Posts by James Warren

About James Warren

Chief Media Writer

New York City native, graduate of Collegiate School, Amherst College and Roosevelt University. Married to Cornelia Grumman, dad of Blair and Eliot. National columnist, U.S. News & World Report. Former managing editor and Washington Bureau Chief, Chicago Tribune. Former Washington Bureau Chief, New York Daily News. Current or former contributor to The Atlantic, Huffington Post, Vanity Fair, Daily Beast, CNN, MSNBC and Fox News.
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Here are the 7 questions the press needs to ask Donald Trump

Counsel on pinning him down Donald Trump's characteristically "rollicking" and dissembling press conference yesterday in North Dakota, ostensibly to celebrate wrapping up the Republican presidential nomination, didn't include this question: Why does the press do such an awful job of interrogating him? Yesterday was typical: Trump's vaguely refreshing nerve to take many queries, not really responding to some, bashing … Read More
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For weary rank-and-filers at the Los Angeles Times, a survivor's mentality has set in

Recent life at the Los Angeles Times suggests the strained plot lines found in cliché-filled grade-B melodramas sometimes covered by its TV critic, Mary McNamara. In a single year, the newsroom has seen: The publisher bounced amid feuding with the company. The company CEO himself then ousted shortly after inviting a tech mogul to buy a … Read More
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Why billionaire Peter Thiel wants revenge on Gawker

Good morning. Here's our morning roundup of all the media news you need to know. Want to get this briefing in your inbox every morning? Subscribe here. The bankrolling of Hulk Hogan's lawsuit Forbes has reported that Peter Thiel, the founder PayPal and a very early big investor in Facebook, was secretly bankrolling Hulk Hogan's so-far successful lawsuit against … Read More
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Jake Tapper calls out 'outrageous' Trump — but will it have any impact?

Good morning. Charting the latest falsehood "Once again journalists are in the unhappy predicament of trying to decide whether and how to cover false allegations raised by a candidate for president of the United States," CNN's Jake Tapper declared yesterday with the effective concision of an old world wire service rewrite man. A deliberate but firm essay — perhaps not sufficiently … Read More
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The stunning story of a former NFL player's descent into darkness

Good morning. What reporters didn't really know "Erik Kramer flew home to California last July, after finishing a month-long stay at the Eisenhower Center rehabilitation facility in Ann Arbor, and almost immediately began planning his death." That's the opening to a stunning tale by Dave Birkett in The Detroit Free-Press about Kramer, a thoughtful and, little known to most, very … Read More
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A new Trump-Clinton media angle: 'Battle of the Jewish sons-in-law'

Good morning. Now here's a local angle (in Israel) Yes, all politics is local. That can be true with presidential campaign coverage. It explains this lede: "Somebody had better put a mezuzah on the Lincoln bedroom." Huh? It's from The Times of Israel, a Jerusalem-based online news service covering the Middle East that assures us, "Whoever ends up winning … Read More
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What's Cheddar? With freewheeling livestreams and off-the-cuff commentary, it certainly isn't CNBC

The floor of the New York Stock Exchange was in its typical mild frenzy as the financial news co-anchor announced that Microsoft was selling a phone operation for $350 million. "Who even knew they were in the phone business?!" her co-host declared facetiously, turning toward some disembodied voice off-set and openly inquiring, "Are we going to talk about the Facebook-conservatives … Read More
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The press is on autopilot for coverage of the EgyptAir crash

Rank speculation in the absence of many facts It was a bit hard to comprehend, but Donald Trump's is not the only aircraft that can fascinate the press. The EgyptAir disaster prompted a well-practiced journalistic disaster cruise control. You could imagine the TV bookers' electronic Rolodexes turning to "plane crash contacts" as a squadron of vaguely familiar former commercial pilots … Read More
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Megyn Kelly attacks her media critics

Good morning. Her own Trump interview post-mortem Kelly last evening went after several journalists for negative takes on her Tuesday night Donald Trump interview on the Fox broadcast network. (Media Matters) I was first up (dorky photo included) because I said the session was "soft as a grape." Pretty inflammatory, eh? An uncharacteristically defensive Kelly said these … Read More
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Donald Trump, Megyn Kelly and the art of the con

Megyn meets Donald Why might a cynic have wondered if Megyn Kelly's primetime Fox network interview with Donald Trump would fall short of David Frost's evisceration of former President Richard Nixon? Might it have been the afternoon tweet and photo from a beaming Trump himself, his arm around a grinning Kelly, her arm around his back, and the declaration, … Read More
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Donald Trump's Twitzkrieg goes after The New York Times

Good morning. Getting personal about the personal Donald Trump is the Floyd Mayweather of presidential candidates. He's a wicked counterpuncher who flaunts his wealth in as tacky a fashion as the boxer who posts photos of himself with stacks of money and only wears shoes once. Trump was in characteristic form Monday, a Man in Full (of himself) … Read More
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Is reporting on Donald Trump's personal life fair game?

Good morning. Weekend trifecta: Trump, The New York Times and sex You couldn't beat the topic of Donald Trump, possible abuser of females, for weekend reading, whether you were at a beach or freezing while watching youth sports in Chicago. The opening of the front-page opus was vivid. "Donald Trump and women: The words evoke a familiar cascade of … Read More
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Capital punishment: the media mania over Trump

Good morning. Donald goes to Washington The coverage of Donald Trump's day in Washington yesterday quickly devolved into this: Wolf Blitzer, a self-respecting journalist and good fellow, transformed into Tattoo, the comical aide de camp to Ricardo Montalban's Mr. Roarke on "Fantasy Island," who greeted arriving guests to the mysterious locale by shouting, "Da Plane! Da Plane!" There was … Read More
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Snowden derides 'traitor versus hero' media coverage

Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor now hiding in Russia from U.S. espionage charges, Thursday chided the media for making too big a deal of him. "I was very forceful in my first interviews: I am the least important part of the story," he said on a secure video channel to a packed audience at the University … Read More
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The real problem (or problems) with Facebook's 'Trending Topics'

Good morning. A social media Goliath briefly stumbles When the U.S. Senate starts exploiting "hot" cultural topics, democracy is in trouble. (The New York Times) That's now true with the mini-brouhaha over Facebook perhaps rigging its "Trending Topics" feature. Conservatives think they're being screwed because of what one anonymous soul asserted is an ideologically based tinkering with the … Read More