tv Reliable Sources CNN December 18, 2011 11:00am-12:00pm EST
rumors take turns as the country's king for five-year terms. go to our web site for ten more challenging questions. thanks to all of you for being part of my program this week. i will see you next week. stay tuned for "reliable sources." mitt romney was absolutely convinced he didn't need the press, but now that he's fighting for his political life, that suddenly changed. romney has somehow found time this week to talk to "politico," the "washington post," "the new york times," and earlier this morning, "fox news sunday." here, jeff zeller in of the "times" asked whether night is t -- whether newt is too zany to be president? >> zainy is not good for president. it's great for campaign, it's great on talk radio and in the print. it beats -- makes for fun reading. but in terms of a president, we need a leader. >> will this media blitz change the coverage as romney tries to
catch gingrich? plus, we'll meet the 22-year-old college student who unearthed a devastating old romney video. it was a risky move when abc hired christiane amanpour from cnn last year for the sunday morning program this week. but now she is out. continuinging as an abc correspondent while launching an evening newscast for cnn international. what went wrong, and is bringing back george stephanopoulos the answer? tim tebow is winning all kinds of praise as the denver broncos quarterback. >> the entire team believes in him. the city is captivated by him -- >> how about the country. >> the country is coptivated by him. >> okay, so why are the media harping on his public displays of christianity? i'm howard kurtz, and this is "reliable sources." it's been a very long time, more than a year and a half in fact, since mitt romney appeared on a sunday show. he was the republican front-runner for much of that
time, and apparently felt no need to expose himself to sustained questioning. that changed this morning when romney appeared with chris wallace on "fox news sunday." toward the end, the questioning got a bit personal. >> the rap against -- you've heard this, i'm not saying anything you haven't heard, governor -- you're robotic. you're buttoned up. that you don't let -- that you don't let voters inside to know who you really are and what you really feel. first of all, do you think that's fair? >> you know, anything's fair in this world. the good news is that the people who see me in town meetings, that actually meet me and spend some time with me, have a different impression. >> the fourth major romney interview in week came as the conservative media establishment plunged itself into a virtual civil war over newt gingrich, who has surged past romney in the polls at least for the moment. joining us to examine the campaign coverage here in washington, julie mason, now the host of "the press pool" on sirris xm satellite radio. dana millbank, columnist for the "washington post." and ramesh panur, editor at
"review." a zany person -- now you can be zany. will romney's coverage get a boost now that he's actually talking to journal scientists. >> well, that's the -- journalistflation? >> well, that's the first phase. doing the interviews is step one. enough to he has to say something. until now, the fact that he's doing interviews and sat down with, for example, "the new york times." that made news. the interview didn't make news. he's got to start saying something and sharing. >> romney got the endorsement of "the des moines register," saying on "face the nation" that's just a conservative newspaper. he thought he could circumvent the press, all of us, through the debates, online video, and the like. how did that work out for him? >> not so well, howie. and it hasn't worked for any of these guys all the time of the the most popular thing circumstantial in republican primary circles is to bash the media. but guess what -- they've all been sort of seeking the validation of the media. i've been in two campaign ads now, you know, spouting some nonsense on -- on cable tv which
they use to -- in their attack ads. they're constantly validating -- >> are you fodder in the republican presidential campaign? >> yes. i'm assist rog not paing ron pa. >> oh, do. >> the idea is in the quotations the things the rnc sends out, it's saying, according to the "washington post," according to "the new york times," according to msnbc. the idea is it's popular to pasch the mainstream media, but in the end that's what's validating. >> the fear is that journalists are going to make the candidate look bad, ask gotcha questions and all that. i think the flip side is, viewers, voters, they need to see you sweat a little bit. >> that's right. and i think, you know, this is one respect in which the increased competition that romney's getting in the primaries is sharpening as a candidate. on the other hand, you do have the potential to make mistakes. and i think he is going to be haunted by not being able to give an answer on whether he thought the iraq war was worth it. >> dodging the questions which sometimes candidates do or on r forced to do can hurt you. there was another of those debates that seemed to be
dominating this presidential campaign, fox news hosted it. let's take a quick look at a couple of the questions. >> governor romney, you have changed your position in the last ten years on abortion, on gay rights, on guns. you say keeping an open mind is a strength, but some of your critics say that every one of these moves has been to your political advantage. >> two conservative former attorneys general have criticized your plan saying it alters the checks and balances of the three branches of government. they've used words like dangerous, outrageous, and totally irresponsible. are they wrong? >> that was a reference by megan kelly to gingrich's plan which you talk good in a conference call with reporters yesterday to limit the power of the courts and impeach judges he regards as anti-american. my question is about the question ears -- all of the fox news debates in this cycle, has it established the network which is often criticized as conservative, as willing to ask tough questions of republicans? >> sure, certainly. i thought bret baier and chris wallace especially did a wonderful job with the
interviews. was a little inside washington, but people following the campaign closely like getting that aspect in addition to questions about -- there wasn't -- obviously there wasn't enough about what about jobs. but they liked that aspect, that insider aspect. >> you alluded to this earlier, but while romney was in the mitt-ness protection program as it's called and stay away from the press, newt gingrich was all all over fox, on tv. he didn't have money so needed the free media. how much does that help a candidate even when, as you say, you may go on tv and say i'm tired of the mickey mouse questions, but you're still in front of the cameras? >> in newt's case it helped a great deal. among supporters there's a disproportionate amount of fox news viewers. that when was fox news was paying him to be on the airwaves or now had he's just grateful for any time free time he can have. particularly in a republican primary, particularly in iowa, the fox news has this outside influence. >> and -- and the media bashing, as you say, is popular even if you are doing it to the media --
>> all for show, howard. >> all for shou show? you think he loves sflrpts. >> i've seen firsthand that newt -- reporters? >> i've seen firsthand that newt loves hanging out with reporters. >> he was going to take this weekend off, a little over two weeks before the iowa caucuses and decided to go "face the nation." maybe because romney was on television and he felt he needed to be in the newsa a little bit more. we learned this week that gingrich spoke on background. he was a "senior aide to the campaign to the "manchester union leader," responding to criticism from the romney camp. do you have a problem with that? >> i think it's lying. you can't report that someone's a senior aide to himself. >> who's lying? newt or the reporter? >> i think "the union leader." >> and the "washington post" blogger says -- jennifer rubin said they tried to trick readers into believing that newt was staying above the fray when, in fact, he was very much in the fray. >> in newt's case it's fair because he only takes advice from himself, so -- >> but don't candidates do that all the time? i mean, what happened here is
that gingrich's own spokesman outed him to "the new york times." >> right. the only difference is someone got caught. happens all the time. >> you think it's unusual? >> no. the code is, you know, so and so close to the candidates thinking is always code for the candidate. >> duplicity levened by incompetence. >> you clearly disapprove of this. >> i just think -- >> say it on the record. >> i disapprove of this. >> you should have said it on the record to the "union leader" which refuses -- your publication, national review, had a blisterring anti-gingrich editorial. which i will read part. "we fear that to nominate former speaker gingrich would be to blow this opportunity. gingrich's colleagues were right to bring his tenure as speaker to an end. his character flawings, his impulsiveness and grand yost, his weakness for half baked and not especially for irresolute
action. did you vote to use some adjectives in that editorial? >> i mean, to be a real gingrich-ian editorial, it would have to have a lot of ad verbs, frankly and profoundly and so forth. i think that's merited. i think those kinds of critiques and the fact that people think that they're true are some of the reasons why he's dropping in the polls. >> but in a separate piece written by you, you say that he is temperamentally unsuited for the presidency. say he ones the nomination and is going up against barack obama, you may have to eat those words. >> it will be a question between two people who are temperamentally unsuited for the presidency. always have to pick which is less so. >> why does gingrich attract so much vitriol from the pundits including many, as we have just seen, on the right, on sort of his side of the ideological aisle? it's one thing to say, you know, he would be a poor candidate. i mean -- >> there's so many reasons, there's not one reason. you know, for the -- okay, a few. they feel he's going to bring the party down. he's going to be a terrible
nominee, and they're going to blow it and president obama is going to walk away with it again. that's one. also, he compared himself to, what, lincoln, jefferson, jackson, and fdr. he compared his wife to jackie o. reagan. he refers to himself over and over as a historian. comes off as pompous. he was horrible to michele bachmann. >> she was attacking him. he was defending himself. >> he was so dismissive and rude, undecided women voters who heard that heard every boss who's ever put them down and called them stupid. and, you know, men don't hear that, but women do. that really hurt him. >> i just wonder how much of this is personal, dana millbank. some this rhetoric from conservative commentators who do d not want gingrich to get the nominations is more vicious than your pals on the left. >> i think they're being vicious but not out of a personal animus but out of a genuine fear that this guy will cost them an otherwise unwinnable election. they have it in for newt particularly, they just think he's too zany to win. i think they're making it practical. it's a useful thing for the republican establishment and the
media -- conservative media establish. to be doing that is what their role should be, to say, wait, voters, what you're getting into here. >> this their is a split where some conservatives, whether at the weekly standard or rush limbo are pro-newt. and they're saying you're eli eliti elitist, part of the establishment and for the conservative milquetoast -- >> i love this idea idea that by pointing out that freddie mac gave $1.6 million to newt gingrich that makes not gingrich but the people pointing it out part of the elitist establishment. >> if i could defend the "national review," they're not elitist but are smart and in this case right. >> wow, wow. >> you're not concerned -- >> we'll pretend we never saw that -- >> you're not concerned about the in-fighting with people who would otherinarily be your rivals -- >> it tends to be a time of heated emotions. i suspect when there's a republican nominee which, you know, who knows when that's going to happen, that there
their will be a little closing of ranks. >> the rest of us are enjoying the bloodletting, thanks very much for joining us. when we come back, the college student who dug up an old video that embarrassed romney's campaign. meet a new opposition researcher in a moment. just unroll, wrap the brie and bake. it's so easy. now this might even impress aunt martha. pillsbury crescent wrapped brie. holiday ideas made easy. but proven technologies allow natural gas producers to supply affordable, cleaner energy, while protecting our environment. across america, these technologies protect air - by monitoring air quality and reducing emissions... ...protect water - through conservation and self-contained recycling systems... ... and protect land - by reducing our footprint and respecting wildlife. america's natural gas... domestic, abundant, clean energy to power our lives... that's smarter power today. [ woman ] i know my kids are growing up.
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it's a video clip that's been all over cable news this week. mitt romney when he was running for massachusetts governor in 2002 sounding very unlike the committed conservative he campaigns as today. >> i think the old, you know, standby definitions of who votes for which party have been blown away in this campaign. i think people recognize that i'm not a partisan republican, that i'm someone who is moderate and that my views are progressive. >> what you may not know is that the video was dug up from the cspan archives pie a college student at st. john's university. his name is andrew kaczynski. i spoke to him earlier from new york. andrew cass in skaczynski.
welcome. how is it that the big media organizations not to mention rival campaigns failed to find this romney video and you did? >> that's a good question. i look all over the place, look on youtube. i look on google videos, al videos. and i just kind of think i find stuff that seems to have seeped through the cracks. >> this is your life, this is what you do in your spare time. is this an addiction? >> yeah. it's kind of a hobby of mine. i really do it because i think it's cool. i have influence on the political process. >> this particular week you had more than a little influence over the political process. i mean, everybody picked up that video. are you not a mitt romney fan? because this definitely hurt him. >> no, you know, i have my political views, some are the record, some of them aren't. and i'm someone -- >> basically a sflun. >> yeah. i mean i'm someone who have my own political views. i feel like that when you're doing something like this, when you're researching people, you have to be objective. and if you find something, i'm not someone who is going to not put something out just because i
feel like it might be a little damaging to someone because if you're a politician and you set said something and your views cv changed over the years, people have a right to know that. >> there wasn't an attempt by you to push any jeaent. whatever you found if it was newsworthy, you were going to put it out there. do you view yourself as a journalist or opposition researcher? >> i guess i think of myself as a journalist. i'm someone who feels like, as i said, this has an important purpose to play in the campaign. shows how people have evolved. >> and when you saw this particular romney video, did you instantly say to yourself, boy, this is going to make quite a splash? >> i really had no idea. it's funny with the stuff i put up. some of it -- i really don't know what's going to have a big impact or not. i guess when i find something like when i found that video of romney talking it john kerry aing he was a flip-flopper, i kind of knew that was going blow up. it was almost surreal. but most of the stuff that i find, i really don't know what's
going to go viral and what isn't. >> so this -- the fairly intense reaction to this, surprised you to some sdmoig. >> yeah. you know, i put the clip out. i just woke up right before i was going to take a showering to to see school. i'm like, i figured, i'm going to put up one video before i go out today. i uploaded it, and i remembered after i was ready about to leave, i checked, and it had 400 views. i knew i find something pretty big. >> it's not like you were sending emails to lots of tv networks trying to attract attention to your work. >> sometimes they'll send emails to people saying, hey, you know, check out this clip that i just put on line. but most of the time, after one person posts it, it really goes out to a larger audience and people kind of take from there. >> give it all the attention you've gotten for from this and the earlier videos that you have unearthed, has this led to any employment prospects for you? >> yeah. mine, -- i mean, i actually got
a job opportunity at buzzfeed. it's really great. kind of the viral beating heart of the web. it's going to be exciting to see all this new stuff that's coming out there. >> ben smith who just left "politico" has hired you on the strength of your video-gathering skills to join this web site, becau buzzfeed? >> that's right. i really feel like this is going to be a great place to see how all of these political videos start going viral. it's going to be a unique place to view all of them on the web. >> you have your own cable tv show. andrew -- thank you very much for joining us. >> thanks for having me. >> he already has his own youtube channel. coming up in the second part of "reliable sources," abc's sundays experiment with christiane amanpour is over. it was a bad pick from the start and can george stephanopoulos hold e host "this week" and "good morning america" at the same time? and why are some in the media uncomfortable with tim tebow and his open displays of christianity?
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week was an adjustment from cnn. he welcomed viewers as usual and joining her at the round table was the man who hosted the show before her george stephanopoulos. >> george, how do you think mitt romney measured up in the sort of aggressive tactics that people talk about? how did they measure up against each other? >> well, i got to say i was a little surprised right there at the top. i thought governor romney was going to hesitate at all. >> days later, abc announced that stephanopoulos will be continuing to host while co-hosting "good morning americ america". amanpour will become abc's global affairs anchor and split time between that and cnn international. joining us to talk about the short-lived sunday experiment, here in washington, david zurich, television and media critic for "the baltimore sun." in new york, marisa guthrie, reporter for "the hollywood reporter." she lasted maybe year and a half at most d. she ever really, truly establish herself as a sundays most? >> yeah, that's part of the
problem. i don't think she ever did. it was 16 months, i think, was her tenure, and worst part -- abc essentially went from second in the mornings, a tight second, with nbc, to third, bob schieffer is the birthday victor here, moving into a tight second place. she'll never did. part of it, i do think this is part of the problem -- she lived in new york. she came to washington to do the show. washington is a culture unto itself. and as we hit this really hugely important political season, abc just could not go on with the sunday morning show that wasn't engaged in the american political discourse. >> you say you have to be able to breathe the politically polluted air here. >> yes. >> was this a fundamentally the wrong choice by abc to give christiane that job? >> i think it's obvious that it was. look, she went from being a big fish -- you know, they went to being a small fish in a big pond at a broadcast network.
on cnn, she got to engage in her passion. she was passionate about foreign affairs. and she had 24-hour cable news network to do that. she's shehorned into a broadcast network where she -- the show she's hosting really is not doing that kind of reporting, and if she's lucky highway is has to get a two-minute piece on, where, the evening news? i think it was fairly obvious that she was miscast from the beginning. judge. >> there was talk of making this week more international -- >> never happened. >> it didn't really happen, but she did it at the same time as an anchor, scored exclusive interviews, for example, with hosni mubarak and with moammar gadhafi before he was killed. i guess i agree with david is you got to be an american politics junkie in order to do the sunday morning thing. she had lived in europe for more than a decade before coming back to do this job. >> yeah. in fairness, it is true, howie. you know, when the situation in egypt was unfolding, she did go there on a sunday and do a terrific show that i think we both raved about -- >> yes.
>> yes, you can't have that every week. and now especially as we -- you know, they're moving really fast at abc. january 8, stephanopoulos is in n that chair because as we head to iowa and down the line, they have to get back in this race. and they're out of it. i mean, in some ways. >> and stephanopoulos will remain in the early morning chair at "gma" monday through friday. there was talk when he took that job that "gma" would become a more serious, politically oriented newscast. that hasn't really happened. he does some serious stories, but here are other things he has to cope with in the early morning hours. >> we're going to turn to our romance question of the morning -- when it comes to dating, do men have a type? >> i love a classic new york black and white cookie, i'm going to show you how to ice them. the strict after you bake them, you've got to freeze them. >> freeze them? >> lindsay lohan, she has grown up in the tabloids. every detail of her personal life exposed to public scrutiny. so much of it brought upon herself. now she's getting even more exposure by posing for "playboy."
>> so the "good morning america," very different broadcast than this week to which stephanopoulos will be returning. >> again, miscast, right? i mean, i think this goes to show you cannot shoehorn an anchor into a broadcast that they're not meant to do. you know, it happened with christiane. i think we've seen some of it with george on "gma" although it tag else between the heart and the song. but he was clearly less than comfortable with the stories, the lindsay lohan stories. remember when he had to interview charlie sheen's hooker? >> who among us could forget that classic television moment? but now he's going to do double duty. he had told me one time -- he was reluctant to give up "this week week" and move from washington -- some thought jake tapper might be a regular part of the program. >> they have people like jake tapper.
when christiane got the job, i was one of the people who said, you know, jake tapper's really doing well here. he could do. it and he brings an enthusiasm. and he's so plugged in. look, i think george is going to do it through this election season. he's going to do it until he can't do it anymore. because they have tapper, they have backup. they can -- you know, if he's having a week where he's stressed out, they can plug tapper and not lose anything. that's a good thing. on mean, that really is a good thing. let me say one thing in defense of george because i watched a lot of these interviews that he had to do. and i -- and all of us in the media as our publications and as our broadcast -- >> briefly -- >> try to -- >> he's a good sport. >> yes. i don't mock him. he's still a tremendous journalist. >> cnn's candy crowley the only woman hosting a sunday show. and "face the nation" expanding to an hour if a half-hour. schieffer's wanted that for 20 years. chelgsy clinton made her debut this week on "rock center." take a brief look at how that went. >> chelsea! we're so glad to have you. >> so glad to be here.
>> we're going to ask ms. chelsea if she will do the first demonstration for us. >> oh, dear. >> you really don't cook, chelsea, do you? >> not a lot. i'm working on it. >> she recently had been to joeling me and challenging me -- cajoling me and challenging me to do more with my life, that being chelsea clinton had happened to me, and that i had a responsibility to do something with that asset and opportunity. >> chelsea talking about her late grandmother, dorothy rodham. earlier she had profiled this woman in arkansas who works with underprivileged kids. so, marisa, you have a license to review television. how did she do? >> amateurish. i mean, look, the cognitive dissidence on that edition was interesting. here you had ted koppel, career that spans, what, half a century. towering figure in broadcast journalism in iraq. and here the next secondment was this very earnest chelsea
clinton talking to a lovely woman in arkansas, but if it felt like something you would see on a college television station. >> steve cappas, president of nbc news, in his shameless hype for this journalistically bankruptstician said it's as if -- bankrupt decision said it's like chelsea had been preparing this for her life. if that's true, it's a largely wasted life. as mean as that might sound, i don't take it back, really. this was -- it wasn't just the style that marisa talk good -- >> she wasn't that bad. the network television does a lot of these tough pieces. >> no, this story this story took a woman -- i know nothing about her, but i looked it up. chelsea said she has given every dollar to this charity, and that's why she's bankrupt. nobody checked that out for goodness sake. who gives every dollar to the charity, number one. number two, she said, oh, she quit a big educational job to dedicate herself to do. i did a little surfing to find
out -- she was the youth leader at her church, it wasn't like she was the school superintendent of little radio ro rock -- little rock. this was a journalistic piece that was shameless by nbc trying to do this. this is the difference between "60 minutes "the and brian williams' show. "60 minutes" would not do this stuff. >> it would be interesting to see the old school newsies at cbs news would eat her alive. it would be some blonde hair on the sidewalk -- >> we're warming up. >> i've got to pull the plug. marisa guthrie, david zurawik, maybe she'll get better. next, tim tebow and sports reporters crying foul about his displays of religious faith.
in february terms at least he's a clear winner. tim tea bow is not a classic quarterback but has led the team to miraculous starts with comebacks. >> there's absolutely no point in trying to tear down tim tebow. the kid is winning and that's what it's about. >> tebow might be the most controversial athlete in pro sport. he showcases opposition to abortion in a super bowl ad called "focus on the family." >> i call him my miracle baby.
he almost didn't make it into this world. i can remember so many times when i almost lost him. >> thanks, mom. love you, too. >> these days tebow is quite open about his christian faith. he does a celebratory prayer after touchdowns. that has made him something of a cultural lightning rod. joining us now here in washington, dave ziren, sports editor for "the nation" and host of sirris xm's shorts show. in cincinnati, greg doyle columnist for sportsline.com. how much, greg, of the story is fueled by sports? how much is fueled by religion? >> it's a -- weird combination of both. we've never seen anything like this before. you couldn't have one without the other. if there was no sports involved we'd probably ignore him sgie entirely. it's fun to watch. >> you right about tebow's right wing strain of evangelical christianity and say tebow has
been spared the media smackdown that sports and politics don't miss. has he? seems he's been smacked around by a few people. >> smacked by minor lights like myself. the guy got to do an ad in the super bowl for focus on the family. an organization that wants to end women's reproductive rights and is for gay repairtive therapy. you don't get the same rights based on where you stand politically. that makes tebow grating to a lot of people. it's not religion. >> what he did an ad defending abortion rights, you'd be cheering him. >> i would be, but there will be a similar level of controversialness. it's a weird question because the nfl wouldn't allow it. i wouldn't allow an ad by the union during the super bowl. there are ads they don't allow. the fact that they would allow focus on the family into that sacred space of super bowl ads says a lot about the politics of the nfl. >> greg, why should there be any media smackdown at all? why can an athlete who -- gains
prominence pause he's good at throwing the pigskin not be able to talk openly about his faith? >> i don't know. if tebow had more class, he'd kill dogs or get drunk and run over somebody and end their life. he's got a lot of nerve talking about some higher power in his life. whether we agree or not, people tend to be scared of or at least don't like things they don't understand. and we don't understand tebow. i'm right there with him. people like me look at tom brady, going from supermodel to supermodel and say, i want to live like that. we don't look at tebow and say, i want to live like that. i like watching what he's doing. >> you say he's got nerve doing this. i don't want people to think that you're anti-religion. if seems like you're offended by the fact that he prays to god and does it in a very public manner on and off the field. >> i'm so sarcastic and dry, my humor's not any good. i was joking. >> that's what i get for trying to be funny. i'm sparing you the e-mail. >> there was a great piece a couple of months back, greg
wrote about the pro tempore tuseness of tebow at the beginning of the season. saying because he's such a believer in god he deserves to start at quarterback. there have been a lot of religious quarterbacks, phillip rivers, kurt warner. to call tee bbow just ael are js figure is like call -- religious figure is like calling jerry falwell a religious figure. that's why he has ardent admirers and makes people like myself uncomfortable. i think there's a real hypocrisy in how he's perceived. >> are you uncomfortable because he is, some would say, in your face about it? in other words, there are people who maybe want to watch football and enjoy the broncos games and not see these public displays? >> there's some -- some of that is true. i mean, there's -- his father is a missionary,ari earl tebow, ane talks about circumsizing kids in the philippines to try and get them involved in religion. there's an aspect of that, to be honest, that makes me uncomfortable.
i think he gets a pass of standing on the right wing edge of evangelical politics when other athletes with ideas on the other side of the spectrum i think would be absolutely pillaried. >> greg, dave seems to be saying that tee show should zip it -- tebow should zip it. put on the pads, throw the football, we don't need to hear what he thinks. there's something about that position making me uncomfortable. >> you know what, i wouldn't mind if he zipped it. i don't like listening to him talk about that stuff he talks about. don't get me wrong. when i say i'm enjoying watching tebow, i'm enjoying watching tebow. i don't enjoy listening to him. i'm one of the few people i guess that can separate the sports from the politics. i'm tired of the politics. i'm tired of the focus on the family talk. tired of all that crap. i don't care about that. tim tebow is 7-1 with the bizarre skills set. people are like me, they don't care about the stuff off the field. watching him play is neat, kind of weird. >> say i don't want him to zip it at all. i want us to be able to have an honest dialogue on who focus on the family is. and why he get a pass on. i also like watching tebow, too, a little stat. he's last in the nfl in q.b.
rating in the first three quarters of the game. and first in the fourth quarter. that's amazing. >> what matters is the score on the scoreboard at the end. you say, dave, you wrote, there is something noxious about him being manufactured as a leader. look, there are all kinds of showboats in the nfl and other sports leagues who were famous for different things. whether it's -- you know, off the court behavior with women, tattoos, mouthing off to the coach. so -- but put this, it seems, in a different category. >> because he's held up as this example that we should follow, but when you look closer at the example -- >> how about you? >> by the media. my god, the love affair with tebow. you're talking like the media is engaged in this tebow smackdown. i think the media collectively pays rent and tim tebow's behind at this point. they are loving tim tebow to such a degree that i feel like a lonely voice saying excuse me, there's something noxious about where he stands. and we have the right to say that. >> do you see a love affair, greg doyle? >> i see both. i see both. i see a love affair from some
people and see what dave's talking b. i've written stuff that dave's talking about. i've been both, i am both. i think there's room for both of us. and there's room hopefully for me being both of us. >> we recommend greg's columns, like the progression over months. on tebow it's interesting. >> let me follow up. before he had all the victories under his belt, you, greg, wrote that his faith baffles you, and you wrote -- you describe his attitude as "i'll be a starter in this league because god loves me that much." is that the part where you feel like you want to turn down the volume on the tv? >> yeah, yeah. when he was talking about things have a way of working out. that's christian speak 10 for god's going to take care of me because i love him that much. whether tebow realized that's what he was saying, that's what he was saying. did and does bother me. again, there's only so much time i'm willing to spend bothered before i realize, you know what, whatever's happening on the field, focus on the family all that stuff, that's high-minded stuff that i don't really get into. i'm a sports writer. i'm in the toy department. tebow's a fun toy. >> i think you'd agree on one
thing -- this is a fascinating story. thank you very much for stopping by. after the break, "time" magazine's person of the year. who is it turns out isn't a person? managing editor rick stengel takes on critics. on cruze and traverse over there. oh! that's my beard. [ chuckles ] it's amazing. ♪ [ male announcer ] this holiday, chevy's giving more. now very well qualified lessees can sign and drive a 2012 cruze ls for around $199 a month. ♪ but proven technologies allow natural gas producers to supply affordable, cleaner energy, while protecting our environment. across america, these technologies protect air - by monitoring air quality and reducing emissions... ...protect water - through conservation and self-contained recycling systems... ... and protect land - by reducing our footprint and respecting wildlife. america's natural gas...
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"time's" person of the year was unveiled this week. as you probably heard, it's not one person. it's "the protester," a symbol of those who challenge the autocratic regimes in tunisia, libya, and the occupy wall street movement here at home. but was that just a gamic to avoid honoring a human being?
i spoke with "time" managing editor, rick stengel from new york. welcome. >> nice to be here with you. >> now some of the criticism this cover selection comes from the right, the conservative site newsbusters saying ""time" is so tlabl it could not consider the tea party protest as a person of the year entry," but that's not true with occupy wall street. your response? >> actually, in kurt anderson's fantastic cover story about the protester, he cites the tea party as an antecedent of what we saw around the world this year. and in fact, the -- you know, one of the things about the protest movement is that it's politically ecumenical. there are people on the left and right. and it's not particularly ideological in one way or another. so i just don't think that's a particularly fair criticism. >> now i understand the arab spring and the courageous people we saw protesting in countries like tunisia and egypt and ultimately libya and fighting and toppling those regimes. but when you pull the camera
back a bit and look at occupy wall street, which is a significant part of this story because it's kind of the american angle, ultimately what did it accomplish? >> well, that remains to be seen. i mean, one of the things that i like about this particular choice and that i've tried with other choices, it's not simply a backward looking choice, it's also a forward-looking choice. and i think the protester in the u.s. is going to influence the election this year, influence a lot of the way we think about our issues. by the way, as well, i mean, the story isn't just about arab spring and occupy wall street. it's about protests in madrid, protests in greece, protests in india, protests now, of course, in russia which may be the most significant of all. >> now some of the other criticism is not particularly ideological, but going back to the 2006 choice which was you, all of us i guess. some people saying, well, it's a copout, you know, because instead of picking a person you picked this amower ufos movement. >> well, howie, i always prefer to choose a person.
and i think that's what people like. you know, we've done that in most cases. but part of the reason for the choice this year is that there wasn't a person who represented this movement, these changes, that stood out among the rest. and, in fact, part of the choice, too, reflects the fact -- the failure, really, of orthodox, conventional government leader who is haven't risen to the occasion at all this year. so by selecting the protester in general, it's a statement about the lack of leadership by individuals all around the world. >> and when you say "making the choice," is this ultimately your decision or is there some kind of committee that meets behind closed doors and sends up smoke when you reach a decision? >> i would be revealing house secrets about that. no. it's ultimately my decision, but we talk to all of our correspondents, writers, editors, and we do it through the course of the year. there seemed to be a general feeling that this was the most
interesting idea, the most interesting way to approach it. you know, early in the year, arab spring was dominating. and once the kind of germ of protest started spreading, it seemed like it was an even bigger idea. >> and "time," cnn's parent company, always gets a lot of buzz and publicity over this choice. you prefer to pick a person. why not steve jobs? >> well, the way i look at i, howie, is that person of the year is not a lifetime achievement award. if we had chosen someone like steve jobs this year, it would have been about what he had done over many, many years. as you know from reading walter's book, he was very disappointed he wasn't chose en in 1984 as person of the year. >> he thought he was going to get it according to the walter isaacson biography. last year you picked mark zuckerberg of facebook so, you're saying it helps to be alive to be in contention for this award? >> yes. well, we've actually never in our history chosen someone who wasn't alive as person of the year. in fact, you know, speaking of
the protester, we had thought about choosing someone who had died, and that would have been the young man in -- the young tunisian food seller who set himself afire and started this worldwide movement. but in the end, i thought the protester was more powerful. in the end, i thought in the case of steve jobs it would have been more like a lifetime achievement award rather than the person who really did influence events most during the past year. >> rick, i've got about half a minute. but you also list the runners-up, and one of them was kate middleton. without any knock on the royal family, i have to ask you, really? if this is acknowledging of somebody who changed the world. >> well, we're trying to, you know, have an interesting buffet of stories for people. and kate middleton, you know, captured hundreds of millions of people's hearts. and in a way that was a little lighter than some of the others. so part of that is about the mix. >> all right. thanks very much for joining us, rick stengel. we appreciate it. still to come, remembering
"vanity fair's" christopher hitchens, msnbc runs a horribly unfair story about mitt romney. and chuck todd forgets the lesson that the camera is always on. [ female announcer ] help i need a holiday party idea. mmm... pillsbury crescent wrapped brie just unroll, wrap the brie and bake. it's so easy. now this might even impress aunt martha. pillsbury crescent wrapped brie. holiday ideas made easy.
time now for the "media monitor." christopher hitchens died thursday night. he was a character. not everyone liked the guy. he could be obnoxious, a drunk, and loved to carry on feuds. who else would call mother teresa, a fanatic, a fundamentalist, and a fraud? he was also a tremendously talented writer, who championed the cause of atheism in this country and wrote openly about his struggle with cancer. "the new york times" stopped the presses to get his obit. he would have loved that. romney has occasionally used the slogan "keep america american." that was enough for msnbc to pounce on the former massachusetts governor with anchor thomas roberts pointing out the phrase was once used by the ku klux klan. >> keep america american anymore was a central theme of the kkk
in the 1920s. >> that's right. the left-leaning network crediting the liberal left side america blog actually had the temerity to suggest those words implied some kind of link between the candidate and the notoriously racist organization. msnbc later expressed its regrets. >> during the 11:00 a.m. hour on msnbc today, we reported on a blog item that compared a phrase used by the romney campaign to one used by the kkk way back in the 1920s. it was irresponsible and incendiary of us to do this and it showed an appalling lack of judgment. we apologize, we really do, to the romney campaign. >> irresponsible, incendiary and an appalling lack of judgment. i couldn't agree more. how does something like that get on the air? meanwhile, the "washington post" also went with a romney kkk story online and later retracted it saying this posting contains multiple serious factual errors that undermine its premise. the post should have contacted the campaign for comment before publication.
finally, we apologize the posting began by saying someone didn't do his research, when, in fact, had not done ours. finally, most of us in tv news have learned to watch what we say in front of the cameras, but you also have to watch your body language, as nbc's chuck todd learned the other day. >> oh, my god. david gregory, nbc political analyst -- >> you're sitting together. >> hmm. todd was quick to tweet that the the camera is always on. a lesson some of us never learn. my apologies. am personally embarrassed. was a joke with someone on the other side. a joke that unfortunately wound up being shared with the rest of us. so watch it, chuck. that's it for this edition of "reliable sources." i'm howard kurtz. join us again next sunday morning 11:00 a.m. eastern for another critical look at the media. "state of the union" with joe johns sitting in for candy crowley, begins right now.