August 31st, 2014
01:29 PM ET

Brian Stelter's contentious interview of radical cleric Anjem Choudary

On the Aug. 31 edition of "Reliable Sources," London-based Muslim cleric Anjem Choudary joined Brian Stelter for a contentious discussion about how he and other radicals use (and some say abuse) the mainstream media and the Internet to spread their messages.

Related news coverage:
  · Mediaite: 'I Have Nothing More to Say:' CNN's Stelter Battles Islamic Cleric Over Hannity, Propaganda
  · The Daily Caller: "Round Two: Radical Islamic Cleric Squares Off Against CNN's Brian Stelter"
  · NewsBusters: "Terror-Supporting Islamist Finds 'Humor' in Saying '9-11, 7-7, 3-11' During Mic Check Before CNN Interview"

Filed under: Reliable Sources
August 31st, 2014
01:24 PM ET

Red News/Blue News: is the threat posed by ISIS to America being overblown?

In the above video, Josh Rogin and Naomi Wolf discuss whether politicians and TV talking heads are exaggerating the danger ISIS poses to the United States.

"Let's go ahead and stipulate, right at the start, that the extremist group known as ISIS is a force to be reckoned with, and its actions are atrocious and its beliefs are backwards," host Brian Stelter said in his Red News/Blue News introduction. "But let's consider whether there is a direct threat to America that is being overstated, and whether the press is doing what it should be doing - which is challenging people in power and demanding evidence for their assertions."

Stelter added, "I think the tone of a lot of the news coverage about ISIS has been reflecting the government position."

He played some examples of politicians and TV talking heads warning about the threat of terrorist infiltrations from Mexico and Canada.

"The evidence is not there," Stelter said. "And yet the people who say this stuff don't seem to be held accountable."

The government said Friday that "the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the FBI are unaware of any specific, credible threat to the U.S. homeland from ISIL."

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Filed under: Reliable Sources
August 31st, 2014
01:21 PM ET

Joan Rivers, entertainment pioneer

In the above video, Brian Stelter and "Entertainment Tonight" co-host Nancy O'Dell take a look at Joan Rivers's groundbreaking career.

Rivers was hospitalized on Thursday after she stopped breathing during throat surgery at a Manhattan medical clinic. She was listed in critical condition at New York's Mount Sinai Hospital.

"She had an impact, as far as being a woman in this business, because she really broke the glass ceiling," O'Dell said, referring to Rivers' appearances on "The Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson.

O'Dell also said that Rivers, age 81, has helped to disprove the "Hollywood myth" that "women can't have a long career" in the entertainment industry.

Filed under: Reliable Sources
August 31st, 2014
01:19 PM ET

Rural revolt over proposed Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger

Patrick Gottsch, the founder and CEO of RFD-TV, a cable channel dedicated to rural interests, tells Brian Stelter why he thinks the Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger could adversely impact his company.

Filed under: Reliable Sources
August 31st, 2014
01:17 PM ET

"Disproportionate focus" on Israel?

Author and former AP correspondent Matti Friedman gives Brian Stelter his take on media coverage of the "Israeli-Palestinian" conflict, which he says should be called "Israeli-Arab" or "Jewish-Arab."

Friedman wrote this essay for the Jewish online magazine Tablet: "An Insider’s Guide to the Most Important Story on Earth"

Filed under: Reliable Sources
August 31st, 2014
01:15 PM ET

Transition at ABC, departure at NBC

A few media news stories of note: Diane Sawyer's low-key departure from the anchor chair, eye-catching comments from the NBC News president Deborah Turness, and Chelsea Clinton's decision to leave NBC.

Filed under: Reliable Sources
August 24th, 2014
02:00 PM ET

Web Exclusive: Should beheading video be seen on TV and allowed on Twitter?

CNNMoney technology correspondent Laurie Segall, BuzzFeed deputy editor-in-chief Shani Hilton and Quinnipiac University journalism department chair Kevin Convey discuss how social networking sites and news outlets should handle the gory video of American journalist Jim Foley's murder.

A few of the highlights:

  · Segall: "This is the first time Twitter's really taken a stance" against a specific piece of graphic propaganda.

  · Convey: "I think it depends entirely in your audience... Obviously, The New York Post thought that its audience would tolerate what it put on page one. And it's no surprise, for example, that The New York Times, knowing its audience, did not."

  · Hilton: BuzzFeed initially decided to link to the beheading video on YouTube, but then the video was taken down. "We don't want to sanitize the Internet," she said. "It's there on the Internet, our audience is on the Internet, so to pretend like there's some artificial wall between our audience and the raw content, it seems a little silly to me."

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Filed under: Reliable Sources
August 24th, 2014
01:57 PM ET

Web Exclusive: Cops versus reporters in Ferguson

In a conversation with Brian Stelter, Ryan Devereaux and David Klinger share differing points of view on the tension between journalists and the authorities there.

Devereaux is a reporter for The Intercept who was arrested while covering the protests in Ferguson, Missouri earlier in the week, and Klinger is a former police officer and an associate professor of criminology and criminal justice at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Among the questions they consider: did journalists get in the way and make a bad situation worse during the unrest in Ferguson, or were they doing their jobs responsibly?

Filed under: Reliable Sources
August 24th, 2014
01:56 PM ET

Web Exclusive: the story behind an iconic photo from Ferguson, Missouri

In his first interview, Edward Crawford tells Brian Stelter the story behind the now-iconic picture of him clutching a bag of chips in one hand and a tear gas canister in the other amid a raucous protest in Ferguson, Missouri.

The photo - taken by St. Louis Post-Dispatch photographer Robert Cohen - has been printed onto T-shirts, repurposed by artists, even plastered onto cell phone cases. On Twitter, it's been favorably compared to pictures from revolutions overseas - but also falsely cited as proof of violence committed by protesters.

"Before the photo was taken, the canister... was shot and it landed a couple of feet away from me and some children standing on the sidewalk," Crawford said.

He said he was "not throwing the canister at the police; I was merely getting the canister away from me and the kids."

Toward the end of the interview Stelter asked:

STELTER: Are you ready for the press to pack up and leave - or are you happy they're there, to shine a light on this issue?

CRAWFORD: I am happy the media is in my town, because this attention that we're getting, I just hope we turn it into something positive. With the attention, I hope our voices are heard and I hope our pain is felt by America. So, I don't want the cameras to leave. I hope they stay here as long as they can and just capture positive moments, positive protests.

Filed under: Reliable Sources
August 24th, 2014
01:12 PM ET

Jim Foley's boss: "It's suicide for a journalist to go into Syria now"

Jim Foley, the American journalist who was beheaded in a video published by the Islamic extremist group ISIS on Tuesday, was working for the web site GlobalPost when he was abducted in Syria on Thanksgiving Day 2012.

On Sunday's "Reliable Sources," Brian Stelter spoke with GlobalPost CEO Phil Balboni and Associated Press CEO Gary Pruitt about the dangers that journalists face in war zones around the world.

Balboni said it is not safe for other journalists to attempt to travel to Syria now. FULL POST

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