Thursday, October 13, 2016

NBC Planned to Use Trump Audio to Influence Debate & Election


 Billy Bush, Donald Trump and Days of our Lives actress Arianne Zucker. Zucker was apparently the subject of all the crude remarks. That bus Bush is standing next to? He's now under it (source; click to enlarge).

by Gaius Publius

Not long ago, Howie alluded to the timing of the release of the Mark Foley pageboy information as engineered to influence that election. His discussion of Foley is here, in the first few paragraphs. Howie didn't exactly make a parallel to the Trump Tape release, but the implication was there, as I read it.

More recently, Chris Hayes, in a side comment after one of his Trump Tape segments, also brought up the timing of the Mark Foley scandal, but without connecting the dots to the current Trump scandal. Nevertheless, he may well have been very covertly alluding to this coming revelation — that NBC in fact did engineer the timing to alter an electoral outcome. After all, MSNBC's parent is NBC, NBC is at the heart of the story, and Hayes is in position to hear things. If that was Hayes' intention, we'll likely never know, but I was struck by the lack of any explicit connection to the content of that segment, and the presence of this implicit connection.

Now, it seems, TMZ has a source that does connects the dots between the Trump videotape release and its electoral timing. Bottom line: NBC knew about the Trump "pussy" tape (the audio version) as early as last August — learned about it, in fact, from Billy Bush himself — and had intended to time its release for maximum influence on both the election and the Second Presidential Debate.

Here's their story:
NBC Planned to Use Trump Audio to Influence Debate, Election

NBC execs had a plan to time the release of the Donald Trump audio to have maximum impact on both the 2nd presidential debate and the general election ... sources connected with the network tell TMZ.

Multiple sources connected with NBC tell us ... top network execs knew about the video long before they publicly said they did, but wanted to hold it because it was too early in the election. The sources say many NBC execs have open disdain for Trump and their plan was to roll out the tape 48 hours before the debate so it would dominate the news cycle leading up to the face-off.

As we reported, Billy Bush was bragging about the tape -- in front of NBC execs at the Rio Olympics -- in early August. NBC says it's only known about the tape for a little more than a week.

We're told the plan was to edit the tape to keep the focus on Trump and not Billy. "Access Hollywood"[,] we're told[,] was not going to air the portion where Trump and Billy got off the bus and Billy goaded Trump and the soap star to hug. Our sources say the tape was going to be "sanitized" to protect Billy as much as possible.
The article goes on to describe how Hurricane Matthew threw off the NBC plan to release the tape, audio only, before the debate — that is, before Sunday. People at the network who wanted to see it out earlier than that, according to this report, leaked it then to the Washington Post, which went with the story. After the Post story came out, Access Hollywood released their version, unsanitized audio and video, and the rest is history.

(That's why, by the way, the Access Hollywood version looked "wrong," with audio recorded onboard the bus overlaid on shots of the bus from the outside, arriving at its destination. Access Hollywood appears to have combined their video footage with NBC's leaked audio footage, the audio that was recorded on the bus only.)

Clearly, if any or all of this is true, the press has laid a very heavy thumb indeed on the scales of this election. Is this a democracy yet? I'm having trouble figuring that out.

Billy Bush Caught in the Crosshairs

One casualty of this affair, other than Trump, is Billy Bush, who's recently been suspended. Of course, that makes NBC look good, suspending the co-miscreant, but, again according to the report, that wasn't the plan at the start. Recall above that Bush is reportedly the one who revealed the tape's existence to NBC execs in the first place, and the plan was to "sanitize" it to harm only Trump and protect Billy Bush.

Didn't work out that way. Once the Post and then Access Hollywood got the story, the die was cast for Bush. He ended up under the bus he rode in on:
As one source put it, "NBC really screwed Billy. They had no problem with him on the tape 'till it got leaked." The source goes on to say there was never a peep about disciplining Billy until the full tape got leaked.
Let me help you read that correctly. NBC was fine with every slimy thing Billy Bush did and said on that tape, until it became known. Then they had to pretend they weren't, and Bush paid the price.

The Billy Bush that NBC is perfectly OK with

This has all the shape of the Wells Fargo scandal writ small. In the bank's case, thousands of employees were driven by executives to commit fraud, then fired to protect those who gave the orders to do it. Here, a daytime TV beta male sucks up to an alpha male in the unseemliest of ways, offers to let his execs use the tape of him doing it to trash the alpha male, then loses his own job when execs blow the timing of the release.

Nevertheless, writ small, Bush made a far bigger splash with his downfall than any of the Wells Fargo employees did with theirs.

Unseemly sells, I guess. Your national "news" media at work.


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At 10:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent work, GP!


At 1:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Media manipulation of elections is nothing new. The media was hard on Carter while Reagan was always cast in a good light despite his treason. Ross Perot was ridiculed from the moment he announced his candidacy - both times. Dubya was always the guy you wanted to have a beer with while Gore was always the dreary and clueless policy wonk. Howard Dean's "scream" endlessly looped.

These are just the examples which immediately come to mind. I'm sure I can come up with more if I spent the time researching.

The media is just one more group of corporations which want to maintain control over the US, and by extension, the world. Money is power, and they have plenty of both.

Damn you, Bill Clinton, for signing the 1996 Telecom Act!

At 6:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

a) billy bush is and has always been a pig and a pimp for those "alphas". his giggling as herr drumpf boasts about sexual assault is completely in character. he deserves to be unemployed.

2) good comment above. but don't forget that the media has to be talking to an awful lot of complete imbeciles for its Carter, Perot, bushbaby, Gore and Dean stuff to have worked. In fact, much of it wasn't anything until the electorate made it something. Don't forget that fox is WATCHED by millions. In a vacuum, those efforts would be for naught. It ain't a vacuum... except in the brain pans of the electorate.

iii) slick willie didn't just sign that act, he was among its most enthusiastic supporters. he and the DLC had successfully sold his party's soul to those and other corporations by then making such things as that, GLBA, CFMA and many others during his admin inevitable.

d) I used to watch MSNBC because Keith O. did some good work and Rachel Maddow also. But as the awfulness of the obamanation admin became a reality and the betrayals of the 60-D senate piled up, and nobody at MSNBC was talking about it... I had to stop. Blinkered cheerleaders are not "journalists" any more than blatant arsonists, like this expose' of nbc.

The media have nearly unanimously ignored $hillbillary's policy horrors, corruption and double-dealing. The latest dump of G-S speech texts reveal more of her lust for wars than overt corruption, but lust for wars is, I think, far worse than pussy-lust.

Isn't that the same thing as this? Why not note that?


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