August 2, 2017 Last Updated 9:31 am

Murdoch media world’s bad Monday got worse when Politico publishes full transcript of WSJ’s interview with the president

Morning Brief: The Justice Department reportedly will target colleges and universities over affirmative action, while the NAACP issues travel alert for the state of Missouri

In US politics one can be sure that on any given issue it will come down to either money or race as the either the motivation or determining factor. This is showing up less in successfully passed legislation — there is little of that — but in the every day actions of the executive and his department secretaries.

The administration is on a dual course to attempt to trim of the voting rolls, claiming there exists widespread fraud, and now in a directive from the Department of Justice, led by former Alabama Jeff Sessions, to go after universities that use any forms of affirmative action to accept non-white applicants.

The New York Times, Charlie Savagenewspaper:

Justice Dept. to Take On Affirmative Action in College Admissions

The Trump administration is preparing to redirect resources of the Justice Department’s civil rights division toward investigating and suing universities over affirmative action admissions policies deemed to discriminate against white applicants, according to a document obtained by The New York Times.

The document, an internal announcement to the civil rights division, seeks current lawyers interested in working for a new project on “investigations and possible litigation related to intentional race-based discrimination in college and university admissions.”

…The Supreme Court has ruled that the educational benefits that flow from having a diverse student body can justify using race as one factor among many in a “holistic” evaluation, while rejecting blunt racial quotas or race-based point systems. But what that permits in actual practice by universities — public ones as well as private ones that receive federal funding — is often murky.

Kansas City Star, Ian Cummings:

NAACP issues first-ever travel advisory for a state — and it’s Missouri

NAACP officials say their recent travel advisory for Missouri is the first that the civil rights group has issued for any state…

…Missouri became the first because of recent legislation making discrimination lawsuits harder to win, and in response to longtime racial disparities in traffic enforcement and a spate of incidents cited as examples of harm coming to minority residents and visitors, say state NAACP leaders.

Those incidents included racial slurs against black students at the University of Missouri and the death earlier this year of 28-year-old Tory Sanders, a black man from Tennessee who took a wrong turn while traveling and died in a southeast Missouri jail even though he hadn’t been accused of a crime.

“How do you come to Missouri, run out of gas and find yourself dead in a jail cell when you haven’t broken any laws?” asked Rod Chapel, the president of the Missouri NAACP.



Yesterday was not a good day for Rupert Murdoch’s media empire in the US.

In the morning, NPR’s David Folkenflik reported on the lawsuit being brought by Fox News contributor Rod Wheeler which claimed, among other things, that the network worked closed with a wealthy Trump supporter to create and broadcast a story it knew to be false regarding the death of a DNC staffer. That story, which claimed Rich Seth may have been the source of the DNC email leaks sent to WikiLeaks, was retracted a week after it appeared, but no subsequent actions were taken against those involved. Wheeler’s suit was brought because be claims two quotes in that story were manufactured by the reporter.

Then, in the afternoon, Politico reported that it has secured the full transcript of the president’s interview with The Wall Street Journal. It shows editor-in-chief Gerard Baker to be a sycophantic cheerleader for the president, and the president to be an incoherent lightweight. Those working at the WSJ must be horrified.

Columbia Journalism Review, Pete Vernon:

Politico embarrasses WSJ by publishing Trump transcript

It was a golden opportunity to reestablish the Journal’s political reporting bonafides and catch up on a story where it has fallen behind its competitors, and indeed the Journal broke standalone stories on several newsy details from the interview. But the Journal published only excerpts of the interview, deciding not (to) follow the precedent set by other news outlets in releasing a full or lightly edited transcript of its own Oval Office interview…

…Given the criticisms that Editor in Chief Gerard Baker has faced for his paper’s coverage, and at a time when media transparency is more important than ever, the Journal’s decision to release only excerpts from the interview comes off as aloof. Why its editors made that decision is perhaps less surprising upon reading the full transcript, in which Baker talks with Ivanka Trump about parties in the Hamptons and spends part of his time in the Oval Office discussing, with Trump, Jordan Spieth’s final round at the British Open.

New York, Adam K. Raymond:

The Best Quotes From Trump’s Embarrassing Unpublished WSJ Interview

The WSJ published excerpts from the interview, but kept the full transcript under wraps — until now. Tuesday, Politico stepped in and published the transcript, which it says “has circulated around the Journal newsroom as well as among others in New York and Washington.”

It’s not hard to see why. The interview is full of embarrassing exchanges and the bizarre turns of phrase Trump has made part of the American political lexicon (get ready for a sequel to “no puppet”). Here are quotes that stand out most.

On Jared Kushner: “He’s a good — he’s a good boy.”

On calling the U.K. Britain: “I mean, you don’t hear the word Britain anymore. It’s very interesting. It’s like, nope.”

On the future of the British Open if Scotland leaves the U.K.: “One little thing, what would they do with the British Open if they ever got out? They’d no longer have the British Open.”

On whether his speech to the Boy Scouts received mixed reviews: “I’d be the first to admit mixed. I’m a guy that will tell you mixed. There was no mix there. That was a standing ovation from the time I walked out to the time I left, and for five minutes after I had already gone. There was no mix.”



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