January 10th, 2014
04:43 PM ET

Sneak peek at this Sunday's show...

Tune in to "Reliable Sources" this Sunday at 11 a.m. Eastern! Here's a preview from the program's host Brian Stelter:

Let me preface a preview of this week's "Reliable Sources" with a story. In 2011, while I was working for The New York Times, I was interested in writing a book about the cable news wars. I'd been covering Fox News, CNN and MSNBC for years and I thought I could weave the stories of the three channels together in a compelling way. I drafted a 60-page proposal and sent it to a literary agent, Kate Lee, who shopped it around to eight publishing houses. Every one turned it down. Among the many reasons, this is the one that was mentioned most often: "Gabe Sherman's book."

A few months earlier, New York magazine writer Gabriel Sherman's proposal for a book about Fox News had been acquired by Random House. There had been a big bidding war for Sherman's book; Random House was thought to have paid handsomely for it. The tight-knit publishing industry expected Sherman's book to be the definitive account of the rise of Fox and its creator Roger Ailes, with brand new insights about how Ailes uses Fox to support Republican politicians and shape public opinion. Publishers doubted that there would be room for another cable news book.

Thanks to Kate's hard work, I wound up writing a book about morning television instead (and I'm glad I did). But I tell that story to make this point: Sherman's book, "The Loudest Voice In The Room," has been highly anticipated since the day he proposed it. Ailes, after all, has been influencing politics and television for decades, making him a hero to the American right, an enemy to the left and a clearly worthwhile subject for a biography. Next Tuesday the 560-page book is finally being published — and on Sunday I'll have Sherman's first extended interview.

The "Reliable Sources" producing team has allotted extra time for the interview at the top of the show. (You can watch his only other TV interview to date, from Friday's "CBS This Morning," here.)

For a debriefing after the interview, I'll be joined by two other authors, Jeffery Berry and Sarah Sobieraj, who co-wrote "The Outrage Industry: Political Opinion Media and the New Incivility."

Later in the broadcast, I'll ask Michael Crowley, the author of this memorable Time magazine cover story on New Jersey governor Chris Christie, about this week's coverage of the #GWBridge scandal. Was Christie a "media darling" up until now? Have you noticed a sudden change in the tone of the media coverage surrounding him? Add a comment to the bottom of this blog post.

Separately, the show producers and I are trying to book a representative from Al Jazeera to update us on the three Al Jazeera journalists who have been imprisoned in Egypt since December 29. We'll cover their situation and the overall difficulties faced by reporters in the region.

And we'll close with a story about a very powerful photograph - tune in Sunday at 11 a.m. to see it.

See you then,


Filed under: Reliable Sources
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  8. John

    I watch Reliable Sources regularly as I saw the show as an objective review of media coverage. The January 12th episode was certainly a disappointing low point. The Kitty Kelley–esque content by Sherman in the past seems to have continued with this Ailes book – and Brian Stelter treated this author as if he were a credible journalist. Sherman’s work is usually poorly sourced gossip – which is fine when not treated like serious journalism. The fact that he was given such a prominent and unchallenged portion of this week’s show was odd considering what I thought was the context of the program. I have no problem with the Ed Schultz and Sean Hannity types as they are honest about their intent and the editorial nature of their efforts. I usually don’t watch FoxNews or MSNBC because of this type of gossip-as-serious-news approach, and I’ll not watch this Reliable Sources again.

    January 12, 2014 at 8:26 pm | Reply
  9. larrykelly


    Today’s RELIABLE SOUCES, 34 minute hatchet job on Roger Ailes that could easily have appeared on MSNBC for the interview and followup guests who did not even discuss the interview. The guests immediately switched to how outrageous conservative radio is and liberal radio fails because “liberals are more tolerant.” Tell me the grinning host could not have come up with someone as a guest who might have given a critical assessment of the author’s interview, and I’ll call you a liar.

    No, I had to take a shower after watching the feigned “compliments” to Roger, “and Hitler rose from a mere corporal to the leader of his nation, what persistence”, to swat him with murder threats and anonymous gossip.

    Sherman and Stelter would have looked more at home behind the counter of an adult book store, leering at the merchandise. Slimey.

    January 12, 2014 at 1:08 pm | Reply
    • brianstelter

      I'm sorry you felt that way. The purpose of the interview with the "Outrage Industry" authors was to broaden out the conversation beyond just Fox. The author's comments about conservative vs liberal outrage were rooted in years of research. –Brian

      January 12, 2014 at 1:22 pm | Reply
  10. Bruce

    Just watched your so called reporting on the new book about Fox news. I believe Fox news is a very biased network but your spot today, 30 minutes on a book not yet on the stands then further comments from people who had not had a chance to read it was rank sensationalism. Your report was the classic example of media hype instead of reporting. Brian, you do not deserve your new position. I watch MSNBC, CNN and FOX on a regular basis. I used to really like Reliable Sources, I would enjoy matching my list and assessment on how stories were covered. THe new direction of just another way of fostering an agenda means it is now off my dvr list.

    January 12, 2014 at 12:51 pm | Reply
    • brianstelter

      I respect your point of view and I hope you'll tune in again. I thought we were able to share a lot of Sherman's reporting, along with Fox's statement and Sherman's reactions to his critics. I definitely don't to be responsible for "media hype." –Brian

      January 12, 2014 at 1:08 pm | Reply
      • Bruce

        Since the book was not out yet, how much criticism has there been. This a preempted strike to promote a point of view. When the criticism does start, will you give them 35 minutes to point out errors?

        January 12, 2014 at 3:32 pm |
  11. noebodski

    Where is a link to the back story to the image of homeless man?
    You ran out of time to run the story, but didn't direct us to a specific url link. I understand that the time ran out, but I don't explore CNN everyday, so don't know specifically where I should go. I found your blog, but it only listed what you were going to cover.
    BTW: It is great to observe you loosen up and display a bit more of your own unique personality.

    January 12, 2014 at 12:18 pm | Reply
    • brianstelter

      Hey! Sorry for the delay in getting the photographer interview online. We just posted the video online - just copy and paste this link to watch it:


      Thanks for your interest. –Brian

      January 12, 2014 at 1:35 pm | Reply
  12. Abby Kenigsberg

    Brian: Why didn't you ask Sherman about the old but smart documentary called OUTFOXED? Sherman's "expose," although pretty accurate, is not quite as shocking as he says. Sherman's quite a salesman and you fell for it.

    January 12, 2014 at 12:08 pm | Reply
    • brianstelter

      I'm aware of the documentary; I simply wanted to focus on more recent issues, like Ailes' opinions about President Obama. –Brian

      January 12, 2014 at 1:25 pm | Reply
  13. GSL

    What a "puff" piece about the detention of Al-Jazeera journalists in Egypt. Surely, it is reprehensible that journalists be held against their will in Egypt, but you should have had some discussion of how Morsi silenced his critics before the new regime.

    January 12, 2014 at 12:05 pm | Reply
  14. pg

    I have a bit of an issue with the commentator saying that Fox is profitable. Maybe, but I certainly wouldn't give them a cent, except that we are forced to get it as part of a cable package. For a true market driven approach people should be able to pick the specific cable channels they are interested, rather than media forced on us by large media companies.

    January 12, 2014 at 11:35 am | Reply
    • brianstelter

      I'll try to tackle the issue of "cable bundles" vs "cable a la carte" on a future show. (For what it's worth, I think Fox would still be enormously profitable in an "a la carte" world - millions of people would pay for the channel.) –Brian

      January 12, 2014 at 1:19 pm | Reply
  15. mike flinn

    If this guy's completely over the top self promotion is what CNN regards as "reliable sources" it's little wonder Fox is No 1.

    January 12, 2014 at 11:32 am | Reply
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    January 12, 2014 at 7:42 am | Reply

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