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tv   Reliable Sources  CNN  February 2, 2014 8:00am-9:01am PST

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revived the practice of reading them in person. the longest spoken speech was bill clinton's 1995 address at over 9,000 words, but he actually spent more time delivering his 2000 speech. >> that is our destiny. >> which clocked in at a chopping 1 hour, 28 minutes, 49 seconds. thanks to all of you for being part of my program this week. i will see you next week. stay tuned for "reliable sources." good morning. i'm brian stelter in new york city this week, it's time for "reliable sources." on the show today, -- weather throws a city into chaos. atlanta, mother nature's latest victim. did it have to be? reporters go to war with the powerful. >> you cannot blame the citizens of atlanta for this. >> the view from both sides of the battle. cnn weather warrior carol costello versus ex-fema chief michael brown. remember him? >> and brownie, you're doing a heck of a job.
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>> amanda knox convicted of the same murder she was once acquitted of. everyone in this country asking, how did this happen? but in europe, a near unanimous cry, finally justice. how the media divided two continents with an expert on the case, dan abrams of abc news. and what unites us, the super bowl may just be television's last great communal event. let the cynics call it the corporate bowl. for hundreds of millions of us, it's good, old-fashioned american fun. we'll get to all of that this morning but up first, governor chris christie, explosive new allegations he knew more about the george washington bridge traffic scandal than he admitted. since bridge gate first broke, the story about christie's staffers scheming to close off part of the bridge for political reasons, christy has denied knowing anything about it in advance. for weeks reporters haven been digging looking for evidence of what christy knew and when he knew it.
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on friday afternoon what looked like a big scoop from "the new york times" in a letter the lawyer for david wildstein the man that oversaw the lane closings said this, i'm quoting, evidence exists tying mr. christy to having knowledge of the lane closures. when the times story about the letter first appeared it said that christie, again quoting here, knew about the lane closings when they were happening and he, wildstein, had the evidence to prove it. that's big news, right? well, here's the possible problem. it's not exactly right. a full disclosure, until two months ago i worked at "the times" and to me it's the finest newspaper in the world. let's look mores closely at the story here. david wildstein's lawyer said such evidence exists. he didn't say it's in wildstein's possessions. "the times" revised its copy to say that and the web noticed that instantly. the "times" seemed to make a mistake. here's the bigger problem. chris christie is in some ways the frontrunner for the republican nomination. everything he says and does is
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pounced upon by the 24/7 internet and cable news cycle. here's alex wagner reacting to the news after "the new york times" story was published. >> we have breaking news. a bombshell revelation from ex-port authority official david wildstein who carried out the lane closures on the george washington bridge. wildstein says he has proof of -- that governor chris christie knew about the plans to close those lanes while they were happening. >> the network eventually reported it more accurately, as did others, but reported like that on other major outlets at the time. on saturday christie's camp attacked "the new york times" for, quote, sloppy reporting and attacked wildstein for basically being a bad guy, who keep in mind christie appointed in the first place. the "times" says it regularly updates stories, nothing unusual happened here and quoting now they say we do not note changes unless it involves an error. joining me now is the "times" reporter that wrote the story, kate zernike. welcome. thank you for being here. >> thanks, brian. >> the first question has to be,
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wasn't that an error to say the evidence exists and he has the evidence? >> so the story said two things. the letter said two things. one, that the governor was lying when he said he didn't know about the lane closures until after they were he over and evidence exists and the second thing, the governor was lying about david wildstein and he has the evidence to prove that. what the letter says is david wildstein says the governor is lying and he has evidence to prove the governor was lying. yes, could we have made this more clearer? yes. did we make it more clearer? yes. >> sounds like you're saying this is part of the typical process for breaking news on the web? >> yeah. ideally it would be more perfect but look, this is, you know, it was up for about 20 minutes, we went back -- >> you realized quickly it was not perfect? >> you know what, honestly i was continuing to report the story. we had published the letter, put the letter on the web and read the letter and said make the lead more clear. i don't remember what the lead first said, whether it said -- says he's lying and has the evidence to prove it, which is still again true, because that is what wildstein is saying.
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the governor lied and i have -- >> he doesn't have the evidence to prove it. >> he's saying i have the evidence to prove the governor lied and the evidence exists to say the governor knew about the lane closings when happening. the evidence -- he is saying i have evidence to show the governor lied, evidence to prove that. >> don't you feel like that initial description in the lead is an error worth correcting? >> everything we know about things story, bridge gate, everything we know about time for traffic problems in fort lee, comes from david wildstein. when he got that e-mail saying time for traffic problems said got it. david knows what conversation took place before what the christie administration knew about this. the fact that david wild stein is saying the governor lied is still a big news story. >> shouldn't changes like that be labeled on the web so readers know something changed? >> i don't remember what the original lead said but it said something about wildstein says the governor lied and he has evidence to prove it. >> right. later the headline changed, got softened and now says something like christie linked to closures on -- of lanes. is that a typical newspaper
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process or was there something more? >> i think that's a typical newspaper process. in fact, we change headlines op on the web not to reflect changes but make it look like it's something new i guess. i think originally the headline, the news alert went out, still stands, wildstein -- lawyer for wildstein says the governor lied. >> when you hear the christie camel saying this is sloppy reporting it sounds like you vehemently disagree. >> yes. i said this two weeks on your showerly time the christie administration is attacked it attacks -- >> they make it about something else, mainly media bias. >> since the accusations by the mayor of hoboken, i've had christie administration officials call me with rumors about her and none of them turn out to be true. attacking the messenger. >> here what's the drudge report put up when your story was posted wrote -- the drudge report not a fan of christie to begin with, he knew, and after the story updated the headline changed with the question mark, he knew? isn't that the problem with the
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web journalism environment we live in. as stories get clarified, headlines get softened, questions get risen like that? >> we put the letter up right away. if the drudge report doesn't read the letter and look at what it says, you know, that's -- i can't control the drudge report. >> it sounds like you read the comments on the christie camp last night when they went -- >> yeah -- >> these five bullet points and one was the sloppy reporting line. to you, i hear you saying they're trying to change the story away from what wildstein is saying. >> yeah. the first point was that "the new york times" was sloppy reporting. the rest of the points david wildstein -- i can't remember what they called him. basically making him look like a volatile individual. >> tumultuous. >> thank you. >> and the five things they listed he had done were all but one things that he had done before governor christie approved his hiring at the port authority. you have to question why they're attacking david wildstein at this point. >> does it make your job more difficult, invoke you, say the
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"times" was sloppy, make the harder for you to report and write? >> i don't want to give my age but i've been doing this a while so i'm not exactly unsed to this. >> this is not the toughest story you've had to encounter. >> no. >> you said sources were coming out of the woodwork, more willing to talk on the record than they have been in the past. >> that is true. also again you look at the mayor of fort lee afraid to talk about this back in september because he thought he would be put on the line and the governor would still be able to punish him. you've been seeing him much more talking about this, feels a little more free. >> and do you expect anything this week in terms of wildstein? sometimes when i was a reporter at the paper with you, sometimes i would write stories and i couldn't say everything i knew on a certain day. but i knew more was coming. is this one of those cases where you wrote that originally because you know more is coming? >> i think the original lead, again, saying that wildstein said christie lied, is because as i said earlier we know wildstein is a central figure in
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this case. while i don't have any particular bombshell to drop, we know wildstein is probably has a found of evidence. >> what is the evidence? >> exactly. >> we now saw conservatives commenting on-line this morning that, you know, time is passing without the evidence, maybe we shouldn't be jumping to conclusions. do you think we will see any evidence any time soon. >> the subpoenas are due tomorrow. a lot of people including christie's campaign manager are intending to plead the fifth or beg for more time. i would have said this week but now with the delay of subpoenas it's going to be a couple weeks before we get hard evidence. >> maybe i'll try to invite you back in two more weeks if you're willing. thank you for being here. >> thanks, brian. >> when i come back, a very troubling story, something still developing this weekend, woody allen's step daughter and her first person allegations he sexually assaulted her. one of the best legal correspondents i know will be here, that's abc's dan abrams, you'll want to hear what he has to say.
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. disturbing allegations this morning about what woody allen, his now adult step daughter dylan farrow telling her story. she allegations he sexually assaulted her when she was 7 years old in the early 1990s. this is not entirely a new story. it was investigated in the
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early '90s and allen not charged. this is the first time we've heard her account of what happened. the details are horrifying, and she calls out a number of stars who have worked with allen, she asks, what if it had been your child? what if it had been you? cnn, of course, has reached out to allen and all of the principals for comment but we haven't gotten a response. joining me to talk about this, chief legal affairs anchor dan abramgs of abc news and the co-anchor of "nightline" and covered this story extensively. >> hi, brian. >> as i mentioned the allegations have been out here before and they've been investigated before. what is new here. >> >> what's new is hearing it in her own words, meaning we've heard her having been interviewed, we heard certainly back in the day a videotape of her as a child, but now as an adult woman, describing in detail what she says happened, is new and in my view, no question, news worthy. >> is getting to create weeks of coverage now? especially at oscar time, to have these celebrities asked about her? >> i don't think it's to lead to
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the celebrities, i think it's going to make woody allen's life a little more difficult in the sense it did seem this kind of faded into the background and people stopped talking about it. >> but then the farrows somehow brought it back with ronan tweeting about -- >> but a tweet is different than this letter. this letter is so detailed and powerful that i think that wherever woody allen goes for the next period of months, he's going to be asked about this, he's going to be questioned about it, going to be challenged about it, and -- but i think that as a news story, it's not going to fundamentally change because we've known this was her position. it's the power of the details that she's presenting that i think change this. >> what do you think of the "new york times" decision to publish this, in full on the web, was it the right choice? >> no-brainer. some might say these are allegations that haven't been proven in court. how can you go ahead and publish this? the answer is the legal system and journalists have two
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different obligations. as a journalistic matter this is news. this is a story that had been out there. to hear for the first time in her own words what happened, what she says happened, that's news and i think "the new york times" absolutely made the right call. >> is there any legal scrutiny a newspaper would face publishing a letter like this. >> the remedy is if you're angry, woody allen says these allegations are false, he can sue. he can sue for libel. a and, in fact, in this were in england everyone would be saying if he doesn't sue it means he did it. the laws there are so much easier to sue. people here say it's tough to sue. the reality is, if he says this is false and this is defamatory, he's got a remedy. and that is to file a lawsuit. i don't think it's going to happen. >> because the laws are so different here than they are -- >> the last thing woody allen wants to do is get mired in a lawsuit over this again. woody allen want this to go away. and you can tell that the farrow family wants to make sure this doesn't go away. they feel like it's something that's been forgotten unfairly.
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>> i wonder if it's going to start a conversation more broadly about what it is like for people who say they are victims of sexual assault, and how hard it is to come forward? this may make it easier. >> i think that will be a good and fair discussion to have about the impact of this kind of very honest statement that she says she's making. woody allen says it's not honest, not true, didn't happen, et cetera. but i do think that the specificity, the fact that it's coming out now, will rejuvenate the conversation. >> let's turn to a murder mystery that was in the news again this week. it's been a television staple for years. the amanda knox case. she was reconvicted in an italian court this week. i'm amazed how different the come is in the united states versus europe. in europe it's as if everyone believes she's guilty. what's to make -- what's to account for the difference? >> look, when i was listening to bbc's coverage of this, they keep mentioning the name of the victim, meredith kercher and here it's all about amanda knox.
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that's one of the differences you see in the coverage. look, i think that when you look at the evidence in this case, as i have, very closely, the evidence that she and her ex-boyfriend were involved in the murder is really thin and slim. the evidence that maybe they lied about being in the house that night, well, i think you've got a little bit of a stronger position. when i say in the house, doesn't mean they were involved at all. it means that there had been various stories presented, various accounts given, about whether they were in the house, et cetera, they say that it was -- that they had been consistent, et cetera, but i think that's what's led the italian government a lot of europeans to be more suspicious, but there is a fundamental difference in the way it's been covered. >> the divide really shows the power of the media. >> yeah. >> i wonder if you think abc has ever been too sympathetic toward her. she gave the first interview to diane sawyer. >> i think abc's coverage, for example, i think robin roberts' interview with amanda knox was
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fantastic. she got at what are the key questions. she asked her, what happens if you get extradited. >> she held amanda's hand at one pivotal moment. >> the reality is that at this point, i think that even the media can make a judgment that says, looking at the evidence -- i have. i have looked at the evidence and i do not think that there is a remotely compelling case for murder. if you do that, i think that you can, you know, act accordingly. now do i -- i think that a lot of questions -- i think diane sawyer in particular asked some very hard questions of amanda knox at the time. but look, she is an american citizen who most in this country i think believe was wrongly convicted and, you know, i'm very proud of the coverage that abc has done in the trial. >> this might be a reminder for us when watching court cases and trials in the future that the media can have a role in shaping public opinion. >> oh, enormous role. look, i think that on the whole as i said a moment ago, maybe the media's gone a little too
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far in saying, wait a second, how could this have possibly happened? i wrote an article on trying to put it in perspective a little to say, well just so you understand, here are some issues that came up that may help you explain how this happened. meaning, i'm not saying that they're guilty, i'm not even saying they were in the house that night. but i'm saying there were inconsistencies and questions and issues that were raised that led people at least the authorities there and some others, to say -- >> helping us see from the european perspective and vice versa. that's always good. i recommend the article. read it yesterday. >> good to see you, brian. >> take a quick break now but when i come back a fascinating topic for debate about that weather nightmare in atlanta this week. what obligation do public officials have to journalists. don't they speak for all those people who were stranded on those highways for hours? i'll talk to two people taking strong stands on either side of this. cnn's carol costello and a man once in the media's cross hairs during hurricane katrina,
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welcome back to "reliable sources." i'm brian stelter. the ice and snow nightmare that turned atlanta into a third world city temporarily this week oh, my goodness, incredible traffic jams of 16 hours or more, children stranded at school for days, babies born on the highway, miles of abandoned cars, all of it turning normally koordsal atlantans bitter and angry. people turned on their leaders and demanded to know how did this happen? since i'm a media reporter this is my beat. for me it boils down a single question, in a crisis what responsibility do elected officials have to speak to journalists? what responsibility do they have to answer the questions that in this case a furious city was shouting from their well, stranded cars and rooftops. at first the mayor did appear on cnn and the governor held a press conference but they didn't really take responsibility. and the rage of the city grew. cnn's carol costello interviewed mayor kasim reed the morning after the storm when all hell was breaking loose and listen to this.
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>> we got a million people out of the city. we have not had any fatalities. we've cleared the way of all of our hospitals a pz police stations and -- >> i've heard from public officials before that we didn't have any fatalities, that was by the grace of god. people got out of their cars on icy roadways and -- >> yees for you to say from your anchor seat. >> no. i was out stuck in the traffic. i was one of those people. >> eventually officials began to admit their mistakes. i wanted to explore what this is like for both sides, reporters and officials. we found the right people for the job. our own carol costello who you saw in the clip and michael brown, who was in charge of fema during hurricane katrina in 2005. carol, tell us first, you know, from your personal experience about what happened? you were stuck in traffic like so many other people? >> well, first of all, i tried to leave cnn for the day, right, so i go to my car, try to get out of the parking lot, i wait for an hour, i could not get on to the road that led to my home. i live two miles from cnn.
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so after an hour, i gave up, went back into cnn. hung around with my co-workers for about three hours. i figured oh, surely the traffic could be cleared by then. >> was it? >> no. >> no. i went back out, i traveled a few blocks with no problems. but then i got to a certain point and i just sat in traffic for two hours. at the end of those two hours i just started to inch my way home. two miles in two hours. this is a mild story. some of my co-workers were trapped in traffic for 23 hours. nobody should have to sit in their car and relieve themselves in their car in a modern city. nobody should have to endure that for 23 hours. no one. >> so it was a real crisis. let me play devil's adcrow cate. why should public officials take time out of what they're doing to talk to journalists like you? >> people need to hear from their public officials to know everything was all right. isn't that why we elect these people. they needed to be held
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accountable, number one, number two they needed to tell people in a public forum what they were doing about the problem. it was their responsibility to appear on television or on the radio or whatever. >> michael, i don't think anyone should liken this to katrina. that was a very different thing and it would be offensive to compare the two. >> right. >> you are famous for the sound bite, after the storm, let's go ahead and play it for those who may not remember. >> again, i want to thank you all for -- and brownie you're doing a heck of a job. the fema director is working 24 -- [ applause ] >> they're working 24 hours a day. >> i know those words probably still haunt you in some way. i wonder as it applies to atlanta, what should public officials have done in this case? >> well, to carol's point, public officials do need to be communicating. they need to understand that look, i've been to atlanta 50 times in my lifetime and even on a good day the traffic sucks, carol. let's be honest. when it rains it sucks.
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but to not recognize that there is a potential ice storm coming -- and i've heard the reports, oh, it may go to the east, to the west, that's exactly the thing we had with hurricane katrina. and i kept trying to convince, you know, mayor nagin, governor blanco and others, you need to evacuate the city and you need to start doing these things earlier. the key for public officials is to understand that if they fail to take action, they're going to have much -- many more problems than if they take some action but it's the wrong action. so to the earlier point you asked carol about, should you be talking to these officials? absolutely. that's how people get information about what they should be doing. and i believe that's a good source of information, but i'm also one of these guys -- i've seen too many disasters in my life, that -- and not to pick on carol, but carol, who lives there, could have known that oh, you know, this could get bad, and for whatever reason, i don't know why you didn't leave
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earlier, but carol could have left earlier -- >> i was working. i'm a news reporter. we don't leave early. >> other people, i read a story in "the new york times" people were waiting to hear when the schools were going to be let out. i get that people have to worry about day care, all these other things, but knowing the ramifications of not taking your child out earlier, and waiting solely on elected officials to tell you what to do, it's got to be a balanced -- >> wait wait wait. >> it's got to be balanced. >> you cannot blame the citizens of atlanta for this. this is what the mayor should have done. the mayor should have gotten on television, i don't care what any other public official told him, he should have said wearings is coming, now the school -- i know the school superintendent is not going to close down schools, but you know what happens parents. >> yes. >> maybe you shouldn't bring your kids to school. no public officials did that in atlanta. >> they should. >> and when the traffic was backed up, they went on the air in these press conferences and said, wow, gosh, we did
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everything we could. the weather forecast must have been wrong. >> taken full responsibility right away? >> absolutely. absolutely. to go back to carol's point i can remember vividly, i don't know if it was on this network or another network we had been asking the mayor and governor to evacuate new orleans and we couldn't get them to move fast enough. i thought to your point, carol, well i will go out and say that. i will go out and say, hey, if i lived in new orleans, i think i would be leaving now. and i think that's what officials need to say. look, we know what traffic is like, we don't know where the storm is hitting, it may get really bad, if i were you, i would be going home before traffic gets really bad. >> it made a difference that you live there, doesn't it? >> the weather channel and cnn are based in atlanta. >> it was a strange situation for me because you're right, i was in the middle of it and i'm also a journalist, supposed to remove myself from it. >> we have had those moments during katrina and sandy and other disasters. >> that's right. with you feel for people. at the same time, i had interviewed a series of people previous to my interview with the mayor who were stuck in
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traffic for 23 hours and couldn't get home. there were children on school busses trapped there, they couldn't get to their parents and their parents couldn't get to them. so at the point i started interviewing the mayor i had all of this in my head. i knew that i was representing the people of atlanta. i knew that i had to ask the questions that those people wanted me to ask of mayor reed. that's my responsibility. the reason i was combative with mayor reed was because he kept giving me talking points. and he really -- and i couldn't get past this defensive nature of his and i wanted him to say, i screwed up. this is what i should have done. but this is what i'm going to do now. and that wasn't there. and that was really frustrating to me as a journalist and frankly as a citizen of atlanta. >> michael, when you've been in these cases did you ever feel disrespected or did you
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understand what reporters like carol were doing? no. i remember a specific interview where we were miscommune kagts, i kept getting asked a question over and over and i kept mishearing what the point was, but to carol's point, she absolutely did the right thing and i think what you said about you try to get through the talking points, trying to get through something, that's a lesson that every elected official that's listening to this program needs to pay attention to what you just said and do that. listen to the question, understand where you're coming from, not only as a journalist but a citizen of that community and be willing -- i'm one of these guys that truly believes the american people even in times of crisis, they just want the truth. that's all they want. >> amen! >> and if people would just listen to the journalists when they ask the questions, forget -- because look, i had a communications director, i had the talking points, got talking points from the white house, got talking points from homeland security and i think one of the
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biggest mistakes i made during katrina which i fully admit to in my book, is that you should just listen to the question an answer it truthfully. >> michael brown, carol costello, thank you both for being here. carol, safe travels back to atlanta. >> the traffic is clear, i know exactly, it's going to get warm. >> thank you so much. >> sure. >> thank you. up next, take a touching new tv ad for cheerios, add a misguided tweet from msnbc, and what do you get? you get the threat of a network boycott from the head of the republican national committee. we'll talk to a network insider about what's really going on at msnbc.
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. welcome back to "reliable sources." here's news that will surprise no one. msnbc leans to the left, just as fox leans to the right. sometimes both go way over the line. there's no denying that what msnbc did this week was offensive to a lot of people. a network staffer tweeted out a new super bowl ad, a cheerios comer commercial featuring a biracial family and msnbc taunted conservatives saying this, maybe the right wing will hate it but everyone else will go aw the adorable new cheerios ad. the media pounced, blasting msnbc for that offensive tweet and the republican national committee chairman weighed in as well forbidding rnc staff from appearing on the network. msnbc is recovering from other
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public relations nightmares involving alec baldwin and martin bashir. is the network out of control as the republicans are charging. the perfect person to speak to this works here at cnn, but until months ago worked at msnbc. rare conservative to walk those halls. s.e. cupp one of the host of "crossfire" in providence, rhode island, and with me in new york, local journalist errol louis joins me at the desk. s.e. since you worked at msnbc until recently tell me how you felt about this tweet and what it says about the network? >> well, you know, as i've said, i found it deeply disappointing. that sentiment essentially that half the country is racist for voting republican what it boils down to, is a sentiment you've heard on msnbc if you tuned in from opinion makers and, you know, contributors, but to have it tweeted out and asserted in
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an official capacity was deeply disappointing. i think far more damaging than some of the other non-official comments that have gotten msnbc in trouble in the past. i think phil griffin is aware of how damaging that is coming in an official capacity which is why you saw such swift response from him and the network. >> he did say in a statement the tweet last night was outrageous and unacceptable. apologize and deleted it. we have dismissed the person responsible for the tweet. i personally apologize to mr. priebus and everyone offended. that dismissal was a big deal, to fire someone over this. you've said this is a network out of control, spiraling out of control. why do you believe that? >> well, you know, as you said, it's not shocking or surprising to anyone that the network leans left, right. i think what's out of step here is that the network's reputation, their whole ethos,
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is that they're smart, they're intellige intelligent, there's rigorous analysis and debate, they're why folks like chris hayes and steve core knack ki and ezra klein have found a home at that network because the audience expects smart debate and what that tweet, i think, did is undermine the intelligence of the typical msnbc viewer and look, i got to know the msnbc viewer very well, for the year that i was there. they're a vocal group. i heard from them a lot. despite the fact that they're very liberal, they're also -- they're intelligent and i think that a tweet that cheap really just -- the viewer and i think a lot of the comments in the past that have gotten folks at msnbc in trouble, you know, melissa harris perry giggling about a biracial mitt romney family, undermines the intelligence of
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the typical msnbc viewer. that's a problem for msnbc. if they're purporting to be intelligent and intelligent network with folks like rachel maddow on and i think folks like rachel maddow and chris hayes and steve are smart, they are -- they are presenting rigorous debate, then everything on that network really has to live up to that standard. this tweet certainly did not. >> i agree about that intellectual quotient and why the head of the network was seething about this. errol, let me bring you in about the rnc's claim about a boycott that day which was quickly rescinded once there was an apology. what was the republican national committee trying to do with this? >> some of this is almost the equivalent of professional wrestling, right. there has to be outrage, drama, there has to be a demand, but i mean, realistically this is a bit of a negotiation, right. we're not surprised there's politics involved here and reince priebus needs to show his party he's going to stick up for
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them and their conservative base whenever and however he has to. but, you know, as we get closer to the fall elections and certainly the 2016 campaign, the networks, especially msnbc and the republican party, are going to do this little dance where the republicans are going to say, we may not put up any guests. we may not give you any candidates. we may not give you any debates. it's a negotiation. if msnbc does what it's supposed to do and has the kind of impact that we think and expect they will have, believe me, the republican candidates will be right alongside each other debating on msnbc. >> so in that case, you don't think it will hurt msnbc to have these series of unfortunate events. do you think it will hurt them in any other way? >> i think it hurts them as s.e. said. one of the things that melissa harris perry show to take an example, they do a very good job of bringing out voices, people of color, women, experts who don't normally get much time on sunday or any other time, and for this to sort of, you know, to lose a point on that brand,
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that very important brand, with a cheap twitter joke are not what networks are supposed to do. phil griffin is exactly right to look at policiepolicies, look a personnel and make sure they don't make that mistake again. look, we've got somebody like clearance thomas as part of a multiracial family and so is bill de blasio. it's not about right or left when it comes to who you live and what kind of a family you form. msnbc you would think would be the first people to realize that and get that right. >> stand up for that. s.e. cupp, do you think there's a risk some of this devolves into just beating up on each other in the media and people end up tuning it out or do you think these things matter and we have to explain them to people the right way? >> i think they do matter. i mean, for people like rachel and chris hayes and andrea mitchell, i mean these are influential serious people, they're smart, they're influential both within the network and i think among viewers, and this does them no
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favors. i mean these people have real credibility and currency in the media and i would think that they would be as outraged by this and worried about this as conservatives. look, msnbc doesn't feed to retain conservative viewers. i bet they don't have -- >> i think we may have just lost s.e. cupp there. her points are well taken as are errol. thank you for being here, s.e., if you can hear us thank you for being here as well. i'm getting tweets from viewers watching who are msnbc fans saying the tweet wasn't even offensive at all. that shows the range of opinions that are out there. we get to what everyone is talking about today, that is the super bowl. is this the last thing left in america that brings all of us together? [ male announcer ] did you know that if you wear a partial, you're almost twice as likely to lose your supporting teeth? try poligrip for partials. poligrip helps minimize stress which may damage supporting teeth by stabilizing your partial. care for your partial.
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welcome back to "reliable sources." i probably don't need to tell you we're a few hours away from the biggest sports advertising and pop culture event of the year. most of all it's a tv show, the last great unifying television event. the super bowl of course. these events used to happen more
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often but now instead of having three networks we have hundreds. we all watch our own thing. the question is, is the super bowl an american institution because we need one, we love it or is it being manufactured for us by network hoopla and corporate outlays. listen to what host joel klatt told me. >> the super bowl has grown to a point that it's the one thing in our culture as americans that completely cross borders. it doesn't matter if you're into pop culture, if you're into sports, a sports enthusiast, a football fan, basketball fan, baseball fan, it's the one thing everybody watches. >> here's why he can say that. tights most watched event on tv every year. the second most popular thing is the oscars. 40 million viewers watched that last year. and the super bowl, 109 million americans watched last year. those numbers come from nielsen and they're actually incomplete. the numbers are actually higher if the super bowl and i'll
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explain why in a moment. here to talk about how how this became our favorite extravaga a extravaganza, richard dikes, and zeke randerson. guys, we are a few hours away. i wonder if you think the media -- what role the media plays in building this up as a communal event? >> well, i mean, it's been going on ever since we decided who was going to be in the super bowl. you immediately start looking at the personalities, and the narratives, and obviously this year it's peyton manning. will he win his second super bowl? he's the face of the nfl. you have a superstar to build the narrative around, the media is culpable, if you, will of spreading this around. but the game is exciting too. even if you're a casual fan, watching great athletes on the field for a brief period of time is something to enjoy as an important part of american culture. >> might be koount sbuive to think about how high the ratings
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get going because it seems football is besieged by things like concussions, yes it continues to grow in popularity. >> it's a pastime. the ratings go up because it is the last communal experience we have. fox will probably get 112 million viewers this year, set a record. >> knenielsen is only counting people at home. not counting bars or -- must be higher. >> the real rating is probably around 171 million. >> with everybody awake. >> that's extraordinary. but to talk about why this is so big, you have to remember, espn, cbs sports, nbc sports, fox sports 1, there are all these other properties that are not even broadcasting the game that are fueling this hype leading up to sunday. so whatever the next work is that has the super bowl, they get the added built-in sort of lead-in from all their other competitors. >> i'm glad you mentioned that. i asked espn's adam schefter about that when i visited their
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camp in new york city. here's what he had to say. >> the event helps make espn and it's a marriage of convenience and i think that's the idea of any good business relationship. right? two people helping each other. >> we always talk about the super bowl being the corporate bowl, but is it more purely corporate this year, do you think, because it's in new york city where all the marketers and advertisers are? >> if you look at the nielsen ratings, and we've agreed they aren't fully complete, but one thing we know the spike and the peak at least over the last three years during the halftime ak so, the game is not even actually on. it's been the entertainment at halftime which draws the most eyeballs. so i think, yes, definitely, you know, corporate america is driving this, but there are still so many other pop culture elements to the super bowl that makes this a touch stone moment for most americans. >> adam schefter about 147,000 espn employees covering this game. l.z. is correct in that fox will put out these numbers after the game but your traditional nfl game may be viewed by 65% men, 35% women.
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the super bowl is much closer to 54%, 55% men, 45% women. the demographics are good all across the board from young and old, different races and jernds. it's one of these game where is you -- >> but why don't controversies affect that? >> because football is our passion and maybe sometimes a little bit of our -- i don't know what it is, voyeuristic kind of moral problem that we have with the concussions but yet we're so in love with the violence, so in love with the game that i think sometimes we look past knowing that these guys are suffering for us 20, 30 years down the road. >> they're also well compensated. >> that's correct. >> in america, when you know the guys are informed and they know what they're getting into and they're making hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars to do what they do it's easy as viewers to go, they know what they're getting into. even with all the information about concussions, that they're still choosing to play this game alleviates us as the viewer of
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the burden of the moral burden why watch it. because they're making the choice to do it. >> mentioning the advertising of course. just refresh my web browseer, seeing what's the most popular ad before the game starts. looks like it's this budweiser pum pi ad. let's iran clip of it and we'll talk about it briefly. ♪ only know you love her when you let her go ♪ ♪ and you let her go ♪ and you let her go >> 33 million views at the moment on youtube. these ads are not ads anymore. they're multimedia campaign, aren't they, rich snard. >> absolutely. you set them up or release them before the game to try to get some momentum. that ad is great, fun. you've seen the schwarzenegger and bud light. >> will there be any surprise ads we haven't seen yet? >> i'm a little curious to see how this david beckham a&l campaign.
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they've been smart on twitter trying to encourage people to vote. i'm curious for cover/uncover. >> looks like chrysler, whether it's eminem, clint eastwood, they usually get a lot of talk after the game. >> richard, l.z., thanks for being here. that's insane. yep, and you can customize it. i can download anything i want. [ girl ] seriously? that's a lot of music. seriously. that's insane. and it's 15 bucks a month for the family. seriously? that's a lot of gold rope. seriously, that's a signature look. you don't have a signature look, honey. ♪ that's a signature look. [ male announcer ] only at&t brings you beats music. unlimited downloads for up to 5 accounts and 10 devices all for $14.99 a month. ♪
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we're all out of time. thanks for watching. see you next week. "state of the union" with candy crowley begins right now. on super bowl sunday, there is no "i" in team, but there is in politics. today, game on. >> wherever i can take steps to help working families that's what i'm going to do with or without congress. >> presidents do not write laws. that's what congress does. >> as house republicans plotted legislative strategy, the president took his one-man show on the road and sat down with cnn's