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December 14th, 2013
01:58 PM ET

Sneak peek at this Sunday's show...

Tune in to "Reliable Sources" this Sunday at 11 a.m. Eastern! Here's a preview from the program's host Brian Stelter:

In 2010 the Associated Press reporters Matt Apuzzo and Adam Goldman learned that the United States government had been lying about Robert Levinson, an American who had disappeared in Iran three years earlier. Levinson was not, as government officials claimed, a private investigator who had been in Iran on business. He was a contractor for the C.I.A. The Associated Press and several other news organizations refrained from reporting what they knew about Levinson's identity until this week. Why now?

That's where we will begin "Reliable Sources" this Sunday. The White House says that the publication of stories about Levinson has been "highly irresponsible." The A.P. obviously disagrees. Apuzzo will be on set with me in Washington to discuss.

Before the show, I'd like to know what you think about the C.I.A. spy stories - add a comment at the bottom of this blog post.

Then we'll pivot to this week's Santa controversy. (What an odd thing to write.) Aisha Harris, a culture blogger for Slate magazine, wrote a blog post on Tuesday titled "Santa Claus Should Not Be a White Man Anymore." By now you've probably heard about the Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly's reaction — "Santa just is white" — and the reactions to her reaction, etcetera.

But someone was missing from Kelly's much-talked-about segment on Wednesday: the blogger who started it all. Harris says "Fox didn't bother reaching out to me personally to debate the issue at hand." Maybe Fox reached out to someone else at Slate; I don't know. But when a CNN producer emailed Harris on Friday morning, she replied right away; she'll join me live from New York. (For what it's worth, Fox also apparently tried to book her on Friday; Kelly said on Friday night that Slate "denied our request.")

Later on in the show, we'll look at the recently reignited debate between the White House and the press corps over access with CNN’s national political reporter Peter Hamby, Roll Call's new editor-in-chief Christina Bellantoni and The Blaze's "Hot List" host Amy Holmes. The political panel will also discuss Hamby's exclusive report on Republican plans to overhaul the 2016 primary process.

Here's a segment we have been planning for weeks: the "Anchorman 2" marketing assault. Some analysts have said that Ron Burgundy is showing us the future of movie marketing. I'll ask Adweek's Sam Thielman if he agrees.

[Post-show update: I'd mentioned a segment here about Comcast and a new technology that lets Twitter users tune their TV sets and start watching shows on their mobile devices straight from Twitter. We held the segment for time constraints, so look for it on a future edition of the program.]

See you Sunday!

–Brian

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soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. joev

    Re: Ron Burgundy Ad Blitz

    I have to disagree with your guest about no such thing as over-saturation ads. Let's set aside I find Will Ferrell's roles derivative and his acting remedial, seeing Mr. Ferrell's face plastered everywhere with what seems to selling Cars and Zinc supplement endorsements turns me off his movie.

    Of course, considering the tastes of my fellow Americans, I suppose it should come as no surprise the movie will have a terrific opening weekend; however, In the annals of comedy, Ferrell and his movies won't even register a footnote.

    December 15, 2013 at 12:01 pm | Reply
  2. Karen

    The press complaining they do not have enough access to the Whitehouse and that that leads to a lack of transparency is self-serving and one-sided. First, it is critical to distinguish between good-old-fashion journalism where accuracy and full (all sides) reporting and the charade of modern reporting which is anything but non-biased and accurate. Given the media free-for-all where everything is biased and many reporters are less than respectful and really only interested in creating controversy where none exists. What is clear is that many media divas (can't call them journalists or even reporters) can twist and contort just about anything to make it a "get" or a sensational story. In the very same line of conversation you brought up an issue about the WH releasing vs allow access to the First Families dogs. Seriously?
    A good many of you who parade as journalists need a refresher course in proper reporting and then couple it with a good dose of Emily-Post-style respectful behavior.

    December 15, 2013 at 11:58 am | Reply
  3. Mark

    The "Santa "controversy"!? To the SLATE writer who initiated this conversation I offer the observation that, once again, historical reference is completely lost amidst the self-serving political discourse... In short: "

    Sinterklaas came to America with the Dutch in the 17th and 18th centuries, and it was in the new colonies that he really evolved.

    The anglicizing of the name – from Sinterklaas to Santa Claus – happened by 1773, when the latter was referenced for the first time, in a New York City newspaper. Santa's waistline expanded in 1809 with the publication of author Washington Irving's book "A History of New York," in which the big man is described as portly and smoking a pipe instead of as a lanky bishop.

    In an 1822 poem entitled "A Visit from Saint Nicholas" – more commonly called "Twas the Night Before Christmas" – by Clement Moore, Santa is further imagined with a magic sleigh powered by reindeer, a sack full of toys, and a round stomach, "like a bowl full of jelly."

    By the late 1800s, most depictions of Santa Claus followed this imagery, but the final cog in the Claus legend was provided by Coca-Cola ad illustrator Haddon Sundblom, whose 1930s red-suited Santa, complete with white-fur trim and leather boots, became the iconic standard recognizable today.

    Whether it suits your particular political agenda or not, the bottom line is that there is an actual, specific history of "Santa" that is specifically traceable to EUROPEAN HISTORY. NOT African history nor the history of any other ethnicity. Some things just are what they are.

    The following links provide additional information:
    http://www.history.com/topics/santa-claus
    http://www.stnicholascenter.org/pages/origin-of-santa/

    December 15, 2013 at 11:49 am | Reply
    • joev

      Well said.

      December 15, 2013 at 12:52 pm | Reply
  4. Tim

    Santa Claus and and Jesus Christ have one undeniable commonality. Both have fictional superpowers. But the color of their skin is soooooo very important.

    December 15, 2013 at 10:59 am | Reply
  5. Serge Storms

    Santa Claus lives at the north pole with elves and delivers toys to billions of children in one night via flying reindeer. Yup, those are facts we can't change to suit our political beliefs. Next up, the Easter bunny is a bunny.

    December 15, 2013 at 9:04 am | Reply
  6. Bobby Ray

    The "Santa controversy" is just the latest example that shows that FOX NEWS is an entertainment channel rather than a news outlet. There is no "war on Christmas" but it figures prominently on FOX every December. Megyn Kelly's statement that "You can't change the facts to suit your political beliefs." should be true for any serious journalist, but apparently is optional at FOX NEWS.

    December 15, 2013 at 8:52 am | Reply

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