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tv   Media Buzz  FOX News  January 2, 2022 8:00am-9:00am PST

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howard: huge headlines as new covid cases shatter all pandemic records. the press is going easy on president biden as he beats a tactical retreat, and his cdc again is spreading more confusion. "the washington post" reports that the cdc's abrupt decision to cut the recommended isolation period from ten days to five was driven largely by concerns essential services might be hobbled. cbs morning didn't even ask the chief, rochelle what eleven sky, about that. >> what we do know is about
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85-90% of viral transmission happens in those first fife days which is why we really want people to stay home during that period of time and then mask for the rest of the time. howard: okay, sure. and on the today show and cnn, walensky dodged the questions. >> so from what you're saying, it sounds like this decision had just as much to do with business as it did the science. >> why should americans trust the cdc? >> my job right now is to take all of the science and the information that we have and to deliver guidance and recommendations to the american people. howard: the jig was up when anthony fauci admitted on msnbc that there was a strong economic motivation behind the move. >> that might have a negative impact on our ability to maintain the structure of society, of all the essential workers that you would need if you keep them all out for a period of ten days. howard: look, there should be a media debate over these strategies. but whether it's mandates or
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masks, remember when the cdc said everyone had to wear masks outside before flip-flopping? the agency's ability to communicate to the press has been amaze business mall. you want to take -- abysmal. just be honest about it. who's to blame when it comes to covid, most of the media is muting its criticism of the biden administration compared to the former guy. i'm howard kurtz, and this is the first "mediabuzz" of 2022. ♪ ♪ howard: as the omicron surge dominates the news, the pundits clash over whether joe biden is now handing off the problem. >> look, there is no federal solution. this gets solved at the state level. >> for president biden to say there is no federal solution, that is the kind of thing he would have blasted president donald trump for saying, and now he's saying it himself. >> you're damned if you do, you're damned if you don't. if they stuck with the ten days,
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i think people would have accused them of trying to grind the economy to a halt. howard: and the president belateddedly conceded that his plan to order 500 million covid home tests came much too late. >> it's not enough. it's clearly not enough. if i'd known, we would have gone harder. >> i think that we could all agree that the white house was a day behind and a dollar short, day late and a dollar short when it comes to testing overall. >> i actually think this flip flip-flop by the media and the biden administration, by the way, is very deliberate. i think they realize in polling that they're getting killed on covid. howard: joining us now to analyze the coverage, gayle trotter, who hosts the right in d.c., and gillian turner, correspondent here in washington. gayle, with a staggering 580,000 new covid cases reported on thursday alone, the cdc suddenly cuts in half the recommended isolation time and doesn't acknowledge the full story. why are we seeing relatively little media criticism of the
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agency and the biden administration? >> howie, everyone is sick of the coronavirus, and everyone is sick of the media's coverage of the coronavirus. it's clear that where the trump administration was met with total skepticism by the media for everything they did and everything they said, the biden administration's every action is met with mostly widespread acceptance by the media. and this is yet another example of where the media is abandoning its professional ethics to go after and to really dig for the truth. and you said it at the very beginning of this segment, that it would be one thing if the cdc and the biden administration admitted what was really going on, their motivation behind this. and the media with trump, they questioned every motive he had, they assumed that he had bad motives for everything his administration was doing, and yet we see just the opposite with the corporate media right now assuming the best of motives by the biden administration.
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howard: well, i agree with you people being sick of the virus, sick of the coverage. nevertheless, these numbers are staggering even though, obviously, deaths are not up anywhere near as much given the fact it's the omicron variant. gillian, maybe it's justified to cut the isolation time just to keep businesses open and planes flying, but there's no doubt in my mind if the cdc has done the same thing under donald trump, pundits would be coming on i saying they're not following the science. >> i guess my question for the medical experts and the public health officials is if that was the calculation now, right, we're going to cut down -- by the way, i can't -- i didn't really see journalists ask this this week -- if they're going to cut down isolation times, why wasn't that a factor when we started the lack lockdowns a year and a half ago? it should have been equally a consideration then as it is now. to me, it undercuts the failures
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in the decisions they made a year and a half ago. i haven't seen anybody ask dr. fauci or what eleven sky that. howard: gayle, president biden did get some media pushback for ignoring at home tests and how they've ordered 500 million but we're not going to see those for some weeks. people are going crazy trying to get these tests. he said it wasn't a failure, then he admitted, as we saw, had a we known, we could have gone much harder, and the press just moves on. >> we see that over and over again. like the clip about dr. fauci who's been the chief flip-flopper on everything related to the pandemic during our experience with this, fauci didn't acknowledge there could be different rules for essential workers. so, yes, cut it down to five, and maybe five days is even too much given the fact that omicron is highly contagious and yet it's not very debill debilitative to people. we're not seeing a huge rise in
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hospitalizations or deaths, and the data from other countries is showing that too. why didn't fauci have the idea that maybe you could have a different rule for essential workers than the rest of america? and the fact that the media's not pressing him on this shows that, as i said, they're just accepting what this administration is doing instead of the sort of antagonist if deny antagonistic way you saw with the trump administration where you saw gotcha questions that the trump administration was having. and, of course, where's biden for his questioning? howard: yeah. well, of course, the impact of the virus very much depends on whether you've been vaccinated. but, gillian, is this a case of the media pulling punches? joe biden talked about in the campaign we need more testing. he said it a couple months ago but didn't actually make it happen, and now everybody acknowledges it's kind of too late. the omicron peak may have already passed. >> yeah. richard fowler said in a clip that that we play off the top
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that the president is a day late and a dollar short. but that really undercuts the severity of the problem. to me, the media's biggest failing maybe of the last two years is in failing to grasp the severity of the testing shortage which is now a full-blown, nationwide crisis in this country, the headline topping every news show this week, fronting every front page should have really been americans wait hours in line to get access to tests. sometimes they're charged hundreds of dollars for those tests, and now we're waiting days in order to get the results. this is the wealthiest nation in the world, the most technologically and medically advanced nation in the world. it's outrageous that at this point we are here. this is not happening many western europe, it's not happening in most participants of asia. even -- parts of asia. even in most parts of the middle east. it's a shortcoming that is very unique to the united states right now, and the media is not covering it as such. howard: that's a great point.
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if this had been more of a media drum beat about the lack of tests, maybe there would have been more pressure on the white house and the whole political system to do manager about it just in case. -- something about it. everybody knew there would be more surges. gayle, when president biden said earlier this week there was no federal solution to the covid crisis, that's sort of true that most of this is handled at the state level, but that's not what candidate biden and president biden have been saying since the campaign and earlier this year when he was acting like, especially with mandates, that there was, washington was going to take the lead. >> that's so true. you might remember candidate joe biden's quote about if anybody was responsible for this many deaths, he should not remain president. and yet we've seen far more families shattered in deaths from coronavirus during biden's administration than the previous administration. and he was out there saying there's no federal solution. some people said that the media were not questioning him about
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this because he was trying to give the state golf -- state governors more credit for what they were doing, more responsibility. and yet we see a terrible federal policy right now pushed by osha requiring vaccines of businesses that have 100 or more employees. this is being challenged in the supreme court right now. there's a stay that's going to be heard in january on this. so it kind of undercuts biden's message that there's no federal solution when he's trying to do a federal solution that impinges people's freedom. howard: there was a media uproar in 2020 when president trump said he had absolute authority over states on this and then he kind of took a step back and said the governors would be calling the shots. "the washington post," new york times doing big pieces on this question about whether there's an undercount, because you do have some at-home tests. people are testing positive, but the authorities have no way to track that. so some journalists and scientists are now suggesting we should just stop the daily counting. it's pointless, it doesn't
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really tell us anything, it's an incomplete number. but if that happened and the media went along, wouldn't that be sort of a political gift to joe biden by defusing the focus on the surging number of cases? >> i mean, maybe, but i would argue that the political optics is less important to the underlying reality which is that how many americans are getting sick from covid, how many americans are getting covid. those are the numbers we need. public health officials use those daily case counts in order to formulate policy, and the media, by the way, uses it to paint a picture of covid in this country and around the world. if that's no longer going to be the metric, then people have to come -- public health officials need to tell us pretty quickly what the metric is going to be. some folks are arguing -- to be fair, conservative pundits have been arguing for months now that the metric should be hospitalizations and death rates, we should move away from dailyly case counts. maybe that's the answer, i don't know, but the public health officials need to tell us pretty
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quick. howard: yeah. i'm sympathetic to the arguments, but i sort of feel like if we don't have the numbers to give us the overall trend, we're sort of flying blind. >> howie, it's probably the case that some numbers are better than no numbers, you know? howard: yeah, right. even though we acknowledge they're incomplete because, look, we want more people to test at home. people want to know if they're carrying the virus, especially if they've been exposed to somebody. before we go to break, gillian, you -- i was on your show yesterday minutes after we learned that betty white had died. we're going to put up this people magazine cover. it's sod sad she didn't make it to 100, but 99. what an amazing career this woman has had, how she touched so many generations beginning in reed owe, then the golden girls, being on saturday night live, i never heard anybody say anything bad about her. she was a very likable and genuine person. didn't make the gossip columns with negative news, so happy to have a chance to talk to you about that. let me get a break. when we come back, how the media
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are handling president biden and his avoidance of the press corps over this past year. ♪ ♪ st two pills for all day pain relief. aleve it, and see what's possible. and also try alevex topical pain relief.
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howard: president biden began 2021 with the press comparing him to fdr and lbj, but now the coverage is very different after mistakes and missteps caused his approval ratings to plummet. joining the panel is kevin corke. joe biden is certainly getting more negative press now, but as somebody who covered the trump white house, would you say the coverage today is still largely sympathetic? >> no question about that, howie. i think the white house would acknowledge that while the press generally has been compliant in getting their message out, i think they would also acknowledge that when you have misstep after misstep, it's not going to be easy to sort of
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control the narrative. you can talk about crime, afghanistan, the struggling economy and, yes, the covid response. but i think what white house sources have told me repeatedly is listen, kevin, this is summed up in a single sentence, it's a moving target: it's sort of like whack-a-mole, if you will. they're hopeful that the press will be fair in acknowledging when things do get better. of course, whether or not the political damage is lasting or not remains to be seen, howie. howard: the presidency is always confronted with moving targets. gayle, joe biden was never going to be fdr because he's got a 50-50 senate. would you say the media jacked up expectations way too high in part because he wasn't donald trump? >> yes, because they had decided as "the new york times" said in the 2016 campaign that they were abandoning objectivity to cover donald trump, and the press is being soft on president biden right now because all these supposed negative stories have a
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positive spin. it's like ross doubt at of the "the new york times" said, it's like the good guy is flailing, and we'd like to stop seeing him flailing. and you had an excellent piece on this talking about the coverage of president biden and responding to the washington post columnist who said that there is more negative coverage of biden than there has been of donald trump which is patently absurd, and anyone with eyes can see. and the study that he used, the chummist for "the washington post," was completely flawed. and i think you have to understand that the tone with biden is that he's a good guy who's nailing, and we want to stop seeing him flailing. but the tone that the press always took and continues to take with president trump is that he is an authoritarian menace. so you can see that the press coverage of these administrations is vastly different. howard: well, the times
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newspaper didn't say it was abandoning -- >> they printed it. howard: well, sure. it was printed as a column. and, kevin, biden has drawn pretty sharp media criticism on afghanistan, on the border, on inflation, now with covid again out of control. so it's hard to argue that the press is giving him a total pass, but perhaps it depends on the issue. >> yeah. i think that the key there, howie, was tone. i think that was a perfectly-made point. again, you have to cover the news, and if the news is bad, the news is bad no matter how you spin it. it's going to be unfavorable. however, tone does matter in the way that some of the coverage has happened. again, i think the sources that i talk to -- and i try to stay in contact with the white house at least on a week weekly basis, what they will tell you is no matter what you think about the press coverage, you have to understand that they're still looking for fair. and sometimes they don't feel like they get a fair shake whether that may be media outlets on the right or in talk radio. they're still looking for this
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ideal coverage that maybe they saw in the obama years when the press was, i think you could argue, fawning. they're not going to get that especially with things struggling the way they are right now and particularly with the economy. howard: yeah. i also remember obama people not being happy with some of the coverage. gayle, if the economy rebounds, if covid subsides, can priden get better coverage in -- president biden get better coverage in 2022? or given he's 79, do you think the political damage has been done? >> he campaigned that he would restore normalcy to washington d.c. joe biden is of the swamp, by the swamp and for the swamp, and i think that's why he expected the mainstream media would give him nothing but absolutely glowing coverage. and yet you mentioned two things that have weighed down his administration, but what about china and taiwan? what about the afghanistan debacle? what about the military service members who were murdered by the taliban in afghanistan? what about all the challenges that we see with russia and
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ukraine, with nato? and yet we don't see the wall to wall, 24/7 coverage of all of these things by the mainstream media, and that's why joe biden, i think, is lulled into thinking that he's doing better than he is doing. howard: right. >> but the 2022 elections, i think, draw that to a chose. >> well, it was wall to wall for a few weeks during the afghanistan debacle. kevin, i've got about half a minute. i've always said president biden needs to engage the press more, help drive the news agenda, but as you know, he did very few interviews last year. do you think i have a point, and do you think the white house approach may change? >> you have a point, and absolutely not. they just can't afford it. the risk is too great even in favorable settings, the president remains gaffe-prone. i think the strategy remains the same, and that's to his detriment, i think, politically, howie. howard: already -- already. happy new year -- >> is happy new year, howie. howard: up next, why "the view"
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howard: time to race the clock on the buzz meter. go. "the view" is having a hard time replacing megyn mccain, and that's trying out many different people. politico quoting sources as saying the liberal hosts are fed up with the endless shuffle of contenders, but here's the thing: they want a female conservative who doesn't embrace the capitol riot, who doesn't flirt with fringe conspiracy theories in the gop but who has credibility with republicans who still support donald trump, and the person can't be too friendly with the whoopi crowd. in other words, a unicorn. maybe this theoretical woman would be put off by complaints
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of others who have held that seat. dr. oz running for the senate in pennsylvania, did not want to talk to a new york magazine reporter. but the house was called and accidentally switched the call to another device, so she heard mrs. oz call her this f-ing girl reporter and said one of their friends should not have talked to her. if you want to blow off a reporter, make sure the phone's hung up. bbc news is apologizing for its handling of story of ghislaine maxwell who was found guilty. the network didn't bother or to mention alan dershowitz that she's a former epstein lawyer who's been alleged of sexual misconduct. the move did not meet the bbc's standards as mr. dershowitz was not a suitable person to interview as an impartial
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analyst. but dershowitz told viewers that the government's failure to cale made full disclosure. cnn senior producer has resigned the network confirmed after project veritas alleged he had solicited sexual photos of his fan yea see's 15-year-old -- fiancee's 15-year-old daughter. he is under investigation by the child exploitation unit. the departure of -- follows the firing of john griffin who's been charged with unlawful sexual activity with minors, no indication either case involves their work at cnn. and keith olberman is taking flak for a nasty comment on a family photo of mitt romney who has 5 children, 25 grandchild. he said of the utah senator's clam, somebody gift these people
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vasectomies. does he have something about large families, or is this just the level he has sunk to? next on "mediabuzz," four days before the anniversary of the capitol riot, that dark day has intensely partisan media coverage everywhere. a look at the press and january 6th in a moment. ♪ ♪ wheels. it's my after-work decompression zone. so when my windshield broke... >> woman: what?! >> vo: ...i searched for someone who really knew my car. i found the experts at safelite autoglass. with their exclusive technology, they fixed my windshield... then recalibrated the camera attached to my glass so my safety systems still work. who knew that was a thing?! >> woman: safelite has service i can trust. >> singers: ♪ safelite repair, safelite replace. ♪ with mucinex all-in-one you've got powerful relief from your worst cold and flu symptoms. so when you need to show your cold who's boss, grab mucinex all-in-one... and get back to your rhythm. ♪♪
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howard: we're now days away if the first anniversary of january 6th, one of the darkest days in american history. the coverage has gotten far more polarized, but the condemnation was pretty consistent across the media spectrum. >> it pretty clearly seems to be president trump was encouraging a mob to storm the capitol. >> i don't think there's much doubt, bret, that the president's actions and his entire conduct post the election are what led us to this point. howard: things have changed pretty drastically since then. gillian turner joined our earlier discussion along with
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fox news contributor guy benson, host of fox's guy benson radio show. guy benson, how is it after that awful attack on american democracy that we are mired in partisan media sniping about what happened, what the meaning was -- of it is and was it really that bad? >> because that's what we do in this country and in this media environment, we snipe at each other, and we go to our own corners in a lot of cases. and whatever the story is that benefits your side or your tribe, that's what people tend to fall into. i think as january 6th unfolded before our eyes, it was horrifying to virtually everyone who watched it. it was a national disgrace. we all sensed it in that moment. it was covered that way briefly, and then all the spin wars began. and you have some people over on the left who i think correctly identify it as a national disgrace, but obsess and fixate over it. if you watch some of the coverage, it's like it's the only story in america, which is
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crazy. it's about the former president and what happened, you know, almost a year ago at this point. and then on the other side, you have some people who insist that it really wasn't sod bad, and it was just kind of like a tourist event gone wrong, and they downplay what happened which i think is wrong, absolutely, on the merits. we should be able to understand and hold these thoughts in our head that this was a very terrible thing that can never be allowed to happen again. we can talk about why it happened without making it this overwith arching, number one -- overarching, number one story in the country forever and ever. it's a very sort of a strange thing, i think, to watch for a lot of people who are just in the middle who kind of agree with a little bit of both things that i just said. and yet the media environment remains that polarized that it's sort of like a lot of people are just getting one silo or the other, neither one of which, i think, really reflects reality. howard: gillian turner, i know everything in our world and coverage gets wrapped up in
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partisan politics, but do you think the media are fueling hyperpartisanship as we have covered the fallout and the investigations after january 6th? >> it surprises me, howie, that some networks today continue to cover the attacks of january 6th now nearly a year ago as if that story is still driveing the news cycle now. they seize on every detail, every development, every subpoena from the january 6th committee and everything that's sort of going on behind the scenes on capitol hill as if that is where the news begins that day. and i think -- howard: on some channels, on some channels it is driving the news agenda. >> it is, it really is. it's a mistake because there's a lot of other things happening in the world. there is a new president. since that time. there is a -- the pandemic is continuing to surge. there's been a withdrawal from afghanistan where u.s. forces were fighting for 20 years. there's a lot of things to cover, and there's these high
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profile trials, excuse me, say that five times fast, that we've been talking about. to pretend that this attack of a year ago doesn't matter is a mistake, but to pretend that it is the story every single day now is also a mistake. howard: guy, there's no question that the democrats are trying to pump up this committee investigation because it plays to their base and damages trump. do you think -- let's just get to the question of why. are the media, those outlets that are acting as if january 6th is the most important story in the universe, are they doing it because they also want to damage the former president? >> yeah, i mean, of course, right? and i think that he deserves a lot of criticism for what happened on january 6th. i think he was principal my responsible, driving the election lies as he did. i think it is fair to stand up and tell the truth. i actually saw some media criticism from the left, howie, in the last couple days that the
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real problem with the media on january 6th is they have not covered it enough which is sort of a wild thing when it's the lead story allegedly on some or -- some of our competition every day. yeah, it kind of feels like we're in this twilight zone where you have some friends of ours on the right saying, oh, you've got it all wrong, what you saw didn't really happen that way, forget about it, and some of our friends on the left saying how dare you not think about this, dream about this, wake up screaming about it or else you don't love america or something. it's very strange. howard: at the same time, gillian, you do have this legal battle where mark meadows, steve bannon are defying lawful congressional subpoenas, whatever one thinks of the investigation, covering that. does that necessarily mean that the media are favoring the democratic-controlled house january 6th committee? >> no. it's totally fair game to cover these developments. they matter not just to our
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politics of the past, but to our politics of the future, right? donald trump may very well imminently declare that he's going to run for president again in the next election cycle, so it's important to know what his cabinet appointees and senior advisers were up to on that day and what their role was. again, i come back to it's how you cover it, it's how much time you devote to it, it's how much time you devote to the outrage surrounding it, and some networks have just gone way overboard and lost sight of the forest for the trees. howard: yeah. some newspapers as well. let's touch on the question of hypocrisy, talking about politics. guy, when republicans were running hill investigations, let's say the benghazi hearings, many in the media were a lot more sympathetic to democrats who were resisting the hearings and the probe as too partisan. >> well, and they were pretending that benghazi really wasn't a thing, and it was a fake scandal is what the obama administration called it, and much of the media just picked up
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that ball and ran with it because many people in the media and journalists kind of take their marching orders and their signals, certainly, from the democratic party. i mean, we can play the hypocrisy game all day long because it exists every single day, all day long. the democratic party is generally supported by our news media establishment, the republican party is not. the media is has hostile towards republicans by and large and generally supportive and helpful toward the democrats because most journalists are liberal democrats. howard: gillian, whether it was benghazi or the fast and furious investigation or the investigation of the irs, it seemed to me the media were a lot more critical of the republican investors in the obama years than they are -- investors than they are of the committee now that the target is trump. >> i think that that's fair. but it's also true, howie, that the party is going to rage on. politico got hold of a memo that congressman kevin mccarthy sent out to his party earlier
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last week. it laid out plans to retake the house and then set up their own standing committees to investigate the biden administration. they're already looking at subpoenaing witnesses for things like the covid origin scandal, hunter biden. so, you know, this kind of jockeying here is, unfortunately, just a new feature in the political landscape, and we're going to have to get used to it. i don't think these types of end all, be-all investigations are going anywhere. >> the democrats' informations are righteous and -- investigations are righteous and necessary, and the republican ones are bad and partisan and messy. howard: the story is not going away with the anniversary and, of course, the hearings coming up. and in a washington post poll today, 40% of republicans and 23% of democrats say violence can at times be justified against the government. i find those numbers chilling.
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78% of democrats in this survey, only 26% of republicans say the capitol protesters were mostly violent. after the break, frank luntz weighs in on the media's vaccine debate and the contrast in coverage from trump to biden. that's next. ♪ ♪ she always said, “food is love.” so when she moved in with us, a new kitchen became part of our financial plan. ♪ i want to make the most of every meal we have together. ♪ at northwestern mutual, our version of financial planning helps you live your dreams today. find a northwestern mutual advisor at
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howard: it's a been a few tumultuous year for the media.
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i spoke with frank luntz, the veteran pollster who's been working on the subject of advantage seens. vaccines. frank, welcome. >> thank you. howard: donald trump got hammered by the media over covid-19. it probably cost him the election. about 400,000 more americans died this year from the virus, more than in 2020. is president biden drawing the same kind of media criticism, in your view? >> i don't think so. biden's handled it very differently. the language that he's used, the presentations. trump used combative press conferences, and biden has been making speeches about it. i think biden's language has been better, and i was particularly happy listening to joe biden actually credit donald trump, acknowledge that he got a booster shot and talk about the previous administration getting people the availability of the vaccine for people. and so i think that there's been a double standard, but there's been a double standard, howie,
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in every aspect of presidential leadership which isn't fair to the former president. but i'm not going to give joe biden bad marks on it, at least on the communication of it, because in the end it is the trump voter themselves who are making the decisions not to get vaccinated, and i think it's the wrong decision. howard: well, on that point, about 40% of the country remains unvaccinated, and as you well know, that group tends to skew about 3 to 1 republican. could the media with all of their own partisanship over this have done better in 2021? >> absolutely. and i think this is the time to reflect back. some of the cable networks used the lack of vaccination as a political weapon to beat republicans over the head, and that's not helpful. putting anthony fauci who's simply not trusted by republicans on the air so much is not helpful. if you truly believe, as they should, that they have a public service to the country to get people to do the right thing
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when it comes to vaccines, they should leave the politics off the air and focus on whatever it takes to get people to make the right decision. i'll give you an example. very often the media would use critics within the medical community. people would come on and use their time on air to bash the republicans. that's not helpful. don't insult the people you're trying to influence. these people who have made the decision came to that decision for whatever reason. howard: yeah. calling them reckless and dumb, i think, has been counterproductive. but if you think that putting anthony fauci on as the chief spokesman on medical issues by the white house, who would you put on instead? >> i'd be bringing on doctors who are going to respect the decision, that it is a personal decision, it is a decision that's based on whatever criteria that they use. i want to challenge that decision, but i desperately wanted to do so in a respectful manner. when it comes to life and death,
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you don't condemn people. you try to influence people. and that's not what, that's not what too many in the media have done. howard: the media are again covering the virus very aggressively, especially with this omicron surge. aren't lots of people out there regardless of political persuasion sick of the pandemic, sick of the coverage of the pandemic, tuning it out and in some cases blaming the press for spreading fear? >> well, it's a legitimate thing when it is spreading so quickly. it's legitimate to focus on something -- 85 people were lined up at one testing station. there must have been a half dozen of them in times square, and i walked through it yesterday with. there were 85 people in one of these lines before 9 a.m. the american people are nervous about this because some people have been vaccinated and have gotten the new variant. and that doesn't tell me that it's not an excuse to get vaccinated, it tells me that it's going to be less severe,
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you're less likely to end up in the hospital, you're less likely to die, and the media's been communicating that. i think they have to tell this story. i think that's a good decision by them. but don't beat up on people. convince people. howard: you look at the panoply of issues, inflation, the border, afghanistan, covid as well, there are a lot of reasons that joe biden started to slide in the polls and hasn't recovered from being in the low 40s. is the press starting to portray him as less than competent, or is he unpopular despite pretty sympathetic news coverage? >> i think it's real life that's having an impact. you can't tell the american people that it's 1929 and happy days are here again if you're in the middle of a depression. there is no impact, economic impact stronger than the rise in prices and costs. and, by the way, i don't call it inflation. if you call it inflation, it's an economic term. that's real life. howard: let me jump, we've got
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about half a minute. would president biden do a better job if he did more interviews and engaged the press more because, clearly, he mostly avoid the press? >> and that's the big difference between him and donald trump. i think that biden avoiding the press actually helps him because he has communication trouble just as donald trump would have done better if he'd have avoided the press because he talked too much. if biden talked more and trumped had talked less, we might have had a different outcome in 2020, and i really believe that. i understand why joe biden's avoiding the press. it makes sense -- howard: why does it make sense? >> because he doesn't have a great story to tell. not on immigration, not on crime, not on prices, not on just about anything that matters to the american people. he's struggling right now, and i don't know how he's going to defend it. howard: all right. frank luntz, candid as usual. thanks very much for joining us. >> thank you. howard: can the media win back
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the country's trust in this new year? plus, my thoughts on the late, great john madden. ♪ ♪ aleve it, and see what's possible. and also try alevex topical pain relief. are you taking a statin drug to reduce cholesterol? it can also deplete your coq10 levels. i recommend considering qunol coq10 along with your statin medication. the brand i trust is qunol.
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howard: so here is my question, is there any possibility -- we all beat up on the media a lot, particularly on this program -- that the mainstream media as a whole could become less polarizing and less distrusted in 202 22, and what would it take for that to happen? guy. >> i don't think they're capable of it. i don't think they want to do it even if they have a financial incentive to do it because their audiences are shrinking, and people don't trust them. i think many of them are so committed to the project that they can't help themselves, they can't resist. what it would take, hypothetically, is for the media, i think, to take their
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zeal and enthusiasm for diversity that they talk about all the time and apply that to the way people think in their newsrooms. those are high minds of leftism for the most part, and if they really want to get serious about intellectual diversity, that would go a long way. i just don't expect it. howard: well, you know, gillian, maybe the thing is that the incentives in the business are all toward what we have now because you can build your audience because some audiences really flock to partisanship, particularly a lot of people who want their own opinions reinforced. maybe too many organizations -- and i'm not excluding anybody -- pray to that sentimentment. play to that sentiment. >> the problem is really, howie, that the bubbles are only getting tighter and more restrictive, and the voices that are getting amplified in the media and on social media are becoming more and more extreme. so not only are, you know, voters being polarized by all of this, but the media is actually polarizing itself at this point.
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so if you really want to get to the root of the problem here, you'd have to nip some of that momentum in the bud, and the for-profit media world that we live in, unfortunately, is not built for that. howard: i'd like to be more on the optimist ec, but unfortunately, it's increasingly hard to do so. a little bit of a reality check. >> i would like to just quote my stepfather who says there's a lot of hope but no chance. [laughter] howard: let me write that down. guy benson and gillian turner, thanks so much. the sports world is awash with tributes to john madden, the fabulously successful nfl coach who won a super bowl with the oakland raiders, but the reason his death at 85 struck such a chord is what madden did afterwards. his long, colorful, sometimes zany postgame career working football games for four networks. >> and, boom, the ball's there, right again between the 8 and the 9. >> football coaches now are much more slick ceo types, and
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ultimately, very boring. you never said that about madden. >> john madden is more responsible for the growth and popularity of football than any other single human being of his lifetime. howard: high praise. when the fledgling fox sports outbid cbs back in 1993, it was the hiring of madden that gave the operation instant credibility. >> i wasn't a guy when i was coach that would say i want to go out and be a broadcaster. >> i'm vin scully along with john madden -- >> but i knew after i did the fist couple games, that that's what i wanted to do. this is it. i embraced it. howard: beyond his 16 emmy awards and his football video game, john madden brought passion and humor to covering the sport he came to define. that's it for this edition of "mediabuzz". i'm howard kurtz. a happy and hell hell think -- healthy new year.
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hope you'll take a look at our facebook page and we can continue the conversation on twitter, and check out my pod baas, "mediabuzz" meter, you can sub skype at -- subscribe on your device. looks like we're in for another packed controversial year. we'll see you next sunday with the latest buzz. ♪ ♪ i'm amber. since starting golo and taking release, i've lost 128 pounds, 21 inches around my waist. went from a 26 plus size to a 12 regular. it works so well. it's amazing, and i absolutely love it. (computer keys clicking) (mouse clicks) - shriners hospitals for children is awesome! my favorite people in shriners are the doctors and the nurses because they help people through life.
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free your gut, and your mood will follow. >> fox news alert on three big stories we are following at this hour starting with the holiday travel nightmare. more flight cancellations in dangerous weather complicate the trip back home for millions of americans. hello again and welcome to fox news live i am kevin. >> i am molly, i'm delighted to be with you, eric shawn and arthel neville are off today. the holiday travel is linked to another top story this hour. omicron variant driving a surge of the covid i