Sunday, December 14

Rolling Stone & UVA—Did the reporter have an agenda? How the CIA uses misinformation; should the media publish hacked emails? Obama's recent media blitz; an American journalist held in Iran.

Rolling Stone & UVA—Did the reporter have an agenda? How the CIA uses misinformation; should the media publish hacked emails? Obama's recent media blitz; an American journalist held in Iran.

February 15th, 2013
02:40 PM ET

Sneak peek at this Sunday's show

By Cassie Spodak, CNN

In the build up to the President’s State of the Union address TV news is usually filled with pundits arguing over messaging and strategy, and political reporters offering last minute analysis and insight into what the speech might contain. But this year most screens were focused on one cabin, surrounded by trees, in the mountains near Big Bear Lake, California. As law enforcement fired on the cabin and it was engulfed by flames – the speculation was not on political talking points but on whether or not the alleged cop killer, Christopher Dorner, was in the cabin, alive or dead.

Frank Sesno, Director of the School of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University, Jane Hall, Associate Professor at American University’s School of Communications and Paul Farhi of The Washington Post discuss how the networks covered the two news stories. Also up for discussion, Sen. Marco Rubio’s response to the President’s State of the Union address and all the attention that’s been paid, not to what he said, but what he drank.

They'll talk about Reliable Sources host Howard Kurtz's appearance on the Fox News show The O’Reilly Factor Wednesday night.  O’Reilly and Kurtz discussed recent comments made on both shows concerning media’s coverage of waterboarding and drones in the government’s fight against terrorism. How did the debate go?

CNN contributor Will Cain and political correspondent for TheRoot.com Keli Goff discuss the partisan responses to both Pres. Obama and Rubio. They’ll also talk about Christopher Dorner’s Internet following and the role media has played in shaping how the public views him.

Phil Bronstein, of the Center for Investigative Reporting, will discuss his recent piece in Esquire magazine about the man who shot Osama Bin Laden and how he got the scoop.

This Sunday, 11am ET.

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February 1st, 2013
06:02 PM ET

Sneak peek at this Sunday's show

By Cassie Spodak, CNN

Hillary Clinton marked her final week as Secretary of State with a plethora of exit interviews on all the major networks that mostly stayed away from the hard issues. Should Steve Kroft and co. have given her such an easy ride?

Al Gore went on a media blitz this week to promote his new book, but the environmental activist also faced questions about his sale of Current TV to the fossil fuel-producing Qataris of Al Jazeera. Were the media tough enough on him or did they let some apparent contradictions slide? Also, MSNBC faced accusations that they selectively edited video of a Sandy Hook shooting victim’s father giving testimony. Was he really heckled?

We’ll examine all these topics with Dana Milbank of the Washington Post, Amy Holmes of “The Blaze” and former PBS correspondent Terence Smith.

Geraldo Rivera set media tongues wagging when he said that he was “truly contemplating” a run for one of New Jersey’s Senate seats. Is he serious? We’ll ask SiriusXM political talk show host Pete Dominick and Marisa Guthrie of the Hollywood Reporter for their take.

Finally on Super Bowl Sunday we’ll preview the big game in the second part of our interview with long time NBC Sports host Bob Costas and examine why companies are now releasing their Super Bowl ads before the big game kicks off in a discussion with Barbara Lippert of MediaPost.

This Sunday at 11am ET.

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January 25th, 2013
04:22 PM ET

Sneak peek at this Sunday's show

By Cassie Spodak, CNN

Longtime NBC Sports host Bob Costas sits down exclusively with Reliable Sources to talk about his controversial comments on gun control back in December. What role should social commentary play in sports coverage? Costas talks about his regrets concerning his 90 second editorial on gun culture and what he would have done differently.

Costas also shares his views on the scandal surrounding college football star Manti Te’o and his virtual girlfriend. Were media lazy in covering what everyone assumed was a straight forward feel-good story?

President Obama’s inaugural address was met with high praise on the left, and alarm on the right. Did the President’s speech serve the purpose he intended – or was it just easy bait for pundits looking to build the President up, or tear him down?

Contributing editor to the Newsweek/Daily Beast David Frum, and Columnist for the Chicago Tribune Clarence Page will discuss how the inaugural ceremony played out across media and how deep an impression President Obama left on the partisan landscape.

Page and Frum will also discuss Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s grilling by Congress on her handling of the Benghazi attacks, and how her testimony was received by pundits and reporters.

The Washington Post’s “Reliable Source” columnist Amy Argetsinger talks about Howard Kurtz’s exclusive interview with Jill Kelley and how media outlets painted a picture of the General Petreaus scandal, and the women involved, that did not always match reality.

This Sunday, 11am ET.

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What we're reading this week...
January 10th, 2013
02:25 PM ET

What we're reading this week...

By Cassie Spodak, CNN

The gun control debate continues to spread across media and news outlets this week as Biden meets with advocates on both sides of the issue, and pundits sound off on constitutional rights and executive power. But, here are some of the other stories the Reliable Sources team is reading this week:

Writing about yourself – Katie Riophe has some pointers for aspiring memoirists in Slate: 1) Be honest and turn a critical eye on yourself, 2) While also entertaining the reader, 3) But don’t forget to follow the same guidelines as you would in fiction. Craft your storyline with care and remember that not every detail matters.

The New Yorker covers the newsCovers of The New Yorker often have a way of distilling the news into one image that captures the essence of a story. The January 4th cover is graphic novelist Chris Ware’s follow-up to his back to school cover from September 17th 2012. It captures how the elementary school shooting at Sandy Hook has called into question the safety of our schools.

BBC Presenter Takes Ill – Andrew Marr, one of the BBC’s most well-known journalists is recovering in the hospital following a stroke. His two programs, “The Andrew Marr Show” and “Radio 4’s Start The Week” will continue to be broadcast with guest hosts through the weekend.

Keeping tabs on the White House – Washigntonian magazine’s recent profile on CBS’s Mark Knoller reveals that the long-time journalist knows so much about the President’s schedule that even White House staffers go to him for statistics. Everything from how many speeches President Obama has made (1,818), how many times he’s used a teleprompter (689), to how many rounds of golf he’s played (106).

What are you reading?

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December 28th, 2012
04:02 PM ET

Sneak peek at this Sunday's show

By Cassie Spodak, CNN

Two weeks ago the whole country watched in horror as news of one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history played out across TV screens and news feeds. This week, media outlets may have started to turn their attention away from Newtown, CT.  However, the debate over gun control has taken hold – from NBC’s David Gregory holding up a 30 round magazine on “Meet the Press” last Sunday, to a petition on WhiteHouse.gov to deport CNN’s Piers Morgan for “attacking the 2nd Amendment.”

Lynn Sweet, of The Chicago Sun-Times, and Erik Wemple of The Washington Post discuss how media have covered the debate over gun control and the line between advocacy and journalism.

LynnSweet will also join Bob Cusack of The Hill to discuss coverage of negotiations between Congress and the White House as we near the deadline for the fiscal cliff.

Former correspondent for NBC News Fred Francis, Editor-in-chief of Daily-Download.com Lauren Ashburn and George Washington University's Professor of Media and Public Affairs Steve Roberts take a look at the biggest media stories of 2012 – from Trayvon Martin, to the Petraeus scandal, to the Supreme Court ruling on Obamacare.

Politico’s Jonathan Martin and Glenn Thrush discuss their e-book “End of the Line: Romney vs. Obama: The 24 Days that Decided the Election” and give a behind the scenes look at the latest campaign cycle.

Reliable Sources also has a special look back at our best interviews of 2012 – from Bob Woodward on the back room deals during the debt ceiling talks of 2011, to how Darrell Hammond nailed his Al Gore impression for Saturday Night Live.

This Sunday at 11am ET.

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December 27th, 2012
06:31 PM ET

What we're reading this week...

By Cassie Spodak, CNN

Media coverage this week has centered on Congress and President Obama attempting to avoid the fiscal cliff, but the debate over gun control dominated the news cycle. Below are some of the stories the Reliable Sources team is talking about this week:

Who has a gun near you? – The Journal News, based in Westchester County, NY caused quite a controversy when it posted a map to its website showing “The Gun Owner Next Door” – all information taken from public records pinpointing the addresses of people with gun permits. A blogger struck back by posting the home address of the leadership and staff at the local paper.

Zuckerberg sister misunderstands Facebook privacy – Randi Zuckerberg, formerly marketing chief for Facebook and brother of founder Mark, posted a family picture on Facebook Wednesday that she thought was only visible to friends. However, a non-friend soon Tweeted out the picture, eliciting a rebuke from Randi: “Not sure where you got this photo. I posted it only to friends on FB.” The picture was eventually taken down but some see the episode as emblematic of how Facebook’s new privacy settings can be overly complicated.

The commercial ties between violent video games and firearmsA New York Times article takes a look at the close relationship between video game manufacturers like Electronic Arts and advertising companies like the McMillan Group, the maker of sniper’s rifles among “other accessories for assault-style weapons.” One Electronic Arts video game website, which has since been disabled, is described as a “virtual showroom for guns” where visitors can click through the catalogs of partners’ products.

When journalists flirt with advocacyAn article in the Columbia Journalism Review takes a look at how some journalists blur the line between reporting and advocacy. The writer argues that although some in the “old-media” might require total objectivity, in the “new-media” world advocating for certain issues makes some journalists more valuable.

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December 14th, 2012
06:53 PM ET

Sneak peek at this Sunday's show

By Cassie Spodak, CNN

Media outlets are still trying to figure out the facts behind the tragic shooting in Connecticut this morning – we'll discuss how the story has been reported on air and on the internet, along with CNN coverage with the latest news from Newtown.

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What we're reading this week...
December 13th, 2012
06:38 PM ET

What we're reading this week...

By Cassie Spodak, CNN

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

Mitt and Ann headed to HBO – The movie channel has optioned the rights to an upcoming book on the 2012 elections from Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, the same writers who wrote the best-seller "Game Change," which HBO later adapted into the award-winning TV movie. We can only hope to get just as many behind the scenes looks at how the 2012 campaign unfolded. But most importantly, who will play Herman Cain?

Angie’s leg, Baby Blue Ivy, Paul Ryan Gosling – Slate rounded up the best Twitter parody accounts of 2012 – everything from @AngiesRightLeg at the Oscars, to @RomneysBinder to @InvisibleObama. The latest? @RoyalFetus tweets: “I EXIST!!!!!”

Flying the news – John D. Silva changed TV news forever. Without the work of the longtime KTLA-TV engineer we wouldn’t have aerial shots – no car chases, forest fires, or crime scenes. Silva died at the age of 92 on Nov. 27th but spent a career in news. He created the first Telecopter, outfitting a helicopter with a camera and a live feed – making it possible for news outlets to cover the news from high above, skipping all the traffic too.

Google’s 2012 Zeitgeist – Google takes a look back on the year in searches, viral videos and internet moments. Some of our favorites? Moderator Candy Crowley’s presidential debate, Felix Baumgartner’s record breaking jump and Olympian Gabby Douglas’ awesome flip.

What are you talking about?

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December 7th, 2012
01:24 PM ET

Sneak peek at this Sunday's show

By Cassie Spodak, CNN

Last Sunday night, football viewers were treated to a different kind of show when NBC’s Bob Costas filed a 90 second editorial, citing Jason Whitlock’s article on gun control. Media outlets immediately erupted with both criticism and praise for the veteran sports reporter. The issue was brought to attention after Chief’s football player Jovan Belcher shot his girlfriend and then himself Saturday morning. Was it appropriate for Costas to sound off on the issue during half time?

Sports columnists Mike Wise of the Washington Post, and Christine Brennan of USA Today, discuss the criticism surrounding Costas and whether the sports analyst went too far.

Freelance photographer Umar Abbasi wasn’t sure what kind of photo he snapped when he started running towards a man trapped on the tracks of a New York City subway. The picture, which ended up on the cover of the New York Post the next morning with the headline “DOOMED”, shows a man in the last seconds of his life as a train barrels down on him. Did the New York Post cross a line when they published the photo?

Washington Post media critic Erik Wemple and radio host Callie Crossley discuss the controversial cover. They’ll also take a look at Fox News’ recent treatment of Karl Rove and Dick Morris in light of their failed election predictions, and the ethics of MSNBC hosts visiting the White House for a special meeting with the President.

ABC News Senior White House correspondent Jake Tapper talks about his new book The Outpost; an investigative look at one of the war's deadliest battles for U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien, talks about her new documentary airing Sunday night on CNN at 8pm ET: “Who is Black in America?” and how her own history played a role in the story.

Ron Fournier, Editorial Director at the National Journal, discusses a recent piece he wrote about his relationship with his son who has Asperger Syndrome. Fournier has extensive experience covering the White House and politics and he talks about how his life as a journalist did and didn’t prepare him to understand his son’s story.

This Sunday, 11am ET.

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December 6th, 2012
05:28 PM ET

What we're reading this week...

By Cassie Spodak, CNN

Bob Costas sounding off on guns, a shocking New York post cover, and Karl Rove kicked off Fox News? There's a lot going on this week, but here are some of the other stories that got our attention:

Being Ken Burns – Award winning documentary filmmaker Ken Burns talks to Mediabistro about his first big break and how perseverance can be more important than talent. Burns says he was determined to bring the past alive, “how to make history not homework” – and that’s how we ended up with the famed “Ken Burns effect.”

A special NBC investigation: Matt Lauer’s Tush – NBC investigative reporter Jeff Rossen filed an in depth report on a incident that occurred Tuesday morning right before Lauer was set to go on air. The controversy? The encounter between Willie Geist’s hand and Lauer’s butt. Was it a harmless pat? Or something more nefarious? Matt Lauer, sensitive soul that he is, says what really bothers him isn’t necessarily the act of the slapping, but that Geist hasn’t been in touch since, “he abandoned me.”

British celebrity publicist arrested under suspicion of sex offenses – Max Clifford was arrested Thursday by police investigating sex abuse allegations sparked by a scandal involving now-deceased TV host Jimmy Savile, British media reports said.

Hypocritical punditry – A “Laura Ingraham Newsletter,” sent out by one of her producers while Ingraham was off, slammed some big name MSNBCers (Rachel Maddow, Al Sharpton, Lawrence O'Donnell) for visiting with President Obama to discuss his policies. The problem? Ingraham did the same thing with a group of conservative pundits back when George W. Bush was in office.

What media stories got your attention this week?

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