June 15th, 2014
01:53 PM ET

Why the press was shocked by Cantor's loss

Christina Bellantoni, Jake Sherman, David Leonhardt, and Brian Stelter on how most of the press missed predicting one of the biggest political upsets in years - House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's loss to primary opponent David Brat.

Filed under: Politics • Reliable Sources
June 15th, 2014
01:06 PM ET

Stelter's opinion: How the Bush 41 film on CNN was financed

Brian Stelter gives his take on CNN’s upcoming documentary about former President George H.W. Bush, which was produced by an outside company with funding from the Bush presidential library.

Filed under: CNN • Reliable Sources
June 15th, 2014
01:03 PM ET

How journalists "made news" in Hillary Clinton interviews

How did the journalists who interviewed Hillary Clinton manage to "make news?" Above, Dylan Byers of Politico and Erik Wemple of The Washington Post watch the interviews and analyze them with Brian Stelter.

STELTER: What is the takeaway for interviewers, for journalists, from the clips we just watched? What's the lesson?

WEMPLE: Dig in on one topic. I think, with Hillary, there's so much you can ask about. And Terry [Gross] did cover a lot of ground, a lot of shoreline. But I think you've got to make some decisions. You've got to make some decisions about what you care about, and go at them hard. I think that's it.

BYERS: Also, when you're giving - when the person you're interviewing is giving 12, 14, who knows how many interviews - ABC is OK because they have first-mover status. CNN is OK because they have a town hall, which is a unique sort of event. Everyone else, you have to be looking for one thing. And if you just go through the questions, she has answers for those questions. If, like Terry Gross, you hammer home one issue and you ask it seven or eight times, then you're going to generate a sort of response and you're going to generate some news.

Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Reliable Sources
June 15th, 2014
01:01 PM ET

Connection between violent rhetoric and real-world violence?

CNN contributor John Avlon on mass shootings and the influence of conspiracy-laden information from talk radio and radical groups.

Filed under: Reliable Sources
June 15th, 2014
12:59 PM ET

Iraq: How to distinguish between real news and propaganda

Above, Storyful’s David Clinch on how his organization works to verify - and sometimes debunk - amateur photos and videos emerging from Iraq.

Here's the transcript:

STELTER: You have surely heard the old maxim that "in the fog of war, the first casualty is the truth." You've heard it because it tends to be true. It's very hard to know what's really happening in Iraq right now. Of course, it's a country that will always be associated in our minds with bad intelligence.

Sometimes reporters and TV producers have to rely on primary sources - photos and videos from people on the ever-shifting front lines. So, the vetting process for this material is critical. Many people here at CNN do it every day. We have Arabic speakers who watch video, translate them, cross-reference them, and sometimes debunk them. In fact, a message went out to the whole newsroom here on Friday, reminding everybody to steer clear of misinformation and mislabeled photos.

For help with this, lots of other news organizations depend on a fascinating start up called Storyful. It calls itself a social media news agency. Here's a sign how important this work is becoming: last year, Rupert Murdoch acquired Storyful for $25 million.

They have been busy there, debunking insurgent propaganda from Iraq, and I want you to hear how. So let me bring in David Clinch, executive editor of Storyful. He was previously a senior CNN international auditor here at CNN. David, thanks for joining me.

DAVID CLINCH, STORYFUL: Nice to be here, Brian. Thank you.

STELTER: Let me put two photos on screen that are from Twitter this week. Both of these are Blackhawk helicopters and the caption you can see on screen, it says, "Al Qaeda militants capture U.S. Blackhawk helicopters in Iraq." Are these images real? FULL POST


Filed under: Iraq • Media • Reliable Sources
June 15th, 2014
12:55 PM ET

Iraq: A war reporter’s view

Above: As Iraq again falls into a state of chaos, famed war correspondent John Burns of The New York Times talks with Brian Stelter about covering the conflicts, both currently and back in 2003.

Here's the transcript:

STELTER: How does it feel as someone - as one of the many reporters who risked their lives covering this war 10, 11 years ago - to see what's happening now?

BURNS: Well, we were - certainly, most of us were wise before the event. That's to say we could have not told you that we foresaw this in the weeks and months up to the American invasion.

But very shortly after that invasion, certainly within a year, most of us, almost all of us foresaw this unfolding as a disaster, indeed unfolding much as it has. Nothing that has happened in the last 72 hours, or for that matter the last two or three years since American troops withdrew, I believe has surprised anybody. FULL POST


Filed under: Iraq • Reliable Sources
June 15th, 2014
08:02 AM ET

Sneak peek at this Sunday's show - 6/15, 11am

Happy Father's Day! Here's what we have in store on "Reliable Sources" this morning:

First, a postmortem on House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's stunning defeat. Why didn't the political press see it coming? Roll Call editor in chief Christina Bellantoni will share her story about ripping up the newspaper's front page on Tuesday night... Politico congressional reporter Jake Sherman will tell me what it was like at Cantor's election night event... and New York Times editor David Leonhardt will talk about what lessons the press can take away from this surprise.
  ·· Before the broadcast, check out what Leonhardt told The Times' public editor, and read Sherman's April 27 story about the Virginia primary

We have two segments planned about the crisis in Iraq and Syria, honing in on journalistic questions. Famed war correspondent John F. Burns will join me, and so will David Clinch, the executive editor of Storyful, a company that sorts through images and videos from conflict zones like Iraq. Sometimes Storyful verifies images as real, other times it debunks them - Clinch will show how.
  ·· Before the broadcast, learn more about Storyful here

Later in the show, we'll discuss whether there is a connection between extreme rhetoric and extreme behavior, like last weekend's widely-covered shooting in Las Vegas. "Jerad Miller's anti-government frenzy was whipped up by the extreme right-wing echo chamber," The Daily Beast editor-in-chief and CNN political analyst John Avlon wrote in a Beast column. I'll ask him about that, and this new Pew study about political polarization.
  ·· Before the broadcast, read Avlon's column, titled "Hatriot Politics Created the Las Vegas Killers"

We'll also take a close look at Hillary Clinton's book tour with two media reporters, Dylan Byers of Politico and Erik Wemple of The Washington Post. While every other program focuses on Clinton's answers, we'll focus on the questions asked by interviewers. We've set up the studio like a living room so we can watch the questions and discuss the interview techniques on display.
  ·· Before the broadcast, check out what Byers and Wemple wrote about the Clinton interviews, and Byers' story about Chelsea Clinton's salary at NBC

At the end of the hour, I'll tell you what I think about the George H.W. Bush documentary that is premiering on CNN tonight. The documentary was financed by Bush's presidential library, but the producers say the library had no editorial control over its content.

Tune in at 11 a.m. Eastern time!


Filed under: Reliable Sources
June 15th, 2014
07:31 AM ET

Univision owners explore a sale – again

The owners of Univision are, once again, talking about selling, and the deliberations are playing out in public view.

Among the questions that a sale would answer: just how valuable is a pipeline into the rapidly growing number of households in the United States that watch Spanish-language television?


Filed under: Reliable Sources