Tune in to "Reliable Sources" this Sunday at 11 a.m. Eastern! Here's a preview from the program's host Brian Stelter:
Let's tally up all the important stories this week. Congress passed a budget for the first time in years. The stock market reached new record highs. A roof collapsed on a packed London theater. A federal judge said the NSA's bulk collection of our telephone records was likely unconstitutional.
Oh, and a star of "Duck Dynasty" thinks that homosexuality is a sin?
On "Reliable Sources" this week, I'll look at why Phil Robertson's comments in GQ turned into such a big story, how politics intersected with reality television, and whether the cable channel A&E has responded the right way. I'll be joined by Lola Ogunnaike, an anchor for Arise TV; Matea Gold, a reporter for The Washington Post who wrote about how "conservative politicians rushed to defend Phil Robertson," and Matt Lewis, a contributor to The Daily Caller who wrote this column about "two Americas" this week.
I also want to have a discussion about "60 Minutes." Did you watch last Sunday's report on the NSA? What did you think? I thought it was a missed opportunity for tough questions and truly groundbreaking reporting about the government's mass surveillance programs. The report was panned by many media critics, partly because the reporter John Miller used to work in the government (and likely will again — he has been in talks this week to rejoin the New York Police Department) and partly because he didn't include any outside voices that are critical of the NSA.
Here's what Ryan Lizza, a CNN commentator and Washington correspondent for The New Yorker, wrote on Twitter right after the "60 Minutes" telecast:
Wow, the 60 Minutes piece about the NSA was just embarrassing. Kudos to the NSA communications staff. You guys should get a raise.
— Ryan Lizza (@RyanLizza) December 16, 2013
Lizza will join me in the studio on Sunday along with Alicia Shepard, the former ombudsman for NPR, and Michael Calderone, the senior media reporter for The Huffington Post.
Calderone will stick around for a separate segment about China. As he wrote earlier this week, there are "heightened concerns about the ability of U.S. news outlets to report independently in the authoritarian country." Also joining me: Jim Sciutto, CNN's chief national security correspondent, and Emily Parker, a senior fellow at The New America Foundation, who recently wrote a column titled "China's Government Is Scaring Foreign Journalists Into Censoring Themselves" for The New Republic.
Toward the end of the hour, I'll show the highlights of my sit-down interview with Jim VandeHei, the chief executive of Politico. Earlier this month Politico opened the curtain on its first-ever acquisition, Capital New York. VandeHei has a lot to say about how news organizations can thrive on the Internet — I'm curious to hear if you agree with him.
See you Sunday at 11 a.m. Eastern!