May 5th, 2014
12:17 PM ET

Brian's 7 takeaways from May 4 show

If you weren't able to tune in on Sunday, here were some of the moments that really stood out to me:

1. BuzzFeed's Peter Lauria had a concise explanation about why big media companies that privately oppose the Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger won't state their opposition in public: "In a nutshell, it comes down to money. If you're big media, and Comcast is paying you millions and millions, if not billions, of dollars each year to carry your programming, you kind of don't want to bite the hand that pays you." Here's the whole segment.

2. At the end of this segment about Oklahoma's botched execution of Clayton Lockett, I asked Greg Bluestein, an Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter who has witnessed ten executions, if he had any advice for my other guest, Matt Trotter of Oklahoma Public Radio. Trotter had never witnessed an execution until Lockett was put to death last week.

"It will hit you," Bluestein told Trotter. "My advice is, when it does, just get out your pen and write. It doesn't even have to be for publication. I wrote something just for myself that ended up being published, but just write or have someone to talk to - because something like this, I can't imagine going through that as your first execution." 

3. Earlier in the segment, I asked Trotter if his personal views about the death penalty had changed at all:

TROTTER: Not really. I mean, honestly, my personal views on the issue are sort of up in the air and I'm figuring them out as I go. Even before I went, that was where I was at on the death penalty. So - 

STELTER: Can I just say that's refreshing to hear, by the way? Sometimes on television, it's as if everybody has their minds made up, but you're pointing out what I think a lot of people feel - that they don't know about an issue as serious as this one.

TROTTER: Right, it's a hard one to come to a final decision on, just because there is so much information out there, and then you have to factor in your own personal feelings about things. It's - you know, on one hand it's not a deterrent to crime, but on the other hand, there are certain crimes that we [as a society] feel that should be the penalty for.

4. Media coverage of the mass kidnapping of girls in Nigeria is starting to pick up. But it has been an Undercovered story since mid-April. "There are a lot of challenges when it comes to reporting a story like this," CNN correspondent Vladimir Duthiers told me. Watch the whole segment here.

5. Our Red News/Blue News segment was about coverage of Benghazi. CNN chief congressional correspondent Dana Bash said this:

"This is fascinating to me because Fox is doing it extensively, and if you talk to Republicans - as I do on Capitol Hill - particularly those who are up for reelection, maybe even those who have primary challenges who are really trying to make sure that the Republican base is with them, this is a huge issue. So the question that I have - and I don't know if anybody can really answer this, it's a chicken or egg question, is - is Fox doing it because the Republican base viewership is interested, or is the base interested because Fox is doing it all the time?"

6. Politico Magazine senior staff writer Glenn Thrush followed up on what Bash said about the subject:

"I get e-mails from my friends on the right who say, 'Why aren't you covering this extensively?' It is an important story to cover. But from my perception, as someone who covers the White House, it's important in terms of diplomatic security moving forward, our role in the world and this conflagration in the Mideast that we still haven't dealt with. I think to a certain extent, having this [be] so politicized robs us of the ability to discuss what the real policy implications are." 
Here's the rest of the conversation.

7. Carl Bernstein had this to say about continuing investigations into Benghazi:

"Of course this is partly about Hillary Clinton and it should be partly about Hillary Clinton. Does Fox News, does the Republican Party, does Darrell Issa, does John Boehner want to derail her candidacy? Of course, they do. Is there an almost mad hatred for Hillary Clinton by the people over there at Fox and some other news outlets, by The Weekly Standard, some others on the right? Sure, there is. But that doesn't obviate the fact that there is a real story here to be looked at in context. I think we know most of the truth about what happened in Benghazi. If it were possible - and I don't think it is - to have a calm, non or bipartisan investigation, contextual that would once and for all it could establish a set of irrefutable facts? That would be terrific. But I don't think such a thing is possible in today's political or media atmosphere."

Watch the rest of the Bernstein segment right here.

Hope you'll tune in next Sunday - Mother's Day! - at 11 a.m. Eastern. (Or set your DVR!)


Filed under: Reliable Sources