Jay Rosen Profile picture
Sep 17 8 tweets 2 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
I said I would try to have an open mind as I watched Meet the Press today to see how NBC handled its interview with Trump and the debut of a new host. After viewing the show, reading NBC's fact check, and monitoring the program's Twitter feed, I am left with these impressions. 1/
NBC chose a "zero innovations" model for how to conduct and present a Trump interview at this stage in his degradation. Everything was predictable, nothing was surprising, and new host Kristen Welker did nothing to justify going to the well again with another Trump Q & A. 2/
On the show, Welker raised the criticism she knew NBC would get for doing this, and asked Peter Baker to respond. He said it's unthinkable that journalists stop asking questions of a major party candidate, even though it's true that Trump lies and constructs his own reality. 3/
Baker said this was a "hard problem" for people in his profession, but what can we do?

Which is what I mean by a "zero innovations" model, in which you simply ignore the fact that interviewing Trump does not work. No accountability moment ever comes. 4/
Trump enjoys being the unreliable narrator of his own deeds and intentions. So if Welker gets him to say, "Yes I will testify to that!" (as she did) the informational gain is zero even though she did her job by "pinning him down." The transcript is full of victories like that. 5/
These problems are old news and well known to anyone who pays attention. What I learned by bringing an open mind to Meet the Press was... nothing, really.

But let me tell you why I tuned in today.

It's not true that the news system never learns from its dealings with Trump. 6/
We have a recent counter example. After CNN's debacle in staging a "town hall" with Trump, no one else has tried to do it. The risk is too high. It's become common wisdom that you need to tape and edit him. No, it's not a momentous change, but it does show a bit of learning. 7/
I doubt we will ever know (same company) but I would love to hear what @Maddow thought about NBC's interview with Trump.

She is the one who said on air: “There’s a cost to us as a news organization of knowingly broadcasting untrue things.”

NBC willingly paid that cost today. 8/

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More from @jayrosen_nyu

Aug 3
Bombshell: Texas A&M will pay $1 million to journalism professor Kathleen McElroy in a settlement after pushback to her hiring led the school to water down its offer. An internal report also showed that the president of the university was deeply involved. texastribune.org/2023/08/03/tex…
"Some of the system board members wanted the new journalism program to 'get high-quality Aggie journalist[s] with conservative values into the market,' according to a text message between regents Jay Graham and David Bagget." texastribune.org/2023/08/03/tex…

Among the reasons McElroy was "unhired" by Texas A&M: her work to build diverse and inclusive newsrooms, her experience at the New York Times, the simple fact that she's a Black woman, and outside pressure to turn Texas A&M into a factory for conservative journalists.
Read 9 tweets
Jul 24
In 37 years as a faculty member, I have never seen anything like this video.

It's the faculty senate at Texas A&M meeting with the university's president, Katherine Banks, the day before she resigned.

The reason she resigned is clear from the clip. 1/

Texas A&M recruits a new journalism dean, Kathleen McElroy, who held a similar job at UT Austin. She's super qualified (and black) and an alum of the school. Ex-New York Times too.

They announce her appointment in a splashy event.

Then... 2/texastribune.org/2023/07/11/tex…
According to reporting by the @TexasTribune, the initial offer of a tenured position — which had no end date to her job as director — started to evaporate.


Here's how the Tribune describes it: 3/ Image
Read 13 tweets
Mar 8
When you feel you have to conceal a view like this from your viewers, night after night, you develop a deep contempt for them because, night after night, they fall for what you in your heart know is an act. view.newsletters.cnn.com/messages/16782… Suckers.

From the Reliable Sources newsletter.
You wonder how Carlson can manage all his hatreds. His hate for the libs is constitutional. His hate for viewers, to whom he could never speak the truth about Trump because they would revolt. His "passionate" hate for Trump. Now it's Fox that hates Tucker!

Just a sea of hate.
On the org chart, this is a conflict between "news" and "opinion." Below the surface it's between people who may want to work somewhere else one day and those who know it's over for them. For this group Fox is all there will ever be.

That — and not "opinion" — is who they are.
Read 7 tweets
Feb 19
The latest filing by Dominion Voting Systems in its defamation suit against Fox theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/… nails something critics have long argued for.

Fox is not a news organization. It's something else.

But what is this thing? I will try to answer that.

Next slide, please. 1/
The Dominion suit establishes that Fox stars (like Tucker Carlson) and executives (like CEO Suzanne Scott) were fearful and enraged when some of their own people blundered into delivering a true and accurate report about the 2020 election.

Think about that... 2/
...When its own talent reported the facts truthfully, the result was a company crisis.

This is one way we know that Fox is not specifically a news organization.

There are others... 3/
Read 18 tweets
Feb 1
You may recall. An investigative journalist in Las Vegas, Jeff German, was stabbed. Clark County Public Administrator Robert Telles was charged with murder. German was working on a story about Telles the week he was killed. Thing is, German was working on other stories too. 1/3
To continue Jeff German’s work, and as an act of solidarity, "The Washington Post teamed up with his newspaper, the Las Vegas Review-Journal, to complete one of the stories he’d planned to pursue."

He had heard about a Ponzi scheme... washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/2023/… 2/3
"A folder on German’s desk contained court documents he’d started to gather about an alleged Ponzi scheme that left hundreds of victims – many of them Mormon – in its wake." 3/3 washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/2023/…
Read 4 tweets
Oct 26, 2022
"CNN won’t ban guests who have supported the false claim that the 2020 election was stolen, but the network will attempt to keep conversations with those people in safe zones of truth, said people familiar with Licht’s thinking." cnbc.com/2022/10/26/cnn…
“...Most trusted brand in the world when it comes to journalism, right up there with the BBC,” Licht said. “I think what happened a little bit here in the past was it’s easy to take the quick sugar high of ratings and outrage. So, I’m trying to do no harm to a great brand.”
"Licht hasn’t told anchors or reporters to become more centrist, contrary to popular belief, according to [sources familiar]. He does want viewpoints from both sides of the political divide to appear on CNN. But he won’t stand for guests who push disinformation, he said."
Read 10 tweets

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