Reliable Sources: Laura Ingraham fallout; Steve Hilton's response

A version of this article first appeared in the Reliable Sources newsletter. ...

Posted: Aug 13, 2018 1:04 PM
Updated: Aug 13, 2018 1:04 PM

A version of this article first appeared in the Reliable Sources newsletter. You can sign up for free right here.

Hilton v. Ingraham?

Laura Ingraham's claim that "most of us don't like" America's "massive demographic changes" is continuing to reverberate. I'm surprised there hasn't been more talk of an advertiser backlash. There's certainly been a widespread backlash from commentators up and down the dial. Take a look at what "The Next Revolution" host Steve Hilton said on Fox News on Sunday night. He didn't utter Ingraham's name, but he seemed to be rebuking his colleague:

"We must draw a line between populism and racism; between populism and xenophobia; between populism and white supremacy, of course, but also between populism and white superiority, which is subtly different, but equally unacceptable."

Hilton went on to say that "the incredible and unique thing about this country is that anyone can become an American." America is founded on an idea, "not rooted in a racial or ethnic identity. America is always changing..."

The key quote: "If there comes a time when white people are no longer the majority in America, as long as immigration is controlled and not a free-for-all, and as long as immigration is accompanied by integration, so everyone who's here signs up to America's laws and values, that is not something to fear or fight."

Two new profiles of Bill Shine...

One is by the AP's Jill Colvin and David Bauder. They say Trump's new deputy chief of staff for comms "has yet to move into a permanent office or bring on his own staff," but his presence is already being felt -- he's "clashing with reporters,improving the production quality of W.H. events and trying to shape the message" of the admin...

The other piece is by WaPo's Sarah Ellison and Philip Rucker. LOTS of colorful details here. A few of 'em:

-- "Shine has told people he wants to 'lower the temperature' on the toxic relationship between the press and the president. But so far his actions seem to have been counterproductive..."

-- "He is considering adjustments to the daily press briefings and is beginning to recruit staffers to join the communications team, which has been depleted by recent departures..."

-- "Shine's allies say his decades working with competing personalities and egos at Fox News were good preparation for Trump's West Wing..."

Omarosa's book launch is nigh

"Unhinged" is out on Tuesday. But Omarosa's TV tour began on "Meet the Press" on Sunday, and it will continue on "Today" on Monday. She shared one of her tapes from the White House with Chuck Todd on Sunday... She said it was recorded in the Situation Room... And it backed up her claim about John Kelly firing her. One obvious question for the "Today" show crew: "Omarosa, aren't you concerned about the legal repercussions of making secret tapes in highly secure areas?"

→ Walter Shaub on CNN: "There's some irony: She is being told she's being fired for misconduct while she's committing misconduct..."

-→ Maggie Haberman tweeted: Like Michael Cohen, "Omarosa learned the necessity of taping to prove an event with Trump or his allies happened..."

Is she a whistleblower or a fame junkie?

Is it possible she's both? When it comes to "Unhinged," two things are true are the same time.

She's a reality TV star with a villainous reputation... BUT she worked in the White House for almost a year.

Parts of the book have been corroborated by her tapes... BUT other parts of the book have been flatly denied.

There are startling claims that merit attention... BUT there are also some basic mistakes that undermine her credibility.

CNN's Kevin Liptak and co. read the entire book over the weekend... Here's his recap. And on "Reliable," I asked my panel how seriously the press should take the book... Here's the convo...

"I was complicit"

"This is a White House where everybody lies," Omarosa said to Todd. "The president lies to the American people. Sarah Huckabee stands in front of the country and lies every single day. You have to have your own back." Thus, she said, she taped some of her conversations...

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I was struck by that explanation... and also by this comment: "I was complicit with this White House deceiving this nation," she said. "They continue to deceive this nation by how mentally declined he is... how difficult it is for him to process complex information. How he is not engaged in some of the most important decisions that impacts our country. I was complicit, and for that I regret."

Reactions to the book tour...

-- April Ryan, who's had an ongoing feud with Omarosa, on "Reliable Sources:" "She's a liar, and I would say she's evil." I was not expecting that...

-- Jonathan Swan with the bottom line: "Trump has nobody to blame but himself for Omarosa's raucous book tour, in which she calls him a racist and a misogynist, and says he's in mental decline. Trump brought her into the White House at the senior-most level with the top salary..."

-- Even after all this attention, the book still has not cracked the top 10 on Amazon's best-selling books page. Right now it's at #17... Bob Woodward's "Fear" is at #11, and it's not out for another month...

White nationalists outnumbered at their own rally

Newsrooms were on high alert for Sunday's white nationalist rally right outside the White House. The rally was a bust -- just a couple dozen people turned up -- but hundreds of counter-protesters filled the surrounding streets. When the hatemongers went home early and it started to rain in downtown DC, news outlets shifted to other stories... But some critics still thought the protests received too much attention.

Jeff Greenfield tweeted: "Would have been way better if networks had led tonight with: 'After all the hype, about 25 white supremacists -- that's right, TWENTY FIVE -- marched in DC today. ' [pause] Back to you at the anchor desk."

COUNTERPOINT: Any gathering of racists in the nation's capital is newsworthy, especially on the one-year anniversary of the Charlottesville riot, and the organizers' failure to turn out more support is also newsworthy... As Poynter's Al Tompkins told me the other day, "No problem, including racism or hate, gets smaller by ignoring it..."

"Holding their feet to the fire"

...But in that same story, Lois Beckett warned that racists use news coverage as a recruitment tool. Read the whole thing here. Indira Lakshmanan said it well on Sunday's "Reliable:" Reporting on racists means "knowing how to interrogate groups whose ideas rely on a lot of lies... Holding their feet to the fire and not just giving them a free platform..."

The bottom line

As Garrett Haake said on MSNBC: "The counter-protesters absolutely dwarfed this message -- drowned it out. It was impossible for these white nationalists to communicate anything."

Counter-protesters denounce press in C'ville

In Charlottesville, there were several reports of protesters -- apparently self-described Antifa members -- attacking journalists.

In one case on Saturday night, a marcher cursed at a news crew and violently swatted away a camera. NBC's Cal Perry, who posted the video, described the march as "almost exclusively Antifa at that point." NBC declined further comment.

More: A WTVD crew said "members of Antifa tried to stop us from filming," and "then cut our audio cable." WaPo's Terrence McCoy tweeted that "journalists are being cursed at for doing stand ups and asking questions..."

Misplaced focus?

Some observers said the focus on both DC and C'Ville was misplaced. Educator Clint Smith tweeted Sunday evening, "Wild how we gave all of this media coverage to like seven white supremacists & barely talked about how Puerto Rico admitted that the death toll from Hurricane Maria was at least twenty times higher than originally reported."

Read more of Sunday's Reliable Sources newsletter... And subscribe here to receive future editions in your inbox...

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 445047

Reported Deaths: 5955
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin924911470
Ramsey39703735
Dakota32788331
Anoka30811360
Washington20004225
Stearns17775185
St. Louis13546240
Scott1189996
Wright11548102
Olmsted1035775
Sherburne815765
Carver691436
Clay648478
Rice600166
Kandiyohi552871
Blue Earth538033
Crow Wing479673
Otter Tail453464
Chisago449732
Benton416785
Winona386246
Douglas372466
Nobles366746
Mower362328
Goodhue343657
Polk327756
McLeod323144
Morrison310043
Beltrami308746
Lyon299835
Itasca282643
Becker281738
Isanti281141
Carlton278143
Steele27119
Pine265113
Freeborn241320
Todd230929
Nicollet223336
Brown213734
Mille Lacs212845
Le Sueur208515
Cass206123
Meeker198533
Waseca188816
Martin169126
Wabasha16883
Roseau165316
Hubbard148338
Redwood139227
Renville136539
Houston135313
Dodge13304
Chippewa130832
Cottonwood126518
Fillmore12215
Wadena119416
Rock109512
Sibley10797
Aitkin107133
Watonwan10618
Faribault104615
Pennington97715
Kanabec97218
Pipestone93823
Yellow Medicine93314
Murray8655
Jackson85010
Swift83018
Pope7355
Marshall70115
Stevens6978
Clearwater68514
Lac qui Parle65616
Lake62915
Wilkin6229
Koochiching59010
Lincoln4821
Big Stone4543
Unassigned43468
Grant4257
Norman4228
Mahnomen4087
Kittson37019
Red Lake3164
Traverse2473
Lake of the Woods1801
Cook1130

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 303065

Reported Deaths: 4267
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk45335447
Linn17673274
Scott15356163
Black Hawk13648236
Woodbury12945175
Johnson1202149
Dubuque11300149
Pottawattamie8934112
Dallas881171
Story863434
Webster467471
Cerro Gordo462968
Sioux453356
Clinton448361
Warren437538
Marshall425561
Buena Vista391529
Muscatine386177
Des Moines380641
Plymouth348868
Wapello340898
Jasper319658
Lee313530
Marion301752
Jones269649
Henry263230
Carroll253034
Bremer242048
Crawford228122
Boone216217
Washington214231
Benton208544
Jackson190831
Mahaska190736
Tama185657
Dickinson184226
Delaware172236
Kossuth170543
Clay166019
Wright162724
Fayette159522
Buchanan158023
Hamilton157829
Winneshiek154819
Harrison154462
Hardin153929
Cedar151419
Clayton150748
Butler146424
Page143715
Cherokee138127
Floyd137936
Mills136016
Lyon133632
Poweshiek132324
Hancock128824
Allamakee126827
Iowa122822
Calhoun12209
Grundy120026
Jefferson119524
Madison11869
Winnebago118229
Mitchell115634
Louisa114130
Cass112541
Chickasaw110512
Emmet110231
Sac110215
Appanoose109638
Union108122
Humboldt104219
Guthrie102224
Shelby101326
Franklin101218
Unassigned9210
Palo Alto9019
Keokuk84325
Montgomery84022
Howard82519
Monroe80518
Clarke7817
Pocahontas77211
Ida73830
Greene6887
Davis68721
Adair68620
Lucas6468
Osceola6349
Monona63316
Worth5983
Taylor5919
Fremont5036
Van Buren49412
Decatur4784
Ringgold4269
Wayne41421
Audubon4108
Adams2953
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