David Folkenflik

Geraldo Rivera of Fox News has described NPR's David Folkenflik as "a really weak-kneed, backstabbing, sweaty-palmed reporter." Others have been kinder. The Columbia Journalism Review, for example, once gave him a "laurel" for reporting that immediately led the U.S. military to institute safety measures for journalists in Baghdad.

Based in New York City, Folkenflik is the media correspondent for NPR News. His stories and analyses are broadcast on the network's newsmagazines, such as All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and Here & Now, and are featured on NPR's website and mobile platforms. Folkenflik's reports cast light on the stories of our age, the figures who shape journalism and the tectonic shifts affecting the news industry. He profiled the Las Vegas columnist who went bankrupt fending off a libel lawsuit from his newspaper's new owner; conducted the first interview with New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet after his appointment; and chronicled how the demands of technology have forced the press corps to change how it covers presidential primaries.

Folkenflik is the author of Murdoch's World: The Last of the Old Media Empires. The Los Angeles Times called Murdoch's World "meaty reading... laced with delicious anecdotes" and the Huffington Post described it as "the gift that keeps on giving." Folkenflik is also editor of Page One: Inside the New York Times and the Future of Journalism. His work has appeared in such publications as the Washington Post, Politico Magazine, Newsweek International, the National Post of Canada, and the Australian Financial Review. Business Insider has called Folkenflik one of the 50 most influential people in American media.

Folkenflik joined NPR in 2004 after more than a decade at the Baltimore Sun, where he covered higher education, national politics, and the media. He started his professional career at the Durham (N.C.) Herald-Sun. Folkenflik served as editor-in-chief at the Cornell Daily Sun and graduated from Cornell with a bachelor's degree in history.

A four-time winner of the Arthur Rowse Award for Press Criticism from the National Press Club, Folkenflik has received numerous other recognitions, including the inaugural 2002 Mongerson Award for Investigative Reporting on the News and top honors from the National Headliners Club and the Society of Professional Journalists. He was the first Irik Sevin Visiting Fellow at Cornell and speaks frequently across the country. He often appears as a media analyst for television and radio programs in the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Australia and Ireland. Folkenflik lives with his wife, who is the senior director for original content at Audible (wholly owned by Amazon), and children in New York City.

The news that sexual harassment allegations have cost Roger Ailes his job threatens to obscure Ailes' singular career and his almost unrivaled influence in the public sphere.

But no contemporary figure has done more to shape the intersection of American media and politics than Ailes, who, until Thursday, had been the Fox News chief since its very first day on the air in 1996.

In his long career, Ailes advised a succession of Republican presidents on how to gain power and maintain it — both on their payrolls and off the books.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The past few days may mark the moment at which the interests of Fox News and its charismatic chairman, Roger Ailes, diverge from those of its parent company, 21st Century Fox, and the Murdoch family that controls it.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes has been sued for sexual harassment by a longtime Fox News host and anchor who alleges her career suffered at the network because she refused his sexual advances.

Gretchen Carlson's contract at the network expired late last month after a long stint as the co-host of the morning show Fox & Friends and nearly three years hosting her own show in the afternoon.

The accusations are not subtle.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Media magnate Sumner Redstone quietly celebrated his 93rd birthday late last month. He subsequently marked the occasion by seeking to toss his protege off the board of the trust that will run Redstone's holdings after his death, including Viacom, one of the world's largest media conglomerates.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Attacks on the press carry a long and distinguished lineage in the rhetoric of American political campaigns.

Donald Trump, however, is a natural, a true once-in-a-generation talent. Even though he relies on media exposure more than most to make his case, Trump appears intent on further degrading a press already undermined by changes to the industry and a steep drop in public esteem.

Backed into a corner over questions about his efforts to raise money for veterans groups, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee on Tuesday came out swinging at a press conference.

So here we are. Noisily embraced by the plurality of Republican voters, not-so-quietly reviled by most Republican leaders, Donald Trump is all but assured that party's presidential nomination.

Journalists astonished at the result — and believe me, most are stunned by what has unfolded — find themselves confronted by some form of this question: Are the media to blame for Donald Trump?

A prominent columnist for the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the largest news organization in Nevada, resigned after being told he could no longer write about two of the state's biggest players, including his newspaper's new owner, casino magnate Sheldon Adelson.

"If I can't do my job, if I can't hold the heavyweights in the community to account, then I'm just treading water," the columnist, John L. Smith, told NPR in an interview. "It wasn't an easy decision to make, but there was no other decision to make — at least in my mind."

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

For more than a generation, politicians have been on notice that political opponents would hold them accountable through deep dives into their records — a practice called oppo research.

This election cycle, candidates for the White House also have found themselves trying to dodge a buzz saw: BuzzFeed.

NPR is acting to clarify the role of longtime analyst and commentator Cokie Roberts after she co-wrote a syndicated newspaper column calling for "the rational wing" of the Republican Party to stop Donald Trump's march toward its presidential nomination.

Soon after its launch in 1986, the satirical magazine Spy picked Donald Trump as the brash embodiment of a crass age. Founded by Graydon Carter and Kurt Andersen, the magazine chronicled New York's obsessions with wealth and social status, zeroing in on Trump's questionable business dealings (of which there were many) and his outlandish personal traits (of which there were perhaps even more).

Last year, The Huffington Post assigned stories on Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump to the entertainment section, seeing him as a buffoonish diversion.

It now appears to view Trump as a threat, attaching an editor's note to the end of every article about him to inform readers he "is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist, birther and bully."

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

I'm comfortable to talk about anything, Bob Woodruff says. I'm lucky to be alive.

In January 2006, Woodruff stood on the precipice of stardom as the new co-anchor, together with Elizabeth Vargas, of ABC's World News Tonight, the heir in many ways to the legendary globetrotting anchor Peter Jennings, who had died of cancer the previous summer.

Univision Communications Inc., the parent company to the nation's leading Spanish-language broadcast channel, has acquired a controlling stake in the satirical news site The Onion, NPR has learned.

The agreement between two seemingly disparate media outfits was described to NPR by a person with direct involvement in the negotiations. A second person who was briefed on the deal by Univision executives also confirmed its broad strokes. The amount of money involved in the deal was not disclosed. NPR has also obtained a memo from the CEO of The Onion announcing the deal to staffers.

The secretive sale late last year of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Nevada's largest news organization, to the family of one of the wealthiest men in the country set off shock waves in that newsroom.

The vast financial and political interests of the billionaire casino magnate and major Republican donor Sheldon Adelson raise nettlesome questions about how the paper can cover him.

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