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tv   John King Reliable Sources  CNN  January 3, 2010 10:00am-11:00am EST

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to landing the interviews that everyone wants? from michael jackson to jon and kate to balloon boy. 2009 was a year that saw the media get carried away with celebrity and reality shows. is there any hope for a more grounded 2010? in this hour of "state of the union" howard kurtz, as always, breaks it down with his reliable sources. when news breaks out, it's all about the get. you know the drill, the bookers, the correspondents and in some cases the big foot anchors work the phones, write the letters, send the flowers and try to land the first interview with the news worthy figure. what happens when money is involved? jasper sharinga is by any definition a hero, the passenger who jumped on the nigerian trying to detonate a bomb as the plane headed for detroit. he sold the television writes to
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cnn for a reported $10,000. and the print rights to the "new york post" for $5,000. he granted his first two interviews to cnn and the "new york post." >> as we've been reporting on this investigation, we've also been showing you an exclusive image. did you help take the image or did you also help subdue the suspect? which is it? >> basically i reacted on a bang and then there was smoke piling in the cabin. people were screaming, fire, fire. >> abc later got in on the action, landinging interviews after paying $3,000 for another of his photos. . there was another high profile case this week where nbc reached for the corporate checkbook. let's start with the aftermath of the christmas terror plot. joining us for our first show of 2010, jane hall professor of media and politics at america university and terry smith
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former correspondent for the news hour on pbs. the networks say they don't pay for interviews. when you buy something and happen to get the first sitdown, what is that? >> it's obviously more than a coincidence. it's nothing new. this is checkbook journalism. it has gone on for a long time. i would argue in this case cnn and others didn't get their money's worth. the pictures weren't very good. the interview wasn't very illuminating. it didn't add much. >> it was exclusive. >> exclusive. isn't that wonderful. i wish they had taken the $10,000 and spent it another way. >> cnn says there was no implicit or explicit quid pro quo. they say it was not more than $10,000. the network says it purchases news and photos on breaking news situations. they wind up with the first interview. >> you can't help but feel it diminishes the get. when you say cnn exclusive and don't disclose, as i don't think cnn did, that the man they're
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interviewing is also the man from whom they bought the picture, then you have the situation where it cheapens it. you think, gee, it cheapens his heroism and also what does it say about him that he was marketing this? it raises all sorts of questions left unanswered about a he ohhic act. >> it was a heroic act but he tried to cash in on it. all the networks, we don't pay for interviews, occasionally we'll buy photos. somehow it doesn't pass the smell test. >> i'm not sure the public cares. i think news organizations actually hate checkbook journalism because it raises the bidding price for things. they do buy picture. they buy it from a professional photographer and a picture should be and would be a lot better. but it is -- it's just a lousy use of money. take it and spend it on real reporting. >> unless -- it's not a lousy use of money if you're competing with tmz and the "national
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enquirer" who pay for information and you feel like you have to get in the game. >> you have a situation where somebody is in a seller's market. everybody wants the interview, everybody wants to be able to say we have the exclusive. when i was at the la times i did a story about how abc got an interview with michael jackson after promising to air his video multiple times. it's a way of being a little bit pregnant. the pact is it works for everybody to get the exclusive. but it doesn't really advance the journalism. i think a lot of viewers are sitting there going how often do they do this? it was very embarrassing correspondence to the unabomber that came to light a few years ago where people were saying i'm your friend, come on and be on with me. >> one thing to try to convince potential guests how wonderful and fair and high-minded you are and another thing to check out the checkbook. checkbook journalism as you say. the obama administration's spin on the aftermath of this christmas day plot evolved a little bit going back to last
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sunday, particularly here on "state of the union." let's roll some tape and tell you how the message changed. >> one thing i'd like to point out is the system worked. >> a lot of people don't think the system worked at all, that the only thing that prevented out right disaster was luck. can you respond to that? >> sure. i think the comment is being taken out of context. >> a systemic failure has occurred. i consider that totally unacceptable. >> janet nap politan know says she was taken out of context when she was talking about how the system reacted. the media just dismiss that pathetic spin as being unrealistic? >> it is unrealistic. on the other hand, i'm sure janet napolitano would love to take that statement back, even if she was referring, as i'm sure she was, to the period after the attack. >> i'm sure she was given talking points as every cabinet secretary is by the white house. in other words, this was not
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only her decision to come out and kind of defend the administration last sunday and, of course, that spin quickly changed. >> robert gibbs made the same point and it was equally lame when he did. >> reminded me, unfortunately, of brownie, you're doing a heck of a job. if it was meant to reassure people, it did not. it was completely out of touch. and obama catches heat for being out of hawaii and he comes forward and goes from saying this is an allegation to saying it's a systemic failure. >> sometimes, a politician will come on tv and say the sky is green. the journalist will say some experts say it's actually blue. here i don't think there was any attempt to do that. this is a guy, abdulmutallab, whose father had gone to the embassy, saying he bought a ticket for cash, didn't have any luggage, boards with plastic explosives. how can any experienced politician go on television and say the system worked? >> this thing evolved and evolved slowly. everybody was slow off the mark,
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news organizations, the administration,er body. i don't think they fully realized everything that happened, all the connections that were there. and as it became more clear, the white house, the president from hawaii started to escalate his statements. >> took a couple days for the pieces to fall into place. there's a legitimate question about whether president obama should have waited 72 hours to personally address the situation. here is the "new york daily news" cover, mr. president, it's time to get a grip. we sort of personal lies these things. >> tom kaine earlier on this network was saying obama was distracted by health care. if he was supporting obama, that was not a good thing to say. that is certainly going to be seized upon. >> president obama likes to think things through which i think you can make a case for. but he gets hit for it. >> in the world of 24 hour news and blogs we want a reaction in ten seconds. we don't want to wait two days. i mentioned that nbc was
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involved in spending money for the interview. this got the attention, david goldman who was able to bring his son back from brazil after his late wife had taken the boy there. nbc sent a private jet to brazil to pick up mr. goldman and his son, and then the interview went to "the today show." let's roll it. >> to more of our exclusive interview with david goldman who spent christmas with his son sean for the first time in five years. >> i just kneeled next to his chair and patted his head and held his hand, just told him how much i loved him and that we're going to have some fun and you're going to see your grandma and grandpa. >> jane hall, is sending a private jet of the cost being estimated to $50,000 to $70,000, is that buying an interview as well? >> i think so. nbc has been invested in this story. they said they had a
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relationship with him. again, you look at this and go are we entertaining ourselves with this story, as important as it is to this story and human interest? where is the point where we look at the national counterterrorism center for $50,000. >> this is a christmas eve tear-jerker. it tends to show the tabloid tendency of "the today show" which has been really dramatic in the last year or so. they've gone to the tabloid instead of the news. once again, i wish they took the money, the $50,000 or $70,000 and sent a reporter to yemen instead. >> "the today show" is not the only one in this space, so to speak. >> absolutely. they managed to cover it without paying that amount of money and providing that access. on the other hand, the morning shows have been flying people into their studios and putting them up in hotels for years. >> very nice oh tells, i'm sure. >> another incident that ended up being covered by the media.
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rush limbaugh hospitalized with chest pains. we were glad it turned out to be serious. he held a press conference. >> based on what happened to me here, i don't think there's one thing wrong with the american health care system. it is working just fine, just dandy and i got nothing special. >> now, rush limbaugh didn't take questions, didn't want to talk about politics. certainly made a point about the hick system. >> of course he did. you've got to love rush. he did an in depth survey of how multi millionaire celebrity patients are treated. they're treated very well, thank you. everything is fine and dandy. ridiculous on the face of it. yet, he made his point. he slipped it in there. >> maybe it's true he didn't get any special treatment. he has a $400 million contract. there are 50 million americans, more than that, with no health insurance. >> a friend of mine was yesterday in an emergency room with a heart problem and spent
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all day there. and he saw the other side of the health care crisis, namely long lines and jammed facilities. so i think rush maybe had a little special treatment. >> you can argue that, and you don't want to be unkind. i thought the media commentator showed a lot of restraint by saying how do you feel about the 47 million uninsured and do you have a pre-existing condition? >> he's been outspoken about how this is going to bankrupt the question. the fact he didn't take questions, he got to make a speech. ed henry is the only person to ask a question about if you're taking pain meds. >> what bothered me is some liberal commentators, when it appeared he might have had a heart attack were rooting for him to have a heart attack. whether you think rush limbaugh's views are hateful or not, that struck me as over the line. >> i agree with you, that's ugly. even when he's had other problems in the past, i think
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where people might want to sque him is about his stance versus what he personally experienced. i think that's valid. >> absolutely. >> that's fair game. he introduced that by holding the news conference. absolutely nothing wrong with the american health care system. the transportation security administration, you may not know this week in the wake of that christmas day plot, subpoenaed two travel bloggers. these are steve frisch ling and christopher elliot because they had obtained a security directive, an internal document. the tsa agents seized a computer. he now says the tsa later apologized. the subpoena was ultimately withdrawn. this struck me as bullying a couple of small players. i question whether they would issue a subpoena to a "new york times" reporter for instance. given the magnitude of this disaster and what went on and all the failures we all know crystal clear in letting this
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would be terrorist get on the plane, i would think the tsa has more important things to worry about than a couple of blog kers. terry smith and jane hall, thanks for stopping by this morning. when we come back, their television show pushed the limits until they were kicked off the air. a look at why cbc pulled the plug on the smothers brothers. hey, who's this? oh, that's kyle. he aced his fifth grade geography class. you see, now that we're using fedex to ship globally, i have to learn all the countries again, so i brought in kyle as a consultant.
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the country may have been in turmoil back in 1969, but television was exceedingly cautious when it came to political dissent. no daily show, no colbert
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report. no cable channels with loud mouth commentators defending the president. cbs had the smothers brothers that, by the standards of the day, pushed the boundaries. ♪ war in vietnam still raging. blacks and whites haven't worked it out. 34r50ugs, guns and poverty surround us ♪ ♪ no wonder everybody is dropping out ♪ >> tom and dick smothers kaept running into problems with the cbs sensors which they started poking fun at. >> a good script. [ laughter ] >> nothing funny in this. okay.
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boys, we're through censuring your show. >> after the third season, the corporate ax felt. >> cbs announced that the smothers brothers comedy hour will not return to the cbs television network next season. >> 40 years later we have occasion to look back on the clash and what it said about television, american culture and dissent. david bee on cooley is out with a book called "dangerously funny" the unsensored story of the smothers brothers comedy hour. >> that pro. >> it really is mild. in retrospect, you wonder why they were upset about it at all. but looking back on the '60s, that's when you had flying nuns and you had dream many jeannies, there was nothing serious on prime time and the smothers brothers in an entertainment variety show were trying to talk about the war and the presidential policies and sex
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and drugs and rock and roll. it was the only place for a young generation to go to get that sort of information. >> how bad did the censorship get? >> it got increasingly tense each season where tom smothers, the one who 235u9 most of the battles would fight more and more and try and slip in more and more stuff. the cbs censors would throw more and more rules and get more and more angry. both sides were going at logger heads. >> from your review would you say the cbs television network caved to pressure in yanking the show off the air? >> i don't know if they caved to pressure as they got really firm in these are our rules. you either play by our rules or you're gone. some of those rules were arbitrary and some of them, tom and dick smothers would not play by. so they were gone. they had been renewed for a fourth season.
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so they weren't canceled. they were fired. >> of course, they did -- i had forgotten this. they won $9 0,000 in a breach of contract suit, but lost their prime time platform. did the press once cbs make that decision, rally behind the smothers brothers. you quoted that there had been one of the rare television shows with an irreverent point of view. >> there were people supporting their fight. when the program was actually given away to some stations in syndication to show, this was a program that was never shown by cbs, critics were very favorable about that program. >> tom ap dick smothers asked you to write this book. why? >> i think they wanted know write the book because they had seen what i had written about them already and figured it would be an objective voice. and the great thing was they gave me total access, but total
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freedom, and that's something a journalist doesn't get very often. >> by doing this at their request or at least at their instigati instigation, do you feel you're taking their side in this 40-year-old battle. >> i think i was pretty even handed. and i got to the head cbs censors and executives, i'm interested as a tv historian. i love what they did in terms of entertainment. cbs gets credit for that for putting it on the air, also. i think what the smothers asked me to do was to be the right person to write the book, but it wasn't that i was favoring their side. >> got about 1/2 minute here. i was a smothers brothers fan, i have to ask you four decades later, are they still somewhat bitter about what happened? >> no. they seem like they had their place and they had their time. dick never blamed tom, and tom
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now says he sort of was glad that he went through all that. he thinks the times made him as much as he made the times on that show. >> an interesting cultural moment. david, thank you very much for a fascinating look back at what was a very hot and controversial show at that time. >> thanks so much. i spoke to him over the holiday break. coming up in the second half of reliable sources. carried away. celebrity deaths and reality show scandals seem to hint ties the media. after a year of balloon boy, is it time to ground those wild and a look back at our most amazing guests and news worthy sources from the past year of reliable sources.
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this is "state of the union." president obama's top counterterrorism adviser says human error allowed a terror suspect to board a u.s. airliner christmas day. speaking earlier on this day, john brennan said the government agency had, quote, bits and pieces of information on the suspect but failed to connect them together. brennan says there was no clib rat concealing of information between different government agencies. brennan says the u.s. embassy in yemen closed today because of threats by al qaeda to attacks against u.s. interests in this country. it's still unclear when it will reopen. the british embassy in yemen is also closed, but may reopen tomorrow. yesterday president obama linked the air terror suspect to an al qaeda affiliate based in yemen. those are the top stories on "state of the union." now to howie kurtz. >> gloria, before you go, let me
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get you in on this. john brennan told you the last hour the system didn't work. j janet napolitano seven days ago said the system did work. do you think journalists rejected napolitano's spin as being ludicrous? >> i think she probably rejected it herself the minute after she said it. it was clear to everyone the system did not work. as you saw today, the first thing practically that john brennan said to us was, look, the system did not work. the system failed. so it was one of those cases of spin that she probably wishes she could take back. >> changed the tune within about 24 hours. gloria, thanks very much. as we look back at the press's performance in 2009, there were times when the news business was swept away by strange and sensational stories. these range from the death of world famous celebritys to run-away reality shows to high-profile hoaxes. they all became category five media storms. >> michael jackson had an extraordinary career and a
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troubled life marked by incredible highs and terrible low lows. >> the child prodigy who lived through illness, a sex scandal and massive money trouble. >> enormously talented but such a freak show associated with him. >> pretty hard to believe that a 6-year-old boy is inside this. this is basically what we're getting from officials in larimer county right now. >> we believe there is a little boy in this balloon, and it's been flying now for about an hour at least. it was attached in his father's back yard. now it's going around in circles. >> by the time there were all those rumors swirling about about jon with other women, when i sat down with you in may, had he already moved out of the house by that point, kate? >> to be very honest, i don't remember. there's so much going on. >> so why do journalists allow themselves to be highjacked by
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frivolous fair? our year in review panel got so carried away, that we went into overtime. >> jessica yellen, national police cat correspondent for cnn. lauren ashburn, former managing editor of "usa today." bill press, nationally syndicated talk show host and chris star walt from the washington examiner. let's start with michael jackson's death. huge pop star, seriously weird guy. the covers went on for two solid weeks. >> i remember you complaining about that. >> i'm still complaining about it. >> oi kachlt it went on for two years. yes, it was overkill. this was an icon of pop culture. i think that the country in a way needed the mourn. yes, it went on and on and went on too long. we're talking ratings here. the ratings went through the roof for this network. >> people were genuinely interested. michael jackson was the most googled term of last year. he was fascinating to generations of people. it's not a surprise he would get the coverage he got. >> my problem was the volume of the coverage. >> if there had been something
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major happening in the world -- >> there couldn't have been anything major happening. it was all blacked out. >> bill press, looking back in media terms, michael jackson's death was bigger than ted kennedy's passing and certainly walter cronkite's. >> i think the fundamental problem is we have too much time in our hands in the media, particularly cable tv. you have a lot of hours to fill. i've been with the shows and something comes along like a train derailment or a scandal. boy, you just eat it up because that fills wall to wall. then you get in the copycat thing. as long as one cable channel is still covering it, all the others will still cover it. there you go. >> the overnight ratings. my problem, chris, to finish up on this, after the first day or two, the child abuse allegations, dangling the baby over the railing, that gave way to gushing praise. >> there is definitely something
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macabre about michael jackson's life. the whole story worked on two demographic segments. people who were repelled by his his life and what he symbolized and people who it was part of their growing up, they listened to "thriller" 8,000 times when they were 13 years oefld and it meant so much to them. we failed in this regard. we failed because we quit talking about the macabre part of his life and we let that drop and made this into hague og fi. it was not appropriate. >> that's what we seem to do with death. as soon as one dies, including ted kennedy, we have to lirksionize them. michael jackson has to be just perfect. >> bygones can be bygones. >> death can be a good career move. >> my first reaction with the michael jackson death was to be critical of him as a person for all those reasons.
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i got slammed by my listeners. i realized that the music was really important to a lot of people. >> absolutely. i don't want to denigrate that. let me move on to the creeping influence of the reality show culture. jon and kate wound up being interviewed on the tv show. it started as a fun, entertaining thing, and then it ends up on nbc. >> let's go back to the king to the personal who found touchdown "national enquirer." in the beginning he started in the 50s with these gory headlines and murders. all of the sudden, ding, he decided people, the personalities were the thing that were going to sell. by the '70s he had more than six million people were reading that -- magazine every week. so the point is here, it is what sells. >> the media went crazy, jessica, of the salahis, the white house party crashers.
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michaela salahi was trying to get on bravo's "real housewives of d.c." >> it's the bubble inside the bubble. too bizarre and fascinating that these people in an attempt to gain fame gained the fame they were seeking and we're feeding it. it's so much about our culture that it's almost worth covering. >> almost. >> for me the salahis is set aside a little bit. that was a very serious security breach. we're talking about the president of the united states. >> a great secret service story for two or three days. for two weeks it was all about them and -- >> here is another problem. you had the white house coverup. they wouldn't send desiree rogers up to testify. they were say case closed, case closed. the secret service is going to fall on their sword. as always, the coverup kept the story alive. >> you also have our first
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famous president in obama and we have a fame culture, a celebrity president, a fame culture in washington. these people want to be a part of it. >> a celebrity presence in the sense that he goes on "leno." >> he's a transcendent celebrity figure who is friends with oprah and part of a celebrity society in america. >> he's famous. all presidents are famous. he's really famous. what about richard heene, the balloon boy's father or octomom? >> where are the child abuse charges? this is the one thing i can't figure out, with the octo parents, the balloon boy. >> good morning america and today. >> people are subjecting their kids to this. i wonder where the prosecutions really are. >> those are cases of our covering stories that aren't worth the time of day. maybe a quick mention and move on. >> my 6-year-old daughter said
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mom, mom, did you know there was somebody who had eight babies? octomom became just something that swept through the culture. how can you say -- >> because we did it. >> how can you say that a woman who has eight babies is not worthy of coverage? >> more than at any other time, it's not media minds who drives what we cover. it's what people are following on twitter, what they're googling, what they're looking for on the internet, that creates a feedback loop -- >> i think that's a good thing, that we're no longer the sole gate keepers. now it seems we just follow whatever is hot. >> no context either. nobody is putting these things in context. and al of the sudden the story is done and it drops off the ledge. >> and something else comes along, the next hurricane. this maybe goes to your point about filling up all the hours. don't we try to dress up the
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stories as having cultural significance? it's not the fact that she has 14 kids, it's about the taxpayers having to foot the bill for those children? it gives a tinge of seriousness. >> of course we do, to justify covering it. >> is that what we're doing right now? come on? it's an excuse to talk about octomom. >> and also the balloon boy. i thought it was pretty clear from the beginning that this couple was totally phony. it took two days to say that, to finally get around to it. >> in the very beginning, i was sitting at my computer and my friends and journalists were saying did you see this? did you see this? did you see this? it came at me for six different sides of my life. >> it's the follow-up coverage. >> and then it's complicated. then it has to be something complicated and nuanced and what's it all about as opposed to saying, okay, this happened, these people are prostituting their family for celebrity and
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boom, we're done, moving on. >> i'm here to say right now this is not going to change. >> seems like what we've lost here is our ability to move on. >> let's talk about health care. >> and to make distinctions. >> we're out of time. gee, sorry about that. thanks very much for joining me. >> we tried. out of time. well, up next, a reliably goodyear. some of the biggest names in journalist paid a visit to from program in 2009. we'll take a look back in a moment. if you want to access 10 gigs of music you just downloaded to your hard drive, push here. and if you want to pull away from it all, you can push here. the all-new-40-gig hard drive nav and entertainment system on the 2010 lacrosse. from buick. it's the new class of world class.
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we have realished the opportunity over this past year to sit down with some of the leading journalists and most provacative commentators around. this seems like a good time to look back at these reliable sources' moments. network stars got to reveal a bit more of themselves. here is byron pitts talking about how he grew up unable to read and about the father who
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abandoned the family. >> i often think there but for the grace of got go i. we've reconciled to some degree in recent years as we speak now as men. >> but now you're a successful network star and now when he met you for the first time in a long time, he wanted something from you, right? >> sure. >> what did he want? >> he wanted money. >> what did you say to him? >> i said no. i used some choice words that i won't use on television. it was my way to pay him back for i thought ignoring me all these years. one of the things i learned and the point i make in the book is there's real power in forgiveness. as long as i was angry with my father, it did me more disservice because he went on with his life. when i told him i for gave him, that not only, some may say, let him off the hook, but freed me. >> it was a touching moment when robin roberts talked about why she was especially happy to go to l.a. for the os sdars. >> this is part of the reason why i also accepted this because
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this time last year, completely bald, just finished chemotherapy. i was home on my couch. i couldn't be anywhere, couldn't nt travel. i like the fact that folks know that, they see me this year. if they're going through something similar, they know this, too, shall pass and will hopefully make them feel like whatever they're going through, they can get through it. it's not something i have wanted to do, to be so open in public about it. it's gratifies knowing it's helping so many people. that makes it more than worth it, howie. >> lara logan back from afghanistan accused the u.s. military of lying about the war and talked about her decision to go back months after giving birth. >> if we were lied to, why didn't the american media make more of that? >> i know a lot of journalists who tried. it's very hard to prove a lie. when commanders are telling you they have enough troops, you know they don't have enough
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troops, but no one will say it on the record. how do you prove it's a lie? all you can do is to try and prove that that's not the case. >> you have an 8-month-old baby. i just saw him. looks very cute. did you hesitate to go back into a war zone? >> i didn't hesitate. but it is very hard. it is. everything has changed. and i think about not coming home. i think about that child growing up without a mother. that's definitely the hardest thing i've ever done. >> we've had our share of lighter moments, such as when i took the program to los angeles and chatted with mayor yell hechl inning way about her addiction to twitter. >> you are very candid on twitter and also on your blog. you have written about difficulties growing up, your sister margo's suicide, you divorce. what makes you feel comfortable sharing in the digital world? >> actually i believe there's not a problem that anybody hasn't had. i believe that we all have the
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same problems. they just have different wrapping paper. for me it's saying, you know what? i know i'm in the public eye. this is what i come from. this is what i deal with. >> who better to ask about the changing world of goz sip than liz smith who at the age of 86 has just been dumped by the "new york post." >> they were paying you $125,000 a year. rupert murdoch apparently signed off on this. does this mean you were no longer in the in crowd as far as the "new york post" was concerned? >> i don't think i was ever in the in crowd as far as their editor was concerned. i really wasn't his cup of tea, howard. i was too, you know, maybe laid back. he thought i was too friendly with my sources and i just wasn't -- i didn't have that killer instinct that they love on the "new york post." also, i love new york, and i care about new york and i don't think these australians understand or love new york.
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>> i've heard that before about you, about liz smith, she's too nice to the people she writes about. has gossip become meaner and maybe you're out of step with the new culture? >> it's become more obvious. i mean more vulgar. you can say more things. you can say things you weren't able to say. i remember back when the best little whore house in texas was a big hit. i wasn't allowed to say that on the air. i had to say who house. >> i don't think we'll bleep that. >> it was a treat for me to sit down with david frost. what would now be branded checkbook journalism. >> you paid the former president $600,000, that would be more than $2 million today. i think if you did that today if the circumstances were today, you'd be criticized far more
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intensively than you were at the time. >> i don't think so. there's a curious point. in terms of the nixon interviews, nbc news were offering $400,000 or whatever. and questions about checkbook journalism happened during the 18 months between when we signed and when we didn't. i would answer. but they really came to an end when the first interview went out and everybody said this is history. >> you were not rolling over nixon. >> exactly. and this is history and this is valuable. and so that controversy sorted of faded away. >> bernard goldberg and i went over it over the love affair with barack obama. >> mainstream media writers hate o'reilly and think msnbc is --
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i've repeatedly taken on msnbc for lurching to the left. >> obviously i don't mean every single reporter and i don't even mean every single reporter was in the tank for barack obama. i'm making a statement about the mainstream media as a whole. >> but if you as a critic are upset about msnbc's pro obama bias, chris matthews and all that, what about all the softball interviews that they did with john mccain and sarah palin? are you apply together same standards where you also a contributor on the right side? >> by the way, the fact that i'm a contributor, if you know anything about me howie, i'll blast news. i don't care. >> this is your opportunity. >> this is not a good opportunity because i don't agree with the premise of the question. my billing guest news making interview was with anita dunn,
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the white house communications director. that went viral when she unloaded on rupert. >> the reality is fox news operates as either the research arm or communications arm of the republican party. what i think is fair to say about fox and the way we view it is it really is more a wing of the republican party. >> is that the reason that the president did not go on fox news sunday a few weeks back when he did all the other sunday shows? will president obama appear on fox news again, let's say, this year? >> howie, president obama appeared on -- he did "the factor," he did o'reilly. as president earlier this year when he met with chris wallace. >> my question is will he appear on fx? >> you had a two part question. is this why he didn't appear? the answer is yes. he'll go on fox because he engages with ideological opponents and he has done that before. he'll do it again. so far, of course, the president hasn't done that except for including major
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garrett in a round of interviews with network reporters. we appreciate those journalists who came on the program to answer questions instead of just asking them about their lives and careers. still to come. an air of unreality. how did these reach the point scrambling to interview them. a look at what makts those stories tick next. [ announcer ] if you think about it, this is a lot like most job search sites. - they let everyone in, - [ crowd groans ] so the best people can't stand out. join the premium job site for only $100k+ jobs... and only $100k+ talent. hi, may i help you? yes, i hear progressive has lots of discounts on car insurance. can i get in on that? are you a safe driver? yes. discount! do you own a home?
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yes. discount! are you going to buy online? yes! discount! isn't getting discounts great? yes! there's no discount for agreeing with me. yeah, i got carried away. happens to me all the time. helping you save money -- now, that's progressive. call or click today.
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once upon a time, we in the
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news racket come up with as close reality as we can manage. now we get sucked into reality television and all the whack jobs desperate to be on it. >> the first reality shows were indicated talk shows hosted by the likes of phil donahue, oprah winfrey, sally jesse raphael and j jerry springer. suddenly ordinary people with problems could get on national television and folks realized the crazeier the problems, the better chance they had. there were real world consequences. on the jenny jones show in the '90s, a gay man confessed to his friend that he had a crush on him. apparently humiliated smits, murdered amador who sued the program unsuccessfully for failing to find out about his history of mental illness. soon grade b celebrities started getting reality shows, we got to watch ozzy osbourne
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and paris hilton do not much of anything. along came "survive record" where people would eat worms or vie for the privilege of being canned by donald trump. harmless programs like extreme make over home edition also masked backstage problems. atlanta's harper family who received the show's biggest house faced foreclosure after using the home as equity for a $450,000 loan. at least four other extreme mickover families have lost or had to sell the houses they won. what won't people do to get on reality tv. >> jon and kate gosselin exploited their eight kids and blew up their mayor rarnlg on the way to tabloid fame. richard heene came off as an angry and eccentric husband when he was on "wife swap." nadya suleman gave birth to 14
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children and having no way to support them now has an octomom reality show in development in britain. jaimee grubbs, the would whan mo had an affair with tiger woods appeared on "tool academy" which brings us to michaele sa la he who is competing for a spot on "real housewives of d.c." it's no accident a camera crew was trailing her when she and her husband crashed the white house state dinner landing them on "the today show." >> a larger question as we look back on the unreal reality of 2009. why do serious or what used to be serious news organizations spend so much time on jon and kate and octomom and the salahis and balloon boy's crazy father who was just sentenced to 90 days in jail? aren't we rewarding these people by giving them the spotlight
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they crave? journalism can't stop this circus, but they shouldn't be serving as ring leaders. still to come, trashing twitter. brian williams these it's a waste of time. we'll show you why he's -- we'll show you why he's -- what's the word -- wrong. -- captions by vitac -- for disease control and prevention saying... that vaccination is still your best protection, walgreens and take care clinics... now offer h1n1 flu vaccinations... every day at our more than 7000 locations nationwide... for just $18.00. so stop in today. walgreens. there's a way to stay well. rheumatoid arthritis going? they're discovering the first self-injectable ra medicine it's simponi,™ and taken with methotrexate, and swelling of ra with one dose a month. visit to see if you qualify
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garlique's clinically proven ingredient maintains healthy cholesterol naturally. eat right. exercise. garlique. brian williams is a talented anchor and pretty good comedian. when it comes to twitter, let's say he's a tad out of touch. he tellsim


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