August 15, 2017 Last Updated 9:15 am

Media mogul reportedly speaks to president daily, urges Bannon firing; Reporters work to ID, profile rally demonstrators

Morning Brief: Reporters dig into identities of those who rallied in Charlottesville, with the consequence that some outed have lost their jobs, one disowned by their family

The president returned to New York to sleep in his own bed in Trump Tower for the first time since taking office. He was met by protesters, and this morning was met with NYC tabloids, each of which questioned the motives behind his belated condemnation of racists who rallied in Charlottesville over the weekend.

NYC tabloids

While Trump returned to Twitter to make sure his white nationalists supporters knew he had been forced into his statement about the violence in Charlottesville, reports are that he has kept in constant contact with Rupert Murdoch, head of the News Corp and 21st Century Fox media empires. Murdoch is said to be urging that Trump fire his White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, but at the same time Fox News has been going on its own racists tear, with programming reminding its viewers of the color of the man who for eight years lived in the White House before Trumpo.

John Harwood voiced what many journalists must feel when seeing this kind of programming, that those who are on air must have difficulty sleeping at night. Then again, maybe they don’t.

Still, the way Murdoch runs his media empire, it appears that he shares the same views of women and minorities as the president, an explanation for why he continues to support the president. His news network, the company reported yesterday, has paid out about $50 million in just the last year “related to settlements of claims arising out of allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination at the Company’s Fox News Channel business,” according to an Securities and Exchange Commission filing released yesterday.


The New York Times, Maggie Haberman and Glenn Thrush:

Bannon in Limbo as Trump Faces Growing Calls for the Strategist’s Ouster

Rupert Murdoch has repeatedly urged President Trump to fire him. Anthony Scaramucci, the president’s former communications director, thrashed him on television as a white nationalist. Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, the national security adviser, refused to even say he could work with him.

For months, Mr. Trump has considered ousting Stephen K. Bannon, the White House chief strategist and relentless nationalist who ran the Breitbart website and called it a “platform for the alt-right.” Mr. Trump has sent Mr. Bannon to a kind of internal exile, and has not met face-to-face for more than a week with a man who was once a fixture in the Oval Office, according to aides and friends of the president.

The Guardian, Adam Gabbatt:

President’s first Trump Tower homecoming met with mass protest

Donald Trump was given a rude homecoming on Monday night as he returned to Trump Tower in New York for the first time since his inauguration.

More than a thousand protesters were outside the president’s home as he arrived at around 9pm. Trump’s cavalcade was booed and people chanted “shame” as he began a two-day visit as part of a self-described “working vacation.”

…Despite the impressive numbers, she was not hopeful the rally would change Trump’s ways.

“I wish I could say that it would result in a deep reflection into his soul,” Whitehouse said. “But that’s a shallow pool and I don’t think there’s going to be a lot of reflection going on in that.”



What has made the Trump presidency particularly unique is the freedom it appears to have given many of his supporters to more publicly display their racism. The media has always been fascinated with the extremes of the political spectrum, but recently there has been a conscious effort to dig into this phenomenon and interview those involved.

The result has been that some of those engaging in demonstrations, or public confrontations, are finding that their employers are not so happy to learn more about their employees.

NY Daily News, Megan Cerullo:

Video of woman telling Somali women she’s going to kill Muslims goes viral, gets her fired

Amber Hensley of Mapleton, N.D., was captured on camera Tuesday launching a verbal attack on a trio of Somali women who she claims parked their car too close to hers at Walmart.

The video shows Hensley, a white woman, shout, “We’re going to kill you. We’re going to kill all of you f—ing Muslims.”

…Hensley is dealing with repercussions for her behavior. Her employer issued a statement after the company was flooded with calls and emails regarding Hensley.

“Horab & Wentz does not agree with or support the statements expressed by Amber Hensley in the recently posted video,” it read. “Ms Hensley is no longer employed with Horab & Wentz effective immediately.”

The Washington Post, Maura Judkis:

Charlottesville white nationalist demonstrator loses job at libertarian hot dog shop

A white nationalist who participated in the torch-lit march through the University of Virginia’s campus this weekend has lost his job at a Berkeley, Calif., hot dog restaurant after Twitter users posted his photo and place of employment. The employee, Cole White, was identified online after he was photographed among a shouting and torch-wielding mob during the march Friday night in Charlottesville.

After being “inundated with inquiries,” his former employer, Top Dog, in downtown Berkeley, posted a sign on its door that reads: “Effective Saturday 12th August, Cole White no longer works at Top Dog. The actions of those in Charlottesville are not supported by Top Dog. We believe in individual freedom and voluntary association for everyone,” multiple news outlets reported. The shop has a political bent of its own, as it’s well-known in Berkeley for the libertarian stickers and articles posted on its walls, and website…

…The restaurant’s Facebook page has been deluged with complaints about White, and its Yelp page is under “active cleanup alert,” due to the high number of people posting negative comments about him… One sample review: “Great place for Neo-Nazis. For people who aren’t Neo-Nazis? Not so much. A hot dog is a hot dog, but a hot dog place that not only employs Neo-Nazis but posts alt-right screeds on their webpage is a place that makes me want to vomit. But if you hate minorities, you might have a friend in Berkeley’s Top Dog.”

InForum, Pearce Tefft:

Family denounces Tefft’s racist rhetoric and actions

My name is Pearce Tefft, and I am writing to all, with regards to my youngest son, Peter Tefft, an avowed white nationalist who has been featured in a number of local news stories over the last several months…

…His hateful opinions are bringing hateful rhetoric to his siblings, cousins, nieces and nephews as well as his parents. Why must we be guilty by association? Again, none of his beliefs were learned at home. We do not, never have, and never will, accept his twisted worldview.

He once joked, “The thing about us fascists is, it’s not that we don’t believe in freedom of speech. You can say whatever you want. We’ll just throw you in an oven.”

The News & Observer, Brooke Cain:

He’s the Raleigh man behind the Twitter account outing racists – and ‘I’m not going away’

The Raleigh man behind the viral Twitter account @YesYoureRacist said on Monday that since publishing photos of torch-carrying white supremacist protesters Saturday in Charlottesville, he has received remarkable support – but also death threats.

Logan Smith, who works as the communications director for Progress NC Action, says the account had about 65,000 followers Saturday morning. On Monday afternoon, it had topped 307,000 and was climbing.

“I have been receiving death threats for the past 20 hours or so,” Smith, 30, said in a phone interview. “They have been threatening my family, too. The overall response of course has been 99 percent positive, but there’s always that extremely small but extremely loud and extremely angry minority that bites back.”

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