tv Media Buzz FOX News December 23, 2013 1:00am-2:01am PST
here's howie. >> on the buzz meter this sunday, a&e under fire for suspending the star of "duck dynasty" after he called hoe mow sexuality a sin and compared it with beastlty. now there's a video of phil robertson in which he says this about gays. >> they are infamous arrogant god haters. they are heartless. they have ruthless. >> does the reality show deserve to be sidelined for offensive comments or is this political correctness run amuck? a federal judge's ruling against nsa spying ignites a fierce media debate. is ed snowden a criminal or was
he justified about leaking about an illegal program. >> i think very important for our fellow citizen, edward snowden, who came power because as he said, he found out that the government in secret was violating our constitutional rights. >> my view is that snowden committed treason, he ought to be convicted of that and then he ought to swing from a tall oak tree. >> and what was "60 minutes" doing portraying a trail of the nsa. plus, from egypt to syria to iran, the stories flash across our television screens. tom freedman on whether the american media are losing interest on foreign affairs, whether john kerry is a better secretary of state than hillary clinton and why he hasn't criticized the disastrous rollout of obamacare. i'm howard kurtz and this is "media buzz."
on. well before phil robertson was suspended from duck dynasty for his comments in qq magazine, he attempted to edit the family's online prayers. >> they would have me say thank you, lord, for the food and thank you for loving us, amen. i said why would you cut out in jesus name? he said well, those editors are probably doing that this and he don't want to offend some of the muslims or something. >> and talking about body parts as he told gq start with homosexual behavior and morph out from there, beastlty. >> a&e said it's extremely disappointed in robertson's comments and in no way reflect those of a&e networks which have
always been strong supporters and champions of the lgbt community. lauren ashburn, amy holmes and chuck lane are joining us now. >> lauren ashburn has a right to say what he wants and a&e has a right to take him off the air. do you agree? >> he has the right to say whatever he wants. except he is working for a network that has the right to fire him for saying anything he wants. so he has the right whether or not he should have done it in such graphic terms is another matter. if he had just said marriage is between a man and a woman, this wouldn't have happened. >> or if he had just said i'm a christian and i believe the piebl says thbible says homosex is a sin, it would have been
fine. >> it would have been fine. >> was this, at least in part, a political decision on the network's part? >> well, it seems so. in fact, the head of a&e said there were networks who worked on his show that said they couldn't because of his views. i'm totally baffled for why a&e fired him. >> he's not fired. >> well, they suspended him because even tmz is calling a&e out saying they knew about his views. this is a reality show and he is giving the audience a slice of his reality. >> and what about when phil robertson says african-americans during the jim crowe segregation era were happy and singing. >> i read those quotes and i believe that he believed that. it doesn't necessarily surprise me that people are confiding in him about back breaking work of cotton. he says he was in the fields and
nobody complained to him about it. he's not there as an anchor or spokesperson for a&e, i think she could have just said that. >> did they overreact and could they ever kept him on the air if he apologized? >> they make a lot of money about these top rated shows. >> it's the top rated cable shows. >> yes. and, in fact, they're going to run a marathon over the holiday that's includes a bunch of stuff from him. eventually, they will have to patch it up because the family has made clear that they're not happy about this. they put out a statement saying we can't imagine going forward with this show. >> there is no show without him. but he put back this semiwalk back when phil robertson said i used to be about sex, drugs and rock and roll and i would not treat anyone with disrespect,
but -- >> he showed things like this many times before. >> that's why they hired him. a&e warned robertson before this not to make inflammatory remarks. >> with all of their bull area gaty, we can't have one single ee v evangelical on the cable? >> he can't be the -- does he have to but that. he's a person on a rate reality show. ? no, i have this.
>> talk about a&l and what its rights and responsibilities are. the network hired this guy knowing what it was getting. >> howie, when i was at usa today live, i was responsible for creating reality tv programming, pitching the network and reviewing the contract along with a lawyer and making sure everything was in its place. here is what happens when you negotiate a contract with a&e. number one, you sign your life away. you say that they have complete rights to do whatever they want with this show. and in very rare instances do they back down. number two, they say you have to sign a morality clause and if you do anything outside of this morality clause, see you later. >> so, of course they have a right and you have to fight, it leave the with did.
>> and a number of people have been jumping in saying this is a double standard, lots of vulgarity on the air. >> miley cyrus twerking and smoking pot. >> yes. and msnbc dumped alec baldwin and after an anti-gay outburst at a photographer, which he denies. >> right. but i think there's a difference between being a host on a news network versus being a character on a reality show where they're being served up, they're supposed the be candid, they're supposed to allow americans into their dining rooms and their dinner table. now they're burping at the dinner table and we can't have that? >> with can we talk about no public publicity.
>> i remember when chick-fi-let made a substantively similar comment, their sales spiked because a lot of people thought he was stoned the same way phil robertson was stoned. >> whether you love or hate phil robertson, there's no constitutional right to appear on a division show. that is up to your employer. i want to shift gears and talk about the privacy of the nsa. the administration's sweeping surveillance program is probably unconstitutional and almost orwellian. that was all the media needed to surround a man in russian, ed snowden. he ought to be convicted and
hanged by his neck. >> some are saying this ruling vindicates ed snowden others are saying he should be hung. what does this say about the media culture we live in? >> come on, howie, we love personalities. we love to fixate on one person to tell a story. look at any newspaper article where you lead in with the victim of some issue and then you tell the full story. that is the same thing here. i think edward snowden should be the face of this. this is the guy -- >> but this is like everybody in the country, not just the guy who leaked the documents. >> of course. but we do tell the rest of the story. and i think a lot of people see him as a patriot for doing what he did and other people say him, like president obama, as a villain. >> is it fair for the press to say snowden leaked this huge number of documents because he thought spying was wrong and now
we have an advisory panel saying he should be brought in or main he's doing the right thing? i think they have the responsibility to report on the information that he has. >> and why to your point -- and yesterday there was a story in the "new york times" based on new documents about u.s. and britain having like a thousand targets included in the israeli prime minister's office. but we're not going to -- we don't have to decide his guilt or innocence, but why have we made the debate about him? >> well, i think to lauren's point, it's easier to tell a story through people and humans and heros and villains and black hats and white hats. let's face it, a lot of this story has been confusing.
zl you're saying we don't like complexity? >> i would like to point to the christian science monitor. it has been very good explaining these terms and what is going on. >> and chuck, one of the things snowden media defenders tend to down play is this is a guy who broke the law and is now a fugitive from the law. >> because he's leaking documents. i mean, this is going to be one of those -- >> you say be friendly to the source? >> well, surprise, surprise, right? we're not calling for the prosecution of the guy who is giving us the documents. i think that's to be expected. >> so there is a self-interest in the journalists who love leaks and you would say going a bit easy on snowden because he's doing what journalists like? >> well, i mean, there's journalists and journalists. >> the law be -- >> no, there's lots of journalists writing about how
>> there is a perception out there that the nsa is widely collecting the content of the phone calls of americans. is that true? >> no, that's not true. >> part of this is not to go there and show you can beat up a public official in an interview. i have been beat up as a public official in interviews and i have beaten up public officials in interviews. our job this time was to take the hardest questions we could find and ask them what's the answer to it? >> amy, the argument is that had the nsa never given this kind of access, this kind of interview, and obtained by a guy that used to work for the nsa, this was north worthy and valuable. >> i think it is news worthy and valuable, but there is always the danger of bias. it can go by asking questions that are too soft or even overcompensating and asking questions that are too aggressive. and that's the problem when you have a reporter that comes to that -- >> why is it too soft?
>> i'm not sure if we cleaned the information that we needed. as i said in the previous segment, there's been so much conflicting information about the nsa, it is a spy agency and a secretive agency after all. >> so you didn't get the em pregz of that piece that this was almost orwellian against that judge who ruled against it. so half an hour of airtime on cbs's news magazine program, there wasn't a single nsa critic that was interviewed. >> all the sins "60 minutes" has created in recent years, i don't think this is one of their worst. look, the nsa has a story to tell. it has been -- it is, by its nature, not really allowed to tell it and it's been pounded in the media for months and months and months. it's one soft piece creeps into that flow of on information where they get to just sort of uninhibitedly put their story out, i don't think it's the end of the world. >> but should that piece have
been done by cbs for john miller? >> let's talk about john miller's career. this is a problem that i have, this revolving door between journalism and the federal government. he started out in local news. he was a spokesperson for the nypd. then he went on to abc where he sat on with peter jennings in 2011. then he went back to the lapd where bill bratton went, then he went to the fbi in public affairs. then he went back to cbs. now, according to mike allen from politico, it is expected that he's going to jump to the nypd where a cbs source says he's welcome back to the network. >> and your problem is? >> this is a problem because what happens is he becomes cozy with the people at lapd and nypd and at the fbi. they then, when he goes to the network, give him the story been what are you going to do? are you going to hammer those people? he said yes, that's what he does and he beats up public officials. i think it's a lot harder for them to do that and i think that
his credibility is hurt by this resolving door. >> you're saying he sat with jennings on 9/11 and news relations keep taking his back. john miller did disclose this and at the same time he's taken a lot of spin through this resolving door. >> disclosure is the cure for this situation. if anybody had been doing all that revolving door activity and not telling everyone, that would be one thing. i think we have to be realistic about this. the line that used to separate government and media is a lot swishier than it once was. >> it's knot nonexistent. >> and who is the white house spokesperson? when they kept putting obama on the cover, what was it, 13 times in one year. >> like george >> wouldn't you ever want to agree that you're allowed to have a career change but maybe not seven or eight? >> you go from journalism to
government or you go from government to journalism. george stuck with being a journalist. he's not going back and forth. >> but if it's fully disclosed, people are on notice of what they're getting. >> i agree with that. >> chuck, amy, happy holidays. thanks for joining us. up next, with all these mass shootings, should the media focus on political views of the murderers? my two cents on why that's wrong.
opinion that he was a very opinionated socialist and editiedi editing to just he was very opinionated. >> practically every one of these young kids shooting up schools is inspired by something to do with leftism, socialism, what have you. every one of them is. when they can't tie them to the tea party, you don't hear about it any more. you hear the mental health explanation. what mental health problem? liberal limp guaranteed is what's causing this. >> liberalism is causing maniacs to engage in these senseless shootings? i see no evidence of that. sometimes they focus on gun control and too often there's a misguided rush to figure on out what makes these people tick as if that could explain the unexplainable. liberal simple isn't the only one making that argument. >> we find out often is the case that the people responsible for
the shooting are left wing lunatics, except we don't blame them. we blame the mental health system, we blame the individual. >> well, maybe we should blame the individual. when you look at the tragic roster, columbine, virginia tech, tucson, aurora, newtown, were these shooters trying to make a political statement or motivated by revenge or driven by zits schizophrenia? when jared loughner shot gabby giffords, someone tried to blame sarah palin for having put cross hair owes a map of gifford's district. i wrote that day that this was a sickening ritual of guilty by association. this isn't about sarah palin's map. it's about a nut who doesn't value human life. these tragedies are awful enough without the partisan point scoring.
>> there are so many trouble spots in the world, that sometimes it's difficult to keep up. i sat down with tamace freedman, the "new york times" columnist, best selling author and three time pulitzer winner here in studio one. >> welcome. >> good to be here. >> the showdown with syria, the nuclear deal in iran, the negotiations between israel and the palestinians, it all seems
to go so quickly. does the media suffer from add when it comes to foreign affairs? >> i noticed fred hite, your former colleague at "the washington post," had a grinching piece about syria, but you could go around the whole horn in the middle east. the west bank, we've seen a rise in violence there. >> so there's compassion fatigue? >> yeah. i just think something maybe bigger, but the middle east finally wore us out in a sense, and even myself where it's so much things going the wrong way in so many places that even when something like syria, which is a -- really just a human tragedy, especially if they had a storm the week. >> even tom freedman, your feeling just worn out because it never -- the conflicts and the human misery never seem to end?
>> not worn out in the sense of my own intellectual curiosity, but worn out in the sense that i tried to write a solution oriented column. i don't do pessimism really well. i find myself out of ideas. when it comes to how to navigate out of the problems of this region. that's really what i mean for myself. >> but in terms of my saying that the media as a whole seem to have a very short attention span, do you remember when it looks like we were -- president obama was on the verge of going to war in syria and then he did it and then he decided to give up his chemical weapons. now, however well that may or may not be working, and we don't really know, it seems like that is off the media radar. >> do we have a shorter attention span than we did three years, five years, ten years ago? i'm not sure. but i think maybe particularly there were no americans involved in the war in iraq or afghanistan and there's not a crisis, it seems to me that there's perhaps less public
interest and maybe expense to coverage and maybe the media reflects that. your thoughts? >> i thought many times when i looked around the come door hotel which was the press central in beirut when i was there in the early '80s, here is who i saw. ap, upi, reuters, washington post, "new york times," afp, time, news week, u.s. world report. here is who i also saw, reporters, foreign correspondents from the baltimore sun, dallas morning news, philadelphia inquire requirer. >> boston globe. >> none of those newspapers have foreign contingents any more. exactly. >> the media latery are giving john kerry for being willing to take risks and contrasting that with hillary clinton when she was secretary of state. is that a fair way to frame the story? >> i think so. what i admire about kerry, it's
the fact that he's daring to fail. i had a chance to cover another sequential secretary of state, jim baker, when i was the diplomatic correspondent. and i remember baker took 15 trips to the middle east. i think it was seven before the iraq war and eight after to put together the madrid peace kor , conference, which was the first big break through between israel and a wide array of government. on 14 of on those trips, i led my score. james a. bacon failed again. and on trip 15, he succeeded and he let me know it. but i learned that, you know, this is -- it's a game of persistence. it's not being dissuaded, not being blown back by all the people on both sides, and i admire kerry for daring to fail. >> and hellry's record is being reassessed and will be many times because of the possibility of 20167. >> yes. and i think it's never good to have a secretary of state who
has career plans after that job. but in hillary's defense, kerry is reaping the benefits of the sanctions that we put on iran. to hillary's credit, she was central to organizing that last turn of the sanctions wheel. it brought the russians and the chinese in that have given a rightness to the story. >> on the domestic front, you have written that you support obamacare as being morally right and good for the country, but you seem to avoid the broken promise. >> i'm just letting it play out is my feeling. i'm not an expert on health care, you know? what i have written a lot about in the last book, is what i think is the really central socioeconomic dilemma of our time which is as we said in our book average is over. and what sustained the american middle class for so many years, this thing called the highways middle skill job is going. now there's high wage high skill job. as we go through that wrenching transition, i want to see a
safety net, you know, under american workers, you and me and everybody else. and it's in that sense i hope obama care works. >> but you certainly know politics and as someone who has been sympathetic to president obama and went to play golf with him, i'm surprised you haven't written a column saying what a disappointing year he's had and expressing frustration. >> i tend to take the long view. >> but does the country have that benefit? >> well, whether we have the benefit or not we're going to have to -- >> but you're saying even obama has had a lousy year in terms of not getting bills through congress in terms of the health care debacle, that you are trying to look beyond that? >> yeah. i'm not a big scorecard generally. i'm not an expert on obama care. i hope it works. i think it's going to take a long time. was it an inexcusable rollout? it was, yeah. but, you know, in six months, let's see writ stands. if it's still a debacle, i'm
sure i'll write about it then. i'll tell you why, because it will affect our standing in the world. and that is the main focus in my column. >> speaking of our standsings in the world one recently went to china and singapore. you said you got a lot of questions that were sort of on like what's up with you guys, you guys being the us u.s. of a. and you where he to many people we look like the definition of a drinking driver, like a lifelong mentor who has went on a bing and is no longer predictable. is that embarrassing as an american journalist to encounter those attitudes? >> not so much embarrassing as dpreding. it's depressing to me as an american who wants my country to do well, period, and i believe our biggest impact on the world is setting an example. one good example is worth a thousand theories. when people see that succeed, they want to follow it. when they don't, they think maybe it's a beijing consensus. i want to see us succeed for me, my kids, my fellow citizens.
test test katie couric launched a daytime show. but this week, her show was canceled. so, katie's show got pretty good ratings, but it was not a blockbuster. in the end, why didn't it work? >> you know, i like katie couric, first of all. i think ever since the "today" show, she's not been totally engaged. i got mad at her for not being more excited about being the managing editor of "cbs news." she's always said things like i have a life, i'm fought going to go overseaes and -- >> well, she did go to afghanistan. >> i think there was a tension
between her desire to do more serious issues and what were afternoon syndicated -- >> but you know, if you remember, when she came in, people thought she could be the next oprah winfrey, which was a big, big pair of shoes to fill. she did do 2.2 million people a day. that's impressive. she didn't fail totally in this show. in baltimore, she was with the worst station. >> the local angle. >> and it was a mutual decision, they say, between abc and couric to end this show. i want to turn to duck dynasty. this has become a cultural war topic. i'm getting a tweet. phil robertson not out of the line with the arrogant god haters. radical gays have made hateful anti-gay statements. even if that's true, how does one justify the other? >> a&e has every right as an employer -- it kills me that libertarians and people on the right are saying, employers shouldn't be able to tell their
employers wh employees what to say. >> but a lot of people say, look, this network knew who phil robertson was, what his views are. of course he's going to be controversial. that was why he was hired. >> yeah. but the fact he knew he might say this, once he said something that they felt damages the brand, they have every right to pull out of it. >> right. and so -- >> and they didn't fire him. they suspended him, howie, for god sake. and with the money this show makes, you think they're not going to bring him back at some point? listen, this whole talk about the patriarch, like he's abraham, he makes duck whistles, duck calls. >> what about the fact that there is a boycott now of a&e among some people. it looked bad with gay rights groups if it didn't do anything and if it did what it did, even suspending him, it has ticked off a big section of america. >> well, one of the reasons this
show is so popular -- and this is true of every reality show that has a huge audience -- is it connects at some deeper cultural level. and that's exactly what this show does and that's why you now see this pushback from people who believe on the one hand that this man was expressing a religious belief and the media and the left is trying to quash his right to say this. and then people in other parts of the country who have a feeling that this kind of remark is hateful and causes divisiveness in the country and is unnecessary, really, i mean, there are people who believe this is hate speech, you know? and i think if you're the victim of this kind of discrimination, you can feel that way. i understand it. there are two large cultural blocks here who are at war. this is america. we've been doing this for a long time. i'm kind of upset about the politicians, though, who are jumping in trying to exploit
this. >> happy to fan the flames and get ratings, as i suppose we're doing here. >> no, this is our job to discuss it. >> i agree with you he's coming back. you wrote about your two media disappoints. one was 60 minutes. we talked about that earlier. why cnn? >> it used to believe in journalism down the middle. i think -- and i expected when jeff zucker took over, that he would embrace that in some ways. it hasn't happened. one year in, the cable channel absolutely seems to be a mess to me. and now that it hasn't scored any ratings game, that it's still third, now they're saying it's digital that matters. well, ten years ago, if you had said that, you would have been at the cutting knowledge. if that's your thing, i think we're going to lose that voice. it's the one that says cable news network.
that brand is in trouble. >> i'll give zucker time to get the ratings around. david, thanks very much for stopping by this sunday. after the break, ever see those beautiful online pictures of fabulous people doing fabulous things? if so, you could suffer from instagram envy, that's next on digital downloads.
suffocated by fabulousness. it is called fomo, fear of missing out. >> there are a lot of fabulous pictures of fabulous people doing fabulous thens, but why are other people looking at these saying i feel bad it is not me. >> a lot of instagram followers are young. people start on instagram in fourth and fifth grade. i know among my children and their friends they have accounts. >> when we see these people in the south of france having a drink or in the mountains aren't they projecting an image? i think so. they want the rest of the world to think their life is one nonstop party? >> of course. i love the ones of young mothers who just had a baby who you know can't -- are having a hard time breastfeeding and sleeping. they put their make up on and hold the baby up for the camera and say look, we're perfect. then they go back and they are exhausted and up in the middle of the night. >> that's what makes a lot of
these pictures so fascinating. these are carefully decorated windows with curtains occasionally pulled back. >> and it is voyeurism. we love to see what other people are doing. you see what they are doing and what you are not doing. psychiatrists and psychologists say look, the world is your oiser. oiser. you know you can get out there and do things too. that's especially difficult. >> so you talk about voyeurism and this site was bought a year ago by facebook. 150 million users, that's a lot of voyeurs. this new york times piece i think went a little heavy on, you know, there is a quote about this is a new form of torture. >> come on. cal lex williams had a -- alex williams had a great piece and that's why we are doing this segment. it is torture for kids and young professionals who haven't found themselves.
>> it is a first world problem, okay. >> it totally is and the article says that. i am not talking water boarding and i don't think alex was either. it really hurts. it hurts in a way that because things are so perfect on instagram, right? and people just forget, look, these are normal people who are going for the perfect shot. you know how many you delete? you delete 10 to get one good one. >> still to come, why are so many local newscasts reading from the same script? buzz worthy is next.
tweets on phil robertson getting the boot from "duck dynasty." he has a right to say what he wants and there is a right to fire him. and another, a and e was correct and it is a corporate decision and has nothing to do with freedom of speech and religion. and another, he can say what he wants lose show, followers and political correctness is fashist. and another, the upcoming season is moot. it will blow over and then a and e will have the another
hick show. i can't keep an eye on every local newscast in the country, but have i some help. none other than conan o'brian through some investigative reporting his show found a striking similarity this season among america's local anchors. >> who are you really shopping for this holiday season? okay. you can admit if you bought an item or two or 10 for yourself. >> it is okay. you can admit it if you have bought an item or two or 10 for yourself. >> you can admit it. you bought an item or two or 10 for yourself. >> you can admit it. if you have bought an item or two or 10 for yourself. >> you can admit it. >> if you have bought an item or two or 10 for yourself. >> talk about staying on message. you would think they would ad-lib out of self-respect. >> this is what gives local news anchors a bad wrap. >> they deserve it. >> not true. as one, i know that is very hard work. you are running through
scripts at the last minute, but there are companies that are sin do location companies -- sin do location companies that send out the script and they don't know in kentucky they are reading a scrept in philadelphia that is the same. >> they don't know they are reading something like they are trying to make it appear they are casually chatting about and everyone else in america is? it is embarrassing. >> that was. that's it for this edition of "media buzz." merry christmas and happy holidays to all of you. continue the conversation on twitter. go to facebook and twitter where we post information all the time. we are back at >> it's monday december 23rdrd. a defining moment for obamacare. why the decision you make today could cost much more than you planned. >> restaurant's giant reversing
course it's all because of you. the crass roots movement to push cracker barrels to put duck dynasty merchandise back on the shelves. >> how her specs ultimately saved her life. "fox & friends first" starts right now. ♪ >> good morning as we take a live look outside in new york city getting into the spirit of things. you are watching "fox & friends first". himenter nauert. >> merry christmas. >> thank you.
>> it is d-day for obamacare. if you want care you have to register today. >> steve centanni is here with talking about going cheap with obamacare. >> it is the high deductibles. there could be severe sticker shock involved. meantime in washington politicians some are predict ago melt down others a government bailout if the government continues without major changes. the problem here with the sticker shock is people buy insurance for the lowest possible rates for their premium. when they get medical care they are going to be very shocked to find out they have to pay everything up front at least for a while until they satisfy that deductible. now, in the meantime they want a one-year delay in the individual mandate to give the