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8 books Amazon is making it hard to buy
The autobiography by former Yankee great Mariano Rivera is subject to a delay of as long as 4 weeks via Amazon.
May 29th, 2014
02:10 PM ET

8 books Amazon is making it hard to buy

By Brian Stelter, CNN

Hundreds of books, some obscure titles and some bestsellers, are caught up in the deepening feud between Amazon and the book publisher Hachette.

The two companies are at odds over e-book pricing and other terms. Amazon has been pressuring Hachette to accept its terms - consequently, some Hachette books are listed as "out of stock" on Amazon while others are subject to long delays and disadvantageous pricing.

Amazon, for its part, says that its negotiations with suppliers like Hachette are pro-consumer: "Negotiating for acceptable terms is an essential business practice that is critical to keeping service and value high for customers in the medium and long term."

FULL STORY

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Filed under: Amazon • Hachette • Reliable Sources
Why Snowden waited a whole year for his TV close-up
May 29th, 2014
10:02 AM ET

Why Snowden waited a whole year for his TV close-up

By Brian Stelter, CNN

When Edward Snowden was identified as the source who leaked top-secret NSA documents last spring, reporters and television anchors immediately began jockeying to interview him.

How long, they wondered, might he wait to have his first sit-down television interview, to speak out about why he did what he did? One month? Two?

Snowden actually waited one whole year, for reasons that have a lot to do with how the news media works.

Ben Wizner, the ACLU attorney who has been Snowden's legal adviser and liaison with the press, called the wait part of a "very very deliberate strategy all along" to make mass surveillance the story, not the man.

"Waiting a year meant that there was so much to ask him about other than himself," Wizner said.

FULL STORY

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Filed under: Edward Snowden • Reliable Sources
Netflix picks up 'DreamWorks Dragons'
May 29th, 2014
09:40 AM ET

Netflix picks up 'DreamWorks Dragons'

By Brian Stelter, CNN

Netflix is furthering its relationship with DreamWorks Animation, picking up two new seasons of the children's television show based on the "How to Train Your Dragon" film franchise.

The two companies announced the deal on Thursday. It comes about a year after DreamWorks committed to bring about 300 hours worth of original programming to Netflix, and two weeks before "How to Train Your Dragon 2" bows in theaters.

Netflix and rivals like Amazon (AMZNFortune 500)and Hulu have been competing to have the best selection of shows for kids - a response to theexpectation that programming always be available on-demand.

The announcement is another instance of a TV show moving from a traditional cable channel to a streaming service.

FULL STORY

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Filed under: Netflix
Chelsea Handler stepping down from E! talk show
May 28th, 2014
08:00 PM ET

Chelsea Handler stepping down from E! talk show

By Brian Stelter, CNN

(CNN) - Chelsea Handler's late-night television show on E!, "Chelsea Lately," will come to a close in August, freeing the comedian to create a different show elsewhere.

The "Chelsea Lately" finale date, August 26, was announced by the cable channel on Wednesday, capping months of speculation about Handler and E!'s plans to split. Her E! contract expires at the end of this year.

In a national late-night field dominated by men, Handler is the only woman with a daily talk show.

FULL STORY

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Filed under: Chelsea Handler • E!
Amazon-Hachette feud: No end in sight
May 28th, 2014
12:33 PM ET

Amazon-Hachette feud: No end in sight

By Brian Stelter, CNN Senior Media Correspondent

Amazon says if customers are inconvenienced by its battle with the book publisher Hachette, they should buy Hachette's books elsewhere.

The unusual suggestion was made on Tuesday in an equally unusual statement titled "Hachette/Amazon Business Interruption." It was posted on an Amazon Kindle forum.

It was Amazon's first public comment about why popular books by authors like James Patterson and Malcolm Gladwell are being delayed and disadvantaged by Amazon, the world's biggest seller of books.

Amazon has reportedly been pressuring Hachette to let it lower prices for e-books and ultimately pay Hachette less for them. Hachette has resisted.

"Unfortunately, despite much work from both sides, we have been unable to reach mutually-acceptable agreement on terms," Amazon's statement said.

FULL STORY

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Filed under: Amazon • Hachette
Disproving predictions of nightly newscasts' demise
May 27th, 2014
02:05 PM ET

Disproving predictions of nightly newscasts' demise

By Brian Stelter, CNN 

The next time I'm asked about the relevance of the network nightly news, my answer will involve Edward Snowden and Hillary Clinton.

Later this week, NBC will feature Snowden's first television interview since he decided to leak top-secret NSA documents to Glenn Greenwald and other reporters. The questioner is Brian Williams, the anchor of the "NBC Nightly News."

In a couple of weeks, ABC will have Clinton's first interview about her book "Hard Choices." The interviewer is Diane Sawyer, the anchor of "World News."

These are two Q&A's that every television network wanted to have — "big gets" at a time when there are fewer and fewer of them.

FULL STORY...

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Filed under: ABC • NBC
May 27th, 2014
12:21 PM ET

Brian's 6 takeaways from May 25 show

If you weren't able to tune in over the long holiday weekend, here were some of the moments from Sunday's "Reliable Sources" that really stood out to me:

1. Sarah Ellison, the only reporter to have interviewed New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger since he fired Jill Abramson earlier this month, said "there don't seem to be divisions" in the Sulzberger family "that we've seen in other newspaper families."

In her interview, Sulzberger mentioned "that he had gotten very, very supportive messages from his family throughout this," she said. "I think one of the things that's interesting is the more that he is under siege, the more the family rallies around him." Here's the rest of what she said...

2. At the beginning of the program, I interviewed Dr. Sam Foote, who blew the whistle on health care delays at the VA in Phoenix. Then I brought in CNN correspondent Drew Griffin, who shined a national news spotlight on Dr. Foote's story. Here's the video.

STELTER: Congressman Jeff Miller was on "New Day" on Thursday, and he said "this is just the tip of the iceberg. I know there is more to come." I know you don't want to give away any tips to competitors, but do you have more to come? Are you pursuing specific leads now?

GRIFFIN: We're pursuing leads all over the country. We're getting whistle-blowers coming forward. The problem is, each one has to go through that specific process… You know, it's one thing to get a tip. It takes a long time to develop a tip, and now we have this environment where a lot of other media jumped on board.

So we're not the only ones chasing this. So there is a little bit of a competitive edge going on. It creates a lot of work. But I don't doubt there is more to come because I truly believe this is systemic throughout the country.


3. At the end of the program, I held up this sign:

Three Al Jazeera journalists are still behind bars in Egypt, nearly five months after they were detained and falsely charged with aiding a terrorist organization. Here's what I said about the case.

4. Paul Begala and S.E. Cupp joined me to analyze the whispers about Hillary Clinton's health — what I labeled a smear campaign.

"The problem with this smear campaign is it's not a very effective one," Cupp said, referring specifically to Karl Rove's comments about Clinton. "A smear campaign that has the indirect result or consequence of invoking sympathy for the target is not a really good smear campaign."

Begala agreed about Rove: "It has backfired on him completely."

5. In that same segment, I asked Begala how the playing field has changed since Bill Clinton's presidential campaigns in the 1990s:

BEGALA: You know, this may surprise you. Everybody always thinks everybody is worse.

I think it might be better, Brian. I think it might be better. Here is why. The democratization of media means that, as powerful as Rupert Murdoch is, he doesn't have the only microphone or megaphone. And I think, I hope - this is me, the optimist - that all of the bloggers, all of the tweeters, all of the self-publishing folks can police these lies much more effectively, frankly, than the traditional media used to be able to.

In the '90s, we had none of that. And now we have - on the liberal side, we have Correct the Record and American Bridge and a group of folks who really police conservative media. Conservatives have folks who police us liberals, which is a good thing, too.

Here's the whole segment...

6. And here's Red News/Blue News, with a look at cable and digital coverage of the AT&T-DirecTV merger.



Let me know what you thought of the show. See you next Sunday at 11 a.m.!
–Brian


Filed under: Reliable Sources
May 25th, 2014
01:57 PM ET

VA whistleblower tells his story

Above, Dr. Sam Foote tells Brian Stelter about his decision to expose delays in treatment at Veterans Affairs hospital in Phoenix. Then CNN investigative correspondent Drew Griffin joins Brian to discuss his extensive reporting on the story over the past several months.


Filed under: Reliable Sources
May 25th, 2014
01:56 PM ET

Long-term damage at The New York Times?

Above, NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik and Vanity Fair contributing editor Sarah Ellison weigh in on whether New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger has done long-term damage to his newspaper by mismanaging Jill Abramson’s departure.

Ellison is the only reporter to have interviewed Sulzberger since the P.R. disaster. Here's some of what she said on the show:

ELLISON: One of the things that Arthur mentioned is that he had gotten very, very supportive messages from his family throughout this. And I think one of the things that's interesting is the more that he is under siege, the more the family rallies around from him. He got beautiful messages and one that morning that we spoke had sort of brought tears to his eyes because they were so supportive and really standing with him. I do -

STELTER: That matters because the paper is one of the only family-owned papers left and if this family starts to fray, it could be sold.

ELLISON: I mean, this is - they are sort of the last ones standing. And so I think it is a really important question right now - there don't seem to be divisions that we've seen in other newspaper families - but I think that what we're going to continue to talk about are two things... One is this conversation about women and leadership, which is really what has sort of been ignited by this.

STELTER: Right.

ELLISON: And then the second one is the long-term future of The Times. I think they have weathered this past week or so and made it out of this part of it, but I do think the questions about leadership and the family will continue.


Filed under: New York Times • Reliable Sources
May 25th, 2014
01:55 PM ET

Anatomy of a Hillary Clinton smear campaign

CNN contributor Paul Begala and "Crossfire" co-host S.E. Cupp join Brian Stelter to discuss how rumors about Hillary Clinton’s health have festered in the media.


Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Reliable Sources
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