Sunday, September 28

The role of journalist during wartime; Did NFL ties lead ESPN to suspend analyst? Jorge Ramos' opinion on immigration in the media; ABC's handling of Miss America controversy.

The role of journalist during wartime; Did NFL ties lead ESPN to suspend analyst? Jorge Ramos' opinion on immigration in the media; ABC's handling of Miss America controversy.

July 28th, 2013
01:30 PM ET

Al Jazeera’s American challenge

Guest host Frank Sesno talks to former Al Jazeera English anchor David Marash about the challenges ahead of Al Jazeera America’s August launch in the U.S.

July 26th, 2013
02:16 PM ET

Sneak peek at this Sunday's show

By Becky Perlow, CNN

Frank Sesno, director of George Washington University's School of Media and Public Affairs, joins Reliable Sources this week as our guest host. As a former CNN Washington bureau chief, he's got an exciting show planned for Sunday - including Al Jazeera landing in America and the media's focus on Anthony Weiner.

When Anthony Weiner left Congress in disgrace following a sexting scandal in 2011, most critics believed his political career was effectively finished. Little did we know that Weiner would return to the political limelight in the form of a New York City mayoral race. Politico's Lois Romano and NY1's Errol Louis join Sesno to discuss what role Weiner's wife, Huma Abedin, plays in the coverage and whether the media are making too big a deal about the new, never-before-seen sexting pictures that were released earlier this week by TheDirty.com.

Next, ITV News Royal Correspondent Tim Ewart, Mediaite's Joe Concha and Time magazine's Europe Editor Catherine Mayer stop by the studio to share their insight into the British royal baby media debacle - was the wall-to-wall coverage justified? And does American really care about a new born baby across the pond?

Al Jazeera America is set to launch next month, and with it comes questions yet unanswered by the Qatar-based media network, including who will drive the editorial content and whether it will truly be an independent news organization? Former Al Jazeera English anchor David Marash joins Sesno to share his thoughts on their expansion into the States.

It's time to end the White House press briefings - at least that's what former White House Assistant Press Secretary Reid Cherlin wants you to believe. In a New Republic article, Cherlin argues that "The daily briefing has become a worthless chore for reporters, an embarrassing nuisance to administration staff, and a source of added friction between the two camps." Cherlin joins Sesno to discuss his recent article in the magazine.

Finally, Netflix stock may have dipped but its subscriber base is larger than ever. While some question its ability to produce truly originally programming, 14 Emmy nominations certainly seems to cinch their spot in TV programming history. Wired magazine's Peter Rubin and HLN Digital Lifestyle Expert Mario Armstrong will discuss the Emmy nominations, why Netflix is so popular and where they see the video streaming site's business model moving in the future.

Tune in this Sunday at 11am ET.

July 12th, 2013
07:18 PM ET

Sneak peek at this Sunday's show

By Becky Perlow, CNN

After more than a year of non-stop media coverage, protests and court hearings, the George Zimmerman trial is set to wrap up in the next few days. All three 24-hour news networks have spent the past few weeks producing wall-to-wall coverage of the murder trial - but how fair has the coverage been to the prosecution and to the defendant? Callie Crossley, host of WGBH's  "Boston Public Radio" will join our guest host, NPR's David Folkenflik, to discuss.

Next, The Guardian's Ana Marie Cox, The Washington Post's Carlos Lozada and The Atlantic's Molly Ball  swing by the studio to weigh in on Mark Leibovich's new book, "This Town," which focuses on inside-the-beltway relationships between politicos, the press and the parties they attend together. Luckily for us, Lozada says there are 10 rules for succeeding in "This Town" (aka Washington D.C.). Can you guess what they are?

Jumping a topic train from DC politics to New York election races, our group adds former New York Post reporter Leela de Kretzer to  discuss tabloid coverage of Eliot Spitzer's and Anthony Weiner's upcoming bids for NYC comptroller and mayor, respectively. But as Ball wrote earlier this week in the Atlantic, "If Spitzer and Weiner manage to join Sanford in getting elected post-sex scandal, they won't be signaling a bold new trend. They'll be doing what politicians have always done: getting in trouble and then getting elected anyway."

Rupert Murdoch has agreed to testify before the British Parliament following the leak of a secretly taped recording where he has an ethically questionable conversation with News Corp journalists. Former Member of Parliament Louise Mensch, who questioned Murdoch during his original testimony to Parliament, joins Folkenflik to share her insight into the secret tape and what it's like to now work for one of Murdoch's newspapers, The Sun.

Next, former Al Jazeera English anchor David Marash and NPR's Cairo bureau chief Leila Fadel weigh in on Al Jazeera's struggle with editorial independence and coping with the Egyptian military following recent Egyptian protests in Cairo.

Rounding out the show, president and general manager of WDRB Louisville Bill Lamb tells Folkenflik why his station is moving away from the "breaking news" hype.

Tune in Sunday at 11am ET.

What we're reading this week...
February 1st, 2013
01:20 PM ET

What we're reading this week...

By Becky Perlow, CNN 

Reliable Sources digs into media coverage this week – but here’s a look at some of the other stories that caught our attention:

Answering on Al Jazeera: Falling victim to The Daily Show's comedic wrath is a rite of passage for most politicians and Al Gore was no exception. Reported by Mediaite, Jon Stewart questioned Gore about the climate control activist's decision to sell Current TV to Al Jazeera, a news operation owned by the Middle Eastern country Qatar, which makes its money on oil and gas. Stewart called it an "odd move" because Gore preaches about climate change, and according to him, what's a major cause of climate change? Oh, that's right: oil and gas.

Netflix and Networks: Netflix, well-known for its DVD delivery service, is aiming to make itself equally renowned for its online streaming and change the way viewers watch TV. It hopes to accomplish this in 2013 with new original programming that's only available via Netflix, with no other major network involvement. Debuting tonight will be one of these new series called "House of Cards," a political thriller starring Kevin Spacey as (what else?) a sociopath. Here's the kicker: instead of releasing one-episode per week like its network competitors, Netflix is debuting all 13 episodes in one sitting. (Now would be a good time to cancel your Friday plans and figure out what you want for dinner because you'll be ordering in tonight.)

Twitter's gone rogue: The Week's Matt Lewis says he's no Manti Te'o, but he "did meet a lot of virtual friends" via Twitter. The Conservative writer has been tweeting since 2008, long before Twitter became another outlet for news. Four years later, though, Lewis says "The social sharing tool [that] was once a vision [is now] a prison."

Bloggers vs. Reporters: According to BuzzFeed, you shouldn't confuse the two, or you might just end up on Rajiv Chandrasekaran's bad side. Note: You would be joining the company of Senator Jim Inhofe, who quoted conservative Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin during Chuck Hagel's confirmation hearing earlier today. Except he called her a reporter, and Chandrasekaran apparently took great offense.

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Filed under: Al Gore • Al Jazeera • Al Jazeera English • Blog • Blogging • Jon Stewart • Kevin Spacey • Netflix • Reliable Sources • Washington Post • What we're reading
January 9th, 2013
03:00 PM ET

From the desk of Howard Kurtz: Why Al Gore's Al Jazeera deal doesn't seem right

Editor's note: Howard Kurtz is the host of CNN's "Reliable Sources" and is Newsweek's Washington bureau chief. He is also a contributor to the website Daily Download.

(CNN) - So Al Gore starts a liberal cable network, which turns into a complete and utter flop, then sells it to a Middle East potentate in a deal that will bring him an estimated $70 million.

Is America a great country or what?

There is something highly unusual - OK, just plain weird - about a former vice president of the United States doing this deal with the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani.

Al Jazeera, owned by said emir's government, is trying to buy its way into the American television market by purchasing Current TV for a half billion dollars. The only thing stranger would be if Gore had sold Current to Glenn Beck - oh wait, Beck did try to buy it and was told no way within 15 minutes.

Continue reading Howie's two cents here.

January 6th, 2013
12:41 PM ET

Gore’s Al Jazeera payday

Former Al Jazeera English anchor Dave Marash talks to Howard Kurtz about his old employer’s takeover of Current TV.


Filed under: Al Gore • Al Jazeera • Al Jazeera English • Blog • Media • Reliable Sources