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tv   Reliable Sources  CNN  September 15, 2019 8:00am-9:00am PDT

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for fabric. with up to twice the fresh scent power, you'll want to try it... ...again and again and maybe just one more time. indulge in irresistible freshness. febreze unstopables. breathe happy. hey. i'm brian stelter. this is "reliable sources." our weekly look at the story behind the story. how the media really works, how the news gets made, and how all of us can help make it better. this hour, we're going behind the scenes of the week's biggest stories. cnn's jim sciutto will join me to discuss the sourcing for his big russian spy story. and the two journalist who is uncovered harry weinstein's abuses are here with new revelations from their book. and crystal ball is here reacting to rush limbaugh's lies about her and paying attention to slut shaming in the media. first of all, the "i" word. president trump is winning the messaging war about impeachment.
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democrats are losing. and i'm noticing that the dems are under increasing pressure, including from members of the media to explain their mixed messaging and their failure to communicate. wherever impeachment is in the air, there are stories about the process, stories about the substance. process on one hand, substance on the other. this is actually true in all sorts of political coverage. with nixon, the substance is about crimes and cover-ups. with clinton, it's about lying under oath and obstructing justice. with trump, journalists keep uncovering allegations of corruption and obstruction. the list of potentially impeachable conduct grows longer every week, but the political coverage is usually about the process, not the substance, the process. which democrats support an impeachment inquiry. which don't? will they impeach? won't they? and to be fair to the reporters chasing the story every day, they are covering the story, because the process is a mess. the mixed messages have become the story instead of the substance. now, the justice department is even using the dem's mixed
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messages to dismiss, to undercut the attempt at a house probe. meanwhile, headlines keep popping up about more and more potential scandals. again, the substance is being covered by the press. here's politico's scoop about the air force, about the pentagon spending money at trump's resorts. and of course, this issue about spending money at trump properties has been all over the news. "the washington post" covering this, "the new york times" covering this. they keep breaking news about this topics. what the head of the ethics group public citizen recently called, the normalization of corruption. this week, a federal appeals court revived a lawsuit saying that trump is violating the constitution by doing business with foreign governments. the stories keep coming and coming about profiting from the presidency, abusing federal power to profit enemies and obstructing investigations. so all of this is going on, and on television, you see fox warning about the impeachment, but the democrats, the divisions within the democratic party are the big story. meanwhile, the president is winning the messaging war. on friday morning, he went on a tweet storm.
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cnn's daniel dale found in three tweets, the president made three false claims while arguing that he shouldn't be kbeechimpeached. he's making up all of this stuff, lying constantly, yet he's winning the messaging war. it's a remarkable situation to see that in september of 2019, that this is the conversation about what the democrats may or may not do as they inch their way toward impeachment. so let's talk more about this with our panel that's with me here in new york today. joining me to discuss this is executive director for justice democrats and cnn commentator, zander rojas, dahlia, and susan glasser. thank you all for being here. i'm fascinated by this daily coverage of this story. susan, this impeachment debate or maybe the lack of a debate is something that's confusing in washington, and i think, all across the country. >> confusing? i mean, that's right! i have no idea how to explain this. and you know, we're supposed to be following it. and so, brian, i think you really hit on something.
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we are having almost this medieval, ecclesiastical debate. it's confusing. democrats are defensive and divided about it. and have made the story into their own inability to understand how to counter trump. at the same time that trump clearly, i think he perceives a political benefit in talking about it, warning about impeachment. >> interesting. i think right-wing media does as well. as we see on fox all the time about impeachment, but doesn't actually live up to what's going on in the house of representatives. left-wing media pushing for impeachment, journalists in the middle trying to figure out what is going on. alexandra, what do you think is going on? looking at this from the progressive wing of the democratic party? >> i think the fact that we're talking about this as winners and losers and who's winning and who's losing the messaging battle is getting away from, i think, the real substance of the issue that i know is getting coverage, but especially on, you
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know, in the media, i think we have to be talking about repeatedly,n instead of framing it as always -- >> but shouldn't the democrats be doing that? shouldn't nancy pelosi and other democrat leaders every day be talking about the corruption? >> absolutely. i think day in and day out, they should be talking about that. i think this could be a huge opportunity for democrats to take this head-on. and i think, you know, at the end of the day, they have their constitutional responsibility as the, you know, members of congress to pursue an impeachment inquiry. and the confusion, i think is, you know, unfortunate, but they have to, you know, do better and step up. and i think they still have an opportunity to do that. >> dahlia, what's your read on this? >> i think that we have completely misapprehended what impeachment is. we have this notion that it is this thermonuclear end-times thing. and even the process of beginning an impeachment inquiry, we then treat as though that's lumped in with that, this catastrophic thing that's going to go wrong for everyone. the framers didn't intend for
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impeachment to be thermonuclear. we said, this is the only check that we have that the political branches can avail themselves of. the framers actually deliberately toned down the british version of impeachment. you're not stripped of your title, you're not stripped of your lands if you're impeached under the u.s. constitutional system. they wanted it to be much easier than the british system that they had inherited. and yet we treat it as though, to even speak of beginning the process of thinking about talking about impeachment, takes us right into defcon 90. and that's absolutely not what the framers intended. >> interesting. you know, nancy pelosi's hometown newspaper, the "san francisco chronicle," is out with an editorial this weekend about impeachment. the editorial says procedure and process aside, trump has provided no shortage of prospective high crimes and misdemeanors. under such circumstances, democrats should be less worried about admitting they're considering impeachment and more concerned about creating the impression that they aren't. dahlia, i think that's an important part of this. what does it mean if the
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democrats in the united states do not take action against this potential corruption that's going on every day? >> well, it means that you have the republicans and the democrats agreeing that whatever it is that trump is doing isn't sufficient to warrant this conversation. and that has to be wrong. it has to be exactly inverted. democrats are supposed to be saying, look, the kinds of things that nixon was -- the articles of impeachment against nixon, the articles of impeachment that were actually convicted bill clinton, those are the kind of things that donald trump does weekly! casually. and it's a handful of things, among many more things -- >> but is it a failure of the press that that's not clear enough to enough people? >> i think that the press loves a horse race. and the story the press wants to tell is exactly the story of will they, won't they, who's in, who's out? that has nothing to do with the substantiative daily corruption, grifting, self-dealing, lying, endangering the military that we're seeing. those are the stories that the press can't really bring into
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the story of impeachment, because they're too busy talking about conflicts at the top levels of the party. >> congresswoman ilhan omar is on cbs today, saying, it's not a matter of if the democrats will seek impeachment, it's when they will do so. alexandr alexandria, when she says that on cbs, is she trying to communicate to house leadership? >> she should be, yeah. i think there's an urgency here, right? and i think the other things that democrats aren't thinking about is that regardless of what happens, donald trump, this time next year is going to be saying, if democrats don't do anything about it, hey, democrats aren't pursuing me. i did nothing wrong. as always. so i think it's a really big mistake of democrats right now to not be pursuing it. and its courageous leaders like ilhan omar, ayanna pressley, ocasio-cortez and rashida tlaib who are really leading by showing people the way. i think we have to have a spotlight on it, and the democratic leadership, the hesitancy is what's holding us
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back. >> and part of that is moderate democrats that were also elected in this freshman class. it's a remarkable story. the process is really interesting in this case. one more story for our panel, and that's john bolton. this week's drama with bolton either being fired or resigning. susan glasser, you have a column about this on newyorker.com. is it fair to suggest that boll tor bollton was more influential when he was a fox news commentator than when he was actually in the white house? >> it's an extraordinary question to even be asking. it seems like a relevant question, brian. the national security adviser is one of the most powerful positions not only in the united states and in the world. and donald trump is now going to be the only president in history to have a fourth national security adviser in just three years. that's never happened before, since the position was created, given the incredible turnover and turmoil. so you asked about john bolton. clearly, donald trump hired him because of what he was saying on fox news. and he was a tough guy at a time when trump had soured on the previous national security
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adviser number two. remember, he fired that go, h.r. mcmaster, who he saw as too buttoned up and too process-oriented. what i would say is that john bolton was able to communicate to donald trump in the medium that he cared most about, which is fox tv. he now risks a situation where he goes back on fox tv and dumps all over the president, if the president is shifting his foreign policy. bolton, unlike many of the people who have been fired, pushed out and humiliated by donald trump have said, i'm going to have my say publicly. so i'm watching to see whether he'll be the first really of these form national security and foreign policy officials to actually go out and speak. remember, ref jim mattis right now on a book tour saying, he has a duty of silence to the president, after quitting an apparent protest. john bolton, i don't think, is going to be so quiet. >> and we'll see if bolton's replacement also comes from fox or or not. one more little story that i want to mention, dahlia, something really exciting that slate's doing. their website is launching today
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called who counts. this is a project that you're asking readers to support, to look at who is underrepresented when it comes to voting. what are you all trying to explore? >> i think that we're just responding to the fact that we and other media entities try to do the thing where we wait until the week before an election to say, oh, wow, polling places are shutting? what's going on? vote suppression is happening? folks can't get their i.d.s? we want to start a year out and ask readers to help us understand, gerrymandering, vote suppression, the census case. all the ways in which -- again, you talked about boring process questions, these boring process questions of who counts, quite literally in america, we need to do it now, not wait until next year to figure out whose vote is being suppressed, who can't speak, who can't get i.d., and we needs readers to help us. >> and you're asking readers to help financially with support and also with ideas. >> we need the readers to be a part of this. because for us to sit up on top of the mountain and try to posit what's happening, we don't know what's happening on the ground. we need to find out now. >> that's the way of the future
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or the way of the present, to get readers and viewers much more involved as we can. please stick around. a quick break and then a cnn scoop about a russian spy sparking a new debate about national security versus your right to know. all money managers might seem the same,
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cdc guidance recommends topical pain relievers first... like salonpas patch large. it's powerful, fda-approved to relieve moderate pain for up to 12 hours, yet non-addictive and gentle on the body. salonpas. it's good medicine. hisamitsu. welcome back to "reliable sources." i'm brian stelter. reporters oftentimes know more than they choose to report. they sometimes hold back information for security or legal reasons. and that's especially true in the realm of national security
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reporting, with a story like this. cnn's big scoop on monday described how in 2017, one of america's top spies inside the russian government was extracted, basically evacuated from russia. cnn chief national security correspondent jim sciutto knew more about the spy's intel and identity, but kept it out of his reporting. it turns out that other news outlets had been chasing the same story, and those outlets then came out with more information. "the new york times" wrote about the agent's past work and his mission. nbc news revealed a possible location where the spy is living now and shared a story about visiting the house. all the while, the white house was claiming that reporting on this spy has the potential to put lives in danger. there's been a lot of reporting on this throughout the week, so let's break it down with jim sciutto. he's joining me now from washington. and new yorker susan glasser is here with me, as well. jim, one of the most explosive parts of your report said the following. you said, a person directly involved in the discussions said the removal of the russian spy was driven in part by concerns that trump and his
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administration repeatedly mishanded classified intelligence and could contribute to exposing the covert source as a spy. now, that is shocking. and many pro-trump allies and commentators tried to tear down that reporting and say it might not be true. do you stand by that reporting now a week later? >> 100%. we would not have gone there if we didn't trust the source's involvement, information, and level of involvement in that those discussions. this is an important story. any story involving intelligence, particularly the sensitivity of an overseas spy whose safety was of concern, and therefore led to an extraction is going to be particularly difficult. so the way we approached it was, no one question, we talked to multiple people that this extraction of infiltration had taken place. we did speak to someone high-level who said that trump's handling and his administration's handling of informati factored into that decision. the agency disputed that, but the agency's explanation for the exfiltration seemed not just too
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simple to us, but to half a dozen current and former intelligence officials that i ran it by, that this exfiltration decision was driven purely by speculation in the media. so the way we approached the story was lay it out as it was told to us. the exfiltration took place, multiple people involved told us. a person involved in the discussion said that the president's mishandling of intelligence contributed. and by the way, the final decision to do this took place immediately after that famous oval office meeting, in which the president shared and discussed other sensitive intelligence with russian officials. you'll remember, in may 2017. so the timing also indicative. and then we played the cia's disputes, laid it out there for the world to sea, but then tested its dispute against other information that we had. >> and how do you handle a situation where in this case, the white house press secretary, says that you could be endangering people's lives by reporting this story? >> it's something that factored into our editorial discussions
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leading up to the story. and again, this was weeks in the works. so our approach was twofold. one, this exfiltration had taken place more than two years ago. the spy was not in a plane, in the air, on the way to some undisclosed location, as we were reporting it. two, it was my information that the russians, once that happened, were aware of what had happened and therefore we were not letting the russians know something that they didn't already know. that was a factor. beyond that, there's the news value question here, right? that in one of america's most -- perhaps its most contentious national security relationship, that is with russia, the u.s. had lost very significant eyes and ears, and that has news value today. finally, we took a number of steps to withhold details that we thought might lead people down the path to identifying this person. now, "the times" and others, of course, reported things after us, and even went so far as to cite, as you said, a name and an address, information that we
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have stayed away from completely. so, listen, others took editorial steps that we did not. >> and that's the reality in these situations. different news outlets make different choices about how much to share and how much not to share. i feel like viewers oftentimes don't realize that. that there are these weeks of conversations about what to say and what not to say in these sensitive stories. >> yes, there is. and also, folks will often have the impression, you'll get this in some, particularly the conservative media coverage afterwards, that, oh, jim sciutto was spoon fed this story by this person or that. >> they've been trying to guess your source, yeah. >> but first of all, as you know as well as me, that's a fundamental misunderstanding of how reporting happens. no one's ever walked up to a door with a piece of paper and said, here's your story, right? this is -- you gather information, you test it, you speak to a number of people, you make editorial judgments on what you believe and what you don't believe, right? and when you have conflicting accounts, as you did here, you present those conflicting accounts and then you test them. you test them. by the way, one thing that was
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lost in the reporting is that after that may 2017 meeting, as we reported in our story, two months later in july 2017, and this is the first time this was reported, president, famous meeting in hanburg, germany, with putin in which he confiscated the translator's notes, very unusual step, that after that the intelligence community again had concerns that the president had discussed classified intelligence with russians. this is not an isolated incident with this president. >> that's true. and that's also why i wanted to bring in susan here. susan, you've been covering washington and also russia for many years. ha what's your analysis of the significance of this story and the journalistic efforts here. >> first of all, of course, when reading any national security story, you don't know what you don't know. and that applies whether you're a journalist or just a reader. and i think that's really something very important here. there's always a different way of framing events. so, obviously, i can't speak to what's behind the reporting dispute here. "the new york times" account of this is different than cnn's account. what i ask myself, as a longtime
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editor is, is there a possible way to square the circle here? is it possible, if you strip out the analysis and the context that each news outlet is providing, what have we learned that's actual facts? can they both be true? "the new york times" reported that in late 2016, an initial decision was made by the cia to think about exfiltrating, bringing out this agent. and then only later, that the agent refused, and only later, as jim reported, did this actually occur. to me, those are both very significant reporting revelations that seemed to not be in dispute. so what are the things that aren't in dispute, as you, the editor, or the reader are trying to understand? i think this is a big story. russia, by the way, responded in its own coverage, it was the russian newspaper that put out the name of this alleged agent. and along with information from russian -- unnamed russian officials saying he was a
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low-level lackey in the russian embassy here -- >> right, they're trying to minimize how significant this was. >> exactly! so you have to put this all together. this is a spy story, these are the hardest kinds of stories to understand what's going on. >> one point, brian, if i can, listen, there have been a lot of stories written. the prior consideration of exfiltrating this source was also, in our story. so there is no conflict there. and what happened, as you know, is that with stories like this, that particular involve the president, that the messaging machine, including fox news, sadly, it's a fact, you know, moves into motion and cites details to the advantage of a counternarrative, right? which often does not reflect the reality of the story. but i know you deal with that every day, brian, so i'm not telling you anything new. >> it is a reality of the world we live in. it's a troubling reality that there's this spin machine that's very powerful these days, but the facts in your story and "the
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times" and "the post," a lot of them pretty much all line up. and like i said, there's going to be an incredible movie about this, i think, one day. jim, susan, thank you so much. >> thank you. >> thank. when i come back here from me too to she said. i'll speak with the two "new york times" investigative reporters who unveiled harvey weinstein's abuses two years ago. now, they are revealing even more. i don't keep track of regrets. and i don't add up the years. but what i do count on... is boost® delicious boost® high protein nutritional drink has 20 grams of protein, along with 26 essential vitamins and minerals. boost® high protein. be up for life.
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it is the news story that spawned the me too movement. now, of course, there are legal proceedings against him, and now, they are sharing the backstory in a brand-new book entitled "she said." if you look at the back cover of the book, you see a selection of quotes compiled by some of the 80 women who have come forward. included in this book, one of them saying, "he counted on my shame to keep me silent." here's another quote, "this way of treating women ends now," that's gwyneth paltrow, one of the key sources from their reporting. the book describes that the delicate and elaborate efforts to gain on the record accounts from weinstein's accusers and then linking those up with information acquired from sources on background, it's an
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incredible read. it's been described as a new generation of "all the president's men," and cantor and touhy are here with me now in new york to talk all about it. jodie and megan, congratulations on the book launch. >> thanks for having us. >> you shared a lot in this book about the reporting process, the experience of gathering this information. i think we should start at the very beginning, jodie. the first day that you thought about looking into harvey weinstein? >> well, it really came out of "the times'" reporting on bill o'reilly. our colleagues, emily steel and michael schmidt reported that o'reilly had paid to silence sexual harassment accusers over quite a long period of time and then the shocking thing was that o'reilly lost his job. not because fox knew about the allegations, they had known about those for a long time, but because of the public exposure of those allegations. >> this was in april of 2017. >> exactly. >> and then your editor said something to you. >> our editors asked what now seems a quaint question, but it was a very powerful one.
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they said, are there other powerful men in american life who have covered up abuses towards women? >> and megan, you were on maternity leave at the time, you came back and this story starts snowballing. tell me about it. >> in fact, i was actually -- jodi and i worked together, but didn't really know each other. so while i was on maternity leave, jodi called me, she had just started the weinstein investigation. and she was looking for advice on how -- what to say when you first knock on the door of a potential victim, when you first -- when you make that first phone call. and i had done stories about some of the women who had come forward with allegations on donald trump and other stories and she called asking about advice. are there any things you can say to help women open up about such painful experiences. and i said that a line -- one of the things that i had said that seemed to have resonated with women over the years is, we
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can't change what happened to you, but if you work with us and we publish the truth, we might be able to protect other people. >> at the time, harvey weinstein was one of the top advertisers in "the new york times," is that right? perhaps the leading spender for advertising in "the new york times"? >> i think he used to be. >> he used to be. >> there was a long history of advertising there. >> so he leaned on the company and said, hey, i've been a prominent advertiser for many years. what are you doing to me? >> "the times" did nothing but encourage us. in fact, some of our sources -- we had a lot of -- we spent a long time calling hollywood executives who would kind of lecture us and say, jodi, megan, there's in story there. okay, maybe harvey weinstein chased so-and-so around a couch, but, you know, they kind of minimized it. and they said, besides, everybody knows that this is an open secret. if you get this story, nobody will care. and another thing they would say to us is, one day, an editor at "the new york times" is going to walk up to your desk and mysteriously shut down this investigation. >> that's why i bring up the advertising question. >> too important to advertising.
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and it was the opposite. the institution was rock solid and one of the most moving experiences behind the scenes, brian, was watching this powerful, traditional legacy institution rise up to confront a bully and to protect women. >> let's pick up the story right there. on the eve of publication, quick break here. more "reliable sources" in just a moment.
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harvey weinstein and the me too movement, jodi kantor and megan twohey are here with me. the book came out on tuesday, an extraordinary read about journalism, about business, about the legal world. but we were talking about the eve of publication, your first story about harvey weinstein and his decades of abuse about women, some employees, some not. he makes one last attempt to stop you from publishing, or at least stop you from publishing all that you had learned. what happened in that meeting, megan? some of this we don't really learn until you read your book. you didn't talk about this at the time. >> that was one of the things that we were really excited about with this book, there's so much of journalism and investigative journalism. that takes place in meetings that are technically on background. basically, secretive aspects of of our reporting that are never seen in the articles that are published in the newspaper, but we worked in the course of reporting this book to bring this material on to the record. for example, the day before our story ran, harvey weinstein barged into "the new york times" with lisa bloom, the powerful feminist attorney by his side
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with linda farrenstein, the famed attorney by her side and another powerful attorney and with these folders of information and photographs that he wanted to use to smear his accusers and stop the story in the 11th hour. that was an off-the-record meeting that he kind of surprised us with, but in the book we're able to bring it on to the record and show readers what it was like. >> how? >> we were able -- i'm not going to sort of provide my -- you know, all of my sources on this, but we were able to work with participants in the meeting to bring that on to the record. so that readers can be in there and see what it was like when this powerful bully was trying to sort of stare us down and smear these women who he feared were going to be going on the record. and not just that, but the role that these other attorneys, including these sort of famed feminist attorneys were by his side in that moment. >> and you print documents from lisa bloom where she's trying to spin in weinstein's favor, trying to defend him, really ugly and embarrassing for her in retrospect. what are the journalism lessons
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to take away from covering weinstein and writing this book? >> we really want people to read this book and feel what we felt, which is that even at a time when everything seems so stuck, even at a time when it feels like the very notion of truth is collapsing, facts can cause social change. carefully documented facts can really trigger empathy and compassion and action. >> about a week and a half after your first weinstein story and ronan farrow's story came out and other accusers came forward as well, that's when the me too hashtag became this international viral sensation. where do you see the me too movement today? >> one of the things that we wanted to do with this book is we don't stop with the weinstein story in the moment we published, was really push into the year that followed as the me too movement took off in earnest and things got more complicated and more confusing. and we actually ended up kind of zooming in on christine blasey ford, who millions of people watched her testify. she became one of the most
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polarizing figures in the me too era. some people thought she was a hero, some people thought she was a villain. when we were able to piece together the behind-the-scenes story of her private past to testifying in washington, we realized it was so much more complicated than anybody, either side knew. >> and the dominos keep falling. bill cosby and roger ailes, o'reilly leads you to look into weinstein, weinstein leads to other revelations about other powerful men. weapon learn about brett kavanaugh, learn about all of these accusations and it keeps happening to this day. it's an extraordinary thing. thank you both for being here. best of luck with the book. the book is "she said." quick break here on "reliable sources." and the hill's columnist crystalbacrystal ball is here. and for a limited time, get free smartphones too! get 4 new lines of unlimited and 4 free phones for just 30 bucks a line! ♪
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slut shaming, that's how krystal ball, the host for hill tv is describing conservative radio host rush limbaugh's recent attacks against her. earlier this month, limbaugh made up a story claiming that ball posed nude in photos when she was 14 or 15. that is crazy, it's completely false. ball called him out for that, slamming his comments in an address on her show and on twitter. so on thursday, limbaugh came out and he kind of, sort of issued a correction. he kind of clarified his comments, but he seemingly doesn't know how to apologize. here's what he said on the air. >> i was under the impression
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that when she ran for congress that some nude photos of her, from social media had surfaced. well, it turns out that that wasn't quite true. you want to be famous? >> limbaugh went on to mock her throughout the segment. let me just -- rush, start by saying "i'm sorry, i screwed up," try that? practice that in the mirror, rush. anyway, krystal is here with us, the host of tilhe hill tv's "rising." krystal, welcome to be here. i don't think rush can say "i'm sorry." >> i don't think so. >> you were the subject of attacks quite frequently from right-wing media, many others are an was ale. >> of course. >> why did you decide to call him out in the first place? >> this is one of the things that you grapple with on a daily basis, and it's actually my husband that get the google alerts on my name, so i don't have to see everything that
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everyone is saying about me, but he flagged this one and said, i think you should know about this and took a couple of days to know if this was worth responding to. first of all, he has millions of listeners and this transcript was up on the internet for all to see, and i didn't want that to be out there without me sort of setting the record straight. but really more importantly, slut shaming is a very common tactic that is employed against women to sort of shut down their voices, to make them irrelevant, to say that they can't be leaders. and i didn't want this particular incident to go unchallenged. i wanted other women to know that, you know, you can speak out and you can fight back. and people like this can be held, at least, somewhat to account. >> at least the truth can be out there. >> yes. >> there were party pictures of you when you were 28 years old, completely clothed. >> i was a little younger, like 22. so of age. >> fully clothed. the point is, he hears something, he spins it, lies about you on national radio and there's really no consequences. do you think in a case like about this suing?
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>> the thought has occurred to me. and based on the legal advice that i have received, even for someone like myself who is a public figure, where there's an added, you know, level of scrutiny, you have to prove actual malice, which just means that they either knew it was a lie or there was a reckless disregard for the truth, i think he quite clearly meets that level, right? he didn't care -- this was -- none of this was remotely true and he didn't care. >> let me ask you about a very, very different lawsuit but still in the realm of legal matters. really interesting developments this week about lawsuits filed by the family of murdered dnc staffer seth rich. the family sued fox news a while back claiming the network completely denafamedse ed seth story suggesting a conspiracy surrounding his murder. the lawsuit was effectively thrown out, now an appeals court as revived the lawsuit against fox. what do you make of that? >> i'm not a legal analyst, but what i will say is this, if the
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allegations are correct, and this baseless smear and really a conspiracy to smear seth rich and attach him to these wild conspiracy theories is one of the most despicable things that i can imagine. >> they were trying to claim that he leaked documents from the dnc trying to let russia off the hook to try to help trump. that's the claim. >> if you are his parents, like, there is nothing more unimaginably horrific than losing your child, and then to have a news network exploit that for financial and political gain. i mean, on a human level, that is just absolutely despicable. >> fox says they're reviewing this. they're going to -- they're reviewing their next legal steps, we'll see what fox does. we'll see if this case moves forward, because it does reveal something about how the network operated. krystal, thank you very much. >> thanks for having me. >> quick break here on "reliable sources." after the break, barry glassner, he's the man who coined the phrase culture of fear. he comes up joining me talking about the fearmonger in chief, right after the break. biopharmaceutical researchers.
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a camera might figure it out. that was easy! glad i could help. at xfinity, we're here to make life simple. easy. awesome. so come ask, shop, discover at your xfinity store today. politician speak, look out for their techniques. are they building up hope or are they preying on fear?
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president trump hits the fear button again and again and again and in his most recent rally for example he threatened about the false specter of illegal voting, said drugs are pouring into the country, referred to democrats as the america hating left who are trying to destroy your way of life. that's typical rhetoric from the president. so should the press be doing something to combat those techniques? one of my favorite authors, barry glassner, is out with his best selling book, "the culture of fear." this is a really influential book for me about the media's role in perpetuating fears that don't really add up. he's been updating the book and his latest update involves trump. his theory is while americans feel more fearful, it's really just perception. crime levels for example have been going down for many years. i was asking gles nassne glassns and he told me the president is the fear monger in chief.
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>> presidents have always been fear mongering. i want to really emphasize that, and specifically some presidents. so, you know, if you go back to nixon, he's the guy who said people react to fear, not love. they don't teach that in sunday school but it's true. and that was really his motto. he did a ton of fear mongering. then after that, we've had other fear mongering presidents. one big example in recent years is bill clinton who did a lot of fear mongering. clinton talked about our country is going to be in chaos if we don't do something about youth crime. he said that at the time in the late '90s when the youth crime rate was way down. in fact, it was down by more than 9% the previous year when he said that, something he knew. my point is there have been fear mongering presidents on both sides. without question, the fear monger in chief of all time among presidents is donald trump. >> how do you think the press should respond to the constant
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usage of fear as a tactic by president trump? >> i think the press should do two things. first, correct it but in a very terse, direct way. every time you repeat it, what you're doing is propagating it more, right, just spreading it more. so that doesn't serve any purpose, any positive purpose, and it's also unnecessary. but i think we need to think about why is it that the media gets so involved in each scare that this president throws out. after all, he throws them out all the time. what are the reasons? most of the time, to me it looks very much like the same thing that goes on in local tv news. it's easy, right? these are easy stories to go with. and, they're very dramatic, and they're newsworthy. so they have all those elements which is why i don't completely fault the media for doing this. the good news for somebody like
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me who studies this is there are two sides to the media's involvement in this, not just one side. the media are often the people who correct the exaggerated fears and scares, and interestingly, sometimes it's the very same reporters. they wake up to what they were doing and they correct. after all, that's what we're taught in journalism school, right? i had already assumed it was people in my profession, sociologists and media analysts and so forth, who would correct most of these exaggerated fears and scares. we do a lot of it, so do journalists. >> be sure to check out glassner's book, "the culture of fear" and our full conversation on my podcast. one last story about covering climate change when we come back. fisher investments tailors portfolios to your goals and needs.
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check it out at covering climate now.org. and kyle pope is my guest on this week's podcast. thanks for joining us on this week's television broadcast. we'll see you same time next week for more "reliable sources." generational divide, the top 2020 democrats meet on the same stage. >> i'm getting more and more comfortable with the way the debates are moving. >> i'm going to make the differences clear. >> did the debate raise new questions about the front-run r front-runne front-runners? >> it's a competition. it's supposed to be competitive. >> i'll speak to presidential candidate, mayor pete buttigieg next. and, will they act? while americans worry about the next mass shooting, president trump once again considers new gun legislation. >> i can speak for republicans. they'd like to do something. >> is that true? republican senator rand paul joins me exclusively next. plus, show me the money. to

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