Home » Confider #79: The Messenger’s Mess, the Trump Book Spree, and Newsmax’s Faceplant

Confider #79: The Messenger’s Mess, the Trump Book Spree, and Newsmax’s Faceplant

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IN PLAIN SIGHT: Fox News star Brian Kilmeade believed he was texting his boss Suzanne Scott when he sent a message weirdly praising the network CEO for yanking his Saturday night show for another hour of Mark Levin’s ravings. Except one problem: It was the wrong Suzanne, as reporter Marisa Kabas revealed. Amazingly, this wasn’t the first time Kilmeade confused the two Suzannes… Disgraced journo and far-right conspiracy peddler Lara Logan, who proved too unhinged for both Fox News and Newsmax, is back with her own Jan. 6 truther docuseries and has hired RLM Public Relations—an actual NYC-based firm boasting of Amazon.com and E*Trade among its clients—to promote it to outside media… BuzzFeed’s Los Angeles HQ exterior banners still tout BuzzFeed News (RIP) as one of its brands… Politico staffers manning a food cart outside the Capitol building in Sacramento as the publication marks its expansion in the state with a series of events including a conversation with Gov. Gavin Newsom that will be held Tuesday night at the California Museum.

WE HEAR WHISPERS: One-woman media marvel, Claire Atkinson, who now has her own newsletter and podcast, is shopping a book about Rupert Murdoch that plans to go deep beyond the Logan Roy-like character he’s often portrayed as…Tickets for Bloomberg’s Screentime event, that will be held in L.A. next month and feature Ari Emanuel, Bryan Lourd, Padma Lakshmi, and Questlove, among others, are selling fast.


Robert Kennedy Jr. hired Kyle Rittenhouse’s lawyer to bully an anonymous writer who reported on the anti-vaccine candidate’s appearance at a far-right German rally. Read the exclusive report here.

—A Daily Beast investigation found that Barstool Sports controls more than 40 Twitter burner accounts laundering incalculable amounts of copyright-protected content, reaping billions of viewers—a key element of Dave Portnoy-led empire’s success. More here.

—We are fully begging you to watch this hilarious video of Martin Daubney, an anchor on GB News (the British approximation of Fox News), repeatedly flubbing his way through a breaking-news situation. It’s an all-timer, for sure. Watch here.


—The Sept. 11 terror attacks transformed nearly every facet of American society, and according to Adam Nagourney’s new book about the history of The New York Times, that includes pushing the Gray Lady to expedite its transition into an online newsroom. Read about that over at Air Mail.

Esquire has an incredible, at-times surreal look inside the book blurb industry. “Authors hate them (both asking for them and being asked), agents hate them, and publishers hate them,” one literary agent explained. And yet the tedious “favor economy” of securing a high-profile blurb reigns supreme in the books biz. Read all about that here.

—Artificial intelligence has a “left-wing” bias, at least according to News Corp CEO Robert Thomson, who told a Goldman Sachs-led tech conference in San Francisco that AI-generated content is “rubbish in, rubbish out” because it pulls from a “reservoir” of existing material so allegedly lefty it would “make Marx and Lenin persona non grata.” More here.


Fox News host Greg Gutfeld speaks to camera on “The Five.”

The Fox Newser doth protest too much, wethinks. During extended profanity-laced rants on both The Five and his no-longer-late-night show, Greg Gutfeld raged against Rolling Stone’s deeply reported piece on how The Tonight Show had become a “nightmare” workplace, fueled in part by Jimmy Fallon’s alleged erratic behavior. The self-described “King of Late Night,” who has regularly mocked Fallon in the past, suddenly became the NBC star’s biggest champion on Friday in light of the story. “They’re trying to Ellen Degeneres you, and they’re sad cowards and shitbags,” he shouted on The Five. “Because they don’t like people like you.” Calling Fallon a “gentle, sweet person” who is “great at everything but hiding his own shit,” Gutfeld called the Rolling Stone piece “evil” because Fallon’s “being targeted for fake” reasons to get him fired. On both of his shows on Friday, the acerbic host also urged Fallon to not apologize to his staff anymore. “How dare you apologize to anonymous people who go to Rolling Stone, a sham of a scuzzy little magazine,” he sneered. “He makes Mr. Rogers look like a serial killer. But being the frightened helpless goober he is, he apologized,” he added on Gutfeld!. “Dude, you have to stop with the apologizing, especially to people who snitch. I’m serious!” Considering the reports about Gutfeld’s own off-screen behavior, and how his feuds with former Five hosts Juan Williams and Geraldo Rivera led to their departures, one wonders if he was really talking about Fallon or preemptively defending himself.

Confider will be back next week with more saucy scooplets. In the meantime, subscribe here and send us questions, complaints, or tips here.


September 2023