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February 16th, 2014
12:48 PM ET

The media pack pursuing Christie

Radio host and new CNN Political Commentator Michael Smerconish discusses Chris Christie’s media mauling and how it has allowed Rand Paul to claim the 2016 spotlight.


Filed under: Blog • Chris Christie • Rand Paul • Reliable Sources
February 16th, 2014
12:46 PM ET

Undercovered: The West Virginia water crisis

Local reporter Kallie Cart helps Brian Stelter shed light on a story that has received scant national media attention in recent weeks: the aftermath of a major chemical spill in West Virginia.


Filed under: Blog • Reliable Sources • Undercovered
February 16th, 2014
09:29 AM ET

The rundown for this Sunday's show

Don't miss "Reliable Sources" this Sunday at 11 a.m. Eastern. Here's a look at the rundown:

  • NFL prospect Michael Sam identified as gay in a well-orchestrated press roll-out this week. On-the-record sources are saying one thing about Sam's chances in the NFL draft; anonymous sources are saying another.
    Guest: Howard Bragman, founder, Fifteen Minutes PR; he coordinated Sam's announcement, as detailed in this Outsports article
    Guest: Daniel Flynn, editor, Breitbart Sports, who wrote this column about "conflicting public, private reactions to gay player"
  • Comcast's takeover of Time Warner Cable: why some groups are already opposing the proposed merger.
    Guest: Craig Aaron, CEO, Free Press
  • What are journalists learning from a trove of newly discovered documents about Hillary Clinton at the University of Arkansas?
    Guest: Carl Bernstein, investigative journalist, CNN contributor and author of the Clinton biography "A Woman In Charge"
  • While Chris Christie continues to be dogged by the lane closure scandal, reporters continue to dig up new stories and reevaluate old ones for signs of how the governor runs the state...
    Guest: Michael Smerconish, CNN commentator; radio host, “The Michael Smerconish Program” for SiriusXM radio
  • Shouldn't the contaminated water crisis in West Virginia be getting more coverage from the national media?
    Guest: Kallie Cart, anchor, WCHS-WVAH TV

  • Filed under: Reliable Sources
    Netflix faces House of Cards backlash
    February 13th, 2014
    01:15 PM ET

    Netflix faces House of Cards backlash

    By Brian Stelter, CNN

    The calls started coming on Tuesday, when snow was in the forecast for the nation's capital.

    "If/when DC shuts down for blizzard Thursday, Netflix would be smart to make new 'House of Cards' available one day early," tweeted Alex Conant, the press secretary for Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

    Hundreds of people agreed, and said so online. Fox News anchor Greta van Susteren replied to Conant: "You are right...one day early would be appreciated." Someone even set up a petition on Change.org.

    I chimed in too.

    Like a lot of fans of the first season of "House of Cards," a Washington thriller starring Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright, I'd been planning on starting my binge-view of season two this Friday, the long-awaited release day. But with so many people snowed in along the East Coast, from Georgia to Maine, wouldn't Thursday make more sense?

    Read more of Brian's CNNMoney article here. 

    Comcast to buy Time Warner Cable
    February 12th, 2014
    11:25 PM ET

    Comcast to buy Time Warner Cable

    By Brian Stelter, CNN Senior Media Correspondent

    Comcast on Thursday will announce its intent to acquire Time Warner Cable in a $45 billion deal that will combine the two biggest cable companies in the United States. 

    Comcast (CCV) has agreed to pay $158.82 per share of Time Warner Cable (TWC,Fortune 500) stock, according to two people with direct knowledge of the transaction who insisted on anonymity because the deal will not be publicly announced until Thursday morning.

    The two companies expect the merger to receive government approval and take effect by the end of the year, but regulators are likely to take a close look at the potential impact on consumers.

    Read more of Brian's CNNMoney piece here.

    Posted by
    Filed under: Comcast • Reliable Sources
    Bob Costas' eye costs him a night in Olympic anchor seat
    February 11th, 2014
    02:45 PM ET

    Bob Costas' eye costs him a night in Olympic anchor seat

    By Brian Stelter, CNN

    Bob Costas gamely anchored NBC's Winter Olympics coverage for five days despite a worsening eye infection and a whole lot of concerned comments from viewers.

    But Tuesday, Costas said that he would step aside, at least for a night, putting a hiccup into his 14-year Olympic anchoring streak.

    "Today" show host Matt Lauer will anchor NBC's prime time coverage of the Sochi games during his absence.

    "I was trying to throw a complete game here, but I think we're going to have to go to the bullpen," Costas told "Today" show viewers by phone early Tuesday. "You're Mariano Rivera, at least tonight," he told Lauer.

    Read more of Brian's CNNMoney story here.

    February 10th, 2014
    11:53 AM ET

    From Brian: 6 takeaways from Feb. 9 show

    If you weren't able to tune in on Sunday, here were some of the moments that really stood out to me:

    1. "Wherever you look, journalists are in the cross-hairs more than I have ever experienced, ever, in my career." –CNN chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour. I spoke with her about Egypt's crackdown on journalists.

    2. When Glenn Greenwald joined me to preview his new Web site, The Intercept, he hinted that Edward Snowden wouldn't be his only NSA source:

    STELTER: Is it fair to say you've heard from people inside the NSA or inside the government who have been inspired by Edward Snowden, who are also feeling uncomfortable with what's going on inside the government and also want to share information with you?
    GREENWALD: I definitely think it's fair to say that there are people who have been inspired by Edward Snowden's courage and by the great good and virtue that it has achieved and, you know, I think there were people before Edward Snowden like Chelsea Manning and Thomas Drake and before that Daniel Ellsberg who were incredibly heroic. I think Edward Snowden was inspired by them. I have no doubt there will be other sources inside the government who see extreme wrongdoing inspired by Edward Snowden as well.

    Sure enough, on Monday morning Greenwald said one of the Web site's first stories "relies upon a new well-placed source, as well as new NSA documents from the Snowden archive."

    3. I was a little bit surprised that Carl Bernstein included MSNBC host Joe Scarborough on a list of potential Republican presidential candidates. (Here's the video of the segment.) He was talking about how the scandals surrounding New Jersey Governor Chris Christie have "thrown the Republican presidential sweepstakes wide open:"

    BERNSTEIN: Christie was the presumed nominee among the commentating class and many others. He no longer is under any circumstances. This means there's going to be a huge fight for the presidential nomination in the Republican Party, other candidates are going to enter, maybe people like Joe Scarborough, Rob Portman, many others, this is wide open.
    STELTER: You think Scarborough would actually do it? He always flirts with this stuff. Do you think he'd actually run for president?
    BERNSTEIN: I can't be inside his head. I think, though, that he certainly would think about it - and if he saw that there was a way and a path that was a possibility, that he probably would.

    4. Carl Bernstein also signaled some skepticism about whether Hillary Rodham Clinton will run for president in 2016, as so many people presume: "There are some doubts, among those who know her well, that she's really going to do this. And she's not going to make a decision until we get much closer to the event."


    5. With CNN commentators Sally Kohn and Will Cain, I brought up NBC's decision to truncate the International Olympic Committee president's anti-discrimination statement during the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics. Cain said he thought it was "definitely a mistake," but was unintentional.

    Kohn added, "You have this subtext of NBC taking heat - as they should be - for broadcasting these Olympics that are happening in a country that has these incredibly vicious, atrocious anti-gay laws. A lot of people - myself included - don't think we should even be having the Olympics there at all." Here's our whole conversation - the Olympics come up at the end.

    6. After the Winter Olympics end, the "Tonight Show" will have a new host. I asked Bill Carter, my former colleague at The New York Times, if he thinks NBC's decision to replace Jay Leno with Jimmy Fallon is a wise one: "I do think it's a good move. I think Fallon is a good talent, the right talent. Jay has said the same thing. I think - I do think he's the right guy."

    Of course, Leno would stay on "Tonight" if he were asked, Carter said: "Jay never wants to stop working. But I do think he recognizes, 'OK, this makes sense; they've done it the right way.' He's supportive of Fallon. And I do think Fallon has a very good chance to be the number one guy."


    Hope you'll tune in next Sunday at 11 a.m. Eastern!

    –Brian


    Filed under: Reliable Sources
    Greenwald hints at new revelations
    February 9th, 2014
    01:55 PM ET

    Greenwald hints at new revelations

    By Brian Stelter and Gregory Wallace, CNN

    Glenn Greenwald, the reporter who broke news of U.S. government surveillance in The Guardian newspaper last year, suggested new revelations are to come when he launches an independent news site this week.

    Greenwald and other investigative journalists are set to launch digital magazines with First Look Media, a venture funded by eBay (EBAYFortune 500) founder Pierre Omidyar. Omidyar wrote in a blog post on Thursday that "the site's staff has already uncovered a host of new and disturbing revelations in the NSA documents."

    In an interview on CNN's "Reliable Sources" on Sunday, Greenwald said his new stories would start to appear online early this week. He dropped hints that he and his colleagues have come into contact with sources besidesEdward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who provided classified documents detailing secret surveillance programs last year.

    Read more here and watch Brian's interview with Glenn Greenwald here.

    Posted by
    Filed under: Reliable Sources
    February 9th, 2014
    01:21 PM ET

    Criminalizing journalism?

    Glenn Greenwald suggests new NSA surveillance details could be released as his new media venture launches. He also responds to comments made this week on Capitol Hill that journalists like himself could be criminal accessories for handling leaked documents.


    Filed under: Blog • Edward Snowden • Glenn Greenwald • NSA • Reliable Sources
    February 9th, 2014
    01:04 PM ET

    Publishing the Dylan Farrow letter

    Should the New York Times have published Farrow’s letter reiterating child molestation accusations against Woody Allen? Dylan Byers, Robin Abcarian and Brian Stelter discuss.


    Filed under: Blog • Dylan Farrow • New York Times • Woody Allen
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