tv Reliable Sources CNN October 2, 2011 8:00am-9:00am PDT
stay tuned for "reliable sources." why is it that journalists are more fascinated by politicians who may be, just may be running for president? chris christie hasn't exactly been ambiguous on the subject. >> everyone in the republican party but you is talking about that you should be on the ticket in 2012 to run for the white house. you say -- >> no way. >> gonna run? >> no. not going to happen. >> you're still saying categorically not running, 2012? >> no, i'm not running. i'm 100% certain i'm not going to run. >> not ready. but this week his people hinted he might reconsider, and the media went haywire. what explains this obsessive behavior? roger ails tells me fox news is on a course correction, pulling back a bit from the hard right. really? and what's he doing meeting privately with republican
candidates? erin burnett makes the leap from cnbc to cnn. what's her take on coverage of the ailing economy and how will her new show compete in an opinionated landscape? and news outlets can't get enough of the trial of michael jackson's doctor and others can't care less. we'll have a diagnosis. i'm howard kurtz, and this is "reliable sources." maybe the governor of new jersey will jump in and completely shake up the presidential race, or maybe the chris christie flirtation will turn out to be just another brief comment across the media galaxy. move over, romney and perry and bachmann and cain and santorum, journalists have a new heartthrob. >> is this the man who can defeat the incumbent president? he could have ended all the talk about running, but he didn't. >> people who are down the middle, just everybody around here is talking about chris christie jumping in the race.
>> no means no. or does it? another full-throated denial from governor chris christie, but does anyone believe him? >> i talked to a close englewood visor to the new jersey -- close adviser to the new jersey governor and he said only christie knows what christiey is doing. >> sources say he is reconsidering his earlier, emphatic statements, george, that he is not going to run. >> so why can't the news business take no for an answer? joining us in washington, lauren ashburn, former managing editor of "usa today" and contributor to "huffington post." david frum of frumforum.com. and john avlon, senior political cluft eliminate for "japaneseweek" and "the daily beast." -- "newsweek" and "the daily beast." lauren ashburn, what does it say did the state of campaign coverage that so many journalists are -- i'm not going to shy away from this -- panting for chris christie to run?
>> we are a.d.d., that's all i can say. you know, everybody in the news business will admitted lie say we have attention deficit disorder. if somebody new pops on to the screen, my gosh, the cameras turn immediately to that person. we get bored with romney and perry and bachmann. we know their story! we get bored with people running for people. christie himself pointed to the political man the gentleman. we plied -- plan the gentleman. he played that where he said no way, i'll kill miemz first. the coverage is will he or won't be as opposed to his record as governor. >> in defense, it's picking up on where the republican party is. although the republican party has an adequate field and if you like the candidate that chris christie would be, you've got a candidate in mitt romney. the problem that journals are picking subpoena that republicans have this program which is mitt romney is the logical person to nominate. likely the most electable, and -- >> nobody's excited. >> and if you believe it what president obama did for the
american health care system or if you've been saying for three years it's the greatest threat to american freedom since the threat of nazi invasion, it's difficult to turn around and nominate somebody who did very much the same thing at the state level. so journalists have picking up on a self-inflicted republican problem that's preventing them from nominating the logical guy to nominate. >> we have been through this with sarah palin, is she going to run, and haley barbour and mitch daniels and donald trump who ran for three weeks. media always seemed more interested in the reluctant candidate. where is that? >> they do. i think it's kind of self-indulge self-indulgent. first of all, it's easier to worst. this -- christie's cycle has been ridiculous. not only sherman-esque, but i'll kill myself before i run. >> beyond sherman-esque. >> right. we do a good job of covering a horse race, not such a good job of covering governing. there's an additional bizarre-o level where we're more interested in covering candidates who aren't running than those who are. it's deeply unfair to the folks doing the hard work of putting together a campaign every day. i think this has gotten absurd.
it doesn't serve the democracy well. >> a lot of the coverage has focused obviously on christie's shall we call it blunt style of which there are -- no shortage of examples. let's play a little of that and ask you a question on the other side. >> talk -- gail, first off, it's none of your business. i don't ask you where you send your kids to school. don't bother me about where i send mine. i sat here -- stood here very helpfully listened to you. if what want you to do is put on a show and giggle every time i talk, then i have no interest in answering your question. [ inaudible ] >> you know, tom, you must be the thinnest skinned guy in america because you think that's a confrontational tone. then i -- you know, you should really see me when i'm pissed. [ laughter ] >> what would that look like? lauren ashburn, you wrote that women, at least this woman, had a different reaction. >> and other women -- >> perhaps have a different reaction than male pundits who
think that is great, that confrontational, in your face -- >> japane >> these guys laughed. i don't think t's appropriate for a leader to be talking about how he's pissed and when hurricane irene hit, he told everyone to get the hell off the beach. it was like a breath of fresh air, now it's a good boyfriend. you tell your girlfriend, you don't want to marry him, do you, she marries him anyway, and then you say, see, it didn't work out. >> then tell me why the population is celebrating this as an authentic and natural and non-blow dried approach. >> here's the reason i think there is some legitimacy to this. you get a person who has been in the system, who maybe has been running for president, has been doing that for two cycles, maybe three. and they're airbrushed. they're polls, they have shaped themselves to what the public thinks of them, and you don't get an authentic person. you don't get somebody who says "get the hell off the beach." >> every syllable is poll
tested. the media find it endearing, it could be a liability. for example, governor christie appointing a muslim judge to the state bench, which people thought was a bold move. then he says, "i'm tired of taking criticism from all the crazies out there." some of the crazies who vote in the republican primaries may not like that. >> and the media forgot that republicans really care about the gun issue. the republican primary voters really care about the gun issue. >> and the immigration issue. >> one of the under-reported facts about chris christiey is he has a record as an advocate for stricter gun control. and it's understandable that a governor of new jersey would have that view. you're on the i-95 corridor with all of that drug smuggling and strong police unions who want to see stricter control. but when the republican primary electorate discovers this, they may discover we care as much about that as we do about what romney did to health care in massachusetts. >> and then you get in the cycle of building up a candidate and tearing him down. anyone in law enforcement in big cities has a different approach to guns than someone dealing with it theoretically in terms of playing to the base. that's the first bit.
i don't know it's a gender issue. i think people are starved for authenticity from politicians. i think they want someone who's going to call it as they see it. that is so refreshing in today's overspent, overscripted, blow dried approaches to politics. >> there is a poll that does show that from the time that he was elected until basically now, among women he's gone from 46% approval to 36% approval, and one of the reasons that the polling director said so adequately that that's -- that that's the reason is that, you know, a lot of women don't like belligerent men. and that really is what he is. >> we're -- the new jersey public sector, it's -- we tend to when we discuss these things, ignore the fundamentals which is tough economy, budget cuts. pressure on school funding, all of those things are very important. >> and also -- they are -- >> he also said the teachers union, you know, that their complaint are crap. >> well, and also the teachers union has compared him to hitler. >> before we get too deeply into the record, i want to bring this
back -- journalists said that rick perry twhoub fabulous candidate. he got in a couple of debates, now he's not getting, say, rave reviews. i'm struck -- just this morning i picked up "the new york times," here's the column, the round and the oval, but chris christie and his weight. we have gene robinson of the "post" telling him to eat a salad and take a walk. i'm not saying that nobody should mention the fact that christie's overweight. he's talk good it. but all of these columns -- the guy may not run b. whether he's too fat to be president. >> it's a serious issue, though. >> it's a serious issue? >> of course it is. this is all about perception which i don't know if he's learned yet. you know, take a look at mike huckabee who lost all of that weight. i think that people want in a leader someone they can look up to. to your point, john, i -- i really believe that we loved that oprah couch moment. you know, we love about people, politicians, people who sit down on the oprah couch and say, oh, my gosh, i've done something wrong. we love to build people up who have failed. and -- or who have said i'm not running and now i'm running. >> there's also a contrast here
between politicians in the tri-state area around the media capital and politicians from elsewhere. you mentioned perry. so chris christiey is so obsessively covered that even his weight, which ought not to be any factor being discussed. meanwhile, rick perry, his record of how he -- questions of like how he made his money, what business deals did he do. those have been covered by a few small papers in texas. we had a piece on our side about this. texas is such a weak media culture, with respect to texas reporters. it doesn't penetrate. and if perry emerges, if he becomes the nomhe, he is going to be exposed to a national press. he's going to be interested in asking questions -- >> as in texas -- >> didn't penetrate in texas about business dealings. >> coming back to the weighty issue -- forgive me -- the column, he goes on to say he has struggled with weight himself. he had bulimia. it's something everyone can relate to. at the same time, i can't help thinking, john avlon, that this is so easy. the kind of thing that can be debated on "the view" and "oprah." it's harder to look at what kind of governor has he been, his
immigration position, gun-control position. feels self-indulgent. >> it is self-indulgent. >> i'm glad you agree with me. go ahead. >> we're debating weight because it's easy. maybe that makes his relatable to other issues. but it's not relevant to his governing style, his record. it's not relevant to what kind of presidential candidate he would make. this is the spin cycle. this is the tail wagging the dog. this is what we're doing too often in politics. >> for women -- think about it, though. if this were an overweight woman who was running and men were attacking her for her weight -- that's true. >> i smell a double standard here. >> my two cents is if you look at all this coverage, we are acting like teenagers with short attention spans. journalist are sick of the romney vs. perry, two-man storyline. it went on for weeks. nothing new to say. there's more focus on chris christie's weight than dealing with new jersey public employees or those things. the whole campaign, it seems, going back to trump, to palin
who's supposed to decide this month, she didn't, is almost coming across as entertainment. before we end, herman cain says the media are trying to create a storyline by sucking chris christie into the race. i don't think we have the power to do that. >> sheer, we do. >> we can convince a guy who said i'm not running to run for president? >> no, you said sucking him in. why is he saying, gosh, i might? he's toying with the media. >> because big money people are saying "you have to run." and some are your friends in the conservative pundit movement, people like bill crystal, dying for him to get in. crystal has a slogan already -- a big man for a big job. >> because they're trying to escape the gravitational pull of the romney candidacy. that from the point of view of conservative pundits, if romney runs, it raises questions over things conservatives have been saying about health care for the past three years. because suddenly what was the death of freedom becomes actually innovative public policy. and that's embarrassing. >> part of it is, too, that people don't know a lot about
christie paced on the fact that they haven't been reporting a lot about christie. >> so there's a wonderful blank slate everyone can paint on. we'll tell you he didn't run, and therefore, the whole thing was a waste of time or i could be wrong. let me get a break. when we come back, is fox news trying to move toward the center? and should roger ailes be meeting privately with republicans who want to be president? uh, it is, yeah, it's a chevy volt. so what are you doing at a gas station? well it still takes gas to go farther. but you're not getting gas. true. not this time. uh, don't have to gas up very often. so you have to go to the bathroom? no. yes you do. thought these were electric? yes, it's a uh, a chevy volt. so what are you doing at a gas station? but not in my neighborhood. ♪ [ female announcer ] we're throwing away misperceptions about natural gas vehicles. more of the vehicles that fuel our lives
there are, of course, plenty of conservative voices on fox news. but roger ails told me that the network has been undergoing a "course correction," edging away from the hard right focus of a couple of years ago when glenn beck was calling president obama racist and fox was playing out the tea party rallies. now some fox hosts occasionally defend the president. >> do you think barack obama's the worst president in american history? >> i'm not enough of a historian to tell you the answer to that. i can tell you that i think he's been a very poor president. >> the failure you talk about, he got osama bin laden. he's dead. the drone program's downgraded
al qaeda's ability to do anything. he has kept most of the bush stuff in place. rendition, guantanamo -- >> john avlon, would you agree that fox has edged a built toward the main -- a bit toward the mainstream the last couple of years? >> i think he defended the rise of beck by being more dependent than was well served by it. in terms of ratings and credibility. in terms of the network, you do almost have a parallel with the primary dance. they played to the base in the opening years of the obama administration. now they're trying to attack center allegedly -- at the end of the day, ailes' strategy has been the same, it's positive polarization. he's been running the same play effectively for a long time. >> ailes is pretty good at reading public opinion. the tea party's not as popular, people are fed up with most parties endlessly fighting, all the gridlock. that might be reflected in the tone of fox news. >> i think also that the later days of the glenn beck television show, the man did begin to walk up to very scary precipices in american life. >> yeah. >> and i think it was that -- i mean, it was hard to watch, for
example, glenn beck's series on george soros. a lot of people aren't fans. when you suggest that the finance year is the mastermind behind world political events and attack him for helping to support democracy in central europe because farer right central european -- eastern european politicians don't like that, i think a lot of americans draw back from that. i wouldn't be surprised if roger ailes had the same reaction. >> right. hence he's out of a job. >> well, he left voluntarily, he says. but ale also acknowledges that he asked his commentators to tone things down after the gabby giffords shooting when this was a lot of public revulsion, i think, incendiary talk on both sides. >> that's very true. that's admirable of him. i mean, one of the things that i think people always confuse, too, and you mentioned this before, is the opinion hours at the end of the evening. and the news at the -- during the show. and during the normal -- during the day. yeah, the normal hours. and, you know, i think that take
a look at bill hemmer's show, for example. "america's newsroom." i was in the control room just last week. and they're not asking, oh, is this right? is this right, should we put this on the air? politically speaking, no, they're asking, is this news? >> and as part this piece, i spent some time with three fox news anchors, chris wallace, megyn kelly, and bret baier, trying to devise the toughest questions for the debate in orlando. i think in the last three debates they've been credited with being fairly aggressive toward the gop. >> the first fox debate in particular, what -- they had strong questions were and were criticized by rush limbaugh for having two strong questions. >> he said fox was trying to suck up to the mainstream for msn approval. let me ask about meetings that ailes admitted to me that he had. he says he wasn't giving advice. certainly chris christie. he had dinner at ailes' home in new jersey. romney, per have met privately with ailes. here's some of the things he told me. for example, rick perry hasn't given any tv interviews except
for one. "the press," says ailes, "will set a trap and ask who is the president of uzbekistan and run with that for a week." and another, "the way they're playing it in the mainstream is that he was a jesus freak." and another, "the mainstream press will give all republicans as always as a precursor to cutting them off. saddens me. america used to be able to get straight journalism." >> he defines straight journalism by the fact that saying, and i think you pointed this out, that journalist is liberal and to the -- journalism is liberal and to the left. his idea is balancing the liberal. >> he says, "we are the balance." if you see every outlet is leaning left, you feel like you are helping to balance that by putting on more right-leaning voices. >> right. quickly. i mean, this point matters enormously. the whole core idea was that it took conscious bias to balance out the unconscious bias of liberal media, right? that is the genesis of this. there's something very scary about that idea. that conscious bias can balance
unconscious bias. and you have the rise of the partisan networks, polarizing the profit. that's been the game they have played from the beginning. >> including msnbc at night? >> yeah, you credit cycle of incitement. the echo becomes. that becomes -- >> they spend time attacking each other. >> right. >> you're also seeing, john wrote a book about the history of the newspaper column. america's going back to what it had in the 19th century, a partisan press. and it wouldn't have surprised anybody in 1850 if horace greeley were having dinner with the various candidates for the wig of the republican party because he was running a wig or republican organ with no pretense to being a fair newspaper. and network -- cable networks, msnbc and fox, are going in that direction. they are voices of the party, and they act like party tools of organization. >> does it cast doubt because, of course, ailes 20 years ago had a republican politics -- when you have meetings on the people who you say here are my journalists, bill hemmer, chris wallace, and they hired ed henry from cnn.
does it cast out for the business, we having meetings -- or is there nothing wrong it? >> you know, i think that the people have to kiss the ring. they feel like they have to kiss the roger ailes ring in order to be taken seriously. you know, how are you going to cover me, how is that going to be -- i think that's on the candidate and the candidate's campaign folks. >> or they might want a job at fox news. after asking for a job, he was turned down. >> and how creepy is it that candidates feel the need to kiss ailes' ring. with the exception of romney and perry, they were fox news contributors. that's an unprecedented circumstance. that is a side effect of the rise in partisan news. haas something that should be troubling. >> you know, he is just the ringmaster of this. and one of the things that i love is -- this is off topic -- is the way he pitted the anchors against each other, saying, you know, bill o'reilly and glenn beck had this feud. he's just the lion tamer. and in this, he can -- he can incite excitement for fox news. >> a lot of big ones there. we've got to go. thanks for stopping by.
we usually see you in new york. coming up in the second part of "reliable sources," the manslaughter trial of michael jackson's doctor. why are some outlets going wall to wall on the case, where others are just blowing it off? plus, oare business journalist falling short on the unemployment crisis? we'll ask erin burnett. and later, is "nightline" going tabloid? horsepower luxury car with a manual transmission? because there are those who still believe in the power of a firm handshake. the cadillac cts-v. manual or automatic, that's entirely up to you. we don't just make luxury cars, we make cadillacs. whose non-stop day starts with back pain... and a choice. take advil now and maybe up to four in a day. or choose aleve and two pills for a day free of pain.
erin burnett is a former wall street trader who became a business correspondent for msnbc, the network that covers the hour-by-hour gyrations of the stock market. burnett was on the front lines up to her emotional last day back in may. >> we've been in breaking news mode at cnbc because breaking news for us is when the markets are yet or horrible and they were horrible overnight everywhere around the world. horrible. >> were they? >> horrible -- h-a-w-r, hawrrible. >> you can have the last word. give me your hand. coming to work for the last 5 1/2 years has been an absolute joy. you are the best. the absolute best, we wish you the best of luck. we're going to miss you a lot. >> well, i feel the same way. and -- anyway, that's --
good-bye. >> i'm going to go home and cry. >> burnett with the late mark hanes. erin burnett begins "out front" tomorrow at 7:00 p.m. eastern on cnn. i sat down with her earlier here in the studio. erin burnett, welcome. >> good to be with you, howard. >> let's start with your old place, cnbc. its coverage of the stock market gyrations sometimes seemed so breathless that i wonder if the big picture is lost. do you ever think about that? >> i mean, part of what we tried to do there, what they do now and what i used to try to do was sort of the play by play. a football game. there is sort of an excitement and a breathlessness to the markets, stories you need to cover. >> yes. >> i do think one of the challenges is always taking that step back, right? because if you're up a whole lot one day and everything is ebuhl lent the next day, it's down and everybody's in the dumps, they're trying to get that balance and perspective. >> and if you're covering the play by play and there's a place for that, trader and people in the stock market want to know this stuff, maybe you don't see
that there's a housing bubble that might burst or that wall street is overextended, mortgage investment firms. the business media in general did not do a great job of warning us about what happened ultimately in 2008. >> that's interesting. and i mean, when i think about the conversation, i think your criticism, you know, certainly -- certainly accurate in some regards. i do remember, though -- >> push back. >> i'll push back. i remember when own it financial, the first mortgage company to go under -- >> before countrywide? >> well before countrywide, this was december of 2006. and i remember doing that story and looeding the so when that story. and actually leading the show in january with video of ostriches. by the way, video of ostriches with their heads in the sands, howard, is not the easiest industry come by. but writing that sentence and delivering it -- we have the tape of hey, investors, get your head us out of the sand. and that was our show, but i -- there were plenty of other people i think in financial journalism who also did that. the problem was the overall mood and excitement out there about the boom was bigger than the signs of warning.
and sometimes people don't want to hear it. we did. i feel that we did a good job. >> let's go to today. >> that's right. >> here's my problem -- there's an unemployment crisis in this country. >> yes. >> 14 million people are out of work, there were 14 million people out of work last week. there's not news to it, but it's affecting lots -- inflicting lots of pain. and it seems to be so much of the coverage is about the budget brinksmanship in washington. the stock market going up and down, 200, 300, 400 points a day. are we missing the jobs story? >> it's really tough. they're all linked together, of course. right? as you have uncertainty and -- and nothing happening in washington that causes problems in terms of creating jobs. but i think part of the problem is when you cover the budget, you can cover it, right? who's to blame, who's doing this, had can be done, what can be done better? >> will there be a fall, a credit downgrade? >> right. and with the jobs problem, it's a crisis, but what could you do? if there was a magic answer,
somebody would have done it. whatever your political point of view, rights? democrat -- someone would know what to do. a ceo would say, i do a, b, and c, and everything's great. nobody knows how to solve that. it's a hard thing to talk about day in and day out even though it is the most important story above and beyond all of this other conversation. >> president obama has a $450 billion jobs plan on the table. some house republicans are already saying, well, we're not going to raise taxes on millionaires, people over 250. has there been enough analysis in our business about whether this could work, whether this should work, do we engage in this sort of fantasy that presidents can fix the economy when, of course, the economy is this big, complex thing? >> i think we do engage this that fantasy. it's interesting. when you think about this whole thing -- >> i'm probably as guilty as anyone else. >> we all do it. who's going to jump into the election, should chris christie wait -- this conversation is all really about the economy. i do think that we -- we have analyzed the plan in the sense of in you look at some of the
basics of it, right, a payroll tax cut, unemployment benefit, insurance extension, there has been a lot of analysis of whether those things will work and to what extent we should do them. i do think we're having informed conversations about it around the key parts. >> was it difficult to leave cnbc? >> it was hard to leave mark hanes. and obviously mark was a dear friend. and i miss some of my friends there, jim kramer. but i was thrilled with this opportunity. it was too good to pass up. to come to cnn, to do a primetime show. to have -- to talk about issues i care about, one of which is the economy, but there's other ones, as well, that become woco to what i do. >> will you be getting together with crammer? >> we were together recently at my launch party. it was fantastic. >> by doing a more general show here at cnn, are you to some extent giving up your business brand? you are so closely identified with being a market reporter, you worked at goldman sachs. it's taken you a lot of years to
gain that credibility. is that a difficult transition for you? >> well, i think the first answer to that is it's still important for me in the sense that the election -- the economy's the most important issue in the election. and i believe in general that money and where money is going and who is getting money is central to every story. and i think -- >> you're not walking away from that? >> no. and that's an important aingele that we can bring to all stories. but a lot of the things that i love in terms of the foreign reporting and some of the issue that i really care about that have a financial aspect but also a much broader aspect, which i did at cnbc but wasn't really the core of what they did, is now the core. so i think it's -- i think it's a perfect fit. >> you've been doing rehearsals, you're ready to go monday. >> i'm sick of rehearsals. yes, i am sick of rehearsals. >> do it live. let's do it live. >> if there's something going to happen, let it happen. >> what is the show going to feel like? what is the focus? is it going to be a lot politics, a news hour? is it news and opinion snow shower. >> well, it's going to be what we're trying to be a part of what modern news is. i believe that younger people, and by younger, by the way, we
all know the demo for nightly news, 60-plus. that's great, you want those people to watch, too. but younger people care about news. i believe it when you look at ipad use and web site use -- >> they've drifted from television. >> that's right. but there are more tvs in american homes than ever before. they're still buying tvs. so i think there's something we can capitalize on. it's going to have energy and be casual. the name out front is a mission statement for us. it's become almost a verb, right? how president bush made google a verb. it's ape vea verb -- it's a ver for us. a fact-based point of view. that is going to be part of the brand of what it is. up next, erin burnett talks about her challenge of competing in cable's polarized marketplace. ♪ come at just the right speed, that's logistics. ♪ ♪ medicine that can't wait legal briefs there by eight, ♪ ♪ that's logistics. ♪ ♪ freight for you, box for me box that keeps you healthy, ♪
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more of my conversation with cnn's newest anchor, erin burnett. nighttime cable news is very competitive, as you know. very opinionated as you know. >> uh-huh. >> people who have done the best seem to be the people who are the strongest personalities, sometimes the loudest. certainly they don't lack for opinions. are you going to be more opinionated erin burnett than you have been in your previous role as business correspondent? >> i think that there is --
>> i want a yes or no answer. >> you want a yes or a no answer -- >> i'm teasing. >> i would say yes, but point of view to me can be distinct from a partisan political point of view. so where you have very successful people yelling from the left and from the right, being passionate, enthusiastic, energetic, and pulling together -- being trustworthy which i think is something i bring to the table in terms of numbers. and then you come out with a point of view of this makes sense, this doesn't make sense, that isn't fair, that is fair, we can do that. >> i've read somewhere you don't want to worry about ratings. but for example, campbell brown, talented journalist who came here from nbc news eventually gave up her show and said i can't put up the numbers that bill o'reilly and at the time keith olberman were putting up. that's reality in this business. is this going to be a tough challenge for you? >> well, i'm not going to look at first. i think we know what we are, and we have a mission statement. we need to be consistent with that. and i think that's really important because i think as
people know what that is and you're consistent, the issues we care iabout, that they will com to the show. i think it's important to believe in what we're doing. we'll e rate and will tweak -- we will rate and will tweak as we need to tweak. i come in believing there's a place for passionate, enthusiastic, fair journalism. as opposed to that pure political point of view. and i think the 7:00 p.m. hour is an hour where you can still do that. >> you are out front in this program more ways than one. your picture's going occupy billboards. there's -- going up on billboards. there's a tremendous promotion campaign. how does it feel to be the star this forthcoming hour? >> it's fun. we had a lot of fun this summer. we went out just a few weeks ago -- actually around the world, and we shot stories. some of what you're seeing in the promo is from stories from china, from pakistan, throughout the first couple weeks of our program, from the middle east -- >> you're dodging the question. are you feeling the pressure? >> i feel the same as i've always felt.
>> now, you know, you'll be one of these bold-faced names. if you go to a restaurant, you'll be in the gossip columns. are you comfortable with that kind of thing? are you going to embrace it? >> you know what, you got to just have fun and be who you are. and be confident in who you are, right? if people are interested, that's wonderful. then when they're not interested, you're not that invested. you have the person that you have, and you're always that same person. i have -- >> you sound ready. you had enough of rehearsals, you're ready to be out in front. >> yes, ready -- yeah. it's an exciting time for me in general. >> erin burnett, thank you very much for sitting down with us. >> thank you very much. good to see you again. >> same here. after the break, michael jackson's doctor on trial for manslaughter. does that warrant round-the-clock coverage on hln, or is it just another tabloid extravaganza? we're america's natural gas
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i tell you what i can spend. i do my best to make it work. i'm back on the road safely. and i saved you money on brakes. that's personal pricing. it would not be fair to say that all of the ooed media are breathlessly covering dr. conrad murray's manslaughter trial. but the outlets are reporting heavily including abc news, nbc news, cnn, and especially hln, delving deeply to the case of michael jackson's death. >> extraordinaire first day in the trial of dr. conrad murray today. michael jackson's parents, his brothers and sisters all this.
>> the michael jackson trial in full swing. we are all live here in l.a., camped outside the county courthouse as the testimony pours from the witness stand. it's enough to make you just turn away and n disgust when you hear how michael jackson, the king of pop, truly the king of pop, was killed. >> alberto alvarez, star witness for the prosecution, testified that he was summoned to the bedroom of michael jackson, saw conrad murray giving cpr with one hand with michael on the bed. >> good evening, inside a los angeles courtroom today, tapes began to roll, witnesses began to testify, and a drama began to unfold in that stunning manslaughter trial. this is the question before the jury -- who is ultimately responsible for the death of michael jackson? >> today jurors and viewers around the world heard from a man who was there in the room when michael jackson died, ending a life that was more troubled than we all first
thought if that's possible. >> is this a major news story, a tabloid story, or not much of a story at all? joining us in tampa, eric de deggens, critic. is this a major news story in your view? >> i don't think it warrants the kind of continuous coverage that we've seen on some of these cable channels. i do think that it lends some light into michael jackson's final days. one of the most famous pop stars on the planet. so obviously we want to keep tabs on that kind of information, the stuff that comes out of the trial about what his life was like toward the end. but, you know, when you watch this continuous coverage, you see these guys, you know, as the family enters -- there's a play by play that's like some kind of fashion report. and they're talking about such minutia because they have to fill so much time. i think continuous coverage is excessive. >> well, cnn obviously, which covered every minute of the o.j. trial in the '90s, is devoting a
substantial amount of attention i would say. cnbc's sister network -- cnn's sister network, hln, is going wall to wall. is this more about ratings and entertainment when you get down to it? >> well, with cnn, with all due respect, i think it's about the media. cnn is able to outsource the tabloid end of news coverage to hln. hln provides all this continuous coverage, and then cnn can kind of dip into it as it decides to display it on its main channel. i think that's what we're seeing overall. >> cnn did carry, just to clarify, the opening statements, and they've had regular updates. not just hln. you talk good cable networks. as we say, diane sawyer led on abc "world news." brian williams led on "mightily news." and cbs is playing it down. what accounts for the differing news judgments? >> again, you know, it's the approach of each channel, the
approach of each news program. scott pele could be considered the most traditional newscast. obviously they would cover it the least. i think diane sawyer's newscast has increasingly become a home for focusing on these kind of stories that reach out to female viewers. the casey anthony trial here in florida, the jaycee dugard saga. so it makes sense in a weird way that they would spend more time on this story than any network news program. >> the contrast between television and print here is really striking because while you have some networks leading with it, while you have some cable networks, you know, going wild over it, you look at the papers, "new york times" and "washington post" for example had very little about there trial. the "post" had a couple of wire stories and that's it. how can that be? i mean, either it's a big enough story to be leading network news and yet, at the same time, some of these newspapers just kind of blowing it off? >> well, again, it's about what the audience wants and what the audience expects. and i think i think particularl
electronic media, online, and on television, there's a sense that this story can draw audiences quickly and big audiences and draw attention. for print, where it's more deliberate, where the audience is more old-fashioned and where the standard for news reporting i think is higher, i think there's a sense there's not as much sort of breaking news, not as much important news coming out of this trial to be worth sacrificing, you know, increasingly valuable, increasingly costly news print. >> although you mention newsprint. "new york times" has a recover covering it, most of those are skron line as opposed to in the newspaper. michael jackson was not only one of the most famous entertainers in the world, he was also one of the most famous african-americans in the world. do you think this there's more interest in this manslaughter trial among african-american viewers and readers? >> i haven't looked to the figure, but i do think the folks in the black community felt a certain ownership of michael jackson and felt he was our pop star, their pop star. so, yeah, there probably is a
little more interest. but i think what's really going on here is people know that this guy was private. people know that this guy had a somewhat dysfunctional personal life. and they're really interested in the details of that. and i think that crosses color lines. >> even a couple years later they're still interested. >> especially a couple years later, because there hasn't been a lot of significant reporting necessarily on what the details of his life were like in the moment that he died and even in the day that he died. >> the judge in the case ordering a gag order on friday after one of the lawyers related to the defense team went on the "today" show to discuss the case. clearly news outlets, some, at least, really interested in this story. thanks for stopping by this morning. >> thank you. still to come, fox posports commits a flagrant foul, and andy rooney calling it quits. tonight, the "media monitor" straight ahead. i habe a cohd.
but the man who founded the abc program and anchored it for a quarter century isn't a huge fan. when ted koppel accepted the edward r. murrow lifetime achievement award he said this in seattle. >> it's no secret they have become hugely successful precisely because they are doing what i really didn't want "nightline" to do. >> koppel said his former broadcast has become a show that's heavily oriented into entertainment, more than in the direction of news. does he have a point? "nightline" still covers its share of serious news including the family in somalia, but the last couple weeks they've also covered "real housewives," "jersey shore," "pan am," the disappearance of a young mother, a millionaire's murder trial and the growing use of breast implants in venezuela. here's a sample. >> in some countries the open secret might be scandalous. but it's gotten so that implants
in venezuela are to be flaunted, not just among beauty contestants but by working-class folks. why are people so obsessed with breasts here? >> because here we have these beautiful venezuela and all those girls are so flawless and they have big boobs, a perfect ass, perfect legs, the hair, and everybody wants to be like them. >> in a statement, "nightline" didn't really address the substance of koppel's criticism, just wished him well. no wonder more people are watching but it's not your father's "nightline." when fox sports was covering a chicago bears game a couple weeks back, talk turn dodd criticism of jay cutler. these are the actual headlines from the papers in chicago, they said, and flashed on the screen, cutler lacks courage, cutler's no leader.
the "chicago tribune" did a little digging and could find no such headlines and that led to this on-air may ya cull pea by curt menifee. >> the production team told us that a tape l video package came from actual headlines from jay cutler's performance during last year's championship game. they were not. fox sports regrets this mistake and apologizes to cutler, the chicago bears and everyone involved. >> this wasn't a production snafu. it was an outright fabrication. at least fox fessed up once it was caught. it was always easy to make fun of andy rooney. did you ever stop and think about a paper clip? but he had a homespun way about him just like chatting with rain shower oh, so talkative uncle. some of his essays were gems, others a snooze, but he's been doing his thing on "60 minutes" since 1978 when carter was president. tonight he will deliver his last essay for the 1,097th time. let's take a look back.
>> i can sleep night or day sitting, standing, or lying down. i often fall asleep right here at this desk. last week, i took a bus crosstown to new york city and went six blocks past my stop because i fell asleep. it's always fun to read the letters people send. i get a lot of them, although to be honest, if i took all the letters seriously, i wouldn't ever say anything again. i think that if someone came up with a good comic strip that had a story line and humor, it would sell newspapers. the sad fact is there's no agreement on what's funny and what isn't. i'm funny sometimes, but i'm the only one who thinks so. >> andy rooney is 92, got his start back in the '40s as a writer for arthur gottfried's talent scouts. one heck of a career. tonight we'll hear from the last time those stories and andy rooney on "60 minutes." that's it for this edition of "reliable sources." i'm howard k