tv After Words with Sharyl Attkisson CSPAN July 30, 2017 12:01pm-12:58pm EDT
give us some words about where you have been and where you are now and how it relates to the smear and the previous book, stonewalled, which has some interesting material in it as well. just give us a rundown where you have been -- >> guest: years in local news and then cnn for three years, and then cbs new york, national, and work for pbs for five or six years simultaneously while at
cbs. over 20 years, and talk to my colleagues who saw a news organization, a fairly dramatic shift in the past few years, toward control of narratives on the news by -- >> host: stonewalled. >> guest: that's the -- why i wrote stonewalled but continued with though the spear money pow -- "the smear" governor get their news any news organizations and influence the images that cross or agents. >> host: over the years you have compiled a list of anecdoteses about your life in corporate television news, and in "ther some" one thing i chuckled about what you were writing at a situation in 1998, believe and talked about cbs news, i believe the white house team, got a tip or got -- maybe something a little more sinister, maybe a
trial balloon or something, as you phrase it in book. take us from there and what happened with cbs and now -- is it's tale for journalist, like be careful? >> guest: i think so. i think legitimate leaks or legitimate information can be had by newsmakers and we shouldn't turn up our nose at them but you always have to be careful you how check it out before you report. the anecdote was during the bill clinton-monica lewinski affair and this is a story told in the news room by the white house folks elm the white house wanted to get out a narrative. we didn't know the full story about monica lewinski but they were going float the idea that the president did kiss monica lewinski and that was all, just a kitchens wanted to see if that would do enough to please the public and say it was something that it wasn't, we report on the
news based on an anonymous source, couldn't say who it was ask then immediately the white house was sorry. then publicly they started denying that was the case so without admitting they planted the story. >> host: they can do that plausibly because an an knock mouse source. >> guest: right. i remember saying to our white house people when they saw what -- they were sold down the river because their story was called false by the same people who planted it. >> host: the same people. >> guest: not down to the identity but they were well aware -- >> host: the true people. >> guest: i say just tell what happened, they said we have to protect our source. i said but that's not a real source, they planted something incorrect with you. i think you have grounds to do that. >> host: the lie? is that lie. >> guest: well, rahm emanuel came and said it was never even under consideration what you
point out. we -- i cover the media, and get leaks of this sort all the time, and we're thinking of this, or this is off the record blah blah blah, and we're constantly being asked to put our own integrity and reputation behind the thoughts and the ideas of other people. struck me as interesting. in "stonewalled the" point you were making were dramatic moments where you talked with either bureau chief or someone way up, and you say that certain corporations were offlimits to you as a report because you have done a lot of reporting on corporate malfeasance and miss fees san and you left cbs and now you're at sinclair broadcast, "full measure" distributed doubt the country. do you -- throughout the
country. do you encounter that sort of control? >> guest: not yet. when i left cbs i didn't think i would work in the business at all ever again because i didn't see a place based on in the friends and contacts i could do the kind of reporting i expected to do, that they would want, and that i two be unfettered. so this opportunity came up out of oblue. they created the program, and so far no editorial -- i run my stories through a normal editorial process of lawyers and ethics review like at cbs, which was volunteer tear, by the way, cbs didn't require it but i did it. here we have a similar process but no other interference trying to shape my stories, nothing like cbs, at the end. they told me what they want of your interviewees say and what the facts ought to show before you gather them. >> host: you bolted. there was some reporting, i believe, sometime last year, maybe, in the transition that
jared kushner said to some new york executives that sinclair made some sort of access for coverage deal. did you know anything about that? do you believe that's true? and do you -- have you taken that up with any of the higher-ups in management. >> guest: didn't know anything about it. i know from what i read -- i can't name a publication because i may get it wrong, retracted what they reported because it turned out they had misinterpret, picked up someone else's reporting and misinterpreted and apologized for it. there was a misunderstanding, i guess, of e-mails. i know that our show offered opportunities for donald trump, bernie sanders, hillary clinton in fact, to do interviews -- >> host: you mentioned you trade to get clinton. >> guest: clinton kept acting like she might do it. there was a constant dialogue going on that maybe how about this city or that city. we never did get an interview her but awe offered all of them, including other candidates who
were still candidates it would. so our program offered full access, anytime, anyplace, for all of them. >> host: "full measure is in how many stations. >> guest: 43 million households. think it's 150 stations, something like that. >> host: so that's not a bad pitch when you approach hillary clinton or donald trump or any other major politician. you have this sort of line to middle america and perhaps the way that other stations don't. is that -- >> guest: i don't make the pitch personally but, yes, i've seen that -- from pham, when we good to members of congress, democrats and republicans, sometimes they will say you have a station -- two stationness my market, and they do want to be seen and heard, they like that idea being seen and heard on that show. >> host: getting to the "the smear." one thing i looked at wherein was reading the book and researching a little bit is the google mentions of "ther some,"
they strike in the '30s and go way in the -- they're pretty high now, but tell about the little bit after 2000, according to this graph. i know you get into the history of "the smear" in your book. why 2017 is -- are smear tactics worse than ever or the same as where they were for your entire career or where are they? sunny think they've gone more sophisticated and broader. that's why i thought of the book a couple years ago, not knowing we wind up near 2017 necessarily bus knowing we were headed in that general direction, large by because of the internet and makes opportunities for smear artists themselves, and also because there's just more opportunities to get narratives out. there's organized activities and
organized industry in washington, dc that has studied this. they studied what works and doesn't work, and i think it all came into play like never before in 2016. i started the book before the 2016 campaign, but i think -- >> host: and ran into it. >> guest: yeah. just everything dovetailed into 2016 as you see. >> host: and one thing i wanted to sort of focus in on, the way you define "smear" one man smears another man's truth. that is a little bit different from the dictionary definition, which seems to most of the dictionary definitions seem too require that a smear is something that is false but you in the book and in the definition appear to come present the greater community of
allegations and so on and so forth. talk about why your approach is a little more inclusive, if indeed you believe it is. >> guest: i think you're right about that. it's because the smears i look at and consider smears, some of the best ones are rooted in a little bit of truth and i describe how a smear operator lays in wait, and waits for a small mistake against a target, and can amplify that into a giant misdeed that reverberates in the national consciousness, and i think what differentiates a smear from a criticism born of something more legitimate, that is a more outrage, is that the smear's purpose is rooted in annihilation or destruction of the target, nose just bringing something to light but in destroying the target or the idea and there's often a not
always disclosed financial or political motive behind the smear. secondly the smear operators overlook the same sort of behavior in their allies they attack their targets for, and i think that's another hallmark of a smear and how smear operators operate. >> host: you go into a lot of detail in a lot of them in here. what's your favor resident example in the book? if i have to ask you to bring forth one example from the book, which would you cite? >> guest: the superlatives are tougher for me. i like to think about them -- >> host: i can start. let's start with the -- i thick it's one of the first ones -- which gets straight at the sort of attention i was ask you, the imus thing in 2007, don imus is on the radio talk and talking
about at women's college basketball game and refers to the rutgers players, right, as nappy headed-hos or something like that, and you frame this or -- in your telling it is an example of a david bach -- the long time once conservative propagandaists, who gets a lot of ink in the smear. we'll get into that later. what makes what they did with imus a smear campaign? >> guest: first of all, the -- that was were publicized it -- was a playbook for future operations to come. i thought that was instructive. second of all it was sort of quintessential in that imus really did say that. that was a bad thing. rooted in truth. but what they wanted out of that
was annihilation, they wanted him off the air. they didn't want an apology and weren't taking the moral high ground. they wanted him gone and the reasons were in my opinion, rooted more in the donors and the interests that back david brach, and who imus did or didn't support politically more so than anything else, more so than just this was an outrage they thought had to be corrected. a good example of that sort of operation. >> host: the think is that it didn't come out of nowhere? imus had a tremendous history of really nasty, bigoted statements. >> guest: that's my point. >> host: i guess you don't -- here's the thing. go ahead. that's your point. >> guest: the point is, as i say in the book, that's what imus does, and you can see that his past comments had not drawn that sort of outrage and ire until a
point came in which he was a targeted by media and they took something he said, which was no more or less objectionable than many other things he said in the paste, and were able to -- >> host: we can differ on that. >> guest: i think a lot of objectionable things according to his critics in the past, and this is something that they were able to create a campaign around by amply identifying what happened using their web site, using their social media tools and using their network of news organizations. so that was different. >> host: right. let me just move into that question of amplification a little more. you on twitter, i'm on twitter. you at cbs news and at sinclair, at "full measure" you amplify every day. it's an illustration -- if an administration official says something that may not be much noticed, you find tape of people saying things, may not be much notice.
what is the problem? seems as though you're calling this a problem and an evil. what is the evil in amplification? you understand what i'm saying? part of an open society. right? we have platforms set up to amplify things and so didn't imus -- you point it this out -- you pointed out that in the beginning, very few actually noticed it and that's a common thing with these situations. i'll bring up another case in point. last october, jesse waters on fox news did a segment on chinatown and it was widely viewed -- and i agree -- as being insensitive toward asian-americans or asians in general and terrible stereotypes and was schlock. now o'reilly gets on with chris
wallace and he says that, well, you know, nobody made much of a fuss about it the first night. wasn't until people got ahold of it. isn't that good thing? that things are amplified? that people say, hey, look at this. you may have missed this. neither you nor i nor anyone else can ski all of cnn, all of msnbc, all of radio. radio, come on, podcasts distribute good in amplification. >> guest: you had a long question. >> host: i'm sorry sunny don't use the word "evil" in the book ever. i'm not sure. i'm careful to say, some people may very well agree with what is don and i'm not here to tell you that everything, a smear operateogy or propagandaist does is evil or bad. i'm drying more attention to how they operate and how at times they're able to operate in such a way that presents a distorted
or overexaggerated picture of something that happened in a way that's intended to make people think there's overwhelming support for or against something, when maybe there's not. you should at least ask the question, on maybe it's a handful of similar people operating under different names, with different groups and sometimes even fake social media accounts, but then does take on often a grassroots part and you could argue, depending on where you sit, is a good thing. i'm kind of dissecting the way smear artists operate, the tools they use, sometimes you might say the results are good, sometimes you might say the results are bad or evil. just depends on what the particular case is. >> host: clearly in the case of imus you thought that he was a victim of a smear campaign. >> guest: a victim of a smear campaign but i don't argue what he said was right or that what he said wasn't wrong or shouldn't have been discussed. just a really good dissection of a quint shen quintessential
operation. >> host: this is the at kissson definition of smear, not the dictionary. there was nothing false in the campaign? >> guest: i didn't look at everything that was put out to see what was true and what was false. don't allege what was put out was false, and i even have imus quoted in there he said i die served it in the end, fairly recent he said, said what i said. >> host: is the problem? >> guest: i don't thick present the imus case as a problem. it's more of a case study that shows how to subsequent smears were devised and how they learned from each other, the different operators on the political suspect trump or corporate. they watch this and see how tools work, how advertising can be using, social media can be used. an ininstructive dissection of what call a smear. >> host: so, it's a sort of --
you say media matters has managed to place a barely reported remark on the dashboards of millions of americans and escalate it into a national outrage. sounds like a scold more than a case study knife you want to call it that. that's a factual -- >> host: i'm not saying it's not factual. i'm just saying that sounds like a remark of considerable disapproval on your part. >> guest: you can take it -- that's meant to be read and you can take it however you like. >> host: i just want to read it again and see if you -- >> guest: read it -- >> meet l media matters has managed to place a barely noticed remark on the dashboard of million odd americans and extra escalate it into a national outrage. >> guest: that's the best thing the smear artist can do. take something other people wouldn't have seen, use the tools at their differ supposal against a target they've been monitoring and generate it into something that even generates
national news coverage in legitimate news organizations, that's a huge success story. >> host: using one hundred percent true evidence to do so. right. >> host: okay. glen beck. let's talk about glen beck. you state that -- is that a similar sort of thing where he was not being very well heeded or there was not a lot of attention paid to him and hen gets slammed -- got slammed by media matters and did get e get push out of fox. >> guest: i think more attention at the time was being paid to him probably then the remark we discussed with imus, that was getting a huge following and part of why he was so disturbing to the people that he opposes or that oppose him and they went after him precisely because he had a large platform at fox. his show was becoming success expel then the drum beet he was
following was his own smear campaign, you could say, against media matters types and george sorros and they were dueling between the two of them. they made, as you see in the book, very public announcement, a million dollars, kind of specifically to get glenn beck as a danger to humanity and society and i think they claimed credit for pulling him off the air, and they were. >> host: yes, they. do you don't -- you're not make anything value judgment whether that's a good thing or bad thing. >> guest: i'm not. just a good instructional tool of how an effective smear operation or smear campaign was conducted. >> host: but smear is not a positive thing. right? >> guest: right. >> host: the use of a false accusation to degrade someone's reputation. a synonym for smear is slander, libel, sole. if gloater casting any judgment on -- if you say you're not casting any judgment and the
title of the book is smear, how do you reconcile cincinnati you're trying to define a word -- i'm clear. it's clear in the book what i'm talking not terms of what i consider, but the smear -- is it a negative thing. they weren't spreading good thing about glenn beck, they were spreading bad thinks and get advertisers and spreading the word far and wide to have his show removed, which they did. in both cases -- i think those are two of the best and earliest examples of media matters honing its strategy and how they could tarring somebody that during target somebody that opposed their donors and could affect a huge change that in the past might have gone unnoticed, especially without the use of social media tools and the networks they had developed wind newsrooms and their online listeners and so on. >> host: it's a true smear campaign. >> obviously in the book the
indications i outlined, some of them, as i say, are rooted in throughout or at least a grain of truth. even ones that veer off into untrue information, the most effective ones have at their root some truth to them. >> host: with beck, he said the president was racist and had a deep -- president obama, that is -- had a deep-seated hatred for white people. the talked about apocalypse on his show. he has had some really out there sort of thinks he was saying. i guess the question is, is that a smear campaign if you're just repeating glenn beck's record snooze if you're -- this is how define it. if you disagree, that's fine. i define it as if your purpose us rootedded in not just moral high ground as you may present it, but in anye layings of a tarring and one who is targeted for a political or financial
interest but didn't disclosed, that qualifies in terms of my discussion as smear campaign. that's often pointed to by the smear operators interviewed as successful cases, both imus and glenn beck. i didn't often pull these sort of out of the had. asked the people i interviewed what they looked at and what they saw in their industry as successful and what they looked for, and glenn beck and imus were too oft cited. >> host: i understand that. and you know, moving on, you mentioned -- you go into the 2016 campaign, and you talk about trump and donald trump, of course, is someone you could devote a lot of things to on many different levels but in of the forces that were working for hillary clinton, you spent a lot of time and some of it very elucidating -- on david brach and his empire. by the way, you mentioned that you can't get certain answers to
certain questions. i've asked a spokesperson for brach why they wouldn't answer your questions. haven't gotten a good answer to that question. i do not like to see people stonewalled. so anyway, david brach. go into a little bit of his history and what -- how you feel he fits and going up into the 2016 election and how you see him as part of the smear constellation. >> guest: both democrats and republicans, i would say he was the most often cited name when you talk about smears or the smear industry in washington, how you define it. he is fascinating in terms of a character for having started as a differ smear -- conservative smear artists of liberals who smeared president clinton, who later admitted to having don -- david brock said -- unethical, questionable and dishon things
to smear the clintons, and then practically overnight, knock ted particularly, slipped sides and became a smear artist by the liberals and invited into the clinton followed, working on the other side of the fence he has managed to develop what i call an empire that is, as i say in the book, quoted or looked at with both awe and disgust by his admirers and can be tractors and supporter who are geeked out and those who say what he has done is incredible and has a network of nonprofits, llcs, super pacs that operate under newell central sounds names and don't always disclose they're financial and political interests there's quoted by news organizations and put owl material under many different names but sometimes just a relative handful of the same interests trying to get a message out. >> host: okay. and so you have him -- you have
done some admiral work, looking through filings to determine 3.8 million in earnings and his -- mary pat booner, the chief fundraiser is up there around 15 million according to your calculations. >> guest: you are probably right. have to look in the book. i'm not confirming the figures -- >> host: that's what i remember. >> guest: probably right. >> host: i'll stand by them. tell me -- so your point there is that this -- i mean, it was hard to keep track of all these appendages, correct the record, american bridge, and then correct the facts. don't know. nine million different organizations. actually like 15. maybe. don't know. but what about that? the proliferation of organizations. does that help them -- what does it do for a political operative? >> guest: you nor, more had been written on if you look at the conservative operators like the koch brothers, i was able -- i
didn't write extensively about them. that's been out there, charted. slows on the brock -- nothing as extensive as i have done, and it looks to me like he has multiple organizations that all have the same baseishing purpose. maybe of them say if you look at their missioner on the tax forms -- they train pundits to fan out and go on the news and appear to district talking points and messaging, but many of them do the same thing over and over. they collect money in ways that i -- whether intentional or not -- that cannot be traced to a pick donor, then it moves around between the david brock groups and ways that make it difficult to trace, whether that's intentional or not. think it's a way to, again in my view, make it look as though a message is coming from many different people, different groups, but the public doesn't know and reporter maybe don't bother to find out. >> host: one office. >> guest: one office, uh-huh.
have a list in a book how many of these different sound groups operate out of the simple building or have operated out of the simple building david brock works in. one of the funnier motors is when media matters for america -- one of their offshoot gouts in trouble over a conserves. >> the c4 and the c3. >> guest: yet, and david brock blamed one on -- he said ex-that's not us, that's the other -- >> host: media matters blaming the -- >> guest: media messaging matters or something like -- >> host: i remember writing about that. >> blamed each other when he is head of both, in the same office and share personnel but tried to make it like as though there were two organizations and one had done something rogue and he was heros by -- heros by -- horrified by it and trying to
make look like these are different organizations but representing various group jazz media matters -- you view them as -- of smears, over and over again, to get this stuff done. obviously media matters has a cotearin t conservative world which is newsbusters and the media research center. they do a lot of amplification, they watch andrea mitchell and say she's done this or that. do you see any difference in terms qualitatively how they roll? nye think the biggest differs is media matters is much more successful, more pervasive. i think by their own account and by the people who would like to by like them, conservative interests, they just managed to play the game a lot better. i think both political sides want to achieve the same goals and have tried, and with limited success, as i outline in the book, sometimes conservatives
feel they have the upper hand at this game over time, sometimes liberals felt like they had the upper hand in the game. currently as i state here, pretty much every thought going into the 2016 that the liberals had the upper hand in terms of messaging. then you see how the election turned out and question whether all the money spent by the groups to put out special narratives, political narratives, is that money down the drain? proves these networks and talking points that were so pervasive in the end didn't have the desired effect. so, that was an interesting outcome. >> host: so, what view -- what exactly did brock and his people and his organization do in the 2016 election that you define as a smear? >> guest: they perpetuated a lot of articles and coverage and they hired people they called
reporter that they would pay to write stories with certain viewpoints and then publish some themselves on david brock's own web sites. some of them they worked in partner in the qusay news -- quasi-news world and got the stores placed that looked to the casual observer, that they're organic efforts. but day in and day out, media matters is very u -- in talking points and talking to reporterss and his superpac bragged about all the people it influenced and the storiesed generated and how damagings it had been for certain candidate like jeb bush. they were responsible, they claimed credit for, anyway, establishing narratives on -- negative narratives before they could get out of the gate. >> host: okay. with respect to trump, i think
the "washington post" figures in because of the access hollywood tape. this is october 7th, of course, really big moment when the tape comes of trump saying to billy bush all these nasty things, grab them by the pussy real terrible stuff. you say -- if i'm not misstanow saw that's the mother of all smears. how is that a smear. >> guest: was it that -- two i highlight, including "the new york times" article about all the women he had mistreated, that women cannot -- they were misquoted and mischaracterized in the article, so maybe also this is grouped under the heading. because, again, that was an amplified incident. the same sort of behavior that -- >> host: what was amplified about the tape?
that was just the tape was played. >> guest: i just mean amplified, really broadly circulated and sent around in hyperspeed fashion by all of the people that opposed the president. candidates' interests. >> host: another true smear. >> guest: yeah. it was rooted in truth, obviously. don't think anybody took even the president was going to take issue with the words he spoke. the why it was characterized and the way it was spread and used. people didn't just report that this happened. it took on this life of its own as you saw in the news with people demanding all kinds of things happen and the worst thing that ever happened on the planet and -- >> host: wasn't it pretty awful? just objective live horrific? >> guest: it was very negative. don't thk anybodisrguing the it don'thinanyby argued the opposite and i'm not saying it shouldn't have been reported but the tone and tenor
it took and the amount of air space it sucked up on the national news when there are so many things that need to be reported, smacked of a narrative being promulgated, not that it was false narrative but it was an amplified narrative beyond what i think it probably deserved in terms of a pure news sense itch talk about -- >> host: you have to -- >> guest: i talk about smears in the past that happened and then i compared other things in the world that were happening that were not covered, that shows you the amount of tension something was getting because there was an interest that was interested in annihilation of the target. versus legitimate news events that were happening internal internationally that got almost no coverage. >> host: what things were happening? >> guest: there were important stories on another smear i did compare this to, the headlines that didn't make the news as much as a smear headline, and
important national events about us-do huge civil rights violation in foreign countries in which the united states was involved, giant rape cases at a university that had to be thrown out because something was wrong with the case. so, many big stories that, when these narratives effectively overtake the news, that are crowded out and they serve to sort of take up all the air space where nothing else fits in and that's part of the harm they do. >> host: this wasn't a narrative. it was story. >> guest: a kind of narrative in my view when it's not just a story that is told with what i would consider, after everything been in the business for decades, the normal emphasis on the story that it deserves and the coverage. when something takes a grip of pretty much the whole news environment, for as long as is did -- i quote one guy in there that -- just an average guy i run into from time to time, and he said to me --
>> host: that was at the -- >> guest: every time i turn on tv, the tape, the tape, the tape, days later. and that doesn't happen with much bigger stories at times so you have to decide, well, why is it happening with certain stories and then much bigger, more important stories, that affect millions of americans, are never seen and that has to do with some -- to some degree the people direct are or want to promulgate a setter narrative. >> host: but the republican nominee, being a valid and self-professed predator towards women doesn't that fact millions of americans. >> guest: i'm not sure about your characterization, i'm not defending the behavior but saying it deserves -- probably deserves some coverage, and probably significant coverage. not arguing that -- >> host: still a smear. >> guest: it is once it takes on the life when it's rooted in annihilation of the target and there's a political financial
motive that is not always disclosed and when it takes on the amplification, as you say, sometimes naturally occur budget when its sucks up the space in exclusion to so much news out there, that makes of a narrative or campaign. >> host: could i not say the same thing about be benghazi reporting? you reported on benghazi over and over and over again. happened to think ben benghazi was serious issue that needed a lot of reporting -- >> guest: so then, no. >> host: but i could sit here and say, you narrativized benghazi, right. >> guest: sunny guess you can say anything. people did say that. think that was part of -- >> host: what's the differs between benghazi and the over -- i mean, it's all subjective at some point no very subjective. >> guest: i would say the difference with benghazi there's no political or financial motive rooted in the i annihilation of the target. >> host: president obama? i didn't think it went up to
president obama mitchell sours on the story were democrats working under the obama administration. so if those had been political sources who had been giving me information on the other side of the scale and that had been cong tme witit, look long and hard at their motivations and you report what you need to report. in this case, these people weren't looking to destroy the president. these were people who supported the president and a lot of instances and supported hillary clinton, so that differentiates it in my view when the motivations of those making the claims or accusations or sources are taken into account. >> host: given the book, the smear, and given as you say your writing it throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, i sort of figured you would take a look at donald trump's own smears. the false accusations the has
leveled at any number of people, most recently mika brzezinski and on and on. you say that trump is the anti-smear campaign -- he was the anti-smear candidate. >> guest: is a describe in the book that doesn't mean he doesn't smear, and the micah be bra sin ski thing happened after this was -- mika bra skin si thing happened after the book. >> host: you terror him as the action figure -- >> guest: the unexpected from donald trump. that's what threw everybody off. it doesn't mean he doesn't smear. quite contrary. it means the smears don't stick to him the way they stick to everybody else and that's what the campaign in 2016 proved. regardless of true smears that were promulgated against him, untrue smears were also promulgated against him. a child rapist, other things like that, that circulated.
but the stuff -- >> host: didn't circulate much. >> guest: mainstream media that reported on the child rape case. >> host: i saw your lister on that. went back and looked and in most cases -- i think you can discuss ethics whether you write a story and they talk about the accusesser and the accusations being somewhat groundless. >> guest: i saw some that took it on as if it's just a news story, straight news story. ultimately it was fairly debunked, news conference called and someone didn't show up and that was the tone after that's right point being smears were promulgated against hillary clinton and bernie sanders and trump. did not stick to trump, i don't think, the same wail they stick to other candidates because of he is the wild card, because he didn't respond and react to them the way political interests normally do and that made him the wild card and hat helped him
propel him into the election. >> host: isn't he the antis this of what you're saying his amotor of actual smears like dictionary qualifying smears and he doesn't have an apparatus. there's no sense of groups behind his smears. >> guest: yes. well -- groups join him later in the campaign. her didn't have even other superpac for those early months, even the republicans didn't support him and the superpac would do the opposition resource that would be doing the smears on behalf of the candidates without their explicit approval. he didn't have that. as i say in the book he was his own smear promulgator. came from his own mouth, his own tweets. he was the master brander. gave nicknames to all of his
opponentses and did -- opponents and did the dirty work himself. >> host: you say trump whereas facing smears a smear, some bathes on truth, some not. again, that's not in accordance with our language but i understand. then you say, trump was successful businessman. combat his opponent with genius, he gives them nicknames, tying ted, little marco, crazy bernie, low energy jeb and its was down to him and crooked hillary, donald trump may by kryptonite to the smear. after reading your various denunciations or -- i guess you don't call them. i read them denunciations. >> guest: you can. >> host: here donald trump is calling ted cruz a liar, inside
a nickname and you're cheering him on. >> guest: that's -- you can take it that way. that's not cheering him an. >> host: stroke of genius? trump is a successful businessman, employs classic france characterize, brandishes them with catch nicknames. you're saying it's a stroke of jeepous, sounds like a stroke to you. >> guest: all kind of ingenious things that can happen that doesn't mean you agree with what they have done. all kinds of ingenious things happen. see howe you're reading the book and i'm glad to get your takeaway, think other people -- >> host: aren't those smears in themself snooze absolutely. he says he does his own dirt you work were the term is used because he doesn't have a super pac acting in his behalf and then he had one join him after he received the republican
nomination, finally had somebody working on his behalf. >> host: i get it. you're just pointing out that he is a different brand of actor and a different approach to these smears. at the same time you -- when you talk about the mccain thing, so this is, i guess, july 2015. >> guest: 2515, early in the race. >> host: talks about john mccain and the whole thing with mccain being a war hero and it's some very tortured language in the video if you watch it. i no. you watched it very closely. your response in the book is not to -- is wholy different how you treat the imus and the beck episode where you talk about the person who has been at the end of the so-called smear. so you don't stick up for mccain. you hammer the "washington post"
who you feel has not properly reported on this incident, as opposed to saying, hey, donald trump, why are you smearing john mccain? >> guest: well, number one, no offense to you, the "washington post" writer -- >> host: no, no. >> guest: but number two, i'm not here to cheer on or defend mccain or donald trump. i think the media behavior and people do mistake when you criticize media behavior or when die criticize media behavior for how it treats donald trump, doesn't mean i support him or cheering him on. can see those aspirate things little but it is misread often as you must be supporting him or don't like x or y because you said this. it has nothing to do with that. it's looking at what i see is fair or accurate media coverage about the candidate and i have spoken out pretty frequently about that, including the "washington "washington post" coverage. >> guest: in fact let's read this segment about you. would you like to answer this
part. >> host: i'm happy to. which one is this? >> guest: the one about-my transactional journal jim chapter and release of e-mails between clinton -- you wrote an article criticizing the smarmy press dealings composed the e-mail saying corrupt journalism doesn't pay and then i say you're about to become embride in the very controversy you criticized it. clinton fired back at you in a letter he wrote to you making it clear that he thinks you have taken -- engaged in the same transactional journalism when its comes to me, which i found surprising. he says that you admitted you had asked hillary clinton's aide for are wide-ranging constitution about then cbs news correspondent sharyl at kissson and -- attkisson and you -- you
stipulated that reince could call the shots on a discussion about me. why -- >> host: called reporting. right. >> i don't know what people call the shots in terms of reporting when die it. >> host: i think there's some -- let me just check one thing. just want to emphasize here. is that 163 and 164? page 163, yes. what were you trying to find out? why were you calling people that clearly don't like me to get a wide are ranging conversation which they can dictate the terms about me. >> host: so, am -- sometime i.c.e. just asking was the topic. >> host: the topic was your work. >> guest: why are you recordmake work. >> host: because i'm a media reporter and your cbs news and highly controversial. what else would i do? this is what i'm paid to do st.? so you let them stipulate the terms of a conversation you approach enemies and then let them stipulate terms of conversations. >> host: i don't believe we ever had the conversation.
>> guest: i can only tell you what you wrote in your blog -- >> host: very clear -- >> host: was reading all your work, basically. going back some looking at all the transcripts of your work. >> guest: what about -- i'd never met. do you think what light did he shed on me? >> host: he was familiar with how you had reported on the state department and so on. this is called reporting. >> guest: i never met rhines. >> host: never hadding this discussion and the never did. so i mean -- >> guest: it's interesting you approached him for a wide-ranging discussion where he could stipulate the terms, i think. >> host: i agree. now, while we're comparing notes on how you come after me in the book, which is perfect response, i don't have any problem. i'm fair game. and i would like to just --
since we're engaging in this discussion. >> guest: cite the page number. >> host: 282. so, this is -- let me give the introduction on this one. from "new york times," you're not happy with -- the wikileaks e-mail show that at one point he sent draft of a story that john podesta seeking a fact check. >> guest: i could care less about john thrush. i never heard only them but call can himself a political hack. >> host: you call him a political hack, and so he then gets -- but that is when he -- then gets hired by "the new york times." >> guest: right. >> host: when he gets hired by the "new york times" i write it up and you sea the -- writes stories about -- omitting any mention of the recent controversy surrounding them, and read this passage from my
blog post of december 2016: glen thrush on -- you can't be an eighth year senior in high school. [inaudible] as part of the wikileaks dump on e-mails pertaining to john podesta, thrush was put face-to-face to an e-mail he sent to podesta, seeking to check his reporting. after sustaining criticism that the e-mail amounts to preclearing his draft with the clinton campaign, thrush tweet, nobody control mist stories but me. troll on. asked him about the situation -- paraphrasing -- asked him about the situation, thrush said various publications have various possibles and i had here by the policies of my. i wrote, political policy is not share editorial content -- where you said i didn't discuss the controversy -- >> guest: i'm glad you did in this article.
a article i was refer to -- you said the earls -- there's an article that discusses -- >> guest: you found one that did and the others you didn't -- >> host: you said in article ol' on the process motion dents discuss the controversy. >> guest: there's an article on the process motion which you didn't- >> which one. >> guest: i'll find it. are you saying there's no article -- >> host: i don't remember -- >> guest: i'll sent you the cite after we get done here. >> host: you have -- >> no did once, that's very good, erik in one article you did but one you didn't. >> host: okay, well -- >> guest: someone reads all your work, that would get a version -- >> host: e-mail or phone call i could have addressed the issue. >> guest: many if you e-mail me instead of call something raines for a wide range of conversation about me and i would talk to you as well. >> host: probably 40 or 50 unreturned e-mails are phone call is sent to you.
>> guest: after you report thing about me that i think were mr. of mischaracterized or showed you had a bias -- >> host: never heard any complaint from you. >> guest: well, i'm not going to engage you. >> host: not going to engage -- so, you -- >> guest: i am here with you now. >> host: just want to go back. ' and put on the record i e-mailed you many times to the point -- >> guest: after you had publishinged thing is thought were disingenuous and not true so i didn't want to engage with you. >> host: can you name those things. >> guest: implications -- >> host: a smear. a real smear. >> guest: i can send you -- i don't want to have an e-mail dialogue with you after this but i can send you more detail in an e-mail. i don't wanted to talk about them here. >> host: if you said on aired dissomething -- ino be by your own admission can't say you didn't publish arm orders where
you didn't differ close that glen thrush -- >> host: you said i didn't discuss -- >> guest: i didn't say i looked at all your work and you next ends -- i said there war articlesow wrote being at the -- >> articles about the promotions that didn't discuss the controversy. wrote a story -- >> no did write a store saying -- good for you, but you -- >> host: mention there while you're slam can the media. erik wemple -- >> guest: an article you had written that didn't discuss. -- probably never saw this one, i think that still stands. >> host: the article i wrote on glen trucks, anyway, okay. let's get back to the book. where do you go from here? do you see the smear industry slowing down at all in the coming years or do you think that -- you talk about citizens united. will the money always be there for it? >> guest: well, as the way things stand now, yes. i mean, i also think as we trace the book it's been decades in
the making, very hard to disine entangle from tom quick -- from that quickly. people ask for the solutions, that's not an easy solution. in the news business we have allow evidence to us be used as tools of the industry. think it's been happening over the course of years. from a very well-founded, well-organized industry in part and i don't think there's a simple way to make the pendulum swing in the other direction quickly. the book is about trying to get people to be aware of it and ask questions. when you see a common narrative on the news over and over again out of the thousands of story we could be talking about on a given night, talking been the same ones over and over, using similar language and being amplified on social media, doesn't mean it's not true, it's not a grain of truth there sometimes there is but you should be asking who want s me to think that and what is is maybe they don't want me to be looking at. why are they trying to divert my attention in one direction and
those are things people should think about is someone trying to sway their opinion. >> host: what about this distinction between narrative and just a story. is there any way -- you said that access hollywood became a narrative that wasn't just a story. how does the average news consumer make the distinction there. >> guest: it's really hard. as i say in the book the smear is in the officers the beholder, one person's smear is another person's truth. this is my book and i say it up front but i say when people watch, some people may think something is a narrative and others may think it's a legitimate story 'these are subjective things. every given at the top hover book these are my opinions and how i see -- what i've seen in the industry. you may differ agree and people may disagree or my differ agree on some points and not others. may look at one case and say i think that falls in the category but this doesn't, and i just
hope it gets people thinking and you're free -- i hope you do form your own judgment when you read -- i'm not trying to make you think a certain way. just trying to put some facts before you that i think -- you raise a lot of fact is think are true that are widely -- more well-reported. i'm trying to peel back the lair on thing is don't see -- the layers on thing is don't see -- >> host: thank you for your time. appreciate it.