their credit, devoted a segment to this question this morning featuring ethics lawyer Richard Painter and media guy Bill Carter. The picture they paint is of a very deep swamp.

The conflict between Fox and all of the Trump appointees is a huge problem, and cannot make decisions regarding the network. Painter doesn't trust either the Trump Administration or their Justice Department to investigate ANY sexual harassment cases, let alone those at Fox. Let that sink in.

And remember when the Right lost their damn minds because Loretta Lynch discussed grandchildren with Bill Clinton on an airport tarmac last year? Guess what? Hannity is still pretending that this whole Russia thing is...Loretta Lynch and/or Susan Rice's fault.

Yet Rupert Murdoch talks to Donald by phone every day. Every single day. Crickets from the right.

BILL CARTER: You hear people roaring about that one conversation and here you have Rupert Murdoch apparently speaking to president trump every day, even as his company's under investigation by the justice department. You know, there are things that are obvious conflicts of interest, and then there's the appearance of conflict of interest. And this is really both in a big majority of opinion has to be that this is wrong. I mean, if it was a previous administration, the conservatives would go crazy about this amount of influence by someone who's under investigation. And Murdoch because, you know, Fox is sort of an arm getting work including the story about the EPA now only can show Fox News in their offices. So, you know, there is all of this conflict going on. Somebody should really speak out against it. You could make the argument that the Justice Department is under more pressure to go through with this because otherwise it really looks like a whitewash.

What will fix this? Not Trump and not the media. And Murdoch wants to own more local stations.

RICHARD PAINTER: They're not going to tell President Trump what to do. He's going to do everything he can to expand his ties with Rupert Murdoch because he wants favorable press coverage. He's not getting it elsewhere. He's shutting the "New York Times" out of the White House press briefings from time to time. He's hostile to CNN, other networks. He's going to talk to Rupert Murdoch and you're not going to stop him. What you can do is insist that career government employees throughout the agencies deal with fox news related matters. And I have to say the sexual harassment allegations are just the tip of the iceberg. The real issue for Rupert Murdoch is expanding the number of TV stations he owns. And of course, Donald Trump wants that. If he's asking to give him positive coverage going into the 2018-2020 elections, that's the really big issue. We're at a very, very difficult situation in the United States. We're not supposed to have some other media outlet linked to the United States Government that dominates the airwaves, but we could be going in that direction if we're not careful.

Bill Carter had the last word, and it's a show-stopper: the Trump White House is "sending their message out through basically a propaganda channel that's in bed with them, you know, it's another mark against their credibility.

You do have to question where the honesty and forthrightness is going in this country."

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