tv Reliable Sources CNN April 1, 2012 8:00am-9:00am PDT
was celebrated on april 1st, with spring symbolizing the new year. they were on to something i think much better than the frigid cold temperatures we usually get on january 1st. thanks to all of you for being part of my program this week. i will see you next week. stay tuned for "reliable sources." we saw the first glimmers as the trayvon martin story exploded in the media, but now the nation polarization is just blinding. liberal journalists defending this explain teenager no matter what. conservative journalists going all out to defend the shooter, george zimmerman. msnbc on trayvon's side. fox on zimmerman's side. >> have i seen this played over and over again. trying to smear trayvon is one of the old tricks, and we won't let them get away with it. >> we didn't know in the beginning that there were witnesses from the first night
that said that trayvon was witnessed on top of george zimmerman punching him and beating his head into the cement. >> are the media inflaming the situation? a miami harrold reporter on the pressures of covering the story. >> all at once i started getting emails from all these people telling me that i was a racist, that i was a sobero path, that i should kill myself. >> day yeah view. current t fires keith olbermann for missing work, and he suggests owner al gore is unethical, and his replacement? eliot spitzer. plus -- >> what speemp did you listen to? >> just right here. >> stop lying. would you guys quit distorting what i'm saying? >> rick santorum curses out a "new york times" reporter. what did jeb zellany do to deserve this? i'm hourt kurtz, and this is reliable sources.
reporters dug up new information this week in the killing of trayvon martin. renee of the orlando sentinel obtained the controversial account of what george zimmerman told police in florida that he had been accosted by the teenager. >> the two exchanged words that trayvon struck a blow, punched george zimmerman in the nose, and that floored mr. zimmerman. >> but that account and one of the miami herald ahead, seen only to harden the idealogical divide in the coverage. when you turn on msnbc, it's like watching the prosecution. any guest sympathetic to the neighborhood watch captain being grilled and even badgered. >> he was walking with skittles and an iced tea when he was shot dead. now we're seeing new pictures of trayvon and they're trying to portrait him as a thug. >> and there seems to be a right wing media campaign to defend george zimmerman. >> how are you paying your expenses iffure not working? is someone paying you to do this for george? >> no. no one is paying me to do this
for george. >> have you ever heard george zimmerman scream? >> what is the point of you asking me questions if you're not giving me an opportunity to answer? okay? >> answer the question. >> and as far as george raising his voice, yeah, i have heard him raise his voice before. >> scream. >> not in anger. not in anger. >> scream? >> would you -- you know what, this -- why are we having this discussion if you're not listening? if you're not listening to my answers? >> fox news is not like watching the zimmerman defense with considerable skepticism towards trayvon martin's side. >> this was described in the beginning as being shot in cold blood. >> this was never portrayed in the media as being a fight. this was portrayed as a cold-blooded murder. >> zimmerman's side is saying that george zimmerman told his father that, in fact, he was walking back to the car and it was trayvon who confronted him and threatened him and broke his nose and put these lacerations in the back of the head. are you denying that that is a possibility? >> let me take you back.
okay? >> no, no, you can take me back, but is that a possibility that trayvon broke his nose and pounded his head into the cement? is that possible? >> well, it's quite possible because he was the one that instigated the incident when he got out of the vehicle, out of the advice and became a vigilante. he started the fight with trayvon. >> is the media coverage starting to deepen the polarization surround this tragedy? joining us now in boston cally crossley, host on wgbh radio, and here in washington frank sesno, director of the school of media and community afardz and the create or and host of "planet ford." frank, what do you make of the way you saw those clips, many at msnbc and fox news have blat aptly chosen sides in this case. >> welcome to the sausage factory. we've season the deep dive into the deep end of all the problems and issues in history we've got with race in this country, and people are choosing sides. the perfect storm is that the media have chosen sides with fox on one side.
virtually all issues on the other. they've just got to stake out their claims and their territory. it's one upsman ship with the outrage now. the problem is that the real journalism of this story is getting short changed. the real journalism is what happened. that's not what they're -- what those conversations are engaging in. what happened? >> even when the journalists attempt to provide information, for example, abc obtaining the police video after he was arrested and people who don't -- who think he is the assailant here say, look, no wounds. he is not bleeding. other people have a different interpretation. it seems like the reporting on both sides by the columnists, by the commentators, that the new information just gives them more to argue about. >> and there will be more now because the orlando sentinel has just engaged two voice experts to look at the -- to listen to the 911 tapes and both of them came back and said that the voices on the tape crying for help could not be zimmerman. that will just add fuel to the fire. i couldn't agree more with
frank, and i think what's happening here is there's a great amount of identification. some people are really identifying with george zimmerman. this is a guy just trying to protect his neighborhood, and many, many other people having had the experience of racial profiling are saying a 17-year-old unarmed kid outweighed by this guy, what else could it be? you're correct that the journalism is getting lost, and part of it -- paw what's happening is we're ending up with drib drab reporting. here's a drip. here's a drab. nothing comes together in any one report that there's this and also this. and that is a problem. part of that is because there's no official investigation, i have to say, in which maybe there would be a way for reporters to attack this in a more holistic way. >> i think that's a problem. reporters are playing the investigators here. in some ways. >> that's right. >> because they're doing that, it comes out in dribs and draps. we don't know what investigators may have. >> there's so much we don't
know. >> so much. >> are the commentators who have chosen sides, frank, are they, as bill o'reilly and others say, are they inflaming potential violence particularly as zimmerman has not been charged? >> potentially. yes, i think they are. for a media comment ate or to in one moment participate in a rally and go on the air the next moment and then, you know, feed all that back, it provides a sort of echo chamber, and it's way beyond the pale of what news organizations and media companies would have allowed. >> since you brought that up, that's al that wereton on msnbc, and he was back in florida leading a rally, asking for george zimmerman to be arrested and talking about the possibility of civil disobedience while continuing to do his msnbc show. i was critical of this on the air last week and phil griffin, the president of msnbc, has since defended sharpton's duel role, what i would describe as a dual role. he said we didn't hire al to be a neutered kind of news presenter. that's not what we do. no one is saying sharpton should
be neutral. if he is going to lead a crusade against zimmerman, how can he continue to be a host of a cable show on the same issue at the same time? >> because he can. and he is. because the rules have changed. go ahead. yes. >> all right. >> i would add, this is highly charged. phil griffin's response to you was that, well, we knew what he was and we all do to some degree, but this is so highly charged i really think that he should do the work that he does with the national action network and step aside during this -- during this time because it can't be anything but polarizing with his role on the television show as well. it just can't be anything else. >> all right. there are times when people recrews themselves for one reason or another, and this would be a good one, it would seem. >> or do the show and don't go and address the rallies. you know, he is appearing with the parents. he accompanied trayvon's parents and he has them on the show. >> something else happens, if i may. the deeper he gets in with the
family and the others, the more invested he gets in this, and the emotion of justifiable, understandable emotion of the family. the more that projects on the television program. that becomes a very concerning kind of thing. >> cally, you made a point about the way in which some people might identify with trayvon martin and others identify with george zimmerman. let me put up on the screen a poll from the poou research center. the percent of people following this story of all the stories in the news, for whites, 20%, for blacks, 52%. i'm wondering what you make of that, and also, what strikes you about the difference in which the way in which black journalists and white journalists talk or write about this case. >> well, the difference is that this is very personal to a lot of folks who have written about it. they have experienced a racial profiling that didn't, you know, wonderfully lead to some tragic outcome as had happen with or may have happened with trayvon
martin, but they've been in the scenario, and so they can speak about it from having had at least three-quarters of the experience, and that makes it really personal, and the other part of this is that, know, black folks often say is there justice in a blind justice situation? can we really get justice in this situation, and so they're looking very closely to see that in a case that is as highly charged as it is, with race as the bigger context of this, because, you know, no matter what anybody says, he looks suspicious because he is a black kid and now what does that mean in the larger context? that's what black folks are looking at quite closely. >> let me just jump in here. i don't have any problem with journalists using their own experience to talk about how perceptions of police and perceptions of violence, but there are some who say when black journalists who do this they are compromising their -- >> i don't think that hes it at all.
i think what's happening -- that survey was not about black journalists. that was about black and white americans. >> i'm just -- for the african-american journalists who are covering this, as for a woman who may or may not have had an abortion covering a pro-life rally, as for a gay journalist who is covering gay rights issues, you very much bring your own experiences to that coverage. the good journalist will be able to stop at the water's edge, though, in terms of inserting those experiences into the actual coverage, but being sensitized to how people feel, we had a huge problem here at cnf because we didn't have diversity in the newsroom. >> when you were the bureau chief. >> when there were suggestions of voting irregularities down in florida because african-americans said they were being harassed. there was some sort of dismissive -- not dismissive, but people didn't instantly get it. african-american journalists would have instantly got it. even if it's proven not to be true.
it's this whole kind of -- this driving while black thing. a white driver doesn't experience it that the first thing you think about, oh, it's my race. >> let me mention that another point of polarization had to do with geraldo rivera that seemed to suggest by wearing a hoody, and various journalists have been wearing hoodies. trayvon martin was asking for it. if we can put it up on the screen. he said i apologize to anyone ofteneded by my quote. it could be a practice, potentially life-saving campaign. >> his own son jumped on him about that. he said what he had to say. you have to understand that the other reason why there are a lot of black news consumers that are following this story is that there is an understanding that in order for there to be some -- in many cases justice, it has to
be your victim. when you start putting the blame on the victim, saying if he hadn't had a hoody on, if he hadn't had specific, if he didn't have the gold teeth or the finger up on the facebook, maybe he wouldn't be in a position to be deserving of what came to him in the end. and there is no really pure victim in this. i mean, he is a kid. he probably did a lot of stuff that other kids do. take it in the context of this very highly charged situation. it becomes something else. so for geraldo to say that and not recognize that the reverberation he would get, i mean, it's huge. >> all right. thanks very much, cally, frank, for helping us air out these difficult issues here this morning. when we come back, a mi hi herald reporter breaks news about trayvon martin only to be a vit real. her story in a moment. ok! who gets occasional constipation,
reporters started breaking stories about the case. one of the most controversial scoops was reported by francis of the heat miami herald. i spoke to her earlier from sanford, florida. francis, welcome. >> thanks for having me. >> thank you for joining us. now, you broke the story on monday that trayvon martin had been suspended from school three times. once for possession of marijuana, and there was another incident involving women's jewelry. explain. >> we've learned that he got caught marking up a wall with graffiti and that when the school resource officer went the next day to investigate, they went through his book bag to find the marker for the graffiti, and instead they found a little bit more jewelry than a high school junior should have in his bag. wedding bands and things of that nature. because there was never a victim and there was no one ever saying, hey, that's my jewelry and it was stolen, there was no charges. he was never arrested. in fact, he was suspended for the graffiti. he was not suspended for burglary. >> talk a little bit about the reaction to that story. there were 5,000 comments posted on-line, and manufacture them were removed by the miami
herald. what happened? >> i think that same day you started to see a tide change, and not just because of that story. there was a few different things that happened the same time. people started discovering trayvon's facebook or his twitter, his digital fingerprint that showed that some of the photos that the family had shown of him were kind of outdated and so then all of a sudden the emails that we were getting and the comments that we were getting that were overwhelmingly in support of trayvon, they started to shift, and people started saying really negative and vial things and, frankly, most of -- i didn't see most of the comments because, as you said, they were taken down. >> right. right. >> in fairness, in that same story, you quoted the attorney for the martin family as saying the whole business about the suspension was completely irrelevant. we think everybody is trying to demonize him. that brings me to the sort of central question. why was it news worthy that he had been suspended given what happened on that tragic day? >> i think it's just as
newsworthy as all the things that we've printed about zimmerman. no one has had an issue of digging up his domestic violence complaints of the past, with an arrest that he had, that also was dismissed, and a case that's this big, the interest is so monumental, frankly, you really want to give a full biographical portral of who are the players that are involved here. >> in fact, the day after that suspension story, the sanford police had wanted to arrest george zimmerman, but the state's attorney refused, and i can't imagine that people who are sympathetic to the zimmerman side. >> i think one of the things that you are seeing in this case is that people are expecting media to have taken a side. just like you have some cable networks that have clear -- have taken postures in this, they're expecting the local newspaper to have a posture, to have a side. i think that that's clearly not our role. our role is to present the information as it's brought to us. the thing that doesn't make sense about the sanford police department wanting to file
charges against george zimmerman is that it smacks -- it flies in the face of everything that the police department had said publicly, so it really is just one of those stories that makes you scratch your head. >> so what is it like to be in the middle of this to be reporting on a story as inflammatory and as racially charged as this and many people in the national media, as you say, are taking sides? does that make you extra cautious about of word that you print? >> yes, absolutely. it's actually -- your question is what's it like? it's horrible to be honest with you. i don't like being in the hot seat, and i think very few people do. i found myself the other night -- well, first of all, you have editors who might try to push you. you know, they say, well, don't you have it? so and so has that story. can't you get it? there's a tremendous amount of pressure. then you find yourself at night writing a story wanting to make the story sound a certain way because that's the way it sounded on a tv station or that's the way it sounded somewhere elsewhere it was juicy, and you have to ask yourself, wait, what did my source tell me? what do i know?
you have to really put an effort to block out all the noise, to block out all the things, the emails that you are getting, or the things that you heard on television and report strictly the information that your sources have given you, and as long as you do that with every single word that you write, i think that we can stay safe wrfsh. >> understood. let me ask you about an incident that became a big deal on-line a couple of weeks ago. trayvon martin's family came to the "miami herald" sat for an interview, and the newspaper posted the video. there was a seemingly question from a reporter when the family was asked, well, what did he like to eat, and someone said chicken. >> tell me about trayvon's normal demeanor. >> he is talking on the phone with his friends, with girls, with his -- watching sports on tv. he is eating. >> chicken? >> he is eating everything. >> what was behind that?
>> oh, what a nightmare. the video was posted on a couple of blogs, an ush know hip-hop blog and some other woman's blog, and it was taken out of context because, frankly, the original version that we posted was out of context, so we kind of did this to ourselves. what an avalanche, an avalanche of response that we got. it was a saturday, and all of a sudden all at once i started getting emails from all these people telling me that i was a racist, that was a sociopath, that i should kill myself. i wasn't even there, frankly. i was in sanford, and so it was quite a scramble on behalf of the "the miami herald" because on something this important, you can't be the major newspaper trying to be the paper of record on a story, looking like we were so grossly insensitive to trayvon's family. what the miami herald was forced to do -- >> family members were making jokes about chicken, and that was the reason for that question. >> right. absolutely. what had inadd verptly not been
posted. they had to reedit the video and post it back on-line with the full context of trayvon's mother being the one to kind of poke fun at the stereotype that he liked to eat chicken. >> i can feel the tension all the way from florida as you have tried to report fairly on this story. when you get these emails and these comments saying you're a racist and worse, it must be kind of depressing. >> it's really bad. i mean, every now and then you'll get one that is uplifting where someone will say to you that was a very objective report, thank you for being fair, but then you'll get one that says, oh, thanks for finally unraveling the truth about that no good rotten up to no good teenager who deserved to get shot. you know, you have to be really strong, and you have to just keep your finger really close to the delete button, howie. >> a very polarizing story. francis, thank you very much for joining us. >> thanks for having me. up next, al gore's current tv fires keith olbermann triggering an angry war of words, and his replacement is
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olbermann is, again, out of a job. current tv fired him on friday saying he had breached his contract by, among other things, refusing to show up for work. network founder al gore and his partner saying olbermann was not abiding by current's values of respect, openness, and cleejality. olbermann, who has been replaced by eliot spitzer, more on that in a moment, wasted little time firing back saying they broke their promises to invest in a quality news program. ae polesed as chief news officer for joining us. joining us to talk about the ouster in minneapolis anna marie cox, and in seattle michael medved. is there a presumption because he left msnbc in a bitter dispute that he is impossible to deal with and this is largely his fault? >> well, look, i think there's a general presumption about that because, i mean, he -- for him to end up giving up a $50 million contract, at least it's
been reported, for conservatives, this is a real joy, and i've got to say here in the interest of full disclosure, i'm a past keith olbermann worst person of the world laureate. i've had that distinction. you look at this the way that henry kissinger rereportedly looked at the iraq-iran war. it's a pity you can't have them both lose. when you have al gore on one side and keith olbermann at the other, and they're firing intercontinental ballistic missiles at each other, this is something that is creating a great deal of glee on the right. >> andrea cox, clearly al gore and company wanted this to work and wanted olbermann to be the face of this network and reached a point where, you know, they kind of had to get a divorce. >> indeed. and it's true that i don't think there is a phase of keith olbermann's development or career where you can't say he didn't leave someplace acrimoniously. i think we should probably get a thesaurus to start using a different word. he ends his -- he goes out, you know, with a bang at the places
that he has worked. i think he probably it's impossible for him to have a quiet departure from someplace. that's just not his personality. which sort of brings me to something that i should say is that he is good theater. he is very good at what he does. he is inherently watchable. he is inherently a good topic of conversation. that's why i think he'll probably get another job. i mean, i think that that value is something that in this day and age when people are really scrambling for viewership, when you have someone who is that good, it's hard to not think that you can be the one to harness that talent, that you can be the network that will finally put keith olbermann to good use. >> i unearthed a batch of internal emails, published this on the daily beast this morning, in which, among other things, olbermann's manager writing to current executives calls the network's behavior inexcusable, wholly unacceptable, a daily logistical nightmare. he says it resembles cable access, and yet david boreman, who used to work here at cnn and is the president of current
wrote back that keith had refused to show up at night before super tuesday, the biggest -- before the biggest night of the presidential primary season. they were unhappy about that. olbermann's team said he was preserving his voice. you say, michael, that it's hard to choose sides, but clearly this was -- this didn't happen overnight. it looks almost from the beginning that the two sides were not getting along. >> no, that's clearly the case. it's very, very predictable with keith olbermann. i mean, going back to his days on espn, he has had acrimonious relationships with the people with whom he has worked, and the one thing -- i agree with what anna marie is saying about him being very good theater, but there are people who are good theater and very dramatic who are consequence mat professionals where they are easy to work with, and let me mention in that regard, keith olbermann's former colleague at msnbc, rachel maddow or rush limbaugh, on the other side, who is all kinds of good theater and sometimes very bombastic on the air, but when you sit down and
work with the guy is decent and sane. the point is what people like to say about keith olbermann is, well, he is his own worst enemy, and i would use the old quip here, not while i'm alive. >> you know, is it at least possible, anna, that olbermann, you know, took all this money and went to current tv and found it to be a pretty rinky dinky place. they had all kinds of problems where they couldn't keep the lights on. they were cutting away at the wrong time. at the same time, we have to address the fact that, you know, he had a much smaller audience there than at msnbc. i wonder if his brand has been diminished here. >> i think his brand probably has been diminished because of the things you're talking about. i do think that maybe some of the problems at current in terms of the rinky dinkness could have been solved by maybe someone giving up some of their $50 million contract. >> uh-huh. >> and putting it towards production values. that seems -- actually, that -- i'm not entirely kidding. i think that would have been a wise choice to invest in the production values to make it
look good, to attract more viewership. i mean, there's always going to be -- if you're good at what you do, there's going to be money at the other end of your product. and it seems here that really current does look like cable access. i mean, i think they do some good programming, but it does not look very professional, and i do think that's a problem for them. i think that if they put -- yeah? >> just to the new star of current, eliot spitzer, who, u, famously resigned as governor of new york after a prostitution scandal and then lost his job at cnn, lost his show at cnn last summer. is he still controversial because of what happened as governor, or is that now action news shebt history? >> you know what the story behind the scenes on that one was. they went to spitzer because john edwards wasn't available. that's -- no. what's bizarre about this is spitzer as a politician, you can have different opinions about him, but when -- i used to watch from time to time the former show on cnn.
why he would be given another chance high profile as a cable commentator, it just doesn't seem to be his particular gift. i'm surprised actually they gave it to him. >> i agree with michael on this. i think that he is not very good at doing cable. i think that, you know, if i were on the network on the same basis as current. i hate to do this, but politico doing their experiment in -- they have such enthusiasm. they have such interesting things to say that it kind of works. you know, they don't have any marquee names, but you can do good television and good cable access television on the cheap. >> keep an eye on the new spitzer show and we'll see what happens with olbermann. he is going on letterman this week, and i think this story won't fade. after the break rick santorum curses out a "new york times" reporter. we'll examine who is right, and should the press stop covering newt's incredibly shrinking campaign, and why predicting what the supreme court will do on obama care is risky business. [ male announcer ] this is coach parker...
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you said mitt romney was the worst republican in the country. is that true? >> what speech did you listen to? >> right there. just right here. you said he is the worst republican -- >> stop lying. i said he was the worst republican to run on the issue of obama care. would you guys quit distorting what i'm saying? >> do you think he is the worst republican to run -- >> to run against barack obama on the issue of health care because he fashioned the blueprint. i've been saying it in every speech. quit distorting my words. if i see it, it's [ bleep ]. come on, man. what are you doing? >> what does zellamy say about the encounter? >> did you lie, distort, and misrepresent rick santorum? >> no. simply asking for clarification. he said in his speech just to a room full of supporters that he believes that mitt romney is the worst republican in the country. health care was not attached to that sentence.
>> ann marie cox used to talk dirty. where do you stand on candidates cursing out reporters? >> well, i think it's completely sort of within the bounds of what they have a right to do, obviously, and i think there's something about rick santorum's temperament and temper that makes this totally within keeping of his personality. it's also true that rick santorum doesn't make gaffs in the sense that mitt romney does where he says things that are at odds with what he said before. what rick santorum did there was totally in context with everything he has ever said about the media, about himself, about his views, and probably something that his supporters found very sympathetic, or could relate to at the very least. >> but coming back to the reporter -- go ahead. >> right. what's unfortunate about that is that i think you know, jeff, he is a fellow nebraskan. he is one of the most mild-mannered people out there. he is probably not the first person i would think of as cursing out. you know? he had a perfectly legitimate question. >> and that's the point i was going to raise, michael, which was this was not exactly a
confrontational question. he was bringing up the candidate's own words. >> exactly right. and santorum was wrong about what santorum had actually said just moments before. he had not appended the -- on the issue of obama care. look, this is -- this is sad, actually. rick santorum is better than this. it's sad -- >> he was playing to the cameras? do you think he was playing for the cameras? he didn't look that mad. >> absolutely. he has to. i mean, come on. he is there, and what one of the things that is surprising about this is he is somebody who is very concerned about family values. who knows how many children there were present. maybe some of his own seven children. it's out of character in that sense, but it's more destructive in another sense. is that sometimes we as conservatives have legitimate gripes, particularly about the "new york times", but about media in general. >> uh-huh. >> this is crying wolf. this destroys any credibility the next time you might have a legitimate complaint. >> and, of course, santorum then
proceeded raise money off the incident. he got about $250,000 by sending out a letter beating up further on the "new york times". now, newt beginning rich, this past week, is occur tailing his full-time campaigns. he slash the his staff, and he says he is aiming for a brokered convention in tampa. how much attention now should the media give this guy? >> that's a really good question. i personally find newt gingrich incredibly entertaining. >> on that score. >> i am happy to continue paying attention to him myself. he is, you know, not really a candidate that has any chance. he is a legitimate candidate in the sense that he does have supporters. he does have some ideas that probably aren't completely insane. he is not a candidate that is going to make it to the convention in terms of delegates and if you are conserving scarce resources, which, let's face it, every news organization on the planet is, i would not put them towards covering newt gingrich. >> gingrich was on "face the
nation" this morning, and media attention has always been his oxygen as a candidate, has it not? >> it has, indeed. the big question for gingrich right now is whether he will even be able to be nominated because under the rules of the republican convejs, you have to get at least a mrurality of delegates in five different states, and he is not there yet, and i don't really see how he gets there. this is really a zombie campaign. it's very much like an old zombie movie where he knows he is dead, everybody knows he is dead, but he is still capable of doing some damage. >> i don't think he thinks he is dead. >> turning on to mitt romney. he got a lot of attention for telling what he described as a humorus anecdote which happened to be saying this in wisconsin where his family ran an auto company in michigan. he closed the factory and moved the jobs to wisconsin, and this didn't sound very humorous to me. did the press make too much of these things when it reinforces the narrative that romney is sort of this out of touch rich guy, or these are just
self-inflicted wounds? >> it's -- they're self-inflicted wounds. don't you think? really this has been a huge narrative about mitt and people have been jumping on his gaffs far more readily than any of the other republican candidates, but that's because he is the frontrunner. >> he is a frontrunner, and they are self-reinforcing in a way. i think at this point the press doesn't need to play them up so much because they just feed into this continuing narrative. i mean, if he did a different kind of gaff, something more like what rick santorum did, i mean, that would kind of be interesting, but he just keeps doing these things that make him seem like an out of touch rich guy because i think he is an out of touch rich guy. >> you certainly settled that. we got about a minute left, and let me ask you, i see more stories and newspapers in the last few days and the discussion on television about the -- who is mitt romney going to pick as his running mate. leaving behind the silly speculation. that leaves me to suggest that this is really over even though we have the wisconsin and maryland primaries coming up on tuesday. do you think the press is, in
fact, saying, you know, let's wrap this up? >> well, i think that almost everyone that's not newt gingrich or rick santorum is saying that. i mean, it's the mathematics that's hard for anyone else beside mitt romney, and i think people have this general sense of we need to start moving to think about the general election. i this i that, you know, people in the republican party are thinking that too. i do think that speculation about the vice presidential position is a little silly, so i'm not even going to do it. don't ask. >> it's going to go on for months. is the press being premature saying this is pretty much over? >> no. it's taken the press much, much too long. i mean, basically if you have looked at this thing for a while, since florida really it's been kind of over. i think that really by going to between gingrich and santorum, though ron paul seems to have gone into a witness protection program somewhere. basically it should have been over and recognized it over a long time ago. >> that's going to leave a lot of political reporters
unemployed until august. michael, anna marie, thanks for stopping by this morning. >> up next, a supreme court hears a hifrltic case on obama care, but did the media reach a verdict before the arguments were even over? to supply affordable, cleaner energy, while protecting our environment. across america, these technologies protect air - by monitoring air quality and reducing emissions... ...protect water - through conservation and self-contained recycling systems... ... and protect land - by reducing our footprint and respecting wildlife. america's natural gas... domestic, abundant, clean energy to power our lives... that's smarter power today.
there were no cameras in the courtroom as the supreme court spent three days hearing arguments on whether to overturn president obama's health care law, but there was no shortage of legal pundits who weren't shy about offering their opinions. one of them was cnn's jeffrey this was a train wreck for the obama administration. >> i think it's a possibility it might be a plane wreck as well. >> the individual mandate looks doomed and when you think about how important that is, how central that is to this whole affordable care act scheme, it's a very, very big deal. >> did toobin go too far? i spoke to him earlier from new york. jeff toobin, welcome. >> hi, howie. >> do you feel you went out on a limb based on the questioning by the justices in saying the individual mandate on the health care law looks doomed? >> i did. yeah. >> we have videotape. >> no i mean, i did. i -- you know, i have to say it
make embassy little nervous i went out on a limb like that but i sat there, i listened, familiar with how the justices argued and i just thought i was being straight with people. i thought it was doomed. >> now, harry reid, among others, criticized you by name, senate majority leader saying the questions you get from the justices doesn't mean that's what's going to wind up in the opinion. i'm sure you considered that. >> absolutely. but you know, one of the things that's interesting about following the supreme court for a long period of time, ever since william rhenquist was chief justice, he really sort of cut down on the social interaction among the justices and said good fences make good neighbors. so, starting with the rhenquist court, you saw the justices using the oral arguments to communicate with each other even more than to argue with the lawyers. this is their only chance, sort of make their case to their colleagues. so it is not a time in general, for devil's advocate positions.
this is a time when they feel they have a captive audience and can talk to their client and they put forth their points of viewsome that true 100% of the time? no, but based on my experience, that's how i inter bretted what was going on. >> just about two years ago i know you have copped to this but said asked about the legal challenge to obama care, i don't think a constitutional challenge to this is going to go much of anywhere. >> oh, absolutely. i said that. and i was skeptical at 9:30 on monday morning that it was going to go anywhere, but i listened to the arguments and i heard what the justices said and i think this, you know, the world has changed. you know, i -- i was completely wrong about how seriously the court was gonna take this. and -- but, but, you know, facts change and the facts are what the -- what the justices said and now, things are different. >> when you describe the questioning and the oral
arguments as a train wreck and then a plane wreck for the administration's position, that became news, business week wrote a post called the toobin factor, why do you think analysis has gotten so much attention? >> i think it has to do, frankly, with the reach of cnn in a breaking news story, i also think it has to do with the peculiar -- the absence of television. >> most people can't see it for ourselves, we have to rely on you. >> right. and also i think the particular stylized way that court proceedings take place in a language that's not familiar to people need ascertain amount of translation into normal english. you combine all those things together, i have been doing this a long time and i'm familiar with the court. i think that's why my -- i got a lot of attention. by the way, i don't think what i said has the remotest influence on what the actual result is but you know it did get some attention. >> jeff toobin, thanks very much for joining us.
time for the media monitor, our weekly look at the hits and errors in the news business. kudos to the green bay press gazette, a gannett newspaper in wisconsin for turning the spotlight on itself. the paper reported that 25 gannett journalists in the state, including seven who work at the press gazette, signed petitions to recall governor scott walker. that, writes publisher kevin karat toe is disheartening and casts doubt on their neutrality there may be disciplinary action. i can't fathom how journalists failed to recognize supporting a move to kick the republican governor out of office would be seen as blatantly political. back cottrez von martin case, nbc today's show engaged in selective editing in playing the infamous 911 call to police from george zimmermann as he was trailing the teenager. here is how it sounded. >> this guy looks like he is up to no good. he looks black. >> could you see what he was wearing? >> yeah, a dark hoodie.
>> but nbc cut out this question from the dispatcher right in the middle. >> this guy, is he white, black or hispanic? >> he looks black. >> rather than volunteering tray von's race, how it sounded on the "today" show, zimmermann was responding to a question, that is blatantly unfair. nbc says it has launched an internal investigation into its editorial process. finally, she helped keep the "today" show on top for a decade while she was there and now, she will be competing against her old colleagues. katie couric will fill in for a week at "good morning, america" starting tomorrow, trying to help abc snap today's 16-year record as the number one morning show. >> welcome. >> hi, robin. >> great to see you. >> nice to see you. >> here are the keys to the joint. >> all right. have a great vacation. >> hi, everyone, i'm katie couric and i'm thrilled to say "good morning, america." >> we are thrilled to have you, katie. >> thank you, matt. i mean george. >> so, why is couric doing something she never did during her years as a cbs