The public’s trust in the media and TV anchors has waned over the past few years, partially due to the scandals and controversies surrounding many of those who are supposed to uphold high journalistic standards. A summer 2017 Gallup Poll revealed that 27 percent of the American public still had “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in newspapers. 24 percent were confident with TV news and just 16 percent were confident with internet news. From sexual harassment claims who were paid off, “fake news,” and outright lies, news media has had to cope with the fallout following several high-profile incidents. Here are just a few of them…
Bill Maher Called Americans “Cowards” Following 9/11 & His Show Was Cancelled
Bill Maher hosted the half-hour political talk show “Politically Incorrect” from 1993 to 2002. Following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, President George W. Bush called the terrorists cowards for their actions. During a Sept. 17, 2001, episode, guest Dinesh D’Souza disagreed, calling the terrorists warriors. Maher supported her viewpoint and replied: “We have been the cowards, lobbing cruise missiles from 2,000 miles away. That’s cowardly. Staying in the airplane when it hits the building, say what you want about it, [it’s] not cowardly.” Advertisers pulled their support, and several ABC affiliates temporarily stopped airing the program. It was canceled the following June.
Colleen Campbell’s Profane Rant Towards A Cop Was Caught On Tape
Colleen Campbell started working as a reporter for WPHL 17 in Philadelphia in 2016. She was arrested in summer 2017 after freaking out and verbally abusing a police officer outside the Helium Comedy Club. Her behavior and arrest were documented in a five-minute video that was posted on social media. After she was asked to leave the club, Campbell hurled obscenities and berated the Philadelphia cop. It also looked as though she spit at someone. She was arrested for disorderly conduct and assault. After the video went viral, she was fired from WPHL 17 and also lost her bartending job.
Bill O’Reilly Settled $50 Million In Sexual Harassment Lawsuits
Photo: Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times
Bill O’Reilly reported for CBS News and ABC News and was an anchor on Inside Edition from 1989 to 1995. He joined the Fox News Channel in 1996 and was the host of The O’Reilly Factor until 2017. His career took a nosedive after the New York Times revealed in an investigation that he paid multiple women $50 million in sexual harassment settlements. Fox News fired him in April 2017. When a sixth accuser came forward, Fox News analyst Lis Wiehl, O’Reilly’s contracts with numerous sponsors and advertisers were severed. He currently hosts a podcast called the No Spin News.
Alex Jones’ Website InfoWars Stole Over 1,000 Articles From A Russian Website
Radio talk show host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones runs the fake news website InfoWars.com. An investigation revealed in November 2017 that the website had been stealing content from Russian state broadcaster RT for several years. InfoWars ripped off over 1,000 articles. Even though InfoWars gave credit to RT, the broadcaster never gave the website permission to reprint its articles. Jones freaked out when he was accused of promoting Russian propaganda. The website also published articles from other sites without permission. Jones is known for his outrageous stories, including one claiming that Democrats hosted Satanic child abuse parties at a pizza joint in Washington, D.C.
Kellyanne Conway Defended “Alternative Facts” & Spoke Of Fake “Bowling Green Massacre”
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Political pundit and pollster Kellyanne Conway joined the Trump administration as Counselor to the President in 2016 and has since been surrounded by controversy. She famously used the term “alternative facts” to defend White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s inaccurate statement about the number of people who attended Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration. During interviews with Cosmopolitan, TMZ and the MSNBC news program Hardball with Chris Matthews, Conway referenced a “Bowling Green massacre” that never happened in an attempt to justify Trump’s immigration ban. After publicly endorsing Ivanka Trump products, she was investigated by members of Congress for a possible ethics violation.
Eric Bolling Exposed Himself To Female Colleagues
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Fox News fired conservative political commentator Eric Bolling in August 2017 after it came to the network’s attention that a few years ago he sent unsolicited photographs of his genitalia and lewd text messages to three female colleagues. Fox said in a statement: “Fox News Channel is canceling ‘The Specialists,’ and Eric Bolling and Fox have agreed to part ways amicably.” Bolling, outraged by the accusations, filed a $50 million lawsuit against HuffPost in an attempt to clear his name. It was a bad couple of months for Bolling and his wife, who sadly lost their son in September 2017 due to an accidental drug overdose.
Monica Crowley Plagiarized Her Dissertation
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Political commentator, lobbyist and Fox News contributor Monica Crowley was Donald Trump’s number-one pick for the deputy national security advisor position on the National Security Council. But just a month after Trump selected Crowley, it was revealed that she had plagiarized 50 passages from her 2012 Ph.D. dissertation from Columbia University, “What the (Bleep) Just Happened?” She vehemently denied the claims, telling Fox News host Sean Hannity: “What happened to me was a despicable, straight-up political hit job, OK? It’s been debunked. My editor has completely supported me and backed me up.” Even so, her publisher Harper Collins stopped selling the book.
Rush Limbaugh Called Law Student A Prostitute & He Lost Advertising Sponsors
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In 2012, conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh weighed in on contraceptive mandates during his program. At the time, Georgetown University Law student Sandra Fluke had been speaking with House Democrats in support of mandating health insurance companies to cover birth control. Limbaugh called out Fluke for her views, labeling her with multiple expletive names that suggested she abused birth control. He continued to voice his opinion about her for several days. Following his tirade against Fluke, more than 100 local and national sponsors of his radio show severed ties with Limbaugh. He later apologized for his remarks, but the law student wasn’t impressed.
White House Correspondent Ed Henry Was Fired Following A Long-Time Extramarital Affair
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Ed Henry was the chief White House correspondent for Fox News when it was revealed in 2011 that he had a longtime extramarital affair with a woman from Las Vegas. Henry had married his wife, CNN producer Shirley Hung, in 2010. The scandal forced the reporter to “take a break.” The network said in a statement: “We recently became aware of Ed’s personal issues and he’s taking some time off to work things out.” In Touch Weekly produced photos, text messages and more proof of the affair. Henry, who previously worked for CNN and covered Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, returned to Fox in 2016 as the chief national correspondent.
NBC Today Host Matt Lauer Fired For Harassing His Female Colleagues
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In November 2017 NBC fired Today host Matt Lauer after Chairman Andy Lack was presented with a detailed complaint from a NBC colleague that accused Lauer of inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace. Then accusation resonated with the network and led to Lauer’s firing. Clearly, it wasn’t the first time Lauer acted inappropriately. In 2012, former Today co-host Ann Curry admitted to TMZ that Lauer “pinches me on the ass a lot.” Lauer was a Today show host for 20 years. So far there has been no comment from his wife on the matter.
Wendy Bell Was Fired For Violating Journalism & Ethics Standards
A newscaster from Pittsburgh, Wendy Bell was fired for violating journalism and ethics standards in 2016 after commenting on a Facebook post about the shooting of five black people in the poor suburb of Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania. Wendy Bell wrote: “You needn’t be a criminal profiler to draw a mental sketch of the killers who broke so many hearts. They are young black men, likely in their teens or in their early 20s. They have multiple siblings from multiple fathers and their mothers work multiple jobs. These boys have been in the system before. They’ve grown up there. They know the police. They’ve been arrested.”
ESPN Anchor Called President Trump A White Supremacist
In September 2017, anchor Jemele Hill, an anchor of ESPN’s “SC6” program, called President Trump “a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself w/ other white supremacists” on Twitter. Hill, who is black, added: “His rise is a direct result of white supremacy. Period.” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders urged the network to fire Hill in response to his tirade. ESPN said in response: “The comments on Twitter from Jemele Hill regarding the President do not represent the position of ESPN. We have addressed this with Jemele and she recognizes her actions were inappropriate.”
Larry Conners Was Embroiled In A Social Media Controversy
KMOV anchor Larry Conners was fired by the TV station in St. Louis after he posted comments on Facebook that implied the Internal Revenue Service started pressuring him following a 2012 interview with President Barack Obama. He suggested the IRS was carrying out a vendetta against him. However, according to the Post-Dispatch, Conners was subjected to an IRS lien before he interviewed Obama. The IRS claimed that Conners and his wife owed more than $85,000 from 2008, 2009 and 2010. Conners spent 27 years as an anchor for KMOV. He also received numerous local Emmy Awards during his tenure.
A.J. Clemente Was Fired During His Very First Telecast
A.J. Clemente screwed up his first night as the news anchor for Bismarck NBC affiliate KFYR in North Dakota. Just one second into his first telecast, he cursed. Clemente was apparently practicing his teasers and had no idea the microphone was on. Following the incident, KFYR-TV said in a statement that they could not defend Clemente’s actions and that its employees are trained “to always assume that any microphone is live at any time.” They subsequently fired the rookie news anchor. He kept a positive attitude, writing on Twitter: “I’m a free agent. Can’t help but laugh at myself and stay positive.”
Charlie Rose Sexually Harassed His Coworkers
Charlie Rose hosted the PBS interview show Charlie Rose from 1991 to 2017. He also co-anchored CBS This Morning from 2012 to 2017 and was a substitute anchor for the CBS Evening News. On Nov. 20, 2017, eight women who worked for Rose came forward and accused him of sexual harassment. They said he appeared naked in front of them, groped them and spoke lewdly towards them. Shortly after the allegations surfaced, CBS fired him, and PBS and Bloomberg canceled his interview show. His former co-hosts Norah O’Donnell and Gayle King said: “There is no excuse” for his actions and he “Does not get a pass” for his behavior.
News Producers Became Embroiled In A Racist Name Prank
Investigative producer Roland DeWolk, special projects producer Cristina Gastelu and producer Brad Belstock were fired from Bay Area news station KTVU in 2013 after a racist prank was aired on live television. The trio was responsible for four fake names of the pilots who were involved in the Asiana Flight 214 crash at San Francisco International Airport on July 6. When news anchor Tori Campbell was delivering the news about the Asiana Airlines flight, she thought the information was correct and called the pilots Capt. Sum Ting Wong, Wi Tu Lo, Ho Lee Fuk and Bang Ding Ow.
The Media At Large Is Untrustworthy, According To President Trump
When reputable news organizations fact check news, they flag content that intentionally tries to deceive its audience or that is fabricated. President Trump has a history of using the term to describe coverage that is unsympathetic to him, his administration, and his causes. During an interview with conservative pundit and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Trump explained: “Look, the media is fake. The media is — really, the word, I think one of the greatest of all terms I’ve come up with — is fake. I guess other people have used it perhaps over the years, but I’ve never noticed it.”
The “Real News” Broadcast Was Created By The Trump Campaign
Former pro-Trump cable news commentator and Republican National Committee spokesperson Kayleigh McEnany appeared on a “News of the Week” broadcast touting “real news” in August 2017 that was shared with more than 22 million Facebook page followers. President Trump’s presidential campaign committee paid for the spot. “When a government starts reporting and phrasing things as real news, that’s the time to worry that you’re being lied to,” said Robert Shapiro, a Columbia University government, and politics professor. McEnany said in a statement: “I’m eager to talk about Republican ideas and values and have important discussions about issues affecting Americans across this country.” The episodes centered on Trump’s accomplishments in office.
Brian Williams Exaggerated A Helicopter Incident In Iraq
Brian Williams was the anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News for 10 years. In 2015 his credibility was called into question after he admitted to embellishing his role during a helicopter incident in Iraq. Williams claimed he had been on an aircraft that had been hit by ground fire but was actually in a completely different helicopter. He was suspended for six months without pay. Deborah Turness, the president of NBC News, said in a memo: “This was wrong and completely inappropriate for someone in Brian’s position.” He was demoted for misrepresenting events that occurred during the Iraq War in 2003.
Bob Beckel Made A Racist Remark Towards A Black Employee
Bob Beckel was the co-host of “The Five” on Fox News but was fired in 2015. Beckel took a leave of absence from the program to recover from back surgery, and he also reportedly went to rehab for an addiction to painkillers. Fox said in a statement: “We tried to work with Bob for months, but we couldn’t hold ‘The Five’ hostage to one man’s personal issues. He took tremendous advantage of our generosity, empathy, and goodwill and we simply came to the end of the road with him.” He returned in 2017 but was fired for making a racist remark toward a black employee.