tv Reliable Sources CNN January 13, 2013 8:00am-9:00am PST
james baker's autograph seems pretty consistent since high school as evidenced here on a speeding ticket from a youthful indiscretion. in his later years you and see his altered his penmanship and switched from junior to iii. paul o'neill says, absolutely not. he would not change his signature, even for the mighty dollar. by the way, secretaries reuben, baker and o'neill will be on a gps special tonight "memo to the president, road. for a second term." they will offer advice to the president and others on how to navigate the grid lock in washington, foreign policy and more. that is tonight at 8:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. eastern and pacific right here on cnn. the correct answer to our gps challenge question was, "a," beijing. it is 442 kilometers long and has nearly 6 million daily users. the second biggest subway system
in the world is also in china. it is shanghai. london and new york come third and fourth respectively. thanks to all of you for being part of my program this week. i will see you next week. stay tuned for "reliable sources." there were plenty of predictions after the tragedy of newtown that the media would lose interest, that the subject of guns would quickly fade. that hasn't happened. when joe biden weighing in this week and some television commentators pushing the issue. such as when cnn piers morgan invited a controversial talk show host who wants him deported for his views on gun control. >> 1776 will commence, again, if you try to take our firearms! >> alex, i get accused when i get you guys on of talking over you and trying to be rude. i'm trying to be civil. >> are the media conducting a serious debate or an incendiary one? lance armstrong after a
decade of denial is heading to oprah's couch to confess to doping. but does she still have the cultural clout to save him? in other sports news, brent musburger spending too much time did the networ need to apologize? plus, jimmy kimmel plunging into the late night wars against leno and letterman. >> used to be on at midnight and now we're on at 11:35. now closer to co-hosting "the view." i'm howard kurtz and this is "reliable sources." the television cameras were invited to the office building as vice president biden held his first meetings on the gun issue. >> every once in a while, something that awakens the conscious of the country and
that tragic event did in a way like nothing i've seen in my career. >> but a few words uttered by the vp that the president might consider changing some policies by executive order sparked an explosion in the conservative media. >> what you're experiencing here is an out of control, an arrogant, an unconstitutional power grip. >> embarked on a ferocious anti-gun campaign. you better support gun control or else. >> the nra has created this mystique about themselves. they expect us to be enthralled by that mystique. the beltway press is enthralled by that mystique. >> injecting poison into the conversation as i see it on gun reform. >> joining us now to examine the media's coverage of this volatile issue. paul farhi. robert costa, washington editor at "national review." in new york keli goff political
correspondent for theroot.com. is the cover of this issue, joe biden's meetings this week, is it fair or a bias towards some government action? >> there's probably not enough coverage of the biden working group and what's happening on capitol hill. the conversation seems to be dominated by the talking heads on the cable news networks about what their antics are in that nightly program. more coverage of the political process. i believe that. >> you believe the substance is being overshadowed by the political shouting, so to speak. >> the public expects real objective it etaand expects reporting and what they're getting is a spectacle on television that is called dialogue. >> keli goff, what do you think about that? >> i think that's somewhat true, but not surprising. when i write articles about the fiscal cliff debate and the ins and outs and what's being cut and those don't get as many clicks as who is being mean to the president or who the president is being tough talking to. right? so, a lot of americans follow media coverage about the
shenanigans, the inner workings and the purse nals and don't want to hear the nit aty-gritty about the details. does it mean we don't have a responsibility to discuss those details? absolutely we do. i'm being forth right on what goes on. it's not surprising that people are following the fight more than the details of what could happen with the legislation. >> that is the core issue. what our responsibility is to not only cover this issue, but maybe push it. after every other mass shooting. we lived through a lot of them of them in the past couple of decades. the gun issue flares up. this time seems to be very different. why? >> you had a very emotional issue. 20 school children, if that doesn't get anybody's attention, nothing will. we're not pushing an agenda, we're covering the news. the president has raised this issue, i should say with a lot of support from the public and we are going with the newsmakers have led us. >> what are not doing enough on
the substance of the debate and what the biden group is pursuing. we don't know what the administration proposed, but we should find out within days. do you think there is a deficit of coverage there? >> no, i think there is a surfeit of coverage. there is, it has been on the front page every single day that this working group has been around. it's on television all the time. there's no bigger issue in america right now. >> i disagree respectfully because when you look at what's getting attention. david gregory bringing an empty clip on "meet the press." alex jones on to cnn and newspapers publishing the addresses of gun owners in the front page. so, that's what's getting attention. i read "the post" and read those stories and they're all around in the press, but ne'er not getting attention because it's the circus on the television. >> those stories are part of the larger story. >> true. >> they should be the larger story. >> it raises the attention of the larger issue, as well. >> we're going to come back to
some of those very incidents that you mentioned, robert. let me come back to keli on this issue. went basically hay wire over vice president biden saying the possibility of executive orders. as if this meant that the government would send out agents to start confiscating guns. >> right. well, to be clear, i think we all know that sean hannity goes crazy when there's something mentioned in terms of executive orders. >> he wasn't the only one. every conservative website raised the specter of averting the constitution when in reality if you look at it, relatively little this president or any president can do. the big ticket items and closing loopholes at gun shows and background checks, assault weapons, reinstating assault weapon ban. the executive order thing just kind of exploded. >> i would also say this is specific to this president. not only very little he can do in terms of executive order but very little he can do on gun
control. what's faceinating the moment he got elected, gun sales have gone through the roof. gone through the roof when there has been a shooting. i'm making the point that there is something specific to this president that we discussed on your show that is just not specific to this issue, but a larger story here in terms of the phobia they have about him because in terms of gun control and his record hasn't done enough to warrant some of this out of the box fear that is over the top. >> barack obama did virtually nothing about gun control in his first term. to be fair, neither did the press. i want to come back to because it has gotten so much attention when piers morgan had on his cnn program alex jones, who is a conservative talk show host and a gun rights activist and a rather high decibeled a gulf coast for his position. let's take a look at how that went down. >> stalin took the guns and fidel castro took the guns, hugo chavez took the guns and i'm here to tell you, 177 6 will commence, again, if you try to
take our firearms? come to america, i'll take you out shooting and you can join the republic! >> you finished? >> yes, i am finished. you will not take my right. >> how many gun murders in britain? >> how many great white sharks kill people every year but they're scared to swim. >> i guess he wasn't finished. how did piers morgan handle alex jones? >> did anyone at cnn or piers morgan show ever see or hear alex jones before they booked him on that show. >> he let him have his say and alex jones his views were on display. >> piers morgan thought he was going to have an ox ford debating style debate about gun control. >> you think so? >> he kept saying it on the air, matter of fact. alex jones doesn't play by those rules and they should have known that going into it. alex jones is a monologist. he will go on and on and on. >> what piers morgan said he
said that you expose the ridiculousness in his view, he's an advocate on this issue of gun control. alex jones by putting them on the air, letting them rant and rave and he said this has been aviewed 5 million times on youtube and has certainly gotten a lot of attention. >> it is great for alex jones. i'm sure his ratings on his radio show will go up tremendously because of it. >> can i disagree a little bit? examining this as a contest of who got to say more words, then, yes, al jones won. if you examine this as who came across looking more sane? than piers morgan won. i have to say i heard from a lot of piers morgan said who say, i'm mad at alex jones because he made me defend and have to like and cheer for piers morgan for once. one of the best post er childre and i can think of gun owners that are not proud this is the
voice representing them. on that regard, i think it was effective because a lot of sane people say the gun control can go too far and they hear someone like this talking about 1776 rebellion. that's not what i want to be associated with. >> let me get robert in, keli. >> they shape policy. >> i think the entire decision from the editorial perspective to bring alex jones a known 9/11 conspiracy thaeirrist who think the government is working against people to put him on primetime and portray him as and i think alex jones ranting and raving, that's entertainment. if the press wants serious journalism, they shouldn't bring alex jones. >> i don't think he's fair to say that cnn presented al jones as the face -- >> why give him the air time? >> the guy has the following, right? you're saying he shouldn't be allowed on the air. >> if you're trying to have an
aox oxford style debate. >> it's television. >> except that alex jones was representing the nra's position except just a greater volume. >> argue that alex jones does not represent their position. >> their rhetoric is very -- >> just briefly, keli. >> this is the rush limbaugh debate. when someone has 2 million listeners, you can't dismiss them. if they want to reach an audience, they're not ashamed to have alex jones have a link out to their site and say he doesn't represent us. >> just gives alex jones unnecessary credibility and he does not represent the main stream perspective. >> i think he represents the nra's perspective on the debate and, in fact, many gun advocates who would say right on to him. >> i think a lot of the gun advocates don't have the hysteria that jones has -- >> you're talking about style, you're not talking about
substance. >> alex jones's message has a lot of questionable aspects to it and does not represent the conservative way of thought. >> let me move on by saying other voices in the media speaking out for debate about what to do about guns. jon stewart did something that was not necessarily funny but from the heart. and david gregory, you mentioned earlier, actually led the program a couple weeks ago when i'm sure we have a picture of it to show you, he was interviewing the ceo of the national life association waved that high-capacity magazine clip. d.c. authorities saying he will not be prosecuted and nbc saying this was done solely for journalistic purposes. >> it was a prop that became the story. something that shouldn't be the story. the media wants to cover this debate, yet always seem to become the story, especially when they're covering these heated issues. >> that gave the pro-gun crowd
an opportunity to beat up on the media, which is also part of the strajgy of the nra to demonize the media. this was a perfect opportunity for them. >> do you see -- go ahead, briefly, keli. >> this is what the president said in the "meet the press" interview a week ago, without it there is very little you can get done in this town. what this whole conversation is whether we cover these big personalities and make them too much part of the larger stories. that's how we get readers and viewers to pay attention to the policy debate. >> i had an avalanche amount of people that journalists are not above the wall, gregory should be persecuted and d.c. authorities say he was exerci exercising his first amendment rights. not one that should result in him being behind bars. thanks very much for stopping in this morning. when we come back, lance armstrong ready to seek forgiveness with oprah winfrey. does she still have that kind of
clout? should espn apologize for musburger gushing over a player's girlfriend? right in the old bucket. good toss! see that's much better! that was good. you had your shoulder pointed, you kept your eyes on your target. let's do it again -- watch me. just like that one... [ male announcer ] the durability of the volkswagen passat. pass down something he will be grateful for. that's the power of german engineering. ♪ back to you. is the only yogurt brand endorsed by weight watchers and your taste buds have always endorsed us. so, you know what this means... this is a real win win! yoplait, it is so good. is efficiently absorbed in small continuous amounts. citracal slow release continuously releases calcium plus d with efficient absorption in one daily dose.
lance armstrong has insisted again and again to many journalists, including me and to the public that he won all those cycling titles without taking performance enhancing substances. >> listen, i have said it for seven years, i said it for longer than seven years. i have never doped. that's crazy. i would never dothat. that's -- no, no way. >> but now those denials are coming to an end with armstrong planning a visit to oprah's couch. he will be interviewed on oprah's cable show this coming
week. what could that mean for his career and hers? joining us christine brennan. welcome. >> thank you. >> could even an oprah moment help revive lance armstrong's career. >> this is a lose/lose. whatever he has to say, it's way too late. this is a man who has fought too long for, as those clips showed, he has never done anything. now he is going to do a 180 and admit it all. >> but the idea is that you seek forgiveness. you go to the church of oprah and maybe you cry a little bit and america feels sorry for you. >> bernie madoff, if he had shown up three months after the fact. >> that is some company you're putting armstrong in. >> he is in that league. >> i was a national hero, cancer survivor, but let's be clear. he did this to himself. >> this is all self-induced. and he is, i think we can safely say, the biggest fraud, the
worst fraud in the history of sports. >> all sports? >> oh, i absolutely think so. he transcended sports. not just as an athlete. but he moved into that world of our culture with cancer. so, i think things are different. i think the reality is the old days of crying on oprah's couch and coming clean, first of all, i think the american public is smarter than that. this notion that he is going to be able to compete. come back and compete, again. by the way, come back to what? he is retired from cycling. it's triathlons and marathons. it's driving him crazy that he couldn't do this. should have thought of that years ago. this notion he is able to compete, even if he gives up all the goods. all the doctors, names, everything he could possibly think of only reduce his lifetime ban, potentially reduce it to eight years which would take him almost to his 50th birthday. >> let's talk about oprah winfrey. we remember the 25 years when she was a superstar. the queen of talk.
millions of viewers and now has the struggling cable channel. the oprah winfrey channel which gives fewer than 50,000 viewers on average. even if this visit in television terms would be a big success, not that many people are going to see it. >> i have no idea what channel the oprah winfrey network is. >> i had to look it up. >> i'll have to look it up thursday night to watch it. i think that's part of the problem. i understand why she wants it. >> why does she want it? >> this is great publicity. >> it puts her back in the limelight. >> this is supposed to happen in lance's home in austin, texas. she will have a week of really good publicity for her. you know, this notion that she's taking questions, asking people what they would ask lance, not that it matters because i can't imagine she's going to come clean and say what he needs to say. it would require a mini series not 90 minutes on oprah. >> his charity is hurting, live
strong. first a leak to "the new york times" saying he is considering doing something like this and going on oprah and then he is going to confess to some degree. i guess people in his camp or armstrong himself who, by the way, was veciferous with me. he attacked the people of the u.s. anti-doping investigators who were investigating him saying that they were conducting a personal van detendetta. he is a pretty good liar. legality aside, he could get a second chance in the court of public opinion by doing the oprah thing. >> maybe he could. i hear from those people a lot who say he never failed a drug test. that will take care of them. he will lose that last group of people who say he never failed a drug test. he would admit that. some would dab their eyes and we understand, everyone was cheating in the sport, but it opens the legal mine fields for
there is already three lawsuits out there and i can't imagine friday morning, everybody saying if he admitted i'm going after him. then, no matter what he says, this has been missing in the news, we have done it with "usa today" constantly. even if he comes completely clean all the documents, howie, all the layers and layers and hours and hours of giving up the goods, he still would only have the potential to lower that ban to eight years. >> you reported in your newspaper that he had met early on with the head of the u.s. anti-doping agency to try to see whether or not he could make some kind of comeback and make a contribution and that sort of thing. these are kind of acts of desperation. to drive home the point of how cheating and the use of banned substances or taking illegal drugs can taint athletes, you look at what happened this week "new york times" had a blank page who had been admitted to the baseball hall of fame.
roger clemens, sammy sosa, barry bonds. all of whose careers have been tainted by drugs. hard to come back from this, even if oprah wraps her arms around you. >> this is a guy who is more adamant than anyone else that he didn't cheat. he had this opportunity in june. the u.s. anti-doping agency said, come clean and you can be part of the solution and maybe then they would have decreased the lifetime ban. you know, but he refused to do that. so, he had that opportunity in june. so why he's doing it in january, i think, as i said earlier, the american public is smarter than this. this is so transparent. this guy is not sorry that he doped. he is sorry that he got caught. let me turn to one other controversy in the world of sports and that was during the college football championship game. veteran broadcaster brent musberger of espn. perhaps you've seen this online was going on and on about the girlfriend of the quarterback
a.j. okaa a.j. who happened to be in the stands. >> miss alabama and that's a.j. mccarron's girlfriend. what a beautiful woman. >> catherine is her name. little carried away? >> yes, a little carried away. he apologized and became a huge deal for several days. >> why it was such a huge deal? >> mostly because the game was so lousy. that game was a blowout by that time. >> alabama is winning by 80 touchdowns. nothing else to talk about. >> late in the second quarter. so, yeah, i wish we would focus more on women who are participating on the field of play than women on the sidelines. but maybe coming back and talking to you in 30 years on that subject. >> she is, what, former miss alabama. didn't exactly insult her. >> brent's a friend and i respect brent. he has been great. amazing career. what he should have said and i
think he would agree is say there is a.j. mccarron's mother, his girlfriend, miss alabama. and leave it at that. look his whole family is there. >> leave it at that. he was excited. all right, so, in my view goes on "today" show and says what was your reaction to all this? let's take a look. >> i think the media has been really unfair to him. i think that if he would have said something along the line that we were hot or sexy or any derogatory statements like that, that would have been a little bit different. >> so, with katherine webb saying that, does espn need to apologize? >> no. i think it was much to do about nothing. brent musberger made a mistake. worth an apology? i don't think so. if the game had been good, had been close, no one would have paid attention to this. as i said, if you're an
it's not very common for a network to oust a program that is winning its time slot but abc did just that to "nightline" pushing it back one hour in favor of jimmy kimmel. >> starting tomorrow evening, "nightline" is moving to 12:35 eastern. don't you worry, all the great stories you've enjoyed and we've loved bringing to you over the past 33 years will be just one hour later. >> for the first time, there's a three- way comedy faceoff at 11:30 with kimmel taking on letterman and leno. >> for those of you who tune in
expecting to see "nightline" right now, this is not it. "nig "nightline" is on after us and it is a great show. for instance, did you know honey booboo's mother is afraid of mayonnaise? >> what does this mean for late night and "nightline" joining me is gale shister and in new york adam buckman media reporter for tv howl and welcome to you, adam buckman. does america really need another comedian at 11:30? >> that remain fooz be seen. jimmy kimmel got millions of viewers and beat david letterman out on tuesday. are they interested in watching a late-night show and it turns out that they are interested in having a third choice with jimmy kimmel. >> right. obviously, more attention when you make your debut, gale shister.
given leno and letterman have well-established franchises. how does kimmel distinguish himself? >> i think he distinguishes himself by lowering the median age of viewers at 11:35 p.m. right away. i think he attracts a much younger audience. >> lowering from 85 to something more reasonable? >> 85 to at least 83. but, also, if anything happens, i think he may hasten the retirement of letterman. i think that what may happen is if letterman continues to get beaten by kimmel and there's more erosion in his audience, it may end up pushing him off the air. >> interesting publicity build up here, first, let me play jay leno taking, having a little bit of fun with the situation on "tonight show." >> well, here, maybe it's me. take a look. >> late night comedy talk show wars are suddenly becoming a crowded time slot. >> hold it right there.
now, wait a minute. i have been here 20 years, is that the best picture they have of me? >> but what really struck me was the way in which jimmy kimmel, you know, doing interviews in places like "rolling stone." i looked at my papers and i found the quote kimmel says, "you can't be a comedian and not have disdain for leno. he was a master chef who opened a burger king." so adam buckman, is jimmy trying to get a little attention for himself for his big network debut? >> i think he is. i think he's wrong. probably plenty of comedians that would give their right arm, if not both arms to be in jay leno's position of pulling down the incredible money he makes and fame and recognition that he has. that's why most of them got into the business to be jay leno or a aspire to be a person in his position. >> it seemed to me, gail, what kimmel was trying to do. remember how captivated we were
of the conan/o'brien which got everybody talking about late night and that could only help him as the new guy, not the new guy on the block. he had a network for some years but moving up to that prime 11:30 slot. >> if i'm a pr person, it makes perfect sense. but he's creating buzz by going after the king. leno is the king. it is well known that kimmel idleizes letterman. if you're going to shoot for somebody, why not go after the number one funny guy in late night. it's creating a little buzz, but, also, i like kimmel's act. i didn't watch him that much when he was on later. i watched him the past week and i was very impressed. >> you were sleeping. you were very impressed. >> i'm an old person. >> think he's a young, fresh face that could be seriously competitive for abc in this time slot. remember, what was it, t2002 whn
abc caused an uproar to make plans to lure letterman to abc and replace ted koppel. not as much ankest even in the news business of "nightline" being pushed back to the middle of the night. why do you think that is? >> i would say it was a different universe back then. it was a different tv universe. not quite as technologically advance. the universe wasn't as balkanized as it is now. anybody who wants to see "nightline" and doesn't want to stay up that late to watch it can watch it on their computers the next day. it wasn't the same thing ten years ago. so, i think, also, there's a lot more choices. and if you don't want to watch "nightline" and you want to watch another news show, there will be one somewhere. it's a different show, too. don't forget. in 2002, it was koppel. >> exactly. >> you don't have the stature. >> i have to give credit to
sinth cynthia mcfadden and it's tough to put on a news show at 11:35 and beat the two biggest comedians and "nightline" was able to do that, but the program didn't make itself indispensable because more of a variety show where they would do light and more serious topics. >> very much so. >> and the reason abc musked it out of the time period was abc is seeking some sort of parody from 11:35 with a one-hour comedy show to control a lot more variety of advertisers and sponsors than a news program that only lasts a half an hour. just so much commercial time in a 25-minute show, which is what "nightline" had been reduced to and just so many advertisements that want to be with a serious news program. the door just flies open for sponsorships when you put a comedy show on at 11:35.
>> you're giving me the business explanation. but already in the four nights this has happened the audience for "nightline" has been reduced from 4 million to just under 2 million on average. i mean, that is a big blow. >> but you don't know how many -- >> no, you go ahead. >> i was just going to say, you don't know how many of those 2 million are awake. >> and, so, you know, i understand it's a competitive world and as adam just said, comedy rates better and advertisers maybe more want to be associated with it than a show that is maybe leading with the latest terror attack or fiscal cliff battle in washington. but, still, a 33-year-old franchise started famously as american held hostage by koppel back in 1980. part of me that is sad about this, but i don't sense any great discomfort about this, at least in the press. >> the television viewing public is getting plenty of news and they don't really need
"nightline" any more at 11:35 and i don't think "nightline's" coverage has been indispensable to the public consumption of news and their understanding of big stories. i just think that, you know, look, television shows don't have tenure. television is not a university and after 33 years, maybe that's the biggest reason to move nightline out of the time period and also evolve it towards this week night franchise. they are talking about doing primetime "nightline" specials and this is where network news divisions make their money. like "primetime" "20/20" and maybe "nightline" can make money in that way. joe scarborough and meeka bruzinsky go at it on the air.
joe scarborough and meeka bruginika brzezinski are good friends. mika pushed back against joe's argument and things heated up from there. >> i am afraid to use the word because it will not be good for you. okay. because you're being chauvinistic right now and you need to stop. >> am i really? >> i'm sorry. this is not funny. >> no, it's not funny. you're calling the wrong guy a chauvinist. seriously, hold on -- you want to call me a chauvinist. right here. >> stop, let me help you. >> no, let me help you. do you really knowing me and seeing me work around here for five years you want to call me a
chauvinist on television? >> gail shister was that riveting television or hard to watch? >> i don't know about you, but my thighs are quivering. this drives me crazy. joe scarborough talks when he inhales. i have never seen anybody this side of chris matthews who interrupts as much as he does and mika sit there since the beginning like a school girl and makes faces and doesn't fight back. when she says i have a word for you and you're not going to like it i thought, oh, boy, mika has grown a pair. she is going to stand up to this verbal bully and finish a complete sentence and when she says chauvinist. you would have thought she was calling the guy a -- that that was the best she could come up with. >> it's a strong thing to say. >> the whole thing was disappointing. >> it is called "morning joe." he is the star of the show.
these people who work so closely together. they both seem really mad. >> i find it entertaining not that i wish anybody to have a poor day at the office. but it made for riveting television and, as a result, we're talking about "morning joe" today and we don't talk about it that often. to me they came across as two co-workers who work closely with each other every day at the office and as we do with co-workers we like, we sometimes have a bad day with them. i think that is what it was like. it was very relatable. the male/female give and take and what i said about two co-workers having a bad day together where they didn't speak for the rest of the day. that is relatable to most people. >> howie, i totally disagree. i think that she was so restrained. i wanted to jump through the screen and just choke her and say, man up, mika. if that's her being really, really angry.
she's supposed to be a little more, she's supposed to raise the decibel level a little bit the way he does and show her anger instead of discussing her anger and repressing it. in some ways, very gender like. that's the way girls express anger. >> strangling is against the law, even on television. after a break mika brzezinski came back and said she was using it as an adjective and they seem to have made up. >> oh, please. >> thank you very much. up next, my two cents on the nauseating revelations about the crimes committed by one-time bbc hero. [ female announcer ] now yoplait
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into a scooter that talks to the cloud? ♪ or turn 30-million artifacts... ♪ into a high-tech masterpiece? ♪ whatever your business challenge, dell has the technology and services to help you solve it. the tale of the late bbc entertainer jimmy savile gets more sickening. the report by british authorities say savile abused more than 200 children, some of them as young as 8. in 23 cases the assaults took place at bbc television center the last one during a taping a half dozen years ago when savile was nearly 80.
a guardian columnist said he was truly an evil genius and the independent calls him a monster who was hiding in plain site. the police and other institutions fell short but the greatest shame belongs to the bbc which killed an investigation after savile died leaving his crimes to be discovered by itv. after the break, china cracks down on one courageous newspaper and some journalists pushed back. a look at beijing and censorship in just a moment. recommended aveeno has an oat formula, now proven to build a moisture reserve, so skin can replenish itself. that's healthy skin for life. only from aveeno. so skin can replenish itself. ...so as you can see, geico's customer satisfaction is at 97%. mmmm tasty. and cut! very good. people are always asking me how we make these geico adverts. so we're taking you behind the scenes. this coffee cup, for example, is computer animated.
the chinese newspaper called "southern weekend" calling for greater respect for constitut n constitutional freedoms. decimated the editorial and then things took an unusual turn. street protests outside the paper and some journalists went on strike, this in a country where authorities can shut down not just any publication, but punish individual bloggers. joining us now, rebecca mackinnon and former beijing bureau chief for cnn. thank you for coming in. >> thank you. >> china is long accustomed to censorship. why were there street protests and journalists actually going on strike? >> well, there have been strikes before. in 2006 there was a strike at another public over the firing of an editor. >> isn't it risky to do that. >> it is risky, but usually in the past this was not known,
thanks to censorship beyond a very small circle of people. what changed is social media. that the journalists that were going on strike that were angry about having been censored in this case this past week, were on what is called wabl, a chinese version of twitter with lots of followers and are sort of media celeb bri ts, complained about being censored. celebrities that followed them retweeted it and millions of chinese knew about this. >> whereas in the past people wouldn't known have about it. >> so people sympathetic came to support them from around the country. >> since you mentioned social media it's fascinating, china has this vast propaganda apparatus, goes after bloggers, after people posting on twitter, some with substantial followings like you say, how many people the government assigns to this censor every post, every text
message? it seems like a daunting task? >> that's right. they actually can't censor everything. they do targeted censorship. >> to make an example of people. >> in order to go after particular threats that they think could result in national movements against the central government. they actually allow quite a lot of those reporting and tweeting about local issues, local corruption and so on and that enables people to blow off steam. >> that's okay because it fits the government's agenda and doesn't challenge the authority of the party? >> the government could come in and fix the problem it makes them look good. >> there was a compromise in this case involving where the paper was allowed to keep publishing but in the next issue didn't address the controversy everybody was talking about. much of a compromise? >> it was something of a compromise. this newspaper has always been under censorship and always pushing against the controls and i know a lot of people have been fired from the paper over the past several decades. >> people you've met personally. >> yeah. >> this is gaung.
>> and people i've known when i was in hong kong. the compromise is not about stopping censorship, it's about going back to a status quo that existed a year ago before the government started increasing censorship. it's always been the government gives instruction to the editor saying you're not going to cover this, cover x in y way, giving detailed examples about how they have to cover things. and then if they misjudge their instructions then they get in trouble. that was the old system. over the past year, the government has been interfering much more directly prepublication, changing things. and this last example of the new year's editorial was the last straw for a lot of journalists. so it's really the negotiation is about going back to the old censorship system. >> which is still -- >> rather than the new and extreme censorship system. >> even the old system to the westerners sounds totalitarian,
and am necessity international says china has the largest number of jailed journalists. people who challenge this if you're in the business or decide to join the street protest you do this at some risk? >> that's absolutely true. there are jurpists from this paper that have gone to jail for some of the reporting they tried to do. >> why is the government so obsessed with keeping such a tight reign on what is published? it's not like any of these publications or bloggers is calling for the overthrow of the state? >> well, they're worried if they give more room, that some people calling for the overthrow of the state or for multiparty system might emerge. >> it's a slippery slope they're walking. >> they're worried about the slippery slope. >> does it seem to you based on your experience that journalists, new generation of journalists, is more aggressive or more daring in terms of pushing back against this state censorship some. >> it's mixed bag. i think people have different views about how china should evolve or how quickly it should evolve, but the liberal
journalists are just calling, you know, as in the editorial for an enforcement of the existing constitution which guarantees freedom of speech. they're not calling for political change. >> doesn't sound that radical to me but i guess an entrenched bureaucracy doesn't want to allow these voices. thanks for educating us on this sunday morning. still to come, greta van sus stran does more than just cover haiti and an espn pundit talks himself out of a jail and al rocker's visit to the white house. straight ahead. see that's much better! that was good. you had your shoulder pointed, you kept your eyes on your target. let's do it again -- watch me. just like that one... [ male announcer ] the durability of the volkswagen passat. pass down something he will be grateful for. that's the power of german engineering. ♪ back to you.
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greta van susteren went back to haiti on friday three years after the devastating earthquake there. the fox news correspondent has been to haiti so many times that a new school and orphanage has been named after her, the greta home and academy dedicated by the reverend franklin graham. >> it's life changing for these children to have the opportunity to come to a school like this that has computers, that has just good quality teachers and get a good education. >> stand up, please. good morning, sir. >> good morning, sir. >> van susteren and her husband have bought computers for the 80 children in the home. that's an effort that goes beyond journalism and what many of us in this business do which is cover disaster and then move on. the washington redskins rookie quarterback robert griff fin iii injured his knee last week sparking a huge beltway controversy over the wl the team's coach should have played him.
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