Talk Media News


Victoria Jones created and edits Quick Morning News. She is chief White House correspondent with Washington DC-based Talk Media News, where her insight and analysis are made available to over 400 news talk radio stations around the country and internationally.


Quick News

  • Trump: Muslim judge might be biased
  • GOP pols dodge Trump’s comments
  • Sanders: Fight to convention / Clinton wins primary
  • Muhammad Ali: The Greatest
  • US, China spar at Asia security summit
  • NPR photojourno + translator killed in Afghanistan
  • Parrot as murder witness?
Trump: Muslim Judge Might Be Biased (NYT, me)
• Donald Trump said Sunday that a Muslim judge might have trouble remaining neutral in a lawsuit against him, extending his race-based criticism of the jurist overseeing the case to include religion, and opening another path for Democrats who have criticized him sharply for his remarks (let’s add women, blacks, Democrats, disabled – basically People Like Him Are OK)
• The comments, on CBS’s Face the Nation, come amid growing disapproval from fellow Republicans over his attacks on Judge Gonzalo Curiel, a federal judge in California overseeing a suit against the defunct Trump University, whose impartiality Trump questioned based on the judge’s Mexican heritage (GOP panic that people might actually notice a bit of racism?)
• Trump has called Judge Curiel, who was born in Indiana to Mexican immigrants, a “Mexican” and said he has a “conflict of interest” in the case because of Trump’s proposed border wall with Mexico. The case that Curiel is overseeing is a class-action suit in which students of the for-profit operation say they were defrauded (any wall connections here?)

• Watch – CNN’s Jake Tapper ask Donald Trump about his comments about the judge in the Trump University case having a conflict of interest because he’s of “Mexican heritage.” Then stay with Tapper’s 23 follow-ups as he pushes him on racism, as Trump changes the topic, repeatedly says “I’m building a wall” – at one point says “he’s a Mexican”


• Dickerson asked Trump if, in his view, a Muslim judge would be similarly biased because of the GOP presumptive nominee’s call for a ban on Muslim immigrants. “It’s possible, yes,” Trump said. “Yeah. That would be possible. Absolutely.”
• When Dickerson noted that there’s a tradition in the U.S., a nation of immigrants, against judging people based on their heritage, Trump replied: “I’m not talking about tradition. I’m talking about common sense, OK?” (Trump knows his followers back him on this, feel the same way – is he banking on a belief there’s even more widespread prejudice against Muslims and Hispanics?)
• “He is a member of a club or society, very strongly pro-Mexican, which is all fine,” Trump said. “But I say he’s got bias. I want to build a wall. I’m going to build a wall. I’m doing very well with the Latinos, with the Hispanics, with the Mexicans, I’m doing very well with them, in my opinion.” (presumably the so-called “Mexicans” won’t be voting – so that doesn’t matter much, does it?)


• President Obama told Muslim Americans preparing to observe the beginning of Ramadan last night: “I stand firmly with Muslim American communities in rejection of the voices that seek to divide us or to limit our religious freedoms or civil rights. I stand committed to safeguarding the civil rights of all Americans no matter their religion or appearance.”


GOP Pols Dodge Trump’s Comments (NYT, Hill, TPM, AP, me)

• Trump’s comments came as Republicans, concerned about how his remarks could harm their ability to retain control of the Senate and have a detrimental effect in races further down the ballot, continue to grapple with how to distance themselves from Trump’s rhetoric without alienating his die-hard voters (straddling that fence will hurt you between your legs in the end, dears)

• Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) refused three times on NBC on Sunday to call Trump’s attack on the judge in the Trump University case racist. “I couldn’t disagree more with a statement like that.” “I couldn’t disagree more with what he had to say.” Q: “OK, but you think it’s a racist statement to say?” McC: “I don’t agree with what he had to say.” (simply sad)

• Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said, “This is one of the worst mistakes Trump has made. I think it’s inexcusable,” on Fox News Sunday (not at all clear to me whether it’s the political mistake Trump is making that’s inexcusable to Newt or the racism involved. want to believe the best in Newt…)

• Sen Bob Corker (R-Tenn) said, “Well, I think that he’s going to have to change. And the fact is – I’m not talking about him necessarily changing his views, but I think that he’s now moving into a different phase.” When the topic continued, Corker complained, plaintively, on ABC, “I thought this interview was going to be more about the foreign policy arena.”

• Kristen Orthman, a spox for Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev), slammed McConnell on Sunday for not calling Trump’s attacks on the judge racist: “Senator McConnell’s evasions are exactly the kind of moral cowardice that led to Donald Trump’s rise.” (fun afternoon in their office…)


• Donald Trump admitted on CBS Sunday that he supported some type of U.S. intervention in Libya in 2011, but qualified that he never supported “strong intervention.” Trump has claimed throughout the campaign that he would have opposed the Libyan intervention and the country would be better off if Qaddafi were still in power (so – total opposite – untrue, in other words) (Buzzfeed, me)


Sanders Vows Fight to Convention / Clinton Wins Primary (NYT, me)

• Sen Bernie Sanders (I-Vt) defiantly vowed again on Sunday to take his campaign to the Democratic convention this summer. But with her victory in the Puerto Rico primary on Sunday, Hillary Clinton is only 28 delegates short of clinching the party’s nomination and will most likely declare victory on Tuesday after five primaries take place, including California

• Sanders, however, insists that the convention will be contested because he is still lobbying superdelegates – party officials and state leaders who cast their final votes at the convention – to withdraw support from Clinton and back him instead. Plus, a number of polls, he said, show he can beat Donald Trump by larger margins than Clinton can (true and Dem leadership ignore that)

• Sunday, Sanders opened a new line of attack against Clinton: “If you ask me about the Clinton Foundation, do I have a problem when a sitting secstate and a foundation run by her husband collects many millions of dollars from foreign govts, govts which are dictatorships?” Sanders said on CNN

• “You don’t have a lot of civil liberties or democratic rights in Saudi Arabia,” Sanders told Jake Tapper. “You don’t have a lot of respect there for opposition points of view for gay rights, for women’s rights. Yes, do I have a problem with that? Yes, I do.” (this is a gift to Trump – why do this now, when you say you want to defeat Trump?)

• Sanders and Clinton spent Sunday campaigning in California, where polls indicated a tight race. Clinton and husband Bill Clinton visited black churches, appealing to a demographic that had given her important support in past nominating contests (depending on the poll, there could be as little as 2 points between the candidates – keep eye out for final polls)


• Hillary Clinton has a “Jekyll and Hyde” personality that left WH staffers scared stiff of her explosive – and even physical – outbursts, Gary Byrne, an ex-Secret Service officer, claims in a scathing new “tell-all.” Byrne was posted outside the Oval Office when Bill Clinton was president (has violated the fundamental promise of the Secret Service: you don’t ever tell – weaselly at very least) (me, NYP)


Muhammad Ali: The Greatest (Reuters, TMN, me)
• Muhammad Ali, the former boxing heavyweight champion known as much for his political activism as his boxing brilliance, died Friday at age 74. Ali, who had long suffered from Parkinson’s syndrome, died from septic shock due to unspecified natural causes, a family spox said. The world poured out affection and admiration for The Greatest
• Along with a fearsome reputation as a fighter, Ali spoke out against racism, war and religious intolerance, while projecting an unshakeable confidence that became a model for African-Americans at the height of the civil rights era and beyond. In 1981, Ali hung out of a ninth floor window in LA and talked a distraught man out of a suicide attempt
• Stripped of his world boxing crown for refusing to join the U.S. Army and fight in Vietnam, Ali returned in triumph by recapturing the title and starring in some of the sport’s most unforgettable bouts. Then Cassius Clay converted to Islam in 1965. Here’s the Rumble in the Jungle from 1974 against George Foreman
• President Obama, first African-American in the WH, said Ali was  “a man who fought for us.” “His fight outside the ring would cost him his title and his public standing. It would earn him enemies on the left and the right, make him reviled and nearly send him to jail. But Ali stood his ground. And his victory helped us get used to the America we recognize today.”


Ali: More Than a Sportsman
• Few could argue with his athletic prowess at his peak in the 1960s, with his dancing feet and quick fists. But Ali became much more than a sportsman. He spoke boldly against racism in the 60s as well as against the Vietnam war. When he refused to fight against the Vietcong, he said, “So I’ll go to jail, so what? We’ve been in jail for 400 years.”
• Ali met scores of world leaders, during and after his championship reign, and for a time he was considered the most recognizable person on earth, known even in remote villages in countries far from the U.S., the man who could “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.”
• Despite his failing health, Ali appeared at the opening ceremony of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, stilling the tremors in his hands long enough to light the Olympic cauldron. From Africa to East Asia to the U.S. South, news of Ali’s death brought tributes across the world of sport, entertainment and politics
• Foreman said Ali was one of the greatest human beings he had met. “No doubt he was one of the best people to have lived in this day and age. To put him as a boxer is an injustice.” Flags were flown at half staff in Louisville, Ky, Ali’s hometown, where a funeral will be held on Friday


US, China Spar at Asia Security Summit (Reuters, TMN, WSJ, me)

• Treasury Sec Jack Lew, at the start of today’s annual wide-ranging security and economic policy discussions in Beijing, said China’s new law to manage foreign nongovernmental organizations could both interfere with global markets and China’s economic progress
• In his opening remarks, Lew called on China to reduce excess industrial capacity, which, he said, “has a distorting and damaging effect on global markets.” He urged Beijing to adopt policies to reduce production in sectors affected by gluts, including steel and aluminum
• China rebuffed U.S. pressure to curb its activity in the South China Sea on Sunday, restating its sovereignty over most of the disputed territory. “We do not make trouble, but we have no fear of trouble,” Admiral Sun Jianguo told the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, where more than 600 security, military and govt delegates had gathered over three days
• “China’s actions in the South China Sea are isolating it, at a time when the entire region is coming together and networking,” SecDef Ash Carter said at the event on Saturday. “Unfortunately, if these actions continue, China could end up erecting a Great Wall of self-isolation.”
• During a visit to Mongolia on Sunday, SecState John Kerry urged Beijing not to establish an air defense identification zone over the South China Sea, as it did over the East China Sea in 2013. Kerry, who is in China today, said an ADIZ would be “a provocative and destabilizing act.”


NPR Photojourno + Translator Killed in Afghanistan (BBC, NPR, me)
• A veteran photojournalist and a translator have been killed in Helmand province in southern Afghanistan. David Gilkey, 50, of NPR and Zabihullah Tamanna, 38, were traveling with the Afghan army when they came under fire near the town of Marjah and their vehicle was hit by a shell, NPR said. The attack also killed the driver of the vehicle, an Afghan soldier
• Two other NPR employees traveling with the pair were unharmed. Tamanna was a photographer and journalist in Afghanistan, as well as a translator, Michael Oreskes, senior VP at NPR, said of Gilkey:
• ” David has been covering war and conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan since 9/11. He was devoted to helping the public see these wars and the people caught up in them. He died pursuing that commitment. As a man and as a photojournalist, David brought out the humanity of all those around him. He let us see the world and each other through his eyes.”
• Gilkey is the first U.S. journalist outside the military to be killed in the conflict in Afghanistan. He received a series of awards in his career, including a 2007 national Emmy for a video series about U.S. Marines from Michigan serving in Iraq. In 2011, he was named still photographer of the year by the WH Photographers’ Association, one of nine first place awards from them
• Last year, he received the Edward R. Murrow Award for his coverage of international breaking news, military conflicts and natural disasters. His work on an investigation into veteran medical care and his coverage of the Ebola crisis helped secure awards for NPR
• An Ohio prosecutor has scheduled an afternoon presser today in which he’s expected to discuss his conclusions and whether he’ll pursue charges against the family of a 3-year-old boy who got into the Cincinnati Zoo’s gorilla exhibit, leading to the fatal shooting of an endangered gorilla to protect the child (AP)


Parrot As Murder Witness? (WaPo, WOOD-TV, me)
• His name is Bud, and he’s an African grey parrot in Ensley Township, Mich, with a filthy mouth. His latest phrase – the one he won’t stop shouting at the top of his lungs mimicking his owner’s voice – is a chilling one: “Don’t fu*king shoot!” Funny? Not so much
• Bud’s owner, 45-year-old Martin Duram, was fatally shot at his home in May 2015. His body was found near his wife, Glenna, who had suffered a gunshot wound to her head, but is alive. First thought a victim, she’s now a suspect in Martin’s shooting death

• Relatives told WOOD-TV they think Martin Duram’s final moments were imprinted in Bud’s memory and he relives the slaying – he mimics both Duram and his wife. Bud’s new owner, Martin’s ex-wife, Christina Keller, said, “I’m hearing two people in an intense argument, two people that I know, voices that I recognize.” (Bud needs a bird shrink)

• Police reports reveal that investigators have been asked whether the bird could be used as evidence, but they don’t show how police responded. (*#@*$*%*^!!) Glenna Duram told police she remembers nothing of the shooting. She left three suicide notes for relatives before the shooting that she claims she doesn’t remember writing, police records reveal (sure, sounds legit)
• Michael Walsh, a Muskegon, Mich, attorney said that the bird is inadmissible because there’s no way to trace his dirty mouth. “How did it get there?” Walsh said, referring to Bud’s words (as the voices are the voices of his previous owners, that’s a clue that it wasn’t from watching TV. if he never said it before the murder, that’s clue No. 2. Put him in front of Glenna: maybe he’ll freak out)

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Victoria Jones – Editor
News is the news. Comments are my own