Sunday, December 14

Rolling Stone & UVA—Did the reporter have an agenda? How the CIA uses misinformation; should the media publish hacked emails? Obama's recent media blitz; an American journalist held in Iran.

Rolling Stone & UVA—Did the reporter have an agenda? How the CIA uses misinformation; should the media publish hacked emails? Obama's recent media blitz; an American journalist held in Iran.

December 14th, 2014
05:30 PM ET

Student source for Rolling Stone's disputed UVA rape story speaks out

Alex Pinkleton is a University of Virginia student, a rape survivor, and a friend of Jackie, the subject of Rolling Stone's disputed article "A Rape on Campus." She speaks with Brian Stelter about discrepancies in Jackie's story and her anger at the writer of the Rolling Stone article, Sabrina Rubin Erdely.

"I think that she should have fact-checked, and I'm really upset and angry, like a lot of people are, that that didn't happen and now we're in a very difficult situation," Pinkleton said.

Pinkleton said that Erdely has tried to contact her since controversy erupted over the article, but that she has declined to speak with Erdely.

"I think her intentions were good," Pinkleton said. "I just think that the job was done poorly, and I am upset with that aspect of it, but I also know that she was trying to come from a point of advocacy. But as a reporter, you can't be like an advocate and support a story and listen to it and think everything is true and then report on it without trying to figure out if it's true. My job as an advocate was never to question Jackie's story or question the details, because I didn't need to. But the role that she's in as a reporter, she needed to do that."


Filed under: Reliable Sources
December 14th, 2014
05:25 PM ET

Should journalists publish stolen information from Sony Pictures?

Variety co-editor in chief Andrew Wallenstein and CNN's Don Lemon discuss the fallout from the cyber-attack against Sony Pictures. The hackers have been releasing troves of secret documents and private email exchanges from studio executives.

Some of the highlights from the segment:

  · In Hollywood, "this is all anyone is talking about," Wallenstein said. It's just amazing. And you have to wonder about the executives at the center of this, how this is going to impact their future."

  · Regarding the racially insensitive emails to and from powerful producer Scott Rudin and studio chief Amy Pascal, Lemon said, "I think it really makes the point of what Chris Rock has said about Hollywood, when he wrote an essay saying Hollywood is a white industry and has a racial problem. It certainly does. And this highlights it."

  · Regarding the decision to publish some of the leaked messages and information, Wallenstein said, "Essentially, we've done the bidding [of the hackers]. We've maximized the exposure to this content. I don't do that lightly. But on the other hand, it was going to get out there anyway, and we have to be part of the conversation."


Filed under: Reliable Sources
December 14th, 2014
04:48 PM ET

Jason Rezaian's brother pleads for his release

Ali Rezaian calls for the release of his brother Jason Rezaian, a Washington Post correspondent, from Iranian detention.

"Jason shouldn't be there," Ali said, addressing the Iranian authorities directly. "He has been in jail for almost five months. Please, just let him come home and be with us. It's the holidays, and we all just want to be together."

Rezaian was detained in July. The U.S. State Department and an array of journalism advocacy groups have demanded that he be freed.

Earlier this week, Rezaian's mother Mary spoke with CNN's Christiane Amanpour.

Web-exclusive: Brian Stelter also asked Ali Rezaian about what his brother Jason told CNN's Anthony Bourdain in a taping of "Parts Unknown" earlier this year:


Filed under: Reliable Sources
December 14th, 2014
04:42 PM ET

Univision's Jorge Ramos and BET's Jeff Johnson reflect on Obama interviews

This week the president was interviewed on Univision, Telemundo, Comedy Central, BET, and ESPNU. Next week he'll be on Ryan Seacrest's radio show. What's behind this media blitz? Brian Stelter spoke with Univision's Jorge Ramos and BET's Jeff Johnson.

An excerpt from the segment:

STELTER: I've been thinking about what the message is behind all of these interviews - speaking to BET and Univision and Telemundo and Comedy Central and now Ryan Seacrest next week. Maybe the message is, simply, that the White House is juggling many balls at the same time, that it's walking and chewing gum at the same time, that it's able to handle lots of different topics at the same time.

RAMOS: What he's saying right now is that he's an active president, that he's not a lame duck president. I think that this is very important. This is a person completely involved in race issues, completely involved on immigration.

JOHNSON: I think to Jorge's point, what we're dealing with now is a president who wants to show what the White House has the ability to do, without Congress, where some of his initiatives are going to be, whether it's through executive order or whether it's through utilization of mechanisms like the DoJ. He wants to be very aggressive in saying, here's where we're going to use our authority to be able to address these very pressing issues. And so that's very different.

Johnson also observed that "the difference between the African American community and the Latino community is that there have been much fewer interviews on television with African American press."

He added, "I hope that in between now and the end of his term, there's going to be a lot more conversation with the black press, not just on radio but on television."


Filed under: Reliable Sources
December 14th, 2014
04:27 PM ET

Red News/Blue News: the torture report

Brian Stelter takes a look at cable coverage of the Senate's torture report, and former CIA spokesman Bill Harlow and Yahoo chief investigative correspondent Michael Isikoff discuss the report's revelations about the CIA's efforts to shape news coverage of its interrogation program.


Filed under: Reliable Sources
December 14th, 2014
04:14 PM ET

Web exclusive: Using the word 'torture'

Should journalists be describing the CIA's harsh interrogation techniques as "torture?" Brian Stelter asks Yahoo chief investigative correspondent Michael Isikoff and former CIA spokesman Bill Harlow.


Filed under: Reliable Sources
December 7th, 2014
03:22 PM ET

Rolling Stone editors reviewing mistakes after apologizing for 'Rape on Campus' article

With Rolling Stone's 9,000-word article about the brutal gang rape of a University of Virginia student under intense scrutiny, Washington Post reporter Taylor Rees Shapiro, who uncovered flaws in the article, and UVA student Sandra Menendez, who knows the alleged victim, speak with Brian Stelter.

Related: CNNMoney story about what comes next for Rolling Stone

Menendez was interviewed by Erdely but not quoted. She said she and several other students "felt really uncomfortable after being interviewed."

Menendez said she concluded that Erdely had an agenda: "I think she was trying to tell a really painful story, which is that sexual assault really does happen at the University of Virginia and also around the United States. I'm not quite sure if the story that was told, you know, really does speak truly to it."


Filed under: Reliable Sources
December 7th, 2014
03:20 PM ET

Hanna Rosin on Rolling Stone's journalistic sins and 'survivor culture'

Hanna Rosin, a writer for Slate and The Atlantic, says the disputed Rolling Stone article about a brutal gang rape at the University of Virginia sounds like an instance of "belief getting in way of facts."

"Wanting the story desperately to be true got in the way," Rosin said.


Filed under: Reliable Sources
December 7th, 2014
03:06 PM ET

Dan Pfeiffer, the man in Obama's ear

Dan Pfeiffer, a senior advisor to President Obama, talks with Brian Stelter about shaping the president's message and seeking new, nontraditional media forums.


Filed under: Reliable Sources
December 7th, 2014
03:02 PM ET

The many hats of MSNBC's Al Sharpton

Al Sharpton is an activist, a fund-raiser for his civil rights organization, and an informal advisor to President Obama and the mayor of New York City. So is it problematic that he also hosts a talk show on MSNBC? Brian Stelter speaks with National Urban League president Marc Morial, West Angeles Church of God in Christ minister Johnathan Gentry , and NY1 host and CNN commentator Errol Louis.


Filed under: Reliable Sources
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