December 16th, 2013
11:10 AM ET

From Brian: 5 takeaways from Dec. 15 show

Sunday was my second week as the host of "Reliable Sources." If you weren't able to tune in, here were the moments that really stood out to me:

1. First and foremost, my interview with Matt Apuzzo, the Associated Press reporter who helped write this week's bombshell story about Bob Levinson, the American who went missing in Iran in 2007. Apuzzo and his colleagues reported that Levinson was on an unauthorized C.I.A. mission. On "Reliable" I played a sound bite from Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, who called the A.P.'s decision to publish the story — after waiting several years to do so — "highly irresponsible."

Apuzzo told me, "I certainly hope that, as I said before, you'd like to see the government talk a little less about the A.P. and a little more about Bob Levinson, and a little more about what it can do to make sure this can't happen again." He added, "Bob Levinson was in Iran serving his government, and Bob Levinson was not well-served by his government. And I think that's something we can't lose sight of." Here's the interview with Apuzzo and the senior-most editor at the A.P., Kathleen Carroll. The Huffington Post also has a worthwhile summary of the segment.

2. Aisha Harris, the Slate blogger who inspired a Fox News segment on Wednesday about Santa's race, told me that she thought the Fox anchor Megyn Kelly's defense on Friday "didn't ring true." Harris said: "I felt like they were kind of playing the victim there, and the fact that they tried to deflect it and say they were also making a joke out of it, it just didn't - it didn't ring true to me. She said it very emphatically on the program, on Wednesday, and to me, there was nothing joke-like about that."

3. Should the White House allow press photographers more access to President Obama? Our political panel had a thought-provoking conversation about that. I quoted an email from Ronald M. Sachs, the president of the White House News Photographers Association, who said his organization's members want "appropriate access to the events which are photographed by White House staff photographers except where exceptional circumstances warrant."

4: I enjoyed this exchange about the Obama administration between Amy Holmes, of Glenn Beck's channel The Blaze, and CNN national political reporter Peter Hamby—

HOLMES: Finally, it seems possibly the media love affair with this administration might be over and they are no longer willing to be lap dog just taking predigested tidbits.
HAMBY: Can I puncture that real quick? I think probably in 2008, there was probably a larger infatuation with the media. The reporters that deal with this White House and the Obama world on a day-to-day basis aren't really in love with the guy. There is a real sort of toxic relationship in this city if you go out and talk to reporters -
HOLMES: It seems to have grown in the past year particularly.
HAMBY: Yes, it certainly has.

5: Adweek's Sam Thielman on what motivated Beyonce to surprise fans with a new album on Friday: "I think it's a real power move on Beyonce's part. No record executive says 'Yes, let's take our biggest artist, put out a brand-new record with her, and then not tell anybody it's coming out.' You saw Eminem's 'Marshall Mathers LP 2' earlier this year. They had him do everything for that. But she's Beyonce, she can do what she wants." Here's the video of our conversation about that and the "Anchorman 2" release.

The "Reliable Sources" team is working on next Sunday's program. Join us at 11 a.m. Eastern time and right back here on the blog.


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