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Michael Calderone
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Michael Calderone is the Senior Media Reporter for The Huffington Post. He previously covered media and politics for Politico, the New York Observer, and Yahoo! News. Calderone holds a master's degree in journalism from New York University and a bachelor's degree in English from Rutgers University. He lives in Brooklyn.

Entries by Michael Calderone

Trump Campaign Restricts Reporters Covering What Happens Off Stage

(27) Comments | Posted November 25, 2015 | 9:26 AM

NEW YORK -- Donald Trump's campaign severely restricted journalists' movements Tuesday night in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, by keeping them in a press pen -- even apparently after the event ended -- and requiring them to have an escort when going to the bathroom.

NBC News reporter...

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Former New York Times Editor John Geddes To Oversee Bloomberg's Political Coverage

(0) Comments | Posted November 24, 2015 | 12:03 PM

NEW YORK -- John Geddes, a former New York Times managing editor, is joining Bloomberg to oversee U.S. political coverage, according to a staff memo.

Geddes was one of the three top Times editors for a decade before accepting a buyout in 2013....

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Donald Trump's 'Sources' Are So Good, Only He Knows Who They Are

(14) Comments | Posted November 23, 2015 | 4:00 PM

NEW YORK -- What do you do if you're a presidential candidate and reporters keep challenging the veracity of your claims? If you're Donald Trump, you get your own sources.

On Sunday’s “This Week,” the leading Republican presidential candidate defended his evidence-free claim that “thousands and thousands” of people in Jersey City, New Jersey, cheered the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks as the World Trade Center fell. “It did happen,” Trump told ABC News host George Stephanopoulous, who pointed out that the local police contradicted the claim. Trump said that he saw this event “on television” and that it was “well-covered at the time.”

That’s not true. There's no evidence that “thousands of thousands” of people in Jersey City were cheering, footage of which, if it was televised, would surely still exist. And no news organization reported contemporaneously the startling scene Trump claims to have watched.

Trump has become what NBC News has dubbed a “post-truth candidate" -- a persona seemingly reinforced the longer his campaign lasts.

His Jersey City remarks were not the only ones raising eyebrows over the weekend. On Sunday, Trump tweeted bogus, racially charged crime statistics to his nearly 5 million followers. He told Fox News host Bill O’Reilly Monday night that the fake data had come from "sources that are very credible," and suggested it originated with a talk radio show host, though it appears to have just come from a random Twitter user.

While such dabbling in the world of fiction would set another candidate back, or perhaps even ruin his campaign, Trump has been unbowed. And why not? His trusted sources are supposedly telling him different intel -- better, even -- than what the reporters who cover him seem to get.

Trump has claimed to have information from “sources” since the first day of his campaign, when he described the Mexican government as sending “rapists” over the border. “I've heard it from five different sources," he said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe." He later told guest Mark Halperin that he’d “reveal my sources when you reveal your sources.”

"I have a lot of information on it and so does everyone else,” Trump said. “And you probably do, too. And for some reason, they don't want to put out this information."

Last month, Trump told audiences and TV interviewers that President Barack Obama wants to accept 200,000 Syrian refugees, despite the administration's announced proposal to take in around 10,000. On Sunday, Trump upped the ante in the same interview with Stephanopoulos, saying the number could reach 250,000.

How'd he know? He heard it.

Trump also told Stephanopolous that a “very good source” claimed to him that “good material” was coming out of the New York Police Department’s discontinued Muslim surveillance program. Who that source is was not revealed.

Last month, Trump told a South Carolina crowd that Obama was considering an executive order to take away their guns, which is not true. When asked about it the next day on CNN’s “New Day,” Trump responded by saying he'd been told as much. “I've heard that he wants to and I heard and I think on your network, somebody said that that's what he's thinking about.”

“My source is the papers,” Trump said. “They're pretty good sources.”

Trump said during the second Republican debate, in September, that there were “25 different stories” written about his opposition to the war in Iraq. The Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, and The Washington Post have found no reports that Trump publicly opposed the invasion before March 19, 2003. Despite such fact-checking, he has continued making the claim.

And then, of course, there was this episode that preceded the presidential campaign.

Trump's sources usually tend to be very flattering of Trump. Four anonymous candidates once told him he crushed a Republican presidential debate. An anonymous CNN reporter in a "beautiful red dress" told him he won another debate. Back in January, people were telling him all the time that he would be a great host of "Meet The Press."

He chose the campaign trail over the Sunday shows and the media. And ever since, has had a devil of a time figuring out how to call out the falsehoods. 

It's not terribly problematic for a candidate in a GOP presidential primary to insist that the press corps is not telling voters the true story, whether it be about guns, border crossings, 9/11 or Muslim surveillance. Republican primary voters reflexively distrust the news media, which helps explain why Trump never backtracks when called to explain the source of his information.

On Monday, the pattern continued. During a campaign stop in Columbus, Ohio, Trump said “hundreds” of people have called his office or tweeted in support of his claim that "thousands and thousands" were cheering from Jersey City as the twin towers fell. These sources, he said, "were there and they saw this take place on the Internet."

Several hours earlier, responding to The Washington Post’s debunking of his claim, Trump tweeted a paragraph from a Sept. 18, 2001, article in the same paper. The Post reported at the time that authorities had questioned “a number of people who were allegedly seen celebrating the attacks” in Jersey City. (The reporter who wrote the article said Monday he could "not recall anyone saying there were thousands, or even hundreds, of people celebrating.")

"I want an apology!" Trump wrote.

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What Does A CNN Reporter Have To Tweet To Get Suspended?

(5) Comments | Posted November 20, 2015 | 9:50 AM

NEW YORK -- CNN global affairs correspondent Elise Labott tweeted on Monday morning that President Barack Obama, speaking at the G-20 summit in Turkey, was "wining [sic] about criticism instead of presenting ideas" for how to deal with the self-described Islamic State.

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Trump Campaign Bars BuzzFeed Reporter From Iowa Event

(3) Comments | Posted November 19, 2015 | 6:13 PM

Donald Trump's campaign barred a BuzzFeed reporter Thursday from attending an event in Newton, Iowa, a move that comes one day after campaign manager Corey Lewandowski threatened to blacklist a CNN reporter for straying from the designated media area at a Massachusetts rally. 

In a series...

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Gawker Prepares To Get On The Campaign Bus, And Maybe Get Kicked Off

(0) Comments | Posted November 17, 2015 | 3:11 PM

NEW YORK -- Gawker editor Alex Pareene said he's not worried about his reporters losing out on campaign access or micro-scoops as the site, once known for puncturing the egos of Manhattan's media machers, shifts its focus to politics.

"If they burn someone’s press secretary, it’s not going...

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Syrian Journalists Risk Death Covering Life Under Airstrikes And ISIS Occupation

(0) Comments | Posted November 17, 2015 | 9:48 AM

NEW YORK -- TV anchors and correspondents have flooded Paris in the last few days, but journalists are nowhere to be seen on the streets of Raqqa, Syria, where both French and Russian warplanes are pounding Islamic State targets in response to recent terrorist attacks. 

That doesn't...

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CNN Reporter Asks Obama: 'Why Can't We Take Out These Bastards?'

(24) Comments | Posted November 16, 2015 | 10:31 AM

CNN senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta took an unusually blunt approach Monday in questioning President Barack Obama about why the United States has not destroyed the Islamic State, the militant group also known as ISIS. 

"A lot of Americans have this frustration that they see the...

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CBS News Defends Democratic Debate Moderator After Claim Of 'Coordinating' With Campaigns

(5) Comments | Posted November 13, 2015 | 4:54 PM

NEW YORK -- CBS News defended Democratic debate moderator John Dickerson on Friday amid suggestions his advance meetings with campaigns to research their policy positions amounted to unethical coordination. 

"It would be inappropriate if John only met with one, or none of the people involved," Christopher Isham,...

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New York Times Grapples With David Carr's Legacy

(0) Comments | Posted November 13, 2015 | 10:59 AM

NEW YORK -- On Feb. 21, New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet said replacing star media columnist David Carr, who died in the paper's newsroom nine days earlier from complications of lung cancer, “is not something we can do overnight.” Carr, he noted, is...

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The New York Times Fires Two Veteran Editors

(0) Comments | Posted November 12, 2015 | 4:00 PM

NEW YORK -- The New York Times abruptly fired two veteran editors on Thursday, a move that’s shocked the newsroom given the journalists’ years of dedication and because layoffs aren’t currently taking place.

Kyle Massey and Vanessa Gordon, who were both assistant news editors, worked at The...

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New York Times Touts Virtual Reality As History-Making Journalistic Innovation

(0) Comments | Posted November 6, 2015 | 2:12 PM

NEW YORK – The New York Times has seen the future of media -- and it requires cardboard. 

“The New York Times has been telling stories for 164 years,” company CEO Mark Thompson said Thursday night at NeueHouse for the launch of the the paper's first virtual reality film.“This...

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Ben Carson Bristles At The Media Vetting His Stories Of Youth Violence: 'A Bunch Of Lies'

(14) Comments | Posted November 6, 2015 | 10:31 AM

NEW YORK -- Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson slammed CNN’s investigation into his oft-repeated stories of violent youthful acts as a “bunch of lies” during a Friday morning phone interview on the network.

“This is what it is, a bunch of lies, attempting, you...

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Fusion Enlists NYU And Parsons Students To Try And Disrupt Election Coverage

(0) Comments | Posted November 4, 2015 | 4:37 PM

NEW YORK -- Critics have long diagnosed what's wrong with election coverage.

Too much politics and too little policy. Pack journalism on the campaign trail. Obsessive attention paid to each poll, campaign strategy, insider analysis, and the horse race -- who’s up and who’s down, hour-by-hour, month...

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NBC, MSNBC Shake Up Digital Operations

(0) Comments | Posted November 3, 2015 | 5:34 PM

NEW YORK -- NBC News Chairman Andy Lack on Tuesday named the BBC's Nick Ascheim to lead digital efforts for both NBC News and MSNBC, management's latest attempt at unifying the broadcast and cable networks. 

"Nick’s mission will be to chart a path for our...

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Vice Is Getting Its Own 24-Hour Cable Channel

(0) Comments | Posted November 3, 2015 | 10:12 AM

NEW YORK -- Vice and A+E Networks announced Tuesday the creation of Viceland, a 24-hour cable channel set to debut next year. 

Viceland will replace H2, which is owned by A+E Networks -- a joint partnership between The Walt Disney Company and Hearst Corporation -- and will be distributed to...

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Republican Debate Demands Threaten Networks' Editorial Control

(9) Comments | Posted November 1, 2015 | 5:24 PM

NEW YORK -- Republican presidential campaigns may require TV networks that sponsor future debates to follow a set of restrictions that would threaten editorial control, including barring certain camera angles and styles of questions, and requiring pre-approval for on-screen graphics. 

The 15 campaigns’ requests, a draft of...

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Campaigns Consider Dramatic Changes To The GOP Debates

(14) Comments | Posted October 30, 2015 | 7:57 PM

Republican presidential candidates will meet Sunday night to chart changes they want to the presidential debates amid mounting criticism of what many of the campaigns say has been an unwieldy and unfair process.

The meeting follows the Republican National Committee’s decision on Friday...

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New York Times' Eric Lichtblau Returns To Justice Department Beat After Subpoena Threat Wanes

(0) Comments | Posted October 29, 2015 | 1:21 PM

NEW YORK -- New York Times reporter Eric Licthblau is returning to cover the Justice Department, a beat he left in 2009 amid threat of subpoena over a Pulitzer Prize-winning story on the National Security Agency's warrantless wiretapping program. 

Lichtblau, who was most recently covering...

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5 Ways To Make Sure The CNBC Debacle Doesn't Happen Again

(6) Comments | Posted October 29, 2015 | 11:05 AM

NEW YORK -- Debate moderators never want to be the story the next day.

But that's unavoidable after Wednesday night’s universally panned Republican debate. It wasn’t just Republican candidates taking swipes at the moderators on stage or conservative pundits slamming the CNBC trio throughout on Twitter. Many...

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