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tv   Media Buzz  FOX News  December 23, 2018 8:00am-9:00am PST

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howie: on the buzz meter this sunday, a rare revolt in the conservative media. abandoning president trump by averting a shutdown by not funding a border wall. they drew a line in the sand and said if there is not a shutdown, we'll look like a loser. >> this is a textbook example of the media calls cam pro mice. trump gets nothing and the democrats get everything. >> i think not funding the wall will go down to one of the worst things to happen to this administration. forget mueller.
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howie: trump's decision to quickly pull all-american troops out of syria leading to deet parture of pentagon chief jim mattis. >> the president blindsided the secretary of defense, people advising him like general jack keane, as well as his state department. >> he looks weak and caving in. if that's not a foreign policy disaster. >> donald trump wags the dog and the world is less safe after the resignation of the last human guardrail. >> this is exactly what barack obama did. howie: why has this sparked such criticism from the conservative pundits to usually back trump. the beltway was virtually certain mike flynn will serve no jail time. will a federal judge put the
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former national security advisor behind bars. >> this judge who has such a reputation of holding prosecutors to a high standard would suddenly decide he's a member of the prosecution. >> i think today was a good day for the justice system and this judge really did his job. >> all over the country their heads were blown up. they love this judge when they thought he would believe the conspiracy theories, right? howie: how did the media miscalculate flynn's case. a massive breach of trust by facebook peddling access to your private messages. has mark zuckerberg's company finally gone too far? i'm howard kurtz and this is "mediabuzz."
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with much of the government shutdown at least through christmas with pulling troops out of syria and general mattis resigning. "politico" says trump allies are privately expressing new levels of concern about trump's erratic behavior. some joined in the criticism when trump agreed to a stop gap measure with zero funding for the wall leading to this weekend's partial shutdown. joining me, mollie hemingway, sara fischer, and phillippe reines, a former state department official under hillary clinton. some officials say we have a partial government shutdown because trump was harassed by
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conservative commentators. mollie: donald trump said he believes border security was important enough that if this wall weren't funded he would take credit for a government shutdown. then it sounded like there was backtracking. absolutely conservative media pushed back to make sure he wasn't backtracking. it's a good reflection that people's sentiment was expressed in the media or otherwise. howie: it's not usual for "fox and friends," trump's favorite show, to criticize trump. is it certain pundits on the right are so powerful or are they seen as reflecting the views of trump's base? phillippe: from my perspective as a democrat who comes into the belly of the beast. it seems what triggers republican on republican
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violence is usually immigration. the president did not hard-core believer in much of anything to the extent he has no problem coming off these things. it happened with daca. you saw another meeting and the republicans in the room are wincing, and you saw it with chuck and nancy last week. these are self-inflicted wounds. the president is so used to wanting cameras, he brings them in when they shouldn't be there. howie: sara, i want to play the sound bite being endlessly replayed by the media. president trump: i'm proud to shut down the government for border security. i will take the mantel. i am not going to blame you for it. howie: now that the president is
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blaming the democrats for the shutdown. the media has him boxed in. sara: some comparing this to george h.w. bush's read my lips, no new taxes. when you verbally promise something with cameras involved, you have to be ready for pushback. that's what donald trump is facing. howie: the withdrawal of the 2,000 troops in syria was portrayed as a shocker. but trump did say during the campaign that he's opposed to suspended or endless military entanglements overseas. is he up against the military establishment? mollie: it's actually kind of a crisis. you see the stories about pulling back our presence in syria. that is true that a lot of people in the foreign policy
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establishment all think the same way. they support lengthy intervention in iraq and afghanistan. 17 years. now that we accomplished our stated mission they are trying to change it to enduring which could mean we'll be there for 17 years. we are not getting a lot of diversity of viewpoint. it's something media people need to make sure they are getting that view point for people who don't believe in endless intervention in syria. howie: it seems liberals need to be restrained on this because barack obama pulled out of iraq, got hammered by the right for it and he shared donald trump's aversion to endless war in these places. phillippe: i don't think this is a high-minded debate about where the u.s. should be deployed. i think congressional republicans which is basically donald trump's fire wall that he
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has on occasion dared to leave him first with charlottesville, now with this. then with the saudi killing. he's leaving them no choice but to criticize them. i don't think that's an intervention or non-intervention. don't trifle with the people doing your bidding. howie: he's also leaving certain commentators with no choice. mollie: one of the problems with the coverage is republicans only disagree with him. you have multiple senators supporting him. you have people on both sides of the aisle who do not believe we should have this perpetual presence. howie: the press is playing up the lindsey grahams and bob corkers. mollie: tim kaine has been trying to get a resolution
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passed for this endless situation in syria and he has had no success. phillippe: lindsey graham says this is a stain on the presidency. lindsey graham golfed with the president, he's the biggest defender on mueller. these are significant things. howie: widely respected and leaving a very big story with james mattis. is the press going overboard as the last man standing between donald trump and the alliance? sara: of course. he was one of the most of fund amountal blocks when it comes -- most of fundamental blocks when it comes to foreign policy. i was watching cnn. they had bob corker and rand paul on. we have to take into account which views they put on.
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it's not always so one-sided. mollie: not all the media coverage has been bad. 8 months ago donald trump told general mattis we need to be out of syria in six months, 8 months ago. for years trump said we need to get out of syria. howie: things are pretty volatile. washington is rattled, new york is rattled. what about the media making this all one big bowl of trumpian. mattis resigned, the stock market tanks. cnn's favorite is trump tailspin. mollie: with the stock market the idea that the fed's'' actions don't play a role.
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it's been forced by inaction among both parties. by saying we have to deal with it doesn't mean you are the cause of the problem. it just means this has to get done. howie: essentially trump's style, he did this against the advice of any white house aides. he overruled mattis. does that add to the media. phillippe: when you couple syria with the firing of mattis, because they are the same thing. you have a dynamic that i don't subscribe to that jim mattis was a blanky that made people feel better at night. two weeks ago he win the to the senate intelligence committee.
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howie: i'm not saying you have to agree with everything mattis has said. phillippe: they have vested so much in him as the last line of defense against trump is more the people saying that and the reality. howie: the establishment's view on most of of this. afghanistan, iraq, syria, more military intervention, more troops, unless reflecting the views of trump supporters which is why are we spending american tax dollars to be in these places for decades. >> when you bring on foreign policy experts, you are not bringing on moms and dads of people waiting for their kids to come home. mollie: there are people hop support this. we need to bring in average
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americans. phillippe: including congress. they were all taken by surprise. mollie: if they wanted to be there, they could pass a resolution. phillippe: if you criticize barack obama for putting us in there and not having a discussion by the. it's not as simple as keeping a campaign promise. howie: ahead, bill bennett joins us and how the president is at the center of the political wars and the culture wars. miscalculates on mueller. -here comes the rain. [ horn honking ] [ engine revving ] what's that, girl? [ engine revving ] flo needs help?! [ engine revving ] take me to her! ♪ coming, flo! why aren't we taking roads?! flo. [ horn honking ] -oh. you made it. do you have change for a dollar? -this was the emergency?
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howie: in the run-up to mike
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flynn's sentencing, journalists thought he would easily avoid a jail term for lie together fbi. to commentators said the fbi entrapped him. >> almost everybody thought this would be simple. in, out, no jail time. we thought flynn would get sentenced today an would get a little time. >> why is the guy who told the truth being charged with the crime of lying. >> the judge can throw out this guilty below if he concludes the fbi interfered with flynn's constitutional rights to counsel. >> if you watched fox, there was an expectation that this judge would make martyr out of flynn. howie: judge sullivan made it clear flynn would get some jail
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time, but aloud him a postponement so he could further cooperate with prosecutors. the media left, right, and center shocked that's flynn didn't have a quickie hearing. mollie: the judge quickly walked back those comments and he apologized for that. this is a complicated case. i think what mike line's lawyers were trying to do is say he was pressured into a plea deal. judge in this case has a long reputation of saying if you plead to something, you better have done it. he was testing the boundaries of that plea agreement. now we don't have sentencing for another 90 days. howie: even some liberals are sympathetic. military man, he cooperated early.
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fill require was nervous about sullivan. i have had a little bit of experience with him. he was one of the judges in hillary clinton's email matter and was very tough on her. when he asked to see the fbi notes, it seemed like he was buying into the notion. but the flip side is he saw everything we can't see and had a very strong reaction. but as a crisis communications point, i don't understand why the president has ever veered from no collusion. it's the most of effective thing he ever says. why that up umbrella expands to manafort, or flynn. mollie: he's going to all these other places. howie: wasn't this a bit of media group think?
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people say the prosecution agrees. the judge comes in and he's looking at this narrow question of lying to the fbi. but other crimes flynn wasn't charged with. he's a senior white house official and he sees a much darker picture in the way it was portrayed by the defense. >> at the end of the day, the judge has insight into these things we don't have insight into. this is a surprising judge ruling for months coming out of this administration. when you hear things like what we heard with chris cuomo, that this will be a damning ruling. we don't know what he knows, so we have to be prepared to acknowledge anything. mollie: we got to see some of these 302s congress has been
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trying to see. phillippe: he maybe went overboard to say are you sure that's what it was. howie: the "wall street journal'," when flynn's lawyers made the argument that it was a perjury trap it backfired. mollie: there was a criminal leak that mike flynn made with the russian ambassador that had no wrongdoing tonight. the day the fbi went to interview him. why were they interviewing him. they encouraged him not have attorneys there. these are behaviors that are inappropriate. james comey admitted he got away with it. phillippe: mollie is good at
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what she does. flynn standing on the podium making deals. mollie: that's not what he's charged with. phillippe: it's bad to lie to the fbi. don't lie to the fbi. mollie: when hillary clinton said she doesn't know how classified systems work. that was a lie to the fbi. howie: the media is looking at this as a repudiation of the deep state theory. this notion of well he didn't know, he was the former head of the intelligence agency. >> highest national security post next to the president. you know not to lie to the fbi. those reports he was happy in his demeanor and seemed so
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honest. it means to me flynn did something wrong in lie together fbi and may not have realized at the time what he was doing. but it was wrong. howie: phillippe reines, sara fischer and mollie hemingway. people canceling their facebook pages in the wake of the latest controversies. the latest call to the attack a major news outlet is alexandria ocasio-cortez. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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his severance package. he told a newsletter this is far from over. cbs is obligated to pay his legal fees. in the meanwhile, another high-profile accuser came forward. reporter: actress sybil shepard said her show was taken off air in the 90s after rejecting his advances. howie: the optics of giving him a big payout after these revelations would be awful for the network. alexandria ocasio-cortez may be a media darling but she is not shy about sticking it to the press. "politico" reported that she recruited an african-american to
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be to mount a challenge to jeffries. she says one thing about d.c. is the gossip that passes as reporting. this story has not one single source. my far it had a name for articles like this. bird cage lining. has she or anyone from her staff asked for a correction? her tendency towards fact-challenges comments and a willingness to pick fights with the press. she challenged a reporter who says her wardrobe doesn't match
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her income. a massive scandal involving years of made up stories from der spiegel. grenell says the u.s. has lost faith in its fact check. kind of the same complaint at home. journalists canceling their facebook accounts. are some liberal commentators going off the deep end when it comes to the mueller probe? bill bennett is next.
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howie: the media ripping president trump for crises from washington to wall street. i spoke with bill bennett, a
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former cabinet official and author of the book "the true st. nicholas" and why he matters to christmas. here is the media narrative. unnecessary government shutdown. jim mattis is the last elf in the room and it's all donald trump's fault. bill: he's president of the united states and he'll attract a lot of attention. but this is a guy who paints in intoald strokes. you could get another guy doing the same thing but it wouldn't be in trump's style. direct, bold, in your face. howie: the stories tend to be about that. that's partially the media and the way the president tweets and invites that coverage. bill: they hate trump. trump is the focus. that's why they want to get trump. they don't like him. the general. i'm sorry to see mattis go.
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but i remember all the headlines about too many generals. one is leaving now, so maybe that's two have left. howie: jim mattis served his country well. but as somebody who has held a cabinet-level post, is the press overplaying the importance of one secretary? >> they are. >> even though mattis played a vital role. >> they are. and you serve at the pleasure of the president. i remember making calls a couple of times. i get a call from the chief of staff. i say how unhappy is he? if he's really unhappy, i will go. donald trump is the center of conversation not just here in washington. he's the center of conversation all over the country. he leads every parade. there are conversations at thanksgiving dinner. people talk about having a no politics discussion zone.
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i have never seen anything like it. howie: when the president abruptly changed course, does that add to this sense that everything is about him? does he have some responsibility here even if the press is overdramatizing it for the sense that right now washington is rattled. bill: yes, of course he does. because that's the way he acts. he acts direct and forceful way. he doesn't lean in, he says what he thinks. what's that line? i will go to him most of counterfeitly. and the things he does are sudden strikes. remember how large he looments not just in the mind of the american people, but the media who are both exhausted by his pace. howie: 6:00 in the morning our
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tweets start. bill: i love john roberts who always looks like he's work an 18-hour day. that's because the president is work an 18-hour day. he's strong and direct. no matter what his politics he would draw attention. but all the anger has to do with the fact that he's donald trump. howie: you have trump versus the nfl, trump versus snl, trump versus hollywood celebrities. can that be wearing on the public? bill: wearing or weary. is there a subject in which he has no interest? is there a subject he's not prepared to declaim? probably not. he's acting more like a regular person than we are used to
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president's acting with scripts and people explaining it and careful language. he talks like someone in your family would talk. i don't like what they are doing in the nfl. howie: he's not getting the nuance and he overstated that. that's part of his appeal. way that he talks. but he's also not just a voracious consumer of media, he cares about television. you would think they would be focus as much time on how they are played in the media. bill: he canceled the white house press party, he doesn't go to the white house correspondents dinner. i think that's great. they know he doesn't like him. he knows they don't like him. he's a huge cultural figure. not just here, but around the world, the conversations about donald trump. howie: better known than nike i
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was told. during this government shutdown, limbaugh and coulter blamed for trump's shutdown. in this new meme it says they have so much power. bill: they are powerful. he listens to people he only likes and who generally agreed with him and that's perfectly fine. but he makes his own decision. the press needs to make up its mind. is it coulter, limbaugh or laura ingraham or is it donald trump. but we have never had a president like him. for all those who complained year after year the' too staged,
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too phoney, too artificial. this is not an artificial president. howie: you said a moment ago he does not like the press, the press does not like donald trump. is there a level where that's not good for the country? this constant warfare. >> sure. it seems lute air vents. it troubles people. but at the end of the day what matters to people is whether things get done, if their you individual lives are better. he's making a good case on that front. the american people can stand more than people think. we are not delicate flowers, we can handle it. howie: after the break. a closer look at jim mattis leaving the pentagon. was he pushed out or did he quit? facebook breaches your privacy again. i am not for colds.
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[♪] howie: jim mattis is leaving the government after president trump overruled his pentagon chief on withdrawing troops from syria. the media are divide over the reason for his beparture. >> he was pushed out by the president. >> secretary mattis retiring, no. secretary mattis is being pushed
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out. howie: despite that reporting they stalk with the narrative that mattis was quitting in protest. >> perhaps the most of grave and conscious, mattis is leaving due to trump's policies. howie: . obviously he did rebuke the president in his resignation letter. what's your take? gillian: i think both things can be true at once. which was the case with a lot of senior white house officials and cabinet officials who have policy disagreements with the president, they will negotiate and exit. so they come together and make it happen. howie: that matches my
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reporting. mattis has been telling friend, i will never ever quit. the same time trump sent signals he would like mattis to move on. and when he couldn't change the president's mind on syria and afghanistan, i think at that point it was mutual. i can't remember another cabinet officer who was portrayed as being as indispensable as this one. gillian: which is interesting. we have gotten to the point where jim mattis is perceived by the media as an all tar american hero. in 2016 when his name was first circulated. it was jim mattis, "mad dog" mattis. he's good on the ground. but is he strategic enough. does he have enough policy making experience. suddenly because he and president trump parted way, he's an american hero. howie: heroism can be
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situational in the media. a tweet yesterday if anyone other than your favorite president announced we would be bringing home troops from syria, you would be prides, but hit hard by the mainstream media. crazy. gillian: what the president -- i hate doing this, what president trump really meant to say. but -- he feels he's been unfairly hammered. the obvious reality to anybody who pays attention to military policy is that there is never a good time to withdraw american troops from the midst of an ongoing civil war in another country. but if you don't make the decision. the obvious response from the trump administration should be, this is a hard choice.
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it's not an obvious choice. there are risks inherent inner decision we make. we said we would pull out and we are pulling out. howie: david sanger wrote trump's view cannot alter the fundamental balance in the middle east and should not be there. it's being portrayed that trump is doing this radical thing. obama ran against it. gillian: the media has an important role to play, to hold congress available. congress on both sides of the aisle are railing about the president withdrawing. they never gave the president authorization to send troops there in the first place. the troops are there in violation of international law. howie: i have to say i highly
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respect the service jim mattis did in service to his country and the pentagon. but a lot of people don't want troops to be there forever. how much can they accomplish in a war-torn country. gillian: name a democrat in 200 who is going to run on sending more troops to the middle east. maybe joe biden. it seems like he wants to get the job done finally. but i think he's the only one. howie: gillian turner, thanks for joining us. for car insurance, it was a no-brainer. i switched to geico and saved hundreds. that's a win. but it's not the only reason i switched. the geico app makes it easy to manage my policy.
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howie: defense secretary jim mattis said in his resignation letter that he would stay on until the end of february is leaving january 1. president trump just tweeted that. patrick shanahan will take over. this undoubtedly is a result of the harsh resignation letter mattis wrote the president. getting back other news. facebook has been facing series of scandals. "new york times" reports the social media company made deals with netflix and spotify to access your personal communications that you thought were safe from snooping. it seems like this hits people
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in the gut. private messages. personal, confidential stuff. to me it seems outrageous. >> people are on edge. they feel they cannot trust facebook. while i don't think it's totally outrageous netflix can see messages created on netflix using facebook. it feels like a betrayal in this year of russian infiltration and data breaches from facebook. people are not being reassured that facebook gets it. they are maybe deleting their accounts. howie: i understand if you are on netflix and talking about movies with someone else. but why should we believe facebook. i thought these private messages were sacrosanct. it feels to me like another
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betrayal. shana: the messaging technology is something they loaned out to other companies. and they didn't do a good job this week with any responses to this report. reassuring people. they were super defensive, they did nothing wrong here. people are looking for facebook to do more than just meet the letter of the law. he want to be reassured that it's safe. howie: facebook said it wasn't a breach of privacy or a consent decree. but we can do better. but no apology or video from mark zuckerberg. technology reporter mark salsberg is deleting his
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account. msnbc anchor casey hunt doing the same thing. is there a growing backlash over privacy issues? shana: this seems to be the straw that broke the camel's back. but most of people have become desensitized to this news. they heard it over and over again. it's the new normal relationship with facebook. i don't trust them. but i will still post pictures of my kids on facebook. they come to expect this will happen. doesn't it erode the brand that was once a glittering brand? shana: it does. facebook will feel the pain of losing high-profile names. highly less ad dollars. facebook will feel the pain.
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howie: the new normal, something we paul need to get used to. many social networks criticizing them. that's it for this edition of "mediabuzz." i'm howard kurtz. merry christmas. check out my new podcast. hide year -- media buzz meter. tune in to whether it's the shutdown or the stock market or jim mattis and the pullout from syria. take a look at our facebook page. post my daily columns there and a lot of original video.
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arthel: president trump confirming deputy defense secretary patrick shanahan will replace general jim mattis on january 1 as acting secretary of defense. this as a partial government shutdown is well under way as it enters day two. it's expected to last at least at few more days, continuing through christmas as president trump stands firm on the need for border wall funding. welcome to "america's news headquarters." i'm arthel neville. mike: the senate adjourned and is not set