The Media Today

The Media Today: Here comes the Mooch

July 24, 2017

Anthony Scaramucci made the talk show rounds on Sunday following last week’s shake-up of President Trump’s senior team. The newly-appointed communications director shared his plans for overhauling the White House’s communications, including an aggressive crackdown on leaks.

Speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union,” he told Jake Tapper, “Tomorrow, I’m going to be having a meeting with the communications staff and say, ‘Hey, I don’t like these leaks. And so we’re going to stop the leaks. And, if we don’t stop the leaks, I’m going to stop you.'” He summarized his zero-tolerance policy on CBS’ “Face the Nation” in a somewhat punny manner: “We’re as strong as our weakest leak.” And, on Fox News, he told Chris Wallace, “I will take dramatic action to stop those leaks.” The Mooch made his message clear: If you leak, you’re fired.

But leaks aren’t the only thing the Mooch has on his mind. He also wants to repair the White House’s relationship with the press, according to Buzzfeed. “In the back of my mind I have to call on CNN and send a message to [CNN President Jeff] Zucker that we are back in business,” he said, referring to his decision to call on CNN White House correspondent Sara Murray during Friday’s press briefing.

Speaking of press briefings, the Mooch is hoping to bring back the on-camera press briefing. Behind the lectern on Friday, he said he’d speak to Trump about the format of the briefing now that there’s a new press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders. On-camera press briefings were few and far between over the last month, and this might be his olive branch to the press. Though as my CJR colleague wrote, “we need to hear from the president himself.” More on the Mooch below.

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Meg Dalton is a freelance journalist and audio producer based in Connecticut. She's reported and edited for CJR, PBS NewsHour, Energy News Network, Architectural Digest, MediaShift, Hearst Connecticut newspapers, and more. Follow her on Twitter: @megdalts. Find her on Twitter @megdalts.