CLINTON: TRUMP CAMPAIGN BUILT ON “PREJUDICE”

Hillary Clinton issued a blistering takedown of Donald Trump Thursday, accusing him of racism and arguing that “fringe” elements have taken over the Republican Party.

“From the start, Donald Trump has built his campaign on prejudice and paranoia,” Clinton said at a campaign rally here. “He’s taking hate groups mainstream and helping a radical fringe take over the Republican Party. His disregard for the values that make our country great is profoundly dangerous.”
She added, “This is what I want to make clear today: A man with a long history of racial discrimination, who traffics in dark conspiracy theories drawn from the pages of supermarket tabloids and the far reaches of the Internet, should never run our government or command our military. Ask yourself: If he doesn’t respect all Americans, how can he serve all Americans?”
Clinton attacking the alt-right — what is it?
The comments — delivered in what could be a crucial swing state in November — mark a dramatic escalation in the war of words between Clinton and Trump. The Republican nominee flatly labeled her a “bigot” on Wednesday, prompting Clinton to tell CNN he was “taking a hate movement mainstream” and was outside the norm of American politics.

Trump offered a prebuttal in New Hampshire earlier Thursday, saying that Clinton “paints decent Americans as racists.”
“She bullies voters who only want a better future and tries to intimidate them out of voting for a change,” Trump said at a campaign event in Manchester. “Hillary Clinton isn’t just attacking me, she’s attacking all of the decent people of all backgrounds — doesn’t matter — of all backgrounds who support this incredible, once in a lifetime movement.”
He later tweeted after her remarks, “Hillary Clinton’s short speech is pandering to the worst instincts in our society. She should be ashamed of herself!”

Asked by WMUR in Manchester later Thursday if he wanted white supremacists to vote for him, Trump simply responded, “No. I don’t at all.”
‘Alt-right’
Speaking at a community college, Clinton sought to link Trump to the “alt-right,” an informal group of mostly white conservative men aligned with the Republican Party that sees Trump as the only choice in 2016. The “alt-right” lives primarily online, regularly pushing racist, homophobic and sexist content.
Trump, however, has been embraced by the fringe groups, in part because he tapped Steve Bannon, the former head of Breitbart News, as the CEO of his campaign. Bannon has said that his former publication is “the platform of the alt-right.”
Clinton says Trump leading ‘hate movement’; he calls her a ‘bigot’
Clinton said the Bannon hire has led to a “de facto merger” between Breitbart and the Trump campaign represents a “landmark achievement” for a “fringe element that has effectively taken over the Republican Party.”
“All of this adds up to something we’ve never seen before,” Clinton said. “Of course there’s always been a paranoid fringe in our politics, steeped in racial resentment. But it’s never had the nominee of a major party stoking it, encouraging it, and giving it a national megaphone. Until now.”
Outreach to Republicans
Clinton devoted large portions of her speech to making overtures to Republicans, calling this election “a moment of reckoning for every Republican dismayed that the party of Lincoln has become the party of Trump.”
“This is not conservatism as we have known it. This is not Republicanism as we have known it,” Clinton said, departing from her prepared remarks.
“We have our disagreements. We need good debates. Need to do it in respectful way. Not finger- pointing. Every day, more Americans are standing up and saying “enough is enough” — including a lot of Republicans,” Clinton said. “I’m honored to have their support. And I promise you this: With your help, I will be a president for Democrats, Republicans and Independents. For those who vote for me and those who don’t. For all Americans.”
The Democratic nominee also praised former Republicans who had denounced racism.
“Twenty years ago, when Bob Dole accepted the Republican nomination, he pointed to the exits and told any racists in the party to get out. The week after 9/11, George W. Bush went to a mosque and declared for everyone to hear that Muslims ‘love America just as much as I do.’ In 2008, John McCain told his own supporters they were wrong about the man he was trying to defeat. Senator McCain made sure they knew Barack Obama is an American citizen and ‘a decent person.’
“We need that kind of leadership again,” Clinton said.
‘Taking a hate movement mainstream’
In a video published on Thursday, the Clinton campaign links clips of KKK members, including Duke, backing Trump. It also highlights Trump failing to disavow the support in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper.
The video then cuts to media clips of Bannon joining the Trump campaign with a reporter describing the alt-right as “sort of dressed-up-in-suits version of the neo-Nazi and white supremacist movement.”
Trump’s campaign denounced the ad as a “disgusting new low.”
“This type of rhetoric and repulsive advertising is revolting and completely beyond the pale,” Trump surrogate Pastor Mark Burns said in a statement. “I call on Hillary Clinton to disavow this video and her campaign for this sickening act that has no place in our world.”
Trump spokesman Jason Miller described Clinton’s attacks as a “desperation play.”
And Kayleigh McEnany, a Trump supporter, also told CNN’s Brooke Baldwin that the real estate mogul has “repeatedly disavowed” Duke.
“What I saw was a mischaracterization of Donald Trump’s record,” McEnany said.
But in an interview with CNN on Wednesday, Clinton was defiant in her characterization.
“Donald Trump has shown us who he is, and we ought to believe him. He is taking a hate movement mainstream. He’s brought it into his campaign,” Clinton told CNN’s Anderson Cooper. “He’s bringing it to our communities and our country.”
Clinton added that “someone who’s questioned the citizenship of the first African-American President, who has courted white supremacists, who’s been sued for housing discrimination against communities of color, who’s attacked a judge for his Mexican heritage and promised a mass deportation force, is someone who is very much peddling bigotry and prejudice and paranoia.”
Donald Trump: ‘I want to do this my way’
Kellyanne Conway, Donald Trump’s campaign manager, rejected the idea that her candidate is the leader of the alt-right.
“We’ve never even discussed it internally,” she said on CBS. “It certainly isn’t a part of our strategy meetings. It’s nothing that Mr. Trump says out on the stump.”
The fact Clinton is giving her speech in Reno, a traditionally red city in a key swing state, is significant as well. Washoe County, where Reno sits, is a key county for any Republican hoping to win Nevada.
Clinton, more so than other swing states, has struggled to grow a lead in Nevada. Her campaign chalks the issues up to a smaller than average number of college educated white voters.

POLICE: STUDENT STABS, BITES & KILLS COUPLE

A distraught college student attacked a couple in their Florida home, stabbing them to death and biting the face of the male victim, authorities said.

“It’s a tragedy without words to describe,” said Martin County Sheriff William Snyder.
“We have two people — middle-age people — sitting on their couch enjoying the night and out of nowhere for reasons we may never know, they are attacked by a man with a knife who overcomes them both and kills them,” he added. “To say it’s sad somehow misses it. I’m not sure I have the words to tell you how I feel.”
Authorities arrived at a home near Tequesta on Monday night after receiving a 911 call of a fight across the street.
“As the deputy approached, they observed the suspect biting the male victim in the face,” the sheriff’s office told CNN.
Deputies attempted to Tase the suspect, identified as Austin Kelly Harrouff, 19. A fight ensued between authorities and Harrouff, who was critically wounded before being taken into custody.

The couple, Michelle Mishcon, 53, and John Stevens III, 59, were stabbed multiple times, police said.
A neighbor who called 911 and came to the aid of the couple was also stabbed but is expected to survive.
Motive
The sheriff’s office says it doesn’t know why the couple was targeted, saying there was “no connection between the victims and the suspect.”
Austin Kelly Harrouff, 19.
Austin Kelly Harrouff, 19.
Harrouff lived with his mother about three miles away and his father also lived in the immediate neighborhood, according to authorities. He is a student at Florida State University, authorities said. Fall semester is set to start August 29.
Harrouff had been eating dinner at a restaurant with his family when he stormed off, agitated, officials said. His parents were so worried by his behavior that they called police and some of his fraternity brothers, according to a timeline provided by the sheriff’s office.
“Standing there last night, looking at that scene, I was forced to think about the futility of the whole thing — the randomness of it — as it began to become clear to us that there was no nexus between the victim and the suspect,” Snyder said in a press conference.
Harrouff was in critical condition Tuesday and has only provided minimal details to police.
Calls to Harrouff’s family were not immediately returned.

LOUISIANA FLOODS CONTINUE AFTER HISTORIC RAINFALL

Southern Louisiana faces continued flood warnings Tuesday, even as communities struggle to recover from a deluge over the weekend that killed at least seven, stranded more than 20,000 and left more than 11,000 seeking shelter after a historic rainfall.

Towns downstream of the areas hardest hit over the weekend watched anxiously as floodwaters crested and slowly began receding overnight into Tuesday.

PHOTO:
SLIDESHOW: Federal Emergency Declared in Louisiana Flood
Officials announced late Monday that another body had been recovered from the water in Baton Rouge, raising the total number of fatalities to at least seven.

The ongoing flood risk forced the closure of city offices in Baton Rouge on Tuesday.
Over the weekend, parts of Southern Louisiana received as much as 25 inches of rain. The National Weather Service estimates the chance of that much rain falling in any given location over the course of a year at .1 percent, meaning that it is only likely to occur once every 1,000 years.

The National Guard mobilized 2,500 personnel and nearly 195 high-water vehicles and had rescued nearly 3,400 people and 400 pets as of Monday.
“That’s what we are focused on, saving lives. said Maj. Gen. Glenn Curtis, adjutant general of the Louisiana National Guard. “We can also bring on military police and give police officers a chance to rest and check on their homes.”

The National Guard has so far distributed more than 600,000 sandbags, close to 96,000 bottles of water and 2,300 meals-ready-to eat (MRE) in affected communities.

“A COLLAPSE OF THE SOCIAL ORDER: “SHERRIFF CLARKE BLAMES ‘TRIBAL BEHAVIOR’ FOR MILWAUKEE VIOLENCE

Unapologetic and blunt, Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke has won legions of supporters on the right with his frequent commentary that slams Black Lives Matter and other liberal groups.

As violence roiled Milwaukee this weekend, Clarke took to Twitter chiding the left and black activists, whom he derides as “Black Lies Matter.”
Clarke, who’s African-American, raised his national profile recently with his speech at the Republican National Convention and his vigorous defense of law enforcement. Although he’s not a registered Republican, the sheriff is no fan of Democrats either, often blaming them for creating “misery-inducing, divisive, exploitative and racist” urban policies.

His outspokenness on such issues have won him fans such as Rush Limbaugh and the Conservative Political Action Conference as well as critics such as rapper Talib Kweli.
‘A collapse of the social order’
Clarke hasn’t been shy about his views on the turmoil in the city of Milwaukee after Saturday’s police shooting of an armed black man named Sylville Smith. He called protests that turned violent “black cultural dysfunction.”

In an opinion piece he wrote for The Hill, he likened the chaos in Milwaukee as “tribal behavior.”
“What happened Saturday night and again Sunday night had little to do with police use of force — it was a collapse of the social order where tribal behavior leads to reacting to circumstances instead of waiting for facts to emerge,” Clarke wrote.
“The law of the jungle replaced the rule of law in Milwaukee Saturday night over an armed career criminal suspect who confronted police.”
He described the urban, black poor as victims.
“The actions were the manifestation of a population with no hope, no stake in the American dream that could provide advancement and purpose and pride of self. They are the ones lied to, exploited by and ultimately manipulated by the Democrats who claim to care. They are victims of the left, but they are not without blame.”

‘Anti-police rhetoric sweeping the country’
Since 2002, Clarke has been the sheriff of Milwaukee County. Now in his fourth term, he has won each election by a wide margin of victory. The suburbs, where he serves, is more heavily white than the city of Milwaukee, which has its own police force. He lost a bid to become Milwaukee mayor in 2004.
In July, Clarke had a heated interview with CNN’s Don Lemon over the police shootings in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, that killed three law enforcement officers and wounded three others.
Sheriff and Don Lemon get heated over police shootings

Sheriff and Don Lemon get heated over police shootings 05:00
He told Lemon that he had predicted that police officers would be targeted.
“This anti-police rhetoric sweeping the country has turned out some hateful things inside of people that are now playing themselves out on the American police officer,” he said.
Clarke has frequently blamed the Black Lives Matter movement for inspiring violent crimes against law enforcement officers, calling the group “purveyors of hate.”

BREAKING NEWS: ESPN’S JOHN SAUNDERS DIES AT AGE 61

John Saunders, one of the familiar on-air faces of ESPN for nearly 30 years, has died. He was 61.

Saunders hosted studio and play-by-play programming. He covered college football, basketball and the NHL for the network, in addition to anchoring SportsCenter. He was also host of The Sports Reporters.

Born in Canada, Saunders was an all-star defenseman in the junior hockey leagues of Montreal and played at Western Michigan before becoming one of the most prominent broadcasters of his time.

Saunders was a founding member of The V Foundation for Cancer Research and served on the board of directors.

“John was an extraordinary talent and his friendly, informative style has been a warm welcome to sports fans for decades,” said John Skipper, president of ESPN and co-chairman of Disney Media Networks, in a statement. “His wide range of accomplishments across numerous sports and championship events is among the most impressive this industry has ever seen. More importantly, John was a beloved and devoted family man who cared deeply about people and causes, as evidenced by his long-standing efforts as a passionate board member for The V Foundation for Cancer Research.

“He was one of the most significant and influential members of the ESPN family, as a colleague and mentor, and he will be sorely missed. Our thoughts are with his loved ones at this extremely difficult time.”
John Saunders on the set of College GameDay prior to the 2013 BCS national championship game. Allen Kee/ESPN Images
Saunders joined ESPN in December 1986 to anchor SportsCenter. But he became a voice on college basketball, the WNBA and hosted ESPN’s coverage of the Stanley Cup playoffs from 1993-2004. He also worked on coverage of the World Series and Major League Baseball All-Star game.

Saunders is survived by wife Wanda and daughters Aleah and Jenna.

HILLARY CLINTON 2016 DNC SPEECH

NORTH MIAMI SHOOTING: POLICE ACCIDENTALLY SHOT MAN, SAYS UNION

The police shooting of an African-American caregiver, who was lying in the street trying to help an autism patient, was accidental, according to the local police union representing the North Miami officer.

The officer had intended to shoot the patient, whom he thought posed a danger, but accidentally shot the caregiver instead, said John Rivera, the President of the Dade County Police Benevolent Association.
Charles Kinsey, a behavior therapist, was shot Monday by police — an incident which has sparked outrage. Footage released by Kinsey’s attorney showed his client lying on the ground holding both hands in the air, next to a 23-year-old man with autism.
Rivera offered an explanation Thursday, saying that the police officer opened fire because he thought the white individual, whom they later learned is a man with autism, was going to harm Kinsey.
“This wasn’t a mistake in the sense that the officer shot the wrong guy or he thought that Kinsey was the bad guy,” he said in a press conference Thursday.
“The movement of the white individual made it look like he was going to discharge a fire arm into Mr. Kinsey and the officer discharged trying to strike and stop the white man and unfortunately, he missed the white male and shot Mr. Kinsey by accident.”
Rivera said that the video footage of the incident was “being portrayed poorly.”
Kinsey is hospitalized with a gunshot wound to his right leg after two or three shots were fired, according to his attorney.
“Mr. Kinsey did everything right, let’s be real clear about that,” Rivera said. He said that the police officer involved in the shooting “wishes nothing but the best for Mr. Kinsey and the officer is praying for his speedy recovery as are we.”
Kinsey told CNN affiliate WSVN that after the shooting, he was flipped over and handcuffed. A video released by the attorney showed Kinsey lying in the road, on his stomach and handcuffed. Both men were seen flat on the ground with two officers standing near them. According to his attorney Hilton Napoleon II, Kinsey was on the ground for 20 minutes before an ambulance arrived.
North Miami police said the officer opened fire after attempting to negotiate. Kinsey and his attorney said that the police explanation doesn’t add up. State authorities said they’re investigating the incident.
The unidentified officer has been placed on administrative leave and he issued a statement in form of a text message, which was read aloud to the media by Rivera.
“I took this job to save lives and help people,” according to the officer’s text statement. “I did what I had to do in a split-second to accomplish that, and hate to hear others paint me as something I’m not.”
Police: Caller reported armed man
A 911 call about an armed man threatening suicide drew officers to the scene just after 5 p.m. Monday, North Miami police Chief Gary Eugene told reporters.
“Our officers responded to the scene with that threat in mind. We had witness statements that there was a gun. We had a 911 call with that same information,” Eugene said Thursday. “However, I want to make it clear, there was no gun recovered.”
Kinsey told WSVN that his patient was holding a toy truck, not a firearm. He said he tried to explain the situation to officers.
Cell phone footage showed Kinsey lying in the street with his hands in the air.
“All he has is a toy truck,” he shouted. “I am a behavior therapist at a group home.”
Rivera, the president of the local police union, said that the officers had not heard what Kinsey was yelling.
Kinsey said the footage, released by his attorney, showed the moment Monday when he tried to persuade North Miami police not to harm his patient. He asked his patient to be still and lie down.
“Please be still … get down … lay on your stomach,” Kinsey says in the video.
The man beside him rocks back and forth.
“I was more worried about him than myself,” Kinsey told CNN affiliate WSVN-TV in Miami.
“As long as I’ve got my hands up, they’re not gonna shoot me, that’s what I’m thinking,” Kinsey said. “Wow, was I wrong.”
So far, Napoleon said, video of the shooting itself hasn’t surfaced.
State takes over investigation
Reports of the North Miami shooting drew swift reactions on social media, with posts criticizing the officer who opened fire.
Previous

Areva Martin, Esq.
@ArevaMartin
#CharlesKingsley shooting by Miami PD proves that even when a Black man puts his hands up in plain view he still runs risk of death by cops
21h

ace
@bemypalliate
#CharlesKinsey Sick and tired is an understatement. So glad he’s alive to tell his story. Will people start listening now?
20h

Ryan Grace
@_RyanGrace_
Absolutely atrocious. How do you shoot an unarmed therapist with his hands straight up after he tells you what’s going on? #charleskinsey
15h

Rienne Camille
@RienneCamille
So glad #CharlesKinsey is alive to tell his side. I’m glad his patient is okay, and that there is documentation…but now, we need answers.
15h

chicken thot pie
@such_A_frknlady
absent a criminal history, i imagine they’ll be showing us #CharlesKinsey’s school transcripts soon.

“a B-?! shoulda had all A’s!!”
22h

Kick
@MatthewKick
officer fears for his life, lethal force.

civilian fears for their life, comply & hope for the best…

That’s not freedom
#CharlesKinsey
21h

Cole
@ColeRN30
America. Where being black is considered armed and dangerous. #CharlesKinsey #StopStereotypes
20h

shonda rhimes
@shondarhimes
“SAYS?” LOOK AT HIM. twitter.com/usatoday/statu…
21h

Feminista Jones
@FeministaJones
The only thing #CharlesKinsley did was wake up Black.

In this country, that’s all one needs to do.

Wake up.
Be Black.
Draw breath.
21h

Michael Armstrong
@Preacher1987
Unarmed. Lying on the ground. Hands up. Fully complying with all orders. Trying to aid his autistic student. STILL SHOT. #CharlesKinsley
22h

Areva Martin, Esq.
@ArevaMartin
#CharlesKingsley shooting by Miami PD proves that even when a Black man puts his hands up in plain view he still runs risk of death by cops
21h

ace
@bemypalliate
#CharlesKinsey Sick and tired is an understatement. So glad he’s alive to tell his story. Will people start listening now?
20h

Ryan Grace
@_RyanGrace_
Absolutely atrocious. How do you shoot an unarmed therapist with his hands straight up after he tells you what’s going on? #charleskinsey
15h

Rienne Camille
@RienneCamille
So glad #CharlesKinsey is alive to tell his side. I’m glad his patient is okay, and that there is documentation…but now, we need answers.
15h
Next
1/10
Kinsey’s shooting comes after a pair of officer-involved shootings led to the deaths of two men, Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, kicking off a period of national unrest and putting the spotlight again on police use of force, particularly against black men. Kinsey also is black.
Protesters flooded the North Miami Police Department headquarters on Thursday, demanding answers for the shooting.
Eight law enforcement officers have since been killed in separate incidents in Dallas and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, targeted by gunmen who claimed they were reacting in part to incidents such as those that led to the deaths of Sterling and Castile.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the shooting.
“Bringing in an outside agency assures our commitment to transparency and objectivity in a very sensitive matter,” Eugene said.
Prosecutors said they’ll decide whether the officer should be charged after the state agency completes its investigation.
“They will provide us with their factual findings and conclusions,” Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said. “At that time, we will conduct our own investigation and review all of the evidence to determine whether the actions of the shooting officer constitute a criminal act that can be proven beyond and to the exclusion of every reasonable doubt.”
‘Why did you shoot me?’
Kinsey told WSVN he was stunned by the shooting, like when a mosquito bites unexpectedly.
“When he hit me, I’m like, I still got my hands in the air,” he said.
“I’m like, ‘Sir, why did you shoot me?’ ” Kinsey said he asked the officer.
“He said to me, ‘I don’t know.'”
North Miami police have said officers had “attempted to negotiate with the two men on the scene.”
At some point, one of the officers discharged his weapon, police said. In a fact sheet released via social media, the police department said the officer involved in the shooting is a 30-year-old Hispanic male with four years on the job.
“I realize there may be questions about what happened on Monday night. You have questions. The community has questions. … I, personally, have questions. I assure you, we’ll get all the answers,” the police chief told reporters Thursday.
‘This is not supposed to be happening in North Miami’
Howard Simon, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, condemned the shooting: “Thankfully, Mr. Kinsey is alive and not more gravely injured — but had the officer’s weapon been pointed just a few degrees differently, this senseless incident could have been a much greater tragedy.”
Simon called on law enforcement agencies to examine policies on the use of force and responses to people with mental health issues.
“Without changes in policy and improved training of officers, we will very likely see more needless shootings and deaths at the hands of police,” he said in a statement.
A U.S. congresswoman whose district includes North Miami told reporters she was shocked by the video that shows the scene before the shooting.
“This is like a nightmare to me,” Democratic Rep. Frederica Wilson said.
“When you shoot a man lying on the ground with his hands up, explaining to you the situation, and you shoot him anyway? Something’s not right with this picture,” she said.
The shooting she said, isn’t typical of the city, which she described as a “melting pot.”
“This is not supposed to be happening in North Miami. North Miami is a city where the police officers and the community gel,” she said. “So many of our police officers come from the community (and) live in the community.”
‘He did everything he could possibly do’
A hospital spokeswoman said Kinsey is in good condition. His attorney called off a press conference with Kinsey on Thursday morning, saying his client was traumatized and speaking with a psychiatrist.
“The reality is that he believed … that if you comply with the police and you lay on the ground with your hands up, and if you speak to them like my client was speaking to them, as Americans, we try to believe that that will not result in you getting shot,” Napoleon said.
Now Kinsey, his attorney said, doesn’t know what to tell his children.
“Physically, he will recover, but mentally, he felt like he did everything he could possibly do and that wasn’t good enough,” Napoleon said.
“You can’t shoot unarmed people, period.”

ROGER AILES LEAVES FOX NEWS

Roger Ailes has resigned from Fox News amid sexual harassment allegations — an ignoble end to his legendary, controversial twenty-year tenure running the country’s dominant cable news channel.
Ailes’ departure is effective immediately. Rupert Murdoch, the 85-year-old patriarch of parent company 21st Century Fox, is now the channel’s chairman and acting CEO.
Ailes, 76, one of the most powerful men in the media business, was thought to be untouchable until two weeks ago, when ex-anchor Gretchen Carlson filed a lawsuit against him.
Within days, other women also came forward with similar accounts of harassment. Some of the allegations dated back to the 1960s; others were much more recent. Fox’s 9 p.m. host Megyn Kelly told investigators that Ailes harassed her a decade ago.
Murdoch and his sons James and Lachlan, who jointly run the company, pressured Ailes to resign. Firing him outright was another option.
After Ailes’ resignation was announced, Carlson’s lawyers released a statement saying, “Gretchen Carlson’s extraordinary courage has caused a seismic shift in the media world. We hope that all businesses now understand that women will no longer tolerate sexual harassment and reputable companies will no longer shield those who abuse women… We will have more to say in coming days as events unfold.”
Ailes may also have more to say. He has repeatedly denied the harassment charges.
Related: Roger Ailes, exit on the right
In a letter to Murdoch, he initially said “I am proud of our accomplishments and look forward to continuing to work with you as a consultant in building 21st Century Fox.”
However, a corporate source said that “consultant” is not an accurate word for what Ailes will be doing. Ailes will simply “be available to advise Rupert during the transition,” the source said.
The letter was revised to replace “consultant” with “adviser.”
Fox News staffers expressed astonishment about the sequence of events. Some said they believed that Ailes’ exit was a power play by the Murdoch sons, who are said to dislike Ailes.
If that’s what it was, it worked.
Shortly after 4 p.m. Thursday, Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch held a conference call with top Fox employees — many of whom are in Cleveland covering the Republican National Convention — to address the news. Sources on the call said that Rupert expressed sadness about Ailes’ departure but encouraged the staff to stay focused on the work in front of them.
“The call felt like part funeral and part pep talk,” Bret Baier, one of the network’s lead anchors, said. “It is a sad day, but we have a lot of work to do tonight.”
Some staffers described feeling sadness at the sudden exit of the man who had shaped so many of their careers.
“I can only speak for my relationship with Roger. I don’t know about all the allegations. I only know — and would like to focus on — the Roger I know,” Baier continued. “A man who was kind to me and my family and was a television genius.”
For others, especially some female employees, there was anger at the fact that Ailes will continue to serve as an adviser and be paid by 21st Century Fox. One source said women were relieved that Ailes had been removed.
Ailes will receive in excess of $40 million, which accounts for the remainder he is owed under the terms of his multi-year contract with Fox.
Related: Fox without the $2.3 billion man will be a challenge
Insiders have speculated that Ailes could jump to a rival channel, but the corporate source said the exit deal includes a non-compete clause that would precludes such a move for an extended period of time.
Another option for Ailes — once a feared Republican political consultant — is a return to the political arena. He has had a friendly relationship with the GOP nominee Donald Trump for decades. The two men have been counseling each other by phone in recent days.
Trump, through a spokeswoman, declined to comment on Ailes on Thursday.
Ailes has had health problems in recent years, which may affect his decisions about what to do next.
Ailes is revered by some and reviled by others. Through Fox News, he reshaped American television news and Republican politics simultaneously.
Murdoch tapped Ailes to create and run the network in 1996, ushering in a controversial new era in cable news.
By hiring hosts like Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity and enforcing a conservative editorial point of view, Ailes developed a virtual public square for the American right and filled a void on television. It has dominated all other cable news channels for 14 years.
The channel claimed to be “fair and balanced,” but in reality its programming was tilted in favor of conservative opinions and Republican politics, reflecting the views of Ailes himself. Fox mixed daily news reporting and nightly conservative opinion in ways that many critics found to be damaging to American discourse. But Fox’s many fans said it was a necessary counterweight to liberal media bias.
Within six years, Fox came to dominate cable news ratings, dethroning CNN, and it has been a wildly successful business, with annual profits believed to exceed $1 billion.
Last year Fox News was the number two channel on cable, behind only ESPN.
Ailes was admired and envied for his talent management skills. But in recent weeks some women have described a darker side.
On the day Carlson sued, the Murdochs decided to conduct an internal review of the allegations.
An outside law firm interviewed present and past Fox employees. The New York Times reported on Wednesday that at least six other women told the lawyers that Ailes had behaved inappropriately toward them.
And on Thursday, Carlson’s lawyers released a statement saying that they had received accusations of sexual harassment against Ailes from “more than 20 women.” The claims could not be independently verified.
After being briefed on the initial findings from the investigation, the Murdochs concluded that Ailes must leave. Exit talks then began.
Rupert Murdoch was on vacation, but flew back to New York early to participate in the talks.
The drama at the network unfolded even as Fox was having its highest-rated year ever, and was three months away from the 20th anniversary of the channel’s launch.
Maybe that’s a convenient time for a change in leadership — or maybe not. The succession plan is unclear. The corporate source said Rupert would be acting CEO for a period of “months.”
But high-ranking sources at the network said they believed that actual day-to-day operations would be run by Bill Shine, the head of primetime and opinion programming, and Jay Wallace, who oversees daytime and news programming, while Murdoch makes some important calls from the top job.
Shine and Wallace were already running things day-to-day as negotiations picked up around Ailes’ departure. Both men are in the running to replace Ailes, and have guided the network in the past when Ailes was absent.
There are conflicting reports about whether a talent “walkout” is possible in the wake of Ailes’ departure. Fox’s biggest stars, like O’Reilly and Baier, have something called a “key man clause” in their contracts, allowing them to leave the network if a key executive, in this case Ailes, leaves.
One of the allegedly rebellious hosts told CNNMoney on Wednesday that, contrary to a report on Breitbart News, there is no organized exodus in the works.
But another one of the hosts left the door open.
A talent agent said the hosts have to consider a number of factors: “Who takes over at Fox? What’s the atmosphere like? What are the alternatives?”
There were many more questions than answers on Thursday evening.

DONALD TRUMP ACCEPTS THE REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL BID

It’s scary out there.

Donald Trump painted a foreboding picture Thursday of an America adrift as he accepted the Republican presidential nomination with a sober speech in Cleveland.
He invoked a nation imprisoned by its own rotten political establishment and clawing special interests, at risk from terrorists who could be disguised as Syrian refugees and stalked by tens of thousands of illegal immigrant criminals.
Trump has demonstrated a knack for channeling the nation’s mood. His convention message is tailored for a country grappling with mounting anxiety over a rash of terror attacks at home and abroad, and a feeling that something is badly wrong after a spate of shootings of police officers, rising racial tensions and a globalized economy that has left many Americans behind. Trump’s speech may have hit on a message that could propel him to the presidency.
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Instead of reaching for inspirational vignettes most nominees use to inspire their nation to greatness, Trump dwelled on the relatives of those killed by undocumented migrants and depicted a violent and dangerous land.
Trump started on the speech weeks ago, but as he went along, he found his vision validated by events — like the Dallas police ambush and the Orlando nightclub massacre — according to the aide who worked on the speech.
“As events happened in real life, obviously, that shaped the focus of the speech,” Trump aide Stephen Miller told CNN.
Trump’s campaign manager Paul Manafort, meanwhile, dismissed complaints that the GOP nominee’s speech, which laid out a Richard Nixon-style law and order message, was overly threatening.
‘It was reality’
“He was going to tell the truth. It wasn’t dark. It was reality.”
In the hall and among the Trump wing of the Republican Party, it appeared that Trump delivered.
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Joni Ernst, part of a new generation of Republicans who have gravitated toward Trump, tweeted that Americans had been abandoned, and Trump had “heard these voices loud and clear.”
Some Republicans found the speech not to their liking. Meghan McCain, daughter of the 2008 Republican nominee, tweeted “The Party I was part of is dead.” Many other Republicans stayed away from the convention and decided to stay off of Twitter Thursday night.
Trump’s strategy was classic populism — conjuring up a dark and stormy world. He played upon his image as a man of action and a business leader to suggest that only he — a non politician — could turn the nation around.
“Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it,” said Trump, who one friend described from the stage as a “blue collar billionaire.”
The power of Trump’s rhetoric was sufficient to drown out some of the most embarrassing moments of a sometimes erratic GOP convention.
No one on Thursday night was talking about Ted Cruz’s insurrection from the convention stage Wednesday when he refused to endorse Trump. And the plagiarism controversy over the speech delivered by Trump’s wife, Melania, was not on anybody’s lips.
The question now, as Republican delegates head home and the political circus decamps to Philadelphia for Hillary Clinton’s anointing by Democrats next week, is whether Trump did what he needed to do in Cleveland.
Ford O’Connell, a Republican strategist, said that notwithstanding Cruz’s intervention on Wednesday, Trump succeeded in pulling together the Republican Party, which initially viewed him with suspicion around him.
“I think that he united the base,” O’Connell said, arguing that Trump needed to ensure that more than 90% of GOP voters showed up in November if he has a chance to win the election.
GOP unity
But Trump needed to do more than unite Republicans in Cleveland. Given that he trails Clinton by roughly five points in most national polls and is down in many swing states, he needed to broaden his support among non GOP voters.
He also had to prove that he has the knowledge, temperament and experience to be President despite never having held public office.
Only time will tell if he met that bar — the debates with Clinton in the fall will test that proposition more deeply. But his restrained demeanor in his teleprompter speech on Thursday could help.
After winning the nomination with a bull-in-a-china shop persona, some experts also thought Trump needed to pry open a window into his soul and soften the hard edges of his personality.
Though his family excelled at the convention — his son Donald Jr. in particular — it was not clear that Trump will ever change his style.
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Ivanka Trump, the candidate’s daughter, shone on Thursday night with an upbeat speech after she strode on stage to the strains of “Here Comes the Sun” by the Beatles — a stark contrast to her father’s dark vision.
It is too early to judge the size of the billionaire’s convention polling bump and whether he was able to reshape the race.
But what is certain is that the week in Cleveland lived up to its unconventional billing.
By traditional measures, Trump and his campaign committed what would unequivocally be regarded as a string of serious gaffes. But such is the unorthodox nature of his presidential bid and the unpredictability of an election that has broken all the political rules, no one knows if he is seriously hurt.
Still the two-day plagiarism controversy, the feud with Ohio Gov. John Kasich in a state that will be crucial in November, and the failure to make an endorsement the price for Cruz’s convention address were all self-imposed errors that hint at persistent organizational woes.
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Trump’s curious decision to give an interview to The New York Times on the eve of his convention address casting doubt on NATO’s security guarantees that are the bedrock of the West was also a case of unusual timing — not to mention a foreign policy judgment that quickly trigged panic in Europe.
And the week was also notable for its loose organization, as prime-time speakers went long and some of the party’s top future stars — like Ernst — were left speaking to a mostly empty convention hall late at night.
The convention often lacked a clear narrative thread — the theme of each night was lost at times as speakers strayed from the topic. The fixation on Clinton, characterized by cries of “Lock her up! Lock her up!” from the convention floor provided the most lasting image of the convention.
While hating on the Clintons is guaranteed to invigorate Republican base voters, it seems less guaranteed to impress wavering independents in swing states — even given deep doubts about Cinton’s character and honesty.
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As Democrats gear up for their convention next week, some are confident that Trump made little headway among an electorate that is more diverse than his political strategy seems to assume.
“I don’t think they expanded their appeal an inch at that convention with ‘lock her up’ and Rudy Giuliani standing up and screaming,” said Mark Alderman, a veteran Democratic donor and former transition chief for President Barack Obama. “They fed their base.”
The final image of the convention came with Trump and his family basking in cheers on stage as red, white and blue balloons fell from the rafters.
The music pounding over the speakers — “You can’t always get what you want” by the Rolling Stones — might just have been one last Trumpian swipe at the GOP establishment as he heads into the fall campaign.