A handful of TV news people had unwitting cameos in the hacked Democratic National Committee emails, revealing an at times collegial relationship between the news media and the politicians it covers. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who resigned as the party chairwoman July 24 after five-plus years in the role, complained about the way she felt she was treated on MSNBC.
Writes the New York Times:
She was particularly displeased by Mika Brzezinski, a co-host of Morning Joe, who had questioned Ms. Wasserman Schultz’s impartiality during the Democratic primary battle between the presumptive nominee, Hillary Clinton, and Mr. Sanders.
“This is the LAST straw,” Ms. Wasserman Schultz wrote on May 18 to Luis Miranda, her communications director, after learning that Ms. Brzezinski had called for her resignation during that day’s broadcast. “This is outrageous. She needs to apologize.”
Ms. Wasserman Schultz instructed Mr. Miranda to complain directly to MSNBC’s president, Phil Griffin. Minutes later, she emailed [NBC News political director Chuck] Todd directly. “Chuck,” she wrote in the subject line, “this must stop.”
Todd and Miranda later emailed privately. “You think the call is a good idea?” Todd asked, referring to a possible meeting between Wasserman Schultz and Brzezinski.
“Not necessarily,” Miranda said. “If Mika just doesn’t like her, I’m not sure it’s worth either of their time.”
He added: “If you think Mika is set in stone I’m happy to kill it.”
“I don’t know,” Todd responded. “She can do 180s after these calls.”
WikiLeaks released over 19,000 DNC emails over the weekend, the vast majority of them stultifyingly boring, as most any trove of work emails would be.
Also popping up in the batch was Jake Tapper of CNN.
Writes the Times:
Jake Tapper, the CNN anchor, on Friday addressed a leaked email from one of his producers, who was organizing an on-air appearance by Mr. Miranda. “Any particular points he’ll want to make?” the CNN producer asked a Democratic aide, after thanking the aide for being patient “through a melee of G.O.P. nonsense.”
Some critics, wary of media bias, suggested that the language betrayed a coziness between Mr. Tapper’s team and the Democratic committee. “I think the staffer was just being collegial,” Mr. Tapper replied on his Tumblr, adding, “Some days we have G.O.P. nonsense/booking issues, some days we have Democratic nonsense/booking issues.”
Mr. Tapper also noted that the question about Mr. Miranda’s talking points was standard practice for television producers, who seek to flag any potential news-making comments.
The TV news figures have been covering the very leaks that they pop up in. Fox News gets some offhand mentions too.
Speaking of CNN, Donna Brazile, a paid commentator there, has agreed to suspend her contract for the duration of the Democratic National Convention. Formerly vice chair of the Democratic National Committee, she moved up to interim chair when Wasserman Schultz stepped down.
The convention has kicked off in Philly.
The FBI released a statement saying it is “investigating a cyber intrusion involving the DNC and are working to determine the nature and scope of the matter. A compromise of this nature is something we take very seriously, and the FBI will continue to investigate and hold accountable those who pose a threat in cyberspace.”