tv Reliable Sources With Brian Stelter CNN July 24, 2022 8:00am-9:00am PDT
hey, here we are, i'm brian stelter live in new york and this is "reliable sources." we examine the story behind the story and figure out what is reliable. o'donnell says she was threatened and abused and forced to retract articles. she'll join me live from a safe place in a few minutes. wildfires, record temperatures and as one front page says a wakeup call about the climate crisis. what the media needs to do differently now and later, our tech giant sending up warning
si signs about a looming recession in the united states. we'll crunch the numbers. first, let's say it. nay to the naysayers. the skeptics and cynics that said the january 6th hearings wouldn't matter. turns out they were. >> reporter: -- very wrong. the media personalities that said nobody would watch and care have seen otherwise. let's be honest. there was a bit of this prognosis, some people thought the summertime hearings would fizzle out over time but they actually picked up steam as june turned to july. tv ratings stayed strong throughout the series. it's weird to say it's a series but it was a summer series of television and urn turned out t one of the highest rated shows of the summer. despite the maga people that said nobody was watching, it reached tens of millions of people. as an attention exercise, it gained a lot of attention. as a fact 2350finding effort, i brought a lot of new facts.
as a political expert, i'll save that. tucker charleston called the shameful other television stations aired the hearings. fox didn't show the prime time finally so to speak and yet, everybody else did and the news still seeped through. including in murdoch media. there are blistering new editorials this weekend in rupert murdoch's "wall street journal" and new york post, both raising alarms for donald trump. here is the headline from the post saying trump's silence on january 6th is damming. "the post" saying he's unworthy to be president again. there is a lot of tea leaves to read there and i got an excellent panel to do just that. we'll bring in the panelists in a couple minutes but first, let me go ahead and bring in sarah long well. she's a republican strategists, the publisher of the bull work and the host of a podcast called "the focus group." sarah, you've been out there conducting focus groups all
summer long. how many have you conducted while these hearings were underway? >> we've done nine focus groups of trump voters since the hearings began and it's really been a stunning turn around to focus groups that we were doing prior to the hearings. prior to the hearings, we were seeing usually half of any group of trump voters would want to see him run again in 2024, but since the hearings have been going on, four of those nine groups zero of the respondents wanted him to run again. we ran an analysis and in nine groups, there was 15% of the trump voting respondents that wanted to see him run and the main reason they gave was a pure political calculations. not that they don't like donald trump, they still do if he is the nominee, they will happily vote for him but they are starting to worry that he can't be elected again. that he has too much baggage and this is where people are asking, did these january 6th hearings
breakthrough? >> right. >> i don't think they broke through so much as they seeped in and so i think there is just this sense among these voters now that donald trump has too much political baggage and that there is other people that have a better chance of beating him. i'll share one thing that sounds obvious that these voters talk about a lot. they say if donald trump is the nominee, he gets four years but if it's ron desantis or christie gnome, they get eight years. that sounds obvious but when you think about it from a republican voter perspective, it makes a lot of sense. >> so it's just a simple political calculous. these voters telling you hey, i don't think he can win again. he's too weak. i still like the man personally but i'll go with someone else. >> yeah, i mean, it's not even that they think he's weak. they think he should be like an older statesman of the party. they -- and let me -- here is another thick tng that's interesting.
everyone they are interested in going forward, they describe themselves as america first republicans. everyone they're interested in seeing run again, it's not nikki haley and mike pence, it's people from the american first trump wing of the party. they're in trump's camp. ist weird. this is a conversation is trump's grip on the party slipping and my answer has been no. i don't think his grip on the party is slipping. he's still completely changed its direction but in terms of the voters, they're starting to say is there somebody else from this america first wing that could win and get us eight years of republican domination? >> how important is that, that the media needs to distinguish between trump and trump-ism. you're saying trump-ism is as strong as ever in the focus groups you do. >> it's really important. i think there is this idea of so when people say trump's grip on the party is slipping, they're talking about trump the man but there is trump the phenomenon and trump the phenomenon led us
to nominate, us, republican voters in republican primaries people like doug and herschel walker and he has ads out there saying we're going rhino hunting. there is a very scary, very stop the steal set of candidates emerging in these gop primaries and that is all trump's influence so anybody wants to argue trump's influence as a phenomenon is waning is wrong but it's possible trump the man in terms of being the 24 nominee, that that is waning although, i'll say, if he still has his 30, 40% of diehards that stick with him, that's still putting him out in front runner status in any republican primary, especially if there is a crowded field like there was in 2016. >> i do wonder what it's like when you conduct these focus groups. you make no bones about being anti trump republican and look at an accountability project. are you sometimes leading these focus group participants in the
direction you want? tell us how that works. >> first of all, i don't moderate the focus groups. i have somebody else moderating them. >> okay. >> i think, actually, i would say for the record that like i said, i was very skeptical of the trump's grip on the gop is slipping and i was the one arguing when everybody else started to advance that after georgia that that was not -- that was an over read of what would happen to georgia. so i'm not looking for these voters to say -- and the reason was so many voters still said they loved donald trump. so this is just a natural shift that we've observed and it's such a remarkable shift that i think it's notable. >> i agree. sarah, please stay with me. let me bring in more guests. jennifer is here. cnn media analyst david and staff writer at the "atlantic." david, from first to you, what sarah is sharing from these focus groups, what do you make of it? how do you assess this? is this a notable news worthy
change in the republican party in the u.s.? >> it's a hugely notable change and i think you also need to hear what people are saying in the language they're saying it. highly intense partisans say i'm against the former leader of our party because he has too much baggage, they're giving -- they can't give themselves permission to say i, i personally think it was wrong to try to overturn an election because that's too big a step. but what you can say is i'm worried other people will think it's dangerous to overturn an election and because of the feelings among other people, i'm changing my mind about donald trump. as you pointed out and sarah pointed out, they're not moving towards more respect for law and order, that this kind of authoritarian bullying remains a powerful force but trump went beyond authoritarian bullying to an attempted over throw of an election, yeah, and he's leading from that. >> and there is this notable shift, as well, from murdoch media outlets. let's talk about that.
the "wall street journal", "the new york post" this weekend, we'll put the quotes on screen. the "wall street journal" saying characters revealed in a crisis mr. pence passed the trial and utterly failed his. here is the new york post. it's up to the justice department to decide what happened on january 6th with the president is a crime but as a matter of principle and character, trump has proven himself unworthy to be the chief executive again. david, these are two papers controlled by rupert murdoch that controls fox news. we've seen this happening for awhile. we've seen rupert murdoch distance himself from trump for awhile but i haven't seen "the new york post" up until now say trump is unworthy of being president. >> brian, i was really impressed by "the post" editorial. i wanted to almost cheer for that when i heard that line but, but, murdoch has done so much with his broadcast outlets and cable outlets and to create this char a character and he's such a slippery character that seems to
have no regard for the life of america. >> murdoch or trump? >> murdoch. putting on whatever he thinks will get ratings. don't forget, those are great editorials, i'm happy to see them. don't forget, he got tucker carlson out there talking about what a disgrace this is and he still got his major megaphone of fox news not preaching this yet. when you know what? i'll be impressed when i hear the prime time hosts say something like that. >> yeah, so those editorials haven't been mentioned on fox. >> yes. >> except by liz cheney who mentioned them a few minutes ago. watch this. >> look, it's not just me saying donald trump is unfit for office. it's other entities owned by rupert murdoch and "the new york post" and the editorial friday and the "wall street journal" said the same thing after the hearing on thursday night. >> see what you did there? she used fox news sunday to point out those exist. these hearings had an accumulated impact.
david, do you agree as a tv critic, these hearings, how would you asses them? >> brilliant. it's a masterpiece and you talked about the people naysayers. i was not a nay sayer. i was impressed with what i thought they were going to do but they went beyond my wildest expectations on what they could do. look, number one, they laid down a templet for how to make government interesting in prime time television to get tens of millions of people who watch it. we don't teach civics anymore in our classrooms. this was a great seven vehicles le -- civics lesson. you got it by osmosis engaged in the drama but you got that. that's one thing they did. they also laid down for historians an account of what happened on january 6th based on sworn testimony, based on eyewitness accounts, based on documentary visual imagery that will serve history and blows up to some extent what the right
wing media, the hard core right wing media is trying to say about what happened on january 6th, 2021. >> jennifer, what is your assessment? we'll see if there is more in sept september. we know there will be. >> the scope they took to make clear january 6th was not about an isolated event that happened on a single day. instead, there was a system make pattern of behavior, a system, a series of events that were crucial to understanding what happened on that day and it's the connections between them that made all of this so dangerous. >> right. sarah, is that something that you sensed even from the voters that you-all spoke with in these focus groups that gop voters may see these dangers, as well? >> actually, no. i think that -- i mean, i actually hear it among indepep d -- independent voters.
they are tracking the hearings. in the republican groups, they do a lot of what abouting? about the black lives matter protests. they don't look at donald trump and say well, he's deficient of character and, you know, he's a really bad guy and i want to move on and i thought what happened -- what happened on january 6th was unfortunate but they don't think it was donald trump's fault. >> sarah, thank you for bringing so much to this conversation. everybody else, please stick around. a lot more to come. we'll get into why jennifer is here in a moment and coming up, whether hollywood has really changed after the harvey weinstein scandal and bill wier on the best and worst ways to communicate about the climate crisis. wait 'till you hear this— thankfully, meta portal helps reduce b background noise. zero lace model. adjusts to low light. and pans andnd zooms to keep you in frame. take a look at this. so the whole team stays on track.
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in marymaryland, 2020 elect lies won the republican primary for governor and recent recalled him in another effort to overturn the 2020 results and in arizona, leading gop candidate for senate there is raising doubts about the legitimacy of the coming midterms. 538 says 120 election deniers won the party's nomination and will be on the ballot in various races this fall. it's all still happening, which is why the group protect democracy has a new quote authoritarian playbook to help the media think through the challenges of covering these issues. it's a really fascinating report from the group. jennifer was the lead author of the report researching authoritarian policies for years and at the group for democr >> you know, the standers we layout in the playbook are win ever ones we think are non-partisan, they are based on what the experts say about these things. so these standards apply equally to everyone. when you look at what researchers say there are certain areas it suggest the republican party are suggesting the democratic party moved. when you look at extremism and put it in global context, the gop moved further to the democratic party coal pa compar that should show that. >> david is in canada. what do you say about this authoritarian drift in the u.s.? >> well, it does create a tremendous challenge for the media especially media that worked the way american media do in the context of a two-party system.
if you're reporting from germany where there are multi parties and you have the christian democrats and social democrats, center right, center left and a third party like the alternative for germany that's authoritarian and supports putin and takes financial assistance, in that context, it's easy to say look, this one party among many is tainted with authoritarian tendencies but in a two-party system with media who are used to looking on the one hand on the other, where every platform has to be balanced, people ask about this show. do you have any trump supporter there is? well, no because if you're trying to analyze the harm done being done to american democracy by an attempted over throw of an election on january 6th, you don't have proover throw the election people on to analyze the phenomenon. maybe you want to, i don't know why you would but the case for over throwing democratic elections, that might be something to study. if you're analyzing it, you -- there isn't a place to stand so
you have this problem when you cover american politics that because one party is not wholly but so deeply embedded with the problem, a, mr. b, back to you to explain a problem where the problem isn't embedded in the presentation. >> david zurwick, you're in baltimore. we have an election denying candidate getting the gop. a blue state, probably won't win but democrats helped pay for his campaign to get him to win the election and not primary challengers. do you think the press in maryland and more broadly is explaining clearly enough? did voters know who they were picking for example? >> well, what is complicated, i think, about this is some of the kind of journalism we've been socialized to as david said, one hand, other hand, let be fair and not call it out. i think personally, brian, that we are so far beyond that with what is happened in the last
four or five years in this country with the -- it's not a creep, it's a rush to authoritarian on the right and it's not just in the political world. the right has media that's pushing them along this line. remember, tucker carlson goes to hungary and worships at the alter and says look how orderly and clean this country is. look at the chaos joe biden has in america and the madness. that kind of -- so when you have the media and a media with 3 million people watching it, prime time on a weeknight pushing it, we're really a long that path and donald trump the nature of donald trump has really accelerated it when he's urged people at his rallies, when he's pointed to the reporter section out there in the bullpen and urged his people
to menace them in some cases, that's where we are. we've had four or five years of that. enemy of the people, we -- >> last night he said he may sue the politzer because of the russia coverage. it doesn't get attention anymore but it's still happening. >> exactly. >> can i put up the gallop poll? another new low in trusted media. now record lows in the trust americans say they have in the two forms of media. jennifer, gallop polling showed declining lack of trust in a dozen other institutions. everything from banks to the congress as the supreme court, et cetera. trusted media record lows mirrors this decline and trust more broadly. >> the way it relates to the playbook is and absolutely vital role the media has to play in informing the american public
what is happening and give connection and explaining this is not just normal politics. this isn't normal. we have standards to use to identify why it's not normal and applying those standards, giving the context, giving the explanation in ways that may not be as sexy as some options of covering it but really communicate the gravity of what is happening and the why it is that something that if all is well, something that might be a mosquito bite to the health of american democracy can actually be fatal given the context where we are right now. i think continuing to pursue that type of coverage and doing it judiciously, i think can really hopefully help to turn some of those trends around. >> thank you, everybody, for the conversation here. we have a lot more ahead including lynn o'donnell ordeal in afghanistan and fear or what is the best way to tell the story of the climate emergency? ,
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you can turn off the tv, you can move off the grid but you'll never be able to outrun this story. it's the climate crisis, a top tub j subject of conversation across the media world with crippling heat, devastating flooding and ever growing devastation in the news. there is a lot of reporting and guesswork what president biden might do with limited powers he has and always new research on climate communication, for example, a study suggesting that being a bummer, downer, giving
very bad news might be anfective tool but other studies suggest the opposite. here is the genz driven hashtags. you'll see billions of views for the hashtag on tiktok and sites like it suggesting optimism or above. bill weir is here with more. >> good to see you. >> you seem to be on tv when the news is really, really bad. is that a fair assessment? >> i used to be fun at parties before i took on this beat. it feels that way. i'm working on a special right now about solutions. i just got back from iceland and cambridge out west. there are amazing stories of hope and optimism and innovation out there but we're cycling through the early stuff. >> where do you come down on this being positive or being negative, should journalists even think in that way? >> i think it depends on the person and in the state they're in. it's sort of like do you want your doctor to tell you're
you're going to die in 45 minute ifs you do this? do you want them to be nicer and gentler with you? how do you get your kids to put on sunscreen? we're not going to have a satisfying finally of the climate emergency. we'll live with this for the rest of our lives and some days it will be super scary and some days we'll all be rebuilding together and other days we'll be preparing for what is coming in but it's here and ultimately, i like to say we will all be climate recorders sooner or later. >> what do you mean by that? >> local newsrooms, everybody there was thrown into service in learning as much as virology and -- >> two year acs ago with covid. two years ago everybody was a health reporter. >> look what happened, today i was reading t"the times," the insurance market in louisiana is cratered with hurricanes. the government is taking over. that's the economic wave that
happens before the waves are lapping up on main street. you know what i mean? the more people taste this, the drought out west, you want to call it yourself a climate change victim because you can't grow cotton in arizona anymore? maybe you don't want to politically but it's happening and it's just going to continue to happen and the story of our times will be how people adjust to this and how quickly to transition to fuels that don't cause this problem. it's going to happen. it's inevitable as the way your phone gets better with every release or moving to green hydrogen and moving to other alternatives. the question is how much pain and suffering has to happen before humanity makes the shifts? >> to the folks that engage in denial, what are you worried about? it's a hot summer. i see those only in corners of the media world but they are still out there. do you grapple with that at all? >> i do. i struggle with it all the time. i landed on i hold my scorn for
the story tellers, not believers. if you work in oil and gas in louisiana and your neighborhood loyalty defends on defending this industry. i don't blame you for wanting to poke holes in it. if you're a fox news anchor or on the take from some special interest spreading a message that it's not so bad, or that it's not happening at all, then you deserve the full wrath of society on that because you're blocking the entrance to a burning theater. this is serious. >> blocking the entrance to a burning theater. >> you talk about the first amendment fight over you can't yell fire in a crowded theater. scientists have been yelling fire in this theater for 50 years. they don't -- actually, they don't yell fire because they don't want to be alarmists. that's the worst thing you want to be as an academic. now it's to the point where folks, wake up. how bad this gets depends on what we do today. at least we can acknowledge this is happening. the conversation has gone. now it's more those who are
opposed are lukewarmest or think that technology will fix all of humanity's ills in time. but that's a hell of a gamble. >> hell of a gamble. bill weir, thank you for the context today. good to see you. up next, covering a country reporting the facts can come at a brutal cost. lynn o'donnell returns to afghanistan to see the taliban's attempt to graduate from fighters to governors. she says they almost threw her in prison and we'll hear her firsthand account right after this. [lazer beam and sizzling sounds] ♪
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month and says she was detained and abused and forced to retract her article and had to put up tweets on twitter saying she apologized for earlier reports. she says she was facing jail time. she's safely out of afghanistan and asked us not to reveal where she is. lynn o'donnell is joining we now to talk about this experience. lynn, are you with me? >> i am, hi, brian. >> tell me about your decision to return to afghanistan this summer, nearly one year since the u.s. with drew and the taliban took control of kabul and the rest of the country. why did you decide to go back? >> as you said, it's been nearly a year since the taliban took over. i covered afghanistan for very many years, as far as i can determine, i was the only foreign correspondent in afghanistan after the americans arrived in 2001 after the 9/11 attacks and the only one there when the americans attacked and
taliban returned 20 years later. i was on one of the last commercial flights to leave afghanistan on the 15th of august last year just a few hours before the taliban came in and took over. so there is an awful lot of change since then. i write about it, as you say, for foreign policy magazines but i felt that i needed to see for myself what is going on in afghanistan and how it changed since the taliban took control. >> did you have any freedom of movement before you were approached by authorities and they forced you to post tweets claiming you were retracting articles? >> yeah, i did. i went by the book brian and had a book as soon as you arrive a kabul airport if you're a foreigner, you have to fill in forms and hand over a photograph and register your presence. i did that. i also knew that as a visiting foreign correspondent, i was
expected to present myself at the foreign ministry and that's what i did. i did everything that i was supposed to do. on monday morning last week was with the spokesman for the foreign ministry who uses a false name. and he immediately launched into me. he called me a white supremacist colonialest and took -- he had a list on his iphone of stories and headlines that he started reading out to me. he told me that the security authorities of the taliban were going to ask me to leave the country, that they didn't recognize me as a journalist because of the stories that i had done. he told me that i'd made them up and my sources were also false. so then as part of this dire tribe i had from the man who calls himself balki, he reminded me of a taliban attack in 2016 on a bus load of employees for a
local television station called tolo. tolo had broadcast a false report during a siege of a northern city earlier that day -- for some reason, managers decided they wouldn't resttract the report. the taliban kept demanding and threatening and as a retaliation, they sent a suicide bomber against a bus carrying, as i said, tolo employees home and i think on the day seven people were killed, some people probably died of their injuries later. so he told me that, this is what we do. he said we're proud of that. i said you killed a lot of innocent people that day. he said and we're proud of that. and i said one of the people who was killed was a friend of mine. he said and we're proud of that. so the message was pretty clear, we believe that you are not a journalist, that you write fake stuff, and we deal with people like you very harshly. so off i went. he said is there anything you'd
like me to do for you while you're in the country? i said yeah, tell security not to deport me. so security caught up with me a little while later and they told me -- i said look, i'll leave the country. that's what the foreign ministry says you want me to do. i'm going to go. the guy at the -- what they call the general director of intelligence said to me that the decision was his and his alone. he wanted to have a meeting with me to discuss face-to-face my crimes and that if i did not have the meeting, he would order all border points to close against me and not allow me out of the country so i said come on over guys, i'm at this guest house. come and see me. so they did. they came over. they were very rude to me from get-go and said i knew my crimes and they'd look at each other and say she knows her crimes and took me away to the headquarters of the intelligence agency and
they kept me there for four hours. >> so your crimes were just reporting factual information, of course, you didn't actually retract the articles but now there is no way you can return to afghanistan. lynne, thank you -- >> never say never. >> oh, okay. >> yeah. >> i was going to say never say never. the taliban have shown their days are numbered. there is a not a sustainable regime. they said don't come back. once they're gone, i'll go back. >> that's the perfect way to put it. lynne, thank you for your bravery and telling your story. still to come, legendary media reporter with a story he's been wanting to tell for 20 years. he's next. sensitive. new dove ultimate antiperspirant. our unique water baseded formula and 6x more glycerin. helps restore skin to its best condition. new dove ultimate.
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"the culture of silence. >> weinstein seemed invincible for years and depended on a culture of satellite news center all of that disintegrate and his abuse was exposed by reporters of "the new york times" and the new yorker. now he is behind pars and facing more charges for sex crimes. it was unclear if it would ever reach that point. later this year, universal is releasing a movie called "she said," all about the times investigation of weinstein. in it you hear one of the characters say that people have tried and tried and tried to reveal weinstein's sexual abuse and tried to years. they tried and he stopped it. >> people try to write this story before. he kills every time. >> harvey denies any allegation of assault. >> he played people. he was a manipulator. >> will you give me just one chance to talk to you? >> ken auletta heard the
weinstein's sexual abuse 20 years ago but his sources couldn't go on record because of legal documents they had signed. he described weinstein's bullying and rage and he help will nail down weinstein's misconduct and authoring the definitive account of weinstein and that silence. the author ken auletta is here with me now. the culture of science, who did you find perpetuated and enabled the culture of silence? >> this want ma raping and abusing women for more than four decades. there were people in his office who knew and people in hollywood who knew and people in the press who suspected it. yet, got away. that is the culture of satellite news center. by the way, it's not dissimilar what we see happening in the nation's capital right now. republicans know that trump did not win that election, yet the vast majority of republicans, out of fear, the same fear that harvey people had, keep their
mouth shut. >> you were able to speak with would be bob weinstein and his brother and estranged brother. when did you find about the enablers who had to come to grips with what they knew? >> i think many people were in denial. that, you know, they should have known but they claim they didn't know. some people who i report in the book did know. and i try to expose them. but there are many, many people who worked for him who claim they didn't know. but let me tell you a story, which i tell in the book with hillary silva who came to a job in the late '90s and harvey saw her in the elevator and very tract to her and said come see me when you're done and she came to see him after her interview and without checking with his executives, you're hired. she was supposed to start in three weeks. she went on vacation. the day before she was to start,
four members of the merrimac staff, two others executives and more said we want to take you out for a drink. she was thrilled and what a wonderfuling culture merrimac is. at drinks they said, hillary, you don't want to come to work here. he will rape you, he will assault you. if that many people in the office knew, clearly, many people knew. >> they knew. do you think there are versions of that in hollywood or other industries today? how much has the industry really changed? >> well, i mean, certainly people are on guard now. and are ashamed by being exposed. clearly, it is something that exists in many industries. what is different about hollywood, you can't think of many industries where beautiful young women, ambitious to be in the movie business, are sitting side-by-side with ceos and studio heads. and what happens is when these
people compliment these studio heads and these producers, they take a compliment as a come on and they take advantage. what harvey did was different. what he did was criminal. the casting couch, which is his defense, is over the many, many decades of hollywood. people took advantage of ambitious young women who want to be in the movie business but they didn't rape them. harvey was raping these women. more than 100 women came forward after being exposed in "the new york times" and the new yorker, as you mentioned, and said, he raped me and physically abused me. when you describe, as i try to in the book and has been done before, how he did it, it's really gruesome. >> i'm thankful for this because we need the full record of it. ken, thank you very much for coming on. the book on "hollywood ending." remember to sign uour free newsletter at reliance sources.com. tonight, a new episode of united shades of america, tune in to
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if maga republicans get their way, abortion will be banned nationwide, with no exceptions. medicare and social security will end in five years, with no replacement. elections will be decided by politicians, with no regard for your vote. if maga republicans get back in power, your rights, benefits and freedoms will be in danger. democrats will protect your rights. and the only way to stop maga republicans is to vote for democrats. ff pac is responsible for the content of this ad.
to be continued. january 6th committee wraps up their explosive hearings for now. >> doors have opened and the dam has begun to break. >> what more is coming and what is next for the committee's powerful gop vice chair? i'll speak to republican congressman liz cheney next. two paths. they face off in arizona as the republican party wrestle