Have You Heard the Voicemails for Trump from Practically Every Big Wig in Liberal Media?
What do Tom Brady, David Axelrod, Don King, and MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski, and Tamron Hall all have in common? (Besides all getting frequent coverage here at Mediaite?)
They’re all pretty darn buddy-buddy with one Mr. Donald J. Trump, which we know because Gawker got an anonymous tip full of what appears to be the man’s received voicemails. This isn’t the first time I will say this, but it is important to clarify that Gawker was unable to verify that these voicemails are all completely real. As soon as one of the alleged voicemailers or Trump himself confirms their veracity, this post will be updated, though you will see that Scarborough has already reacted, which seems to indicate that his voicemails are legit.
We already know Trump and Brady — whose alleged voicemails began with “it’s your favorite quarterback calling” — are tight, but Axelrod has blasted the GOP candidate on a few different occasions. Hall has served him up a few hard questions over the years, too, but in light of these new voicemails, we have to wonder, Were the questions as hard as they could have been? In one voicemail purportedly from 2012, Hall allegedly thanks Trump for setting her up with a business contact. The meeting must have gone well because she said she celebrated by going to Gucci where she used Trump’s discount on a $3000 dress because her discount just wasn’t big enough.
Beyond the questions of journalistic integrity raised by Hall’s seemingly close relationship with the business mogul, the concern over Scarborough’s evident preference of Trump is now compounded. This isn’t the first audio leak that has made him and Brzezinski look bad when it comes to how the journalists handle dealing with Trump.
At Gawker, Ashley Feinberg and Andy Cush pointed out that the release of these voicemails could confirm what Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio have been saying since it came to light that The New York Times has audio of what seems to be Trump going back on his hardline immigration stance: Trump’s current public persona is all a phony act to woo Republican voters and make them believe he isn’t one to kowtow to the liberal elites.
As Feinberg and Cush put it, Cruz and Rubio believe, “in fact that the authentic Trump is a creature of elite Manhattan society, who counts among his personal friends many members of the decadent liberal media, and whose natural habitat is an Upper East Side cocktail party.”
While it is very important to note that there is no way to say with 100% certainty that the voicemails found by Gawker are legitimate, the reporters took extra care to validate every possible aspect, including dates and events referenced by the purported anchors.
Here is a transcript of Scarborough and Brzezinski appearing to thank Trump for some type of gift:
BRZEZINSKI: Hi, Donald. It’s Mika and Joe calling. Say hi, Joe.
SCARBOROUGH: Hey there, Donald. How you doing?
BRZEZINSKI: We’re just leaving you a message because we’re trying to get in touch with you, but you must be, like, on your jet or something. We’d love to talk to you, so call one of us. What’s your other number, Joe?
SCARBOROUGH: I’m at [REDACTED]. And the kids want to scream “Thank you,” to you, Donald. Say, “Thank you, Donald.”
CHILDREN: Thank you!
SCARBOROUGH: We are so, so grateful for everything, Donald, and we just want to call you and tell you how much it means to us.
BRZEZINSKI: It was amazing. Thank you, Donald. Hope to talk to you soon. Bye.
Scarborough has responded, which seems to indicate that at the very least, his voicemails are real:
Oh my God. I just read the transcripts! Trump must have contributed to a children’s charity. Scandalous!!! https://t.co/BxcZCdSkQb
— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) March 4, 2016
It appears that hackers were able to access Trump’s voicemail after he tweeted his cell phone number, encouraging people to call him and hear a pre-recorded message about his running for the presidency.
Thank you @gawker! Call me on my cellphone 917.756.8000 and listen to my campaign message.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 4, 2015
Here is audio of what appears to be the hackers changing his outgoing message to a troll-y, racist one:
(Note that “1488” is a number often associated with white supremacy and /b is a message board on 4Chan known for being full of hackers, trolls, jokers, and NSFW content.)
Wonder what all this means for Trump and his insistence that he will “open up the libel laws” if he becomes president, making it easier to sue reporters? Will he go after Feinberg and Cush knowing that someone else could go after Hall, Scarborough, and Brzezinski?
[image via screengrab]
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This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.