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tv   Reliable Sources  CNN  February 26, 2012 8:00am-9:00am PST

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official french forms. in the past women had to say whether they were madam, a married woman, or mad mow sell, unmarried, but all men were simply miseur. thanks for being part of the program this week. i will see you next week. stay tuned for "reliable sources." the presidential campaign has been filled with stories about birth control and theology and prenatal testing, a campaign unlike any in my lifetime. is that the media's fault? >> it's part of the predictable attempt to impugn santorum as an absolute religious nut and wacko. >> rick santorum blamed reporters after this week's cnn debate in arizona. >> but i do get these questions as john king tried to do on contraception, and other things that are, you know, sort of
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outrageous types of questions, and then the next question from the reporter is why are you talking so much about social issues? >> isn't it fair for journalists to ask the senator about his own words. the situation in syria turns deadly for more correspondents trying to cover the violent uprising there. >> breaking news into cnn just minutes ago. word that the two western journalists, including an american, have been killed in syria. >> will the dangers there choke off the flow of news from syria? plus, the sniping has already started over the movie "game change" even before it airs on hbo. >> you can actually see russia from land here in alaska. >> my god. what have we done? >> it wasn't my fault. i wasn't properly prepped. >> are sarah palin's people justified in going ballistic? i'm howard kurtz, and this is "reliable sources."
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the campaign debate over rick santorum and the exit tent to which he should or should not be talking about religion and social issues has quickly morphed into a debate about the media's role in reporting on these hot button controversies and pundits on the left and the right wasted no time choosing sides. >> if rick santorum does secure the republican nomination, he will be portrayed as a pure tan witch hunter, as a fanatical religious guy, as a member of the inquisition. that's how the liberal media will tag santorum. >> people say the media keeps shifting the attention away from the economy to these crazy cultural questions that we thought were long ago put to bed. there he is. rick santorum. you could argue he is the frontrunner in the country right now for the nomination of the republican party pushing these issues sharp as nails. he wants a fight. >> santorum did pick a fight with the press. in a fox interview with sean handty. >> it's perfectly clear. this is -- let's be honest. this is standard fair.
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for them to continually distort, this is the kind of -- this is the kind of stuff that i think is actually one of the reasons we're doing well in the polls because people see it for what it is. >> let me ask you this. >> they see the national media trying to destroy conservatives. stroo trying to destroy conservatives? joining us now to bach about this latest chapter here in washington, david brodie, chief political krbt for "the christian" broadcasting network. margaret carlson, columnist for bloomberg news and washington editor of the week, and in new york an on-line column for the new york daily news. are the media being unfair -- >> the honest answer, howie, is yes and no. let's face it. okay. rick santorum spoke a long time for many years about these social issues, and so they have a right, they being the media, have a right to bring it all back up if he is running for president of the united states. i don't think there is -- there is a but to that, and that is that in the heartland of this country, when, for example, that
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whole big satan story we heard about, rick santorum's remarks on satan, what's the big deal? people know about good and evil and all of that, and within that media culture, that new york, washington corridor, they don't get it, and, therefore, it seems a little bit out of balance the way santorum sees it. >> you are saying we just heard santorum saying on fox news that the media wants to destroy conservatives. do you think mainstream journalists get up every morning thinking about that? >> well, i don't think it's that deliberate, but i think there is a culture that david was talking about. you know, religion seems to be the last front year in political journalism. folks on the left and the right in the media still don't know how to talk about religion and meaningful and efficient ways, so you get a lot of sort of weird discussions about religion and cultural and social issues on the campaign trail, but i have to say i've been with rick santorum at various campaign stops. i know him well.
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from the beginning of the campaign he didn't start talking about contraception. he started off talking about manufacturing and jobs and the social issues kind of came to him. that doesn't mean he hasn't courted it or exploited it, but he really is a chicken or the egg? i don't think he started this fight. >> at the same time i recall saying that santorum does spend -- he doesn't duck these questions. he seems to enjoy talking about his faith and things like that, and then he pivots and blames the press. it's awkward for mainstream journalists to talk about religion and religious issues. do you buy that? >> i think somewhat awkward. these are delicate, tender issues for many people, so it's hard to do it in the way we cover, you know, romney's speech on the economy. it just touches each of us, and everybody thinks they know. we are all experts on these subjects in a sense, but santorum, contrary to what he says, if he gets a question, he so relishes talking about gay
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marriage in so much detail. when the bishops and the catholic church and contraception came up, he dove in. he couldn't let it go. >> the former senator and in the republican primary by taking those positions. this came up on "meet the press" this morning where santorum repeated the answer we heard him give hannity earlier about, well, you guys in the press asked me about social issues and you asked me why i'm talking about social issues. here's how moderator david gregory responded that argument. >> you talk about this stuff every week. it's not just in this campaign. sir, in this campaign you talk about it, and i have gone back years where you have been in public life, and you have made this a centerpiece of your opinion life. in the notion that these are not worthy of kre kwe and scrutiny, it's not just about the press. >> your take? >> well, i mean, yeah, i got to tell you, there is some legitimate truth to that because, let's face it, what you
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were saying before about rick santorum is that he cannot answer these questions in 15 to 20 seconds, and the problem is that when santorum goes over the 45 second threshold, if you will, he is in trouble. the reason he is in trouble is because he wacks everything poetic, and he is able to pivot, and he is not able to pivot well enough, and it's a figure meant of his authenticity. >> is it also true to come back to the media that journalists play up issues like contraception and abortion because you are saying maybe we're a little out of sync with the rest of the country, but also these are divisive hot button issues, which means they make good copy. >> that's what it is. pure and simple. the social issues are being brought up because they play above the fold in the "new york times" and other place. >> let me come back to the cnn debate on tuesday night in mesa, arizona. moderator john king asked the question. got the answer. let's remind viewers of that exchange. we don't have it.
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okay. well, as you will recall, this was more than an hour into the debate, and john king said, you know, contraception has been in the news, and he asked the question, and santorum made the distinction between his personal views being opposed to birth control and saying he wouldn't do anything as president or as a lawmaker to impose on everyone else. and then later he took a shot at king. was it not fair for john king about something that had been in the news? >> it was fair, and i agree to some extent that rick santorum really does enjoy talking about these issues. they are his wheelhouse issues, but again, to remind viewers and voters out there, you know, the hhs mandate is what started this conversation. rick santorum did not start this conversation, and then you have the media latch on to the story and lawmakers latch on to the story from both sides, and all of the candidates at some point had to weigh in on this, and then it would come up in the
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debate and it was completely appropriate to the timing of the news cycle, and rick santorum, i thought, answered it fine. >> so if it's completely appropriate for king to ask, but nevertheless, santorum scores points by saying you people in the you know, liberal media are trying to drag me into this thick et, but he seems to enjoy being will. >> this is what somebody does when they want it both ways is to blame the media for bringing it up, and david makes a good point. you do get on the front page if the issues contraception and you don't always get there if it's, you know, the banking crisis. however, the media needs the predicate. it's not as if we raise it. rick santorum is a zealot. that is his main problem. >> in your view? >> in my view he can't help himself from going on and on and deeper and deeper, and at the end contraception is evil. he goes there. we don't. it depends how you define
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zealot. it has a negative conotation. >> he doesn't debate it. he just -- >> what's that? >> it does not -- it does not depend on how you define zealot. rick santorum is not a zealot. he has to be a christian and a conservative. that's it. end of story. there is no zealot about him. >> let me jump in here because i want to bring up something that involves you david brodie, and speaking of bashing -- the same cnn debate said in contrast to the issues that the republicans are being asked about, not once did anybody in the elite media ask why barack obama voted in favor of legalizing infanticide. let me play a clip about you asking obama about that in 2008. >> we're trying to understand it because there was some literature put out by the natural right to life committee, and they say they felt like you misrepresented your position on that bill. >> let me clarify this right
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now. >> i hate to say that people are lying, but here's a situation where folks are lying. >> it has to do with the bill in the illinois legislature. my point is you raised it. other news organizations raised it. was gingrich just wrong that the press gave obama a pass? >> no. i think the fact that i raise it, i don't know if i consider myself part of the elite media, first of all, but beyond that -- >> you were on cnn at the time? >> actually, cnn ran the whole clip. kudos there. >> you are saying by and large. >> by and large there was some sporadic reporting of it. remember, that came only because conservatives, especially pro life organizations, were bringing it up. so, you know, once again, back to that new york washington d.c. amtrak corridor, you know, that is not a topic of conversation. they're not reading the susan b. anthony list daily talking points every day, and that's the problem. >> let me turn briefly to mitt romney who was billed as a major economic speech, as you probably know by now. he gave it in a stadium called ford field.
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let's take a brief look at the news coverage of that address. >> major speech here today turned into a major photo op for the wrong reason. >> romney outlined his tax plan before an audience of 1,200 surrounded by 65,000 empty seats at detroit's ford field. >> here's a "new york times" headline for. look, it looked terrible. it was a blunder, but should that be what the media are focussing on as opposed awhat romney said in that address? >> michigan is coming up, and i think if, you know, mitt romney were poised better in michigan, then it wouldn't matter as much, but he is looking at some trouble in that state. with the primary coming up, i think, you know, i hate defending the liberal media, but i think it is relevant to look at the ethos around mitt romney and the support around mitt romney going into what is going to be an incredibly important state for him to win. >> in just two days. now, look, campaign optics matter, and this was an out and
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out blunder. the only bit of substance of the romney speech that actually got covered was when he said, not very wisely, my wife drives a couple of cadillacs. >> well, you know, that plays to romney, which he is not in touch with ordinary people. >> he broke the first rule of politics, which is always go to a room too small. let me just say, correct something, let me say that rick santorum speaks with zeal with these issues. >> perhaps linguistic choice. >> when we come back, abc's jake tapper challenge the white house over the prosecution of people who leak to journal is. did he cross the line into advocacy? d cranberry citrus oat. crispy whole grain. newtons fruit thins, one unique cookie.
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[ male announcer ] treat your frequent heartburn by blocking the acid with prilosec otc. and don't get heartburn in the first place! [ male announcer ] one pill a day. 24 hours. zero heartburn. white house spokeman was expressing the administration's condolences for the journalist killed this week in syria. we'll focus on that later in the program. when he took vigorous exception to his comments. >> how does that square with the fact that this administration has been so aggressively trying to stop aggressive journalism in the united states by using the espionage act to take whistle blowers to court? this seems to be a disconnect here. you want aggressive journalism afwraud. you p just don't want it in the united states. >> without address anything specific case, i think that there are issues here that involve highly sensitive classified information, and i think, you know, those are
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divulging that information is a serious issue, and it always has been. >> i like aggress i have journalist. jake tapper fits that. was he aggressively challenging the white house spokesman or pushing a point of view? >> i think probably a little of both. i mean, i think it's always commendable when any reporter challenges any white house administration right or left on perceived topography. regardless of the substance of that interrogation, i think jake tapper should be applauded for doing that. it's not an easy task. it's not easy to go up against a white house press secretary. that hard. he did. >> what do you think, margaret, about tapper drawing a contrast between the white house praising people who take risks overseas in reporting and allegedly opposing it at home because the administration has been aggressive in prosecuting leakers. >> there's been a shocking pursuit of leakers by this administration. >> why shocking? even though journalists love
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leaks, and i am no exception, but people who have been prosecuted, five such cases here, including a former cia official who leaked allegedly to the "new york times". they're leaking classified information, and that is against the law. >> but in the drake case, for instance, which the administration lost, i mean, they wrote about it in the new yorker at length, it was just that the white house did not like that they chose one domestic spying program over another and the degree to which they went after this good night was shocking to me and jake tapper is bringing up something that, in fact, we don't cover enough. >> jake tamer -- >> what the white house says and what the white house does are two completely different things. according to newt gingrich and others. about four months ago i interviewed newt gingrich, and he says he has never seen a wider gap in what an administration does and what it
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does than this administration. >> journalist are not neutral. we like to be slipped classified information, and we tend to get upset when they get prosecuted, but people take risks and potentially violating the law. let me circle back to one minute. we were talking during the break. you have interviewed the former senator. by contrast, mitt romney, who went on the sunday show again today on fox news, fox news sunday, he doesn't seem to be doing any sunday shows on any other networks. santorum gives all kinds of intufrz to all kinds of people, reporters on the trail. he may get himself in trouble, but you can't accuse him of being open with journalists. >> he is handled so much. that was surprising going back to the ford field situation that the romney campaign let that get out of hand. i mean, what was the romney campaign thinking? because they normally don't do that at all.
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>> have you interviewed mitt romney? >> this is interesting. a whole other show we should talk about that. i have not. i think there is obviously a key break-away that they don't want to deal with. the evangelicals and social issues. another topic. >> the last campaign spent 45 minutes with him totally open. he is in a complete cacoon this time. >> thanks very much for joining us. the second part of the reliable sources. >> covering the violation in syria. the depths of two more reporters there keep the rest of the world from knowing exactly what's going on. plus, sarah palin's team tries to discredit the movie "game change" in advance. the coming storm over julianne moore's role. bill maher is giving a million bucks to a pro-obama super pac. moisturizing lotion. y the natural oatmeal formula improves skin's health in one day, with significant improvement in 2 weeks. i found a moisturizer for life. [ female announcer ] only from aveeno.
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as the media has struggled to cover the escalating violence in syria, cooper spoke to one journalist in that war-torn country, maria of london's "sunday times." >> the regime in syria claims that they're not attacking svrls and there is no armed conflict, there is no war inside syria, that they're basically just going after terrorist gangs.
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>> it's a complete and utter lie that they are only going after terrorists. there are rockets and tank shells anti-aircraft being fired in a parallel line into the city. the shelling city of cold, starving civilians. >> next day came the tragic news. >> the war of two western journal iists including an american have been killed in syria. the american is marie volvin who reported from syria for us, actually, just hours ago, and frenchman remy. >> the two journalists were in this media center this morning when it was attacked by a rocket apparently fired by government forces and destroyed. >> you couldn't be part of the foreign media world and travel to these places and not know who she was. she was a legend in her own right, and eye pioneer. >> has the assad regime become
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too dangerous for western reporters? joining us from beirut, clarissa, foreign correspondent for cbs news. cnn's beirut correspondent arwa damon. >> let's start by talking for just a moment about maria volvin? >> why would should take such risks in syria? >> she was without a doubt one of the most brave and one of the most brilliant journalists doing the work that we do. every conflict zone you visited maria volvin was one of the ones that was always there ahead of the story. she was very committed to getting the message out. she knew better than most reporters all of the dangers and all of the risks that she was taking going into a city like homs, but she felt very passionately that the world must pay attention to what is going on in that city. >> right. >> arwa damon, just last week on this program, we're talking about the death of anthony shadid, who died from an asthma attack.
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the syrian resistance, i'm sure you asked -- if this story is any story worth risking your life? >> it is. it absolutely is. it's something that we are all aware of. i don't think any of us really believes that we're invincible. we are very hyper-sensitive to the risks that we're exposing ourselves too, but at the end of the day to truly be able to tell these stories, and that is what marie believed, that is what anthony believed, you have to put yourself in the same situation as those civilians who plight you're covering. there is no way to do justice unless you yourself are there as well. >> how about you, clarissa? how do you make that calculation? particularly in a situation like syria where the government and the government doesn't let many journalists in, and so just setting foot in the country, obviously, entails a great deal of -- >> it is a great deal of risk. one likes to think that every
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step of the way one is constantly calculating the situation. one always has an exit strategy? plan. planning is the most important thing. you are just kibtly reviewing all the information that you have at your finger tips, as it is coming in. reassessing all the time every step of the way. at a certain point, obviously there are enormous risks that have to be undertaken in order to get these stories out. >> arwa, if you do get a journalistic visa to go into syria, what that means is that you have got government minders basically following your every step. it makes it difficult to report. excuse me. maria volvin, for example, got into syria -- snuck in on a tourist visa. that can be a difficult situation. talk a little bit about the question is whether or not to accept a journalistic visa if indeed one is available and the restrictions of that. >> we went in a few times from
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syria on official deposit visas, and it is incredibly challenge and frustrating because the government is watching you at every single step of the way. however, once you are in country, there are ways to move around. there are ways to be able to sidestep the government minders and get out, meet activists. one has to be incredibly careful that they're not being followed because at the end of the day we would be there officially. the worst that the government could do to us is take our footage. the people at great risk are activists that are taking us around and believing so profoundly that it was a risk worth taking because the world has to see what it is that they're going through. when it comes to marie's last trip into the neighborhood she wasn't even on a tourist visa, actually. she had snuck into the country at great risk, of course, because those people taking her around had to try to smuggle her and her cameraman, paul, through various positions where the government was, in fact, president. it was an incredibly lengthy and
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laborious process. i think syria -- we were talking about this last night. it's one of the most challenging assignments because of the point that chris was making earlier that in me cases in syria that exit strategy, that safe space that you can fall back to, it doesn't exist. >> this reminds me a little bit of the situation in libya that was also quite dangerous to western journalists, and it's unlike iraq which while dangerous, at the same time these journalists could be under the protection of many trips of u.s. troops, and so, is it your view that bashir assad's regime was by and large to keep western journalists out so its violence go unreported? >> the regime has made a very cynical calculation that by making it incredibly difficult if not impossible for foreign independent journalists to do reporting inside syria that the world won't have a real window on what is going on inside the country, and, therefore, that they're more apt to forget about or ignore what is going on.
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they want to control the narrative of what is happening there. journalists entering the country illegally and uninvited are very much a thorn in their side, so to speak. >> arwa, in light of that situation and in light of the deaths of journalists like maria colvin, do you think we will see fewer organizations and fewer reporters taking a risk of going into a place like syria, thereby basically situation he wants, which is by very few eyewitness in the -- trying to tell the story of the incredible and mounting violence in that country. >> i think a lot of people will pause and think about it. again, before actually going in. i do not think that that is going to stop us from trying to figure out different ways of getting into the country and going into the country itself. all of us who are in this particular branch of journalism are fully aware of the results and are just as dedicated to
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getting that truth and that story out. yes, you will stop and think to yourself no one actually wants to die while on an assignment, but tactics are not iffing to stop us this whole story. >> these are difficult and often violent situations. stay safe. thanks very much for joining us from lebanon. after the break, a lighter topic. sarah palin's posse is slamming hbo's "game change" even before the movie airs next month. is that sort of preemptive strike justified? [ male announcer ] this is lawn ranger -- eden prairie, minnesota.
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the hbo movie "game change" won't air for a couple of more weeks, but the debate has begun. the campaign features julianne moore as sarah palin and woody haralson as mccain strategist, and if this trailer is any indication, it's not exactly a flattering portrayal of the former alaska governor. >> it wasn't my fault. i wasn't properly prepped. >> she's on the verge of a complete nervous breakdown. >>ure telling what i say, what to wear, how to talk.
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>> palin associates are pushing back hard. the former spokeswoman telling reporters this week, this is sick. the media has gone too far. you accepted the false narrative of a kmpl people who sought revenge and fabricated a story more than three years ago." joining us now to talk about the effort to discredit the film and some other media issues, here in washington, david, television critic for the baltimore sun. and in philadelphia, gale shuster, columnist for -- and a senior fellow at the university -- dade zurich, you really ripped palin's people. this is going to -- why be so harsh about that. >> well, howie, they have not -- i have seen the film, and i have to tell you, that trailer is what a trailer does. it's going to get people to watch the film. in truth, they're actually, look -- ultimately this film says she was a reckless choice by the gop. they were desperate for something to come up to try to topple obama's momentum. they went to her without proper vetting. also, she wasn't qualified. within that, howie, is a more
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sympathetic portrait. peep are going to be surprised. >> do you think they've jumped the gun because they haven't seen the movie. i haven't seen the movie because i'm not on the a list like zurich. it's pretty clear from the trailer, though, that moore's performance is, shall we say, pretty negative. why shouldn't palin and her people fight back? >> is that for me, howie? >> that's for you. >> oh, i'm sorry. why shouldn't they fight back? well, first of all, i would like to make it clear that any list that zurich is on, i do not want to be on. i also have not seen the movie. this just smacks of never letting the facts get in the way of a good story. the logic of it is so absurd. there is no logic to make a judgment on anything before you have seen it, and in a way it's very counter productive if palin was trying to be preemptive in this because all it's doing is generating buzz for hbo and the movie. hbo must be thrilled about it,
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and as far as hurting her reputation, i don't know how much more it could be hurt. >> okay. this movie is based on a book. >> absolutely. >> yes. which was well reported, but also relied on a lot of unnamed sources. it's not like it's made up, but it is based on palin's people make the point that the movie adopts the view of those that are not palin fans. >> that's what they say, howie. again, without proving that. i talked to the director of the picture. i am satisfied that his standards are the same standards that you would use for -- you or i would use for a nonfiction book. they did not invent -- he claims -- i don't know. i have to take his word on this. he claims they did not invent dialogue, where that the information that they had what
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happened in a room came from people that were in that room, and i just have to say that because it's really important. this is a more sympathetic -- there's a scene where julianne moore as sarah palin is sitting on the plane after the charlie gibson interviews and she's watching tina fey ask sarah palin on set. yes. that's a very smart thing. but, but you see it pass across her face because moore is a great actress the pain she felt seeing herself ridiculed. they treat her as a human being. they don't treat her as a characterure. >> we'll talk about it some more. gale, just -- sfwla if the movie compresses. a complete work of nonfiction. >> i think that it's in that gray area of a docu-drama.
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i think that a lot of it is based on firsthand observation and some of it is to serve the dramatic storyline, so it's up to the viewer to try and find that fine line where you have to get into the world of willing suspension of disbelief. it was a great book. i trust the book, and i think it's interesting that all of a sudden that sarah palin is coming out of the wood work, and people are coming out, and debating the veracity of something they haven't seen yet. bottom line, it's entertainment, and i think it will do very well. >> as you say, more people will probably tune in because of the advanced controversy -- >> governor christie of new jersey got some questions about he had just in the state vetoed same-six marriage bill and put it to our friend, voters of new jersey, jonathan kapar challenged him on that. let's watch the exchange. >> governor christie.
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>> yeah. >> i heard you say that you have your feet firmly planted next to president obama on this issue, but the key difference between you and the president is while you support putting the simple rights of a minority for public referendum, the president is not in favor of that. >> i'men going to be cross-examined by you, this morning. secondly -- >> you're going to lose. let's just move on. >> if i were to get married to my partner and say that he is gay, then i like aggressive interviews. but with the -- did he seem to be pushing a personal -- >> that aspect of it didn't bother me at all. you know what bothered me, howie, when i watched this was the way he seemed so much an advocate for president obama. it was like he was championing obama saying obama is better than you. you know?
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and that's what i think got christie mad. it was that i don't think people in the press should be -- like the president. he has all kinds of people. >> obama's position and christie's position is the same in this respect. neither supports gay marriage. >> i'm not a big advocate of reporters coming out during an interview because i think that it can give the xwreg that they are pushing the agenda no matter what they're interviewing about. i don't think it was necessary for jonathan kapart to come out for this particular issue. it would be like -- >> shouldn't he just kind of put that on the table in that context? >> no. no. i disagree. >> it would be like interviewing rick santorum and telling the audience that you're a catholic and interviewing him about contraception or birth control. it's not necessary. many some ways it's self-indulgent and in some ways it was too emotional. not that i disagree with his
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stance overall as far as kapart. i'm gay too. i don't announce it during every interview. i don't see the point. i think that he was getting agitated, and i think he did exactly what christie wanted him to do. i think he loves these kind of confrontations. he is a former prosecutor. he took control of it right away. interrupted him. >> you shouldn't say you're catholic, you're gay, you're -- >> i don't think you have to. i don't think there's any -- that aspect of it, but i don't think you have to. questions of identity are very complicated and personal in some ways, and i don't think that you immediate to be part of that conversation at all. >> yes. >> all right. for example, i wouldn't -- >> i'm out of time. >> okay. >> all right. let me move on. coming up next, bill maher's million dollar gift to a pro-obama super pac, does that
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bill maher makes no secret of his liberal view, and he is a satirist, but he conducts a somewhat serious political discussion now and then on his
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hbo show. for me at least this came as a surprise. >> i would like to tonight announce a donation to the obama super pac, which has the very unfortunate tongue twister name priority usa action. i know. it was named by borat. [ laughter ] but tonight i would like to give that pac $1 million. >> a million dollars. gale shuster, does this make bill maher look like an obama shil? >> it's hard to make any kind of judgment on bill maher. i mean, he is the guy who called the 9/11 terrorists courageous. don't forget. what that stirred up. this is a guy who has made a fortune by being a kind of -- about everything there is, and he is constantly changing the ruldz. his best-selling book is "new rules" and he has a book two
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coming out. i wouldn't hold him to anything about this. i suspect that he will not lay back on obama just because he is giving him $1 million. i, too, was very surprised about it because i've heard he is cheap. >> well, he is. certainly we learned something aboutaccount. but david, you know, maher is not a journalist, but everyone knows keith olbermann is a liberal. nbc suspended him for giving money to three democratic candidates. here's maher giving seven figures to a candidate for president of the united states. >> yeah, i thought about that. i thought the difference with olbermann was he was flying under the banner of nbc news over at msnbc. so i think there is a difference there. a couple things about this. one, i sometimes think maher is there to test my commitment to free speech sometimes as a critic with the things he says. >> right. he's criticized super pacs. and now he told the daily beast,
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i don't like super pacs, but they exist to everyone's got to play under the same rules. you don't have any problem with it? >> listen, to me, it does undermine. i'll tell you, one of the ways it undermines him, howie, he announced it on his concert that streamed on yahoo! and he's got his series. his hbo series is coming back with live shows. in some ways this is publicity. i wish he'd have done it when he didn't have something to sell because look at the publicity he's already got for this. it's not $1 million, probably, but you and i are talking about it. >> i think there would be a big fuss if dennis miller gave money. we have about a half minute left. when maher makes fun of romney or santorum or gingrich, are people going to say, well, he's pushing an agenda? >> i can't imagine because the people who watch maher are not going to accuse him of pushing an agenda. and his fans who love him the
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most usually are chemically altered, and i don't even think they'll notice. >> you're right about dennis miller, though. i think there would be more push. >> they've got to be sober and at the same time, you both team to be perfectly comfortable with it. david zurich -- >> perfectly comfortable. >> gail, thanks very much for stopping by. abc gets inside a factory that makes ipods. and the website mediaite raises the bar. "the media monitor" is coming your way. newtons fruit thins, one unique cookie. newtons fruit thins, chchasase e scscenene,e, x cocomimingng s soooonn exextrtra a bubutttter titickcketets,s, s swon pepengnguiuin n jojouruy jujuninioror m minints momoviviefefononee evevilil p pririncncee bobollllywywoooodd 3-3-dd shsharark k atattatack nened d ththe e hehead 5%5% c casashbhbacackk ririghght t nonow,w, g getet 5 k onon m movovieies.s. itit p payays s toto d di.
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time now for the "media monitor." our weekly look at the hits and errors in the news business. since "the new york times" reported on unsafe and overcrowded conditions at the chinese factories with ipods and ipads are made, apple has been on the defensive. it was a coup for bill weir to get inside the gates of one factory where there have been a number of suicides. what i really liked was the way he described the conflicts with this story. >> for the record, our parent company disney and apple have strong ties. our ceo sits on their board and the trust is disney's largest
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shareholder. but i only agree to report exactly what i saw on this, the first look inside the i-factory. >> it became obvious that a strange american with a camera crew only gets so much candor. >> so if there was one thing that you could change about your job here, what would it be? but plenty of people like this had no problem telling me that the dorms are too crowded and the trees block the sunshine and the food prices are too high. >> abc may not have seen everything, but this was a serious attempt at covering a secretive company. dick morris, the high-profile fox news commentator, also wr e writes a column for "the hill." at the same time, he still dabbles in republican politics. as media matters pointed out, the two sometimes overlap. for instance, morris wrote a column attacking indiana senator richard lugar as a rhino, republican in name only, for supporting a law. but last fall, he was the headliner at a fund-raiser for
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richard murdoch. he's also written favorably about gingrich and cain and her campaigns have got him to name e-mail lists. "the hill" publishes many strong opinion articles from left and right written by well-known people active in partisan politics. when we think a specific disclosure is needed, we provide it. we are confident that "the hill's" readers are being kept well informed in this regard. i think in this case they should be kept a little more well informed. now, buzz bizinger took a shot at ed rendell saying it would be a disaster for him to buy "the philadelphia inquirer" and "the daily news." when he got him to stop talking about the negotiations even if he was waterboarded. that lasted long. two days later he did talk about it again to abuse on a radio show. when asked, he asked if he would stop writing about him and his partners. >> if it's a legitimate story
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involving you or lieu its katz or snider or norcross, it's going to run? >> yeah, it's going to run. >> and you're just going to suck it up then? >> i'd pick up the phone and go, are you guying effin'crazy? it doesn't try to sweep its mistakes under the cyber rug. the website had mistakenly accused the nbc commentator of supporting singer chris brown, the one who smacked rihanna around. after admitting its reporter had misinterpreteded a tweet, it was shoddy journalism on our part. a look at his feed before and after the comment would have confirmed his true intention, criticizing brown. we went to stress that this was an error. a stupid, lazy error that should never have happened. and it's inexcusable. we're putting this apology out with greater force than the original story, and it only hope that toure accepts our sincerest

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