August 24th, 2014
12:57 PM ET

Red News/Blue News: Ferguson

A look at Fox News & MSNBC handling of reports of injuries suffered by the police officer who shot Michael Brown.

Filed under: Reliable Sources
August 24th, 2014
12:55 PM ET

Dan Rather: I'd pay a ransom

In the above video, Dan Rather, the former anchor of the "CBS Evening News," discusses the dangers that reporters face while working in war zones.

In a conversation with Brian Stelter, Rather also voiced concern about the American media's coverage of conflicts overseas:

RATHER: Look, the war drums have been beating along the Potomac for some little while, accentuated in recent weeks and now in recent days. As a citizen - let me take my journalist hat off for a moment. But, as a citizen, this worries me a great deal...

All of these people on television - some of whom I have enormous respect for - it unsettles me to hear them say, listen, we, the United States, we have to - quote - "do something" in Ukraine, we have to do something in Syria, we have to do something in the waters around China, we have to do something about what is happening in Yemen, we have to do something in Iraq, we have to do something about ISIS, what they are talking about are combat operations.

My first question to anyone who is on television saying, "We have to get tough, we need to put boots on the ground and we need to go to war in one of these places" is, I will hear you out if you tell me you are prepared to send your son, your daughter, your grandson, your granddaughter to that war of which you are beating the drums. If you aren't, I have no patience with you, and don't even talk to me.

STELTER: It worries me, too, Dan, to be completely honest.

It worries me that I hear so many more voices on television that are advocating for action - than I do hear voices of people who are trying to push on the brakes, push on the brakes. And it is somewhat reminiscent of 2002 and 2003 in the run-up to what was a, of course, much, much bigger U.S. military action in Iraq than anything that is being contemplated now.

RATHER: Well, there are echoes of what we went through. And those of us in journalism - and I can include myself in this - we have a lot to answer for about what we didn't do and what we did do in the run-up to the war in Iraq, which I think history will judge to be a strategic disaster of historic proportions.

We journalists, including this one, we didn't ask the right questions. We didn't ask enough questions. We didn't ask the follow-up questions. We did not challenge power. And I am concerned that, once again, as the war drums begin to beat and get louder and louder, that there will be a herd mentality of saying, well, we have to go to war in Syria, we have to go to war in Ukraine.

I don't think it is an overstatement to say that we need to be thinking very, very carefully and seriously about this and journalists have the special responsibility to at least ask the right questions.

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Filed under: Reliable Sources
August 17th, 2014
01:16 PM ET

Were journalists targeted in Ferguson?

In the above video, Ryan Reilly, a reporter for The Huffington Post, tells Brian Stelter about his experience being arrested while covering protests in Ferguson, Missouri.

In the interview, Reilly reiterated that he doesn't want to be the news, he wants to cover the news. But he said the publicity about his arrest has had one positive outcome:

"Often, when I am interviewing people, they recognize me for what happened and they say, 'Oh, you're that reporter.' So it's added a different interaction with people I'm reporting on that I had in the past. And perhaps, probably, it's opened people up to speaking to me, who maybe wouldn't have been comfortable speaking with me in the past."

Reilly expressed disappointment with "armchair critics" who have questioned whether he and Wesley Lowery of The Washington Post somehow provoked their arrest. "Any good journalist who was in that situation, the exact same thing would have happened to them. I'm 100 percent sure of that," Reilly said.

He also said that despite his repeated attempts, he has still not been told the names of the officers who took him into custody.

Filed under: Reliable Sources
August 17th, 2014
01:12 PM ET

Al Jazeera America correspondent believes he was targeted by police tear gas in Ferguson

In the video above, Al Jazeera America correspondent Ash-har Quraishi tells Brian Stelter about what happened when he and his crew were on the receiving end of tear gas and rubber bullets in Ferguson, Missouri. (Here is Stelter's CNN.com story about the incident.)

Quraishi said he feels the police action was intentional: "I do feel like we were targeted because after we retreated back, there was a crowd that did go towards our camera equipment and that was caught on camera. They hovered around our equipment. There were a number of people there - [but] no rubber bullets were fired at them and no canisters were fired at them, either."

He added, "Later on, the police that were involved in this basically said that they were helping us out by getting us out of there. You know, I find that a little bit insulting. It sounds like, you know, somebody sucker-punches you in a bar and then hands you a stick and kicks you out the door. That's not helping you."

Filed under: Reliable Sources
August 17th, 2014
01:10 PM ET

Al Sharpton's dual roles: activist and anchor

In this week's Red News/Blue News segment, ConservativeBlackChick.com editor Crystal Wright and CNN commentator Marc Lamont Hill debated Al Sharpton's role in the Ferguson, Missouri protests. They also discussed #IfTheyGunnedMeDown, one of the social media responses to news coverage of Michael Brown's death.

Filed under: Reliable Sources
August 17th, 2014
01:08 PM ET

The future of Chuck Todd's "Meet the Press"

As David Gregory is replaced by Chuck Todd on NBC's "Meet the Press," how should the iconic Sunday morning public affairs program evolve? Frank Sesno, the director of the School of Media and Public Affairs at the George Washington University, and Jay Rosen, a journalism professor at New York University, discussed that with Brian Stelter. Here are a few of the highlights:

  · Rosen, speaking generally about Sunday shows like "Meet the Press:" "I think these shows are an important instrument of accountability, but they've drifted out of touch with the audience, the people who are interested in politics now have a lot more information available to them. They also expect more interaction with their journalists than they did in the past. And that's not something that David Gregory was very good at."

  · Sesno: "The host needs to be the surrogate for the audience." These shows should be "a place to hold people's feet to the fire - even better and closer and hotter - which is why the role of the host is so important, and I think where Chuck is going to excel."

  · Rosen: "There is a very strong sense in the country that Washington is broken. The political class has failed. We can't even get on the same page about what the problem is, let alone solve the problem. I think it would be wise for Chuck Todd to see himself and his colleagues, Washington journalists, as part of the class that has screwed up politics. And maybe in taking over 'Meet the Press,' he can begin to address some of how that happened."

Filed under: Reliable Sources
August 17th, 2014
01:06 PM ET

CNN crew’s heroic reporting in Iraq

In the video above, CNN senior international correspondent Ivan Watson and photojournalist Mark Phillips describe what it was like to report on an extraordinary relief and rescue mission in northern Iraq earlier this week.

During the dangerous mission, "I was terrified," Watson said. "I sent a note to my girlfriend to pass on to my family when we were taking off... just in case."

Stelter asked Phillips if he was equally terrified. In the moment, he said, "I'm more or less concentrating on what I'm doing and that takes away the fear factor." But it sunk in later, he said, once he watched the video he had recorded.

Watson said that's one of the reasons why he took photos with his camera phone during the harrowing trip: "Not only can I then share images as well afterwards, but it also does help me focus and shield myself from what's going on - and not be thinking about or worrying about the possibility that the fighters below might have surface-to-air missiles that could shoot our helicopter out of the sky."

Filed under: Reliable Sources
August 17th, 2014
12:40 PM ET

Fox News doctor: First Lady “needs to drop a few”

"How well could she be eating? She needs to drop a few," psychiatrist and Fox News commentator Dr. Keith Ablow said on the Fox program "Outnumbered" earlier this week.

Ablow was talking about Michelle Obama. He and some of the other commentators on "Outnumbered" were complaining about the first lady's campaign to make school lunches healthier.

So what responsibility do TV doctors like Ablow have to their audience? Brian Stelter asked Dr. Gail Saltz, a psychiatrist, author and television commentator.

"When you carry the label of M.D.," she said, "you're putting forth the idea that you are going to act with integrity; that you are going to go by, frankly, American psychiatric guidelines, which is not to diagnose someone that you have ever met," etcetera.

"To be criticizing people kind of willy-nilly is - I don't think meets the Hippocratic oath. And it undermines the way the public sees mental health professionals, which is what concerns me the most."

Filed under: Reliable Sources
August 16th, 2014
06:32 PM ET

Sneak peek at this Sunday's show - 8/17, 11am

Hope you're having a good weekend. I'll begin Sunday morning's "Reliable Sources" with the latest from Ferguson, Missouri, including a live interview with Ryan Reilly, one of the two journalists who was arrested in Ferguson on Wednesday night. Has Reilly, a reporter for The Huffington Post, experienced any further police intimidation since the arrest? And how will the new midnight to 5 a.m. curfew in Ferguson affect journalists on the ground there? I'll ask him.

I'll also speak with Ash-har Quraishi, an Al Jazeera America correspondent in Ferguson, about what happened to his television news crew on Wednesday night. Rubber bullets and a tear gas canister were fired in the direction of the crew - and Quraishi believes it was intentional. (This is his only appearance on an outside network.)

It has now been a whole week since the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, and the tensions between police and the press aren't the only media angle to this story. I'll talk with Crystal Wright and Marc Lamont Hill about MSNBC anchor Al Sharpton's role in the protests and the social media reaction to news coverage of the shooting, exemplified by the #IfTheyGunnedMeDown hashtag.

Later in the hour, I'll turn to the week's big news-about-TV-news: NBC's decision to remove David Gregory from "Meet the Press" and replace him with Chuck Todd. Frank Sesno and Jay Rosen will join me to discuss the future of "Meet the Press" and Sunday morning shows like it. Sesno is the director of the School of Media and Public Affairs at the George Washington University and Rosen is a journalism professor at New York University.

Did you see the Fox News segment this week with Dr. Keith Ablow's assertion that Michelle Obama "needs to drop a few" pounds? What responsibility do TV doctors have to their audience? I'll dissect that with psychiatrist Dr. Gail Saltz.

I'll also speak with CNN senior international correspondent Ivan Watson and photojournalist Mark Phillips, who brought us extraordinary images of a relief and rescue mission in northern Iraq earlier this week.

And I'll tell you what I thought of this week's provocative Wired magazine cover featuring Edward Snowden and the American flag.

Tune in at 11 a.m. Eastern time! And let me know what you think of the show,


Filed under: Reliable Sources
August 10th, 2014
01:07 PM ET

Ebola coverage: informing vs. overhyping

CNN's chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta on responsible reporting during a health crisis like the Ebola outbreak.

Here are some of the highlights from the conversation... FULL POST

Filed under: Reliable Sources
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