NBC’s Katy Tur Celebrates Teen Vogue’s Anti-Trump Awakening

After a turbulent week in American politics where controversial stories about President Trump’s administration were broken by newspapers with long-standing histories bias, NBC spent some time on Sunday Today championing a relative newcomer to “the game.” “But this national moment has brought some new players into the game as well,” touted host Willie Geist. “NBC's Katy Tur shines our Sunday spotlight on a publication you never would have associated with politics until now.” That newcomer is fashion magazine Teen Vogue.

“At 14 years old, Teen Vogue is growing up … Focusing on more than just fashion and beauty,” announced Katy Tur as she started her gushy report. “But like every teenager, not everyone was ready to take seriously.”

The starting focus of the report was Teen Vogue’s op-ed columnist Lauren Duca, whose most notable work was a piece written in December 2016 titled: “Donald Trump Is Gaslighting America.” A description of the piece on their website describes the column as a “scorched-earth op-ed” where “Lauren Duca takes on Trump's systematic attempts to destabilize the truth and weaken the foundation of American freedom.”

Tur appeared to lament that, because of the op-ed, Duca found herself “in the crosshairs of conservative media.” She played a clip of Duca’s very contentious interview with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson where is dismissed Teen Vogue’s ability to deliver political commentary. But Tur found a bright side, noting that the op-ed “put Teen Vogue on the political map” and how Duca’s piece was still the most popular piece on their website.

The NBC reporter seemed reluctant to report a massive example of Duca’s radical liberal bias. According to Tur, the Teen Vogue column recently tweeted a picture of an airplane on fire with the caption “Cute pic of Trump getting tired of winning.” The tweet came as the President was traveling to the Middle East for his first foreign trip. Tur seemed to buy Duca’s excuse for the now deleted post: “Duca told me it was just a bad metaphor for the campaign but admitted the poor timing.

Duca was asked by Tur if she viewed Teen Vogue as a liberal publication, to which she chided that “If it’s liberal to be supporting human rights as a guiding principle, then yes. Which is kind of an Ivanka answer.” Tur touted the magazine’s “socially conscious makeover” noting that:

If you're surprised for the term for the political left, you haven't been paying attention. Women's magazines have a long history of fighting for Progressive issues including Teen Vogue's older sister, fashion's glossy gold standard.

While talking with high-ranking members of Teen Vogue’s masthead about the seemingly unlikely combination of fashion and politics, Digital Editorial Director Phillip Picardi quipped that Tur “should ask Republican men these questions. Mitt Romney like loves a tailored suit and expensive haircut, no one’s asking him about that.

Seeming as though it was an afterthought, Tur asked if they had any conservative writers. Picardi only mentioned that they had talked to Trump supporters and had “female gun owners write about the second amendment on the site.” But a visit to the site shows the publication’s leftist bent. As the Media Research Center’s Katie Yoder noted in late February, “Teen Vogue Has Already Pushed Abortion to Teens 63 Times in 2017.” They’ve also published a piece claiming the NRA wants to make it easy for “felons, domestic abusers, and even suspected terrorists to buy guns…”

NBC’s praise for Teen Vogue’s expansion into politics shows that, as long as you’re willing to throw punches at the political right, there is room for you on the liberal media’s crowded political team. 

Transcript below:

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NBC
Sunday Today
May 21, 2017
8:40:34 AM Eastern

WILLIE GEIST: America's traditional leaders in national journalism are in now, what seems like, an hour by hour competition to break big scoops. The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal among others have been relentless in their reporting, included just this week with revelations about the alleged connection between the Trump campaign and the Russia government. But this national moment has brought some new players into the game as well. NBC's Katy Tur shines our Sunday spotlight on a publication you never would have associated with politics until now.

[Cuts to video]

KATY TUR: At 14-year-old old, Teen Vogue is growing up.

ELAINE WELTEROTH: It's about so much more than just a pretty face, girls want to see themselves reflected.

TUR: Focusing on more than just fashion and beauty.

UNIDENTIFIED: Ally, do you want to take this away for what's happening in politics today?

LAUREN DUCA: I think people are looking to make sense of politics.

TUR: But like every teenager, not everyone was ready to take seriously.

Back in December, Fox News’ Tucker Carlson had a contentious on-air interview with one of the magazine’s writers about a critical piece she did on Donald Trump.

TUR: The op-ed, titled “Donald Trump is Gaslighting America” put 26-year-old freelance writer Lauren Duca in the crosshairs of conservative media. But it put Teen Vogue on the political map. “Attracting an unlikely fan base.” Including veteran newsman Dan Rather, who posted praise.

Five months later she still has the most popular story on the website. It's now also where you can find her new column with a cheeky title: Thigh High Politics. Your under the op-ed section, correct? [Duca nods]

Can the readers differentiate the straight news content from the opinion content?

DUCA: Sure. We have signaled that, but I think media literacy overall is dangerously low. Whereas, We it's funny that can young women make sense of this, but can people make sense of what is fake news or not.

TUR: Duca’s opinions have helped attract readers, but she has turned off others. Just this weekend she tweeted a photo of the flaming plane with the caption: “Cute pic of Trump getting tired of winning” as the President was flying overseas. She later deleted the post some said was offensive. Duca told me it was just a bad metaphor for the campaign but admitted the poor timing. Do you think it’s fair to say that Teen Vogue is a liberal magazine?

DUCA: If it’s liberal to be supporting human rights as a guiding principle, then yes. Which is kind of an Ivanka answer.

WELTEROTH: People don't expect Teen Vogue to have an opinion about politics or social issues. I think they expect it to stay in its lane.

TUR: Elaine Welteroth is Teen Vogue's editor-in-chief. The youngest and only second African-American to hold the title in the history of Teen Vogue’s parent company Conde Nast. She, along with Digital Editorial Director Phillip Picardi and Creative Director Marie Suter are responsible for the magazine’s “socially conscious makeover.” “Kids nowadays call it ‘Woke.’”

…  

If you're surprised for the term for the political left, you haven't been paying attention. Women's magazines have a long history of fighting for Progressive issues including Teen Vogue's older sister, fashion's glossy gold standard.

WETEROTH: Fashion and feminism can co-exist. I think for us, it's not a novel topic.

PHILLIP PICARDI: You should ask Republican men these questions. Mitt Romney like loves a tailored suit and expensive haircut, no one’s asking him about that.

TUR: So does John Edwards.

PICARDI: So does John Edwards, yes exactly.

TUR: Have you featured any conservative writers? Any girls who support Donald Trump?

PICARDI: Yes. We’ve interviewed Trump voters. We had-- after the election, we had a woman who voted for Trump talk about her story. We’ve had female gun owners write about the second amendment on the site.

NB Daily Media Diversity Media Bias Debate Covert Liberal Activists Political Groups Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats NBC Today Magazines Video Katy Tur Willie Geist Donald Trump

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