tv Reliable Sources CNN August 20, 2017 8:00am-9:00am PDT
meaning it does show progress. they're smallest in the tech world, only 26% were female according to the bureau of labor statistics. but even with things looking up, there is a long way to go. thanks to all of you for being part of my program this week. i will see you next week. welcome to our viewers in the united states and around the world. this is "reliable sources" our weekly program about the media. this is not a normal week so this is not a normal show. president trump's actions and inactions in the wake of charlottesville are provoking some uncomfortable conversations, mostly off the air if we're being honest. in discussions among friend gs and family and on social media people are questioning the president's fitness. but it's happening in media rooms as well after the stories
are off, the stories been put to bed, fears and questions come out. questions that feel out of bounds, off limits, too hot for tv. questions like these. is the president of the united states a racist? is he suffering from some kind of illness? is he fit for office? and if he's unfit, then what? these are upsetting polarizing company that are uncomfortable to ask. but we can't pretend like our re readers have viewers aren't asking. they are asking. this is how deep the country's divide has become. since president trump's inauguration, there's been a lot of tiptoeing going on. his actions have been described
as unpresidential, unhinged and sometimes even crazy. that word crazy can be interpreted several different ways. it gets said more in private than on tv. this sound bite was never meant to be heard on tv at all. susan collins was overheard saying that trump's handling of spending was incredibly irresponsible. jack reed responded by saying he thinks trump is crazy. >> this is crazy. i don't say that -- >> no. >> -- lightly. you know as he's a goof fi guy. >> bob corker questioned the president's stability. watch. >> the president has not yet -- has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability nor some of the competence that he needs to demonstrate in order to be successful. >> some democrats, not
surprisingly have gotten further. a california democrat asked if trump has early stage dementia. she wants a medical, mental exam conducted. another one called for trump's e removal under the 25th amendment. al gore said he should resign. you saw late night economics got very serious this week. jimmy kimmel made jokes about making trump a powerless king but he meant what he said. >> i'm asking you, the people who supported donald trump to step in and help for the good of this country. mike pence is ready. he's boring, relatively scene, looks lieg a neighbor you might borrow a lawn mower from. let's make america great great britain again. >> you've seen the sunday paper.
the paper is filled for cries with change. this is the "los angeles times" enough is enough. trump is, quote, a danger to the constitution a threat to our
democratic constitutions. this brings me back to the questions that are tough to ask out loud on national television. is the president of the united states suffering from some sort of illness? is he racist? is he fit to be commander in chief? and one more, is it time for objective journalists, i don't mean opinion folks i mean down the middle journalists to address these questions head on and how do they do it? carl bernstein says yes, they should be asked. he's joining us along with douglas br douglas brinkley. >> carl first to you, you've
been asking about the president's stability for quite some time. what is it you think reporters should be doing to tackle this uncomfortable subject? >> i've been raising questions as a journalist about the fact that republicans in congress, the highest of intelligence officials, the highest of military officers in our country, leaders of the business community, all of whom have dealt with the white house and many of them dealt personally with donald trump, have come to believe that he is unfit for the presidency. that's what i'm learning as a reporter talking to many, many people in washington who, over the last month or two, have come to that conclusion. and especially among republicans in congress. they have been raising the very question of his stability and his mental fitness to be president of the united states. this is not me, carl bernstein saying this. this is me being a reporter. and what i have advocated and
said it is an important, crucial, dangerous story that reporters need to start making their business to do the reporting. to go to all the republican members of congress and talk to them in private or on the record, if they will, about what they believe to be the fitness or unfitness of donald trump to be president of the united states. >> when reporters do they they get a no comment right? they get a no comment? how do they get to the issue if gop leaders won't talk about it? >> first of all, i think you're not going to get too many people who will do what bob corker did on the record and question the president's stability. let's find out. i think the first task is to remember that most of the good reporting, real deep reporting investigative reporting we do does involve anonymity to our
sources. i don't think we should talk to democrats about this question. we need to go to republicans in congress, we need to go to the top intelligence officials, military officials and ask them on background as we call it in our profession, and perhaps off the record, what do they think about the president's stability and fitness to be president of the united states. because many of those, for weeks and months, that i've been talking to have openly questioned it and in the past couple weeks it's been a cascade, a torrent, a river, a serious question about whether the president of the united states is fit and stable enough to be president. >> if that's the case, if what carl is saying, alice, isn't that the biggest story in the world right now? >> look -- >> yes. >> -- first of all this is not
the first time this question has come up. if you recall back during the campaign can be candidate trump questioned hillary clinton's fitness to be president due to her private e-mail. so we've had this question asked before. as a previous journalist before i got into politics, if people are raising this question which we're seeing across the aisle, it is a legitimate story to cover. it is a legitimate question to ask people because elected officials are raising it. however what we see lately it's democrats raising the question. specifically in light to what has happened in the last week to the president's response to charlottesville, there is a lot of emotion as a result of that and we're having many democrats questioning his stability. as you mentioned, bob corker as well. but i think it's really important to consider the fact that while we disagree on the issues when we're talking about
being unfit. i view this as a political issue than a medical issue. many people disagree with the president's policies. many people this week have questioned his moral take on some of the issues we're having this week with regard to racism and hay trtred. while he did denounce it, the moral equivalency he placed on it has raised questions. but when we're talking about his finance for office and questions about the 25th amendment to the constitution, whether or not he should be removed for medical reasons we had dem adam schiff on earlier saying we're too far away from the possibility of removing him from office. if people are raising the question, it's a valid topic for journalists to cover but we need to look at this as whether it's a political difference as opposed to a serious medical problem. >> talking about these issues,
if reporters are trying to per sue some disturbing questions about the president's finance for office, aren't many conservatives and trump voters view this as trying to subvert the president. >> senator corker is a real leader among republicans and it was brave of him to step out and talk about the fact we have an incompetent president and what does that mean for our country. there are thing that is can be done right now. on t on the medical front we all know he is a billboard for overt nars schism. malignant self-love. now we're getting the ramifications as a nation of having a sick man in the white house means. >> a sick man in the white house. >> he is. he's not mentally stable. we need a -- perhaps the senate
needs to do a sensor coming up here. general kel sli going to have to continue to try to stop him from taking to the mike and dividing our country like he did at trump tower. the government is going to have to run -- the white house has to run almost around the president. we saw nixon with halderman. he would tell him go bomb brooking institute or wounded knee and people started disregarding what he said. i think we're at that state now when the five generals of the joint chiefs of staff have to go out and enter politics and say we want nothing to do with what the president is saying. this is a crisis in the white house -- >> i agree it's the white house in crisis. >> can i interrupt for a minute? >> i'm sorry, carl, go ahead. >> his point about a crisis and
a dangerous situation is absolutely right. and that is again what we ought to be reporting only in terms of what republicans particularly, military leaders are saying in private or publically. but this is not a -- i don't think this is a question of removal from office under the 25th amendment and a highly politicized event such as that which is very unlikely to happen. the national emergency that some of these republicans are talking about in those kinds of terms are their view that the president is unstable, not competent, also not honest so that there has been a basic deterioration of the conduct of the president of the united states and how to deal with that. our job as reporters is to find out what the real story is there. maybe what i'm being told is not as pervasive as i believe it is. let's find out.
but we need, as journalists to make this our primary function right now in many regards in terms of covering this presidency. but doing it very thoughtfully and carefully and this is not about our opinions. this is about what others are saying who know the president and the institution, and incidentally there are people who have left the white house that i've talked to that say the same thing and are very worried about the stability of the president of the united states. >> to your point, it's not our about our opinions. is it possible, alice, as a conservative commentator, is it possible to cover this subject without further ail len nating trump voters. >> trump voters as we've seen over the last week and the entire campaign, they are going to stand by him. they are going to be with him through thick and thin come heck
or high water. we weave seen that this week. there have been outrageous stories brought up in this campaign and reporters would routinely call me saying i know this is ludicrous but i have to ask the question. i view journalists covering this, it may seem outlandish to cover the president's fitness but if people are talking about it, it's their responsibility. >> and americans are. >> it's their responsibility to cover it. the general said it was immaterial with regard to his fitness because he has surrounded himself with good people talking about mattis and the new chief of staff kelly. they're looking at that aspect surrounding himself with good strong people that help him make the right decision and stay on
track. >> panel please stay with us. we're going to bring you back after a break. >> and also, fake news as a new adversary in steve bannon. are reporters equipped to cover the truth about race relations in america, that's coming up marquee interior. behr's most advanced one-coat hide paint. only at the home depot. at whole foods market, we believe in food that's naturally beautiful and fresh. delicious and powerful, and full of nutrients. so there are no artificial colors... no artificial flavors... no artificial preservatives... and no artificial sweeteners... ...in any of the food we sell. we believe that the food we eat connects us to the natural world and to each other. we believe in real food™.
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. welcome back to reliable sources. tuesday was supposed to be about infrastructure. that's how trump began his remarks. his aides were not expecting him to take questions. but he attacked back. this is what you didn't see at the time. this is what it looked like from cnn jim acosta's perspective. >> you had people that were very fine people on both sides. >> no, sir the nazi. there are no fine people in the nazis. >> you know the rest. since that impromptu press, trump has not answered a single
question and the press corp. has not gone on tv. silence except for the twitter feed. tonight trump returns to the white house and it's unclear what happens next. let me bring in a white house correspondent for the associated press. john you were there for all of it this week. the saturday initial response for charlottesville, monday's clean up attempt, tuesday's presser. >> it was remarkable how we got to that moment. we had a couple days at his golf club where we took over 50 questions in two days. he hadn't answered a question to the media in ages. we got him immediately, seemed to be seeking it out. >> he seemed to love it. >> then charlottesville happens. he's still at bedminster, he gives his statements, walks off, i and other reporters were
shouting questions about his relationship with white nationalist, he didn't answer. monday happens, he was happy with how he dealt with the situation. he truly believed there were insta ga or thes on both sides of the clash but aides convinced him he needed to denounce white supremacists more specifically and he did. then tuesday morning we saw a go do down. he finished his statement and proceeded to combat with the press corp. he was denouncing reporters that video with jim acosta is a good example. but he pressed his point and left many on the sidelines, white house aides, there's the famous kn
famous photo of john kelly with his eyes down and sarah huckabee-sanders. >> why do you think that. >> he had broken with the plan, she was trying to see if they could raeign it in. there was one young aide whose mouth dropped. >> dropped when. >> i think it was the third or fourth time he said there was responsibility both sides. it was his staff that he signed off where he made the denunciation against supremacists. surprise he went back. >> what do you make of the silence from the white house since. >> first of all the president spoke from his heart, this is what he believes. there's a reluctance to cotra dikt him publically. this is a tough moment for the white house. there are aides there -- this happens when the presidential says something controversial, aides talk to reporters say
they're dismayed but no one has publically said they disagree with the president and taken a step to resign. >> let's go back the our panel. when we think about a situation like this, are there precedents for it? have you ever seen a presidential press conference like this? >> no. there's nothing like it. i mean, there's the famous one when richard nixon said i'm not a crook. and our jim acosta is like the goating dan rather. but for donald trump to be backing neo-nazi and have -- he should be in the bart lets book of quotations, jim acosta, there are no fine nazis. trump is backing nazis with no understanding of what we did in world war ii and the horror of what nazis are. it was a jaw dropping moment
never before seen in history. >> the access hollywood tape out in october, journalists wrote off his chances and now he's in the white house. is there a risk of an overreaction. >> not if we do our job. there are many commentators who do opinion pieces i'm talking about reporting. i'm going to look at one of these republicans i talked to, we have a fundamental problem that the president does not know right from wrong and is not stable. we keep hearing about these military leaders keeping the president from doing dangerous things. and i would say as somebody who spent 50 years as a reporter around washington that this is an unprecedented situation, a dangerous situation such as we've never seen for an extended period of time, we had nixon in
the last days in the white house, yes, he was a bit unstable perhaps then, but understandably given the circumstances of him having to leave office. this is different. it's ongoing. i would say if we are depe dent on the military leaders, four or five of them, to protect the united states. i would say the time is the story is is it time for the president to be urged to leave the office by those in his party and the same military leaders who understand the dynamic at work here. and there's the question of the people in the white house, when do they become clab ray or thes, as opposed to particularly -- cl colab ray or thes -- >> all this talk about military leaders foreign correspondents
bring up the word cue, a soft queue. >> that has been discussed and people wonder what happened at camp david over the last few days and whether or not that was sort of an intervention. but let me say this. while yes, there has been nonstop coverage on what happened in charlottesville and the president's response to this, and so many in the media are focus odd what he said in the first and third response to this saying there's blame on both sides and a moral equivalency by those protesting and the ones standing up to them. but what his base and republicans are hearing he did denounce the klu klux klan, white nationalist, neo-nazi and that's what more conservative news outlets are stressing the fact he denounced these hate actions and went out of his way to make sure and fact check exactly what happened before he
maet made a statement. so i think so much focus is put on with what he said regarding the blame, many in his face are covering the fact they denounced it and that is the only takeaway his supporters are having from this coverage. >> the takeaway is the press, the media are never satisfied. thank you to our panel for being here. steve bannon gone but not forgotten. he's out of the oval office but says he still has the president's back. what does that mean for the media landscape. going. humira has a proven track record of being prescribed for nearly 10 years. humira works inside the body to target and help block a specific source of inflammation that contributes to symptoms. in clinical trials, most adults taking humira were clear or almost clear and many saw 75% and even 90% clearance in just four months. humira can lower your ability to fight infections,
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welcome back to "reliable sources" president trump's chief strategist steve bannon was a mystery. which is why snl was able to depict him as the grim reaper. he loved that. he wanted that dark persona out there. but he's chummy with reporters and that's continued even now he's forced out of the white house. he's back at "breitbart" news and president trump weighed in on that saying it's great. steve bannon said, i feel jacked up, now i'm free i've got my hands back on my weapons. so think about that when he has his hands on his weapons he's talking about "breitbart," hez media company being the weapons. joining me now, jonathan ramirez
and joshua green is here cnn political analyst. so joshua, what do you think -- what is bannon talking about when he says he has his hands back on his weapons? what does that tell us about him. >> he can use breitbart news, the outlet in the political wars. the same way he did before the trump administration. it's a story choice and who it tends to go after and the stories it reports about it has an affect on the culture. and we know there are things bannon wants to do that he wouldn't able to do from inside the white house. now he can push the same policy outlets from inside "breitbart." >> do you think he's interested in launching a television network. >> this is something discussed in the closing days of campaign.
the fact that trump had this list of 12 to 14 million small donors who are loyal to him and could be built into an audience. bannon has said tv is not where it's at -- >> wait. we're on cnn here. >> this is what he said. they are internet based and, you know, that fox news is for old conservatives and the rising generation, populist conservatives were more web focussed. maybe now he's been in and out of the white house he does have a broader vision of what could encapsulate a tv presence. he told me in an interview after he was removed on friday that he is looking to go global. he's going to grow "breitbart," but it's not sure what that medium is going to be. >> what does it mean for the white house and the press corp.? i don't think i'm giving away
any secretariy sek credit rets saying he was a source. are we going to see more. >> i believe so. yes, until this rash of on the record interviews, in recent days including one that may or may not be intentional -- he would rarely be quoted by name but his fingerprint was on them. in the white house there is some nervousness how this will play out. it's not that he's going to go after democrats and established republicans like paul ryan. there is suggestion that some of his enemies in the white house could be affected by "breitbart." he is reluctant to take on the president by name, at least for a while. but he said he's going to push the white house to fulfill the campaign promises. >> do we make too much of
bannon's power? if he had been successful, wouldn't he still be at the white house? >> it is a fact you have more power inside the white house to affect policy than you do outside the white house. however "breitbart" was a powerful force in politics while steve bannon was at the helm. they did drive the republican party not just through "breitbart" but because there's a conservative structure of talk radio and web sites, that stopped more or less when bannon went into the white house. because the association with "breitbart" was problem attic for him. now that he is uninhibited and can push whatever arguments he wants publically, it could be he has more influence in shaping the public debate and putting
influence on t influence administration than he did when he was in the room. >> there's been a guessing game on who was taking the director job, now that there's an interim, what does that mean? >> hope hicks has been an original member. stayed out of the spotlight, smartly. >> never did an interview. >> that's right. she was with ivanka trump. she's extremely loyal -- >> does it mean he can't find an outsider. >> they've had trouble finding people in the past. they're going to look for a permanent person, hope hicks will still wheel power at the white house. she was the only aide in the room a few weeks back. so she is going to be someone -- whether she hold it is title, it's unclear whether she wants it, she is going to have influence in the white house. >> up next the aftermath of
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why does it take tragic events like charlottesville to get the media to focus on issues of racism, the rise of hate groups and white rage. what do you think of this video from vice? they got right in the faces of the neo-nazi, kkk members on the campus of uva back nine days ago, that friday night. this video, so vivid, you heard the hateful chants up close and personally. became a sensation on you tube, facebook. it was all over television because cameras went there and got right in the center of it p all. when is that harmful and when is that helpful? let's talk through the issues with two people, nicole hanna
jones a staff writer, and unanimous see ya rega, a staff writer. >> it was so raw and shocking we thought we had seen everything from charlottesville but then we saw that vice documentary. is it ever harmful to give these racists a flat form like that or is it helpful? >> it's an interesting question. i think it's important for us to see what's happening and out there. and that ignoring it allows us to pretend that there hasn't always been large numbers of people who believe in the things that were exposed in that video. >> there's a lot of denialism you think going on until you see it in that footage? >> absolutely. i think while i work in print, print can be powerful but to see people, hear them in their own words see how sin sister it was, there's nothing like that
especially for people like us who have been working for years to say this undercurrent of racism has never gone away. there's no way you can deny it when you see the vice documentary. >> you used to work at the times, now you're at cnn. you've spoken about media diversity and how it's exhausting to have the same conversations over and over again without seeing measure rabble change. is that a change to you this week that you're seeing conversations of race when they're not usually happening. >> absolutely. ignoring this type of hate and bigotry isn't something that people of color and marginalized communities have the luxury to do. even the morning of charlottesville, i think we were seeing people saying ignore this, these are hate filled people. when you're the victim or intended target of groups like that it's not something you can say i'm not going to pay any mind to that.
as individuals we can't do that and as journalists we can't either. race is often something treated as a trend. we have a nazi rally we have to jump on this now, when it's not a trend. it's something people live every day and we have to treat it as a fabric of our society. >> if "newsroom"s were appropriately diverse. if there were proportional numbers of minorities working in the newsrooms would it be treated as a trend. >> i suspect not. >> i suspect they would be treated equally if they were staffed more fully, right. >> you have the issues of staffing and do staff represent the demographics of the count, they do not. and if you have a more diverse staff these stories will be
covered. but we all know you have journalists of color who are pushing the stories but are not allowed to tell them. >> what do you mean not allowed to tell them? because the top bosses don't want to hear it. >> also that this is a niche story. it's a story that affects only small numbers of americans or even a disbelief that there is a st story. you think about the reporting of police violence. reporters of black and brown color have known it was an issue. but you're not able to tell those stories because white editors don't think they're stories. diversity has to be at the top. who's running the "newsroomnews. >> i think there's the question of bias. i get the question of what i cover, can you be objective covering race as a woman of color. this is journalism we do, but we
also have standards for what in this country we consider right or wrong. i think the society of professional journalists might have released some guidance on that, it's okay to call out discrimination. that's part of what we do as journalists. this idea if we're calling out racism is bias, makes our reporting less valid, that's something newsroom managers have to pay attention to. >> you're saying sometimes blacks or hispanics are asked questions about their biases. >> i have. i've been asked, ask you cover this without bias. i ask people that, do we question white men perhaps covering issues relate today white men. we need to think about that. >> the notion that the ompeople who experience rehabilitate race are people of color is, of course, absurd.
white americans face race as well and what they choose to color or not color is heavily influenced by what they've faced in this country. >> i was looking at sbj.org the g guidance is interesting. more here after the break on reliable sources. "reliable sour. . at whole foods market, we believe in food that's naturally beautiful and fresh. delicious and powerful, and full of nutrients. so there are no artificial colors...
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is this a pr move this a pr. what we watched in charlottesville and the reaction to it by the president of the united states concerns all of us. he didn't stop there. he kept going. to further demonstrate our commitment, my wife and i donated z $1 million to the antidefamation league. he said his business has tried
to contribute to a diverse and toll ler rant society. >> what does james murdock means he's donating to the adl. i want wonder your ininterpretation of this. what viewers of fox are hearing about charlottesville and about the president's reaction is very different than what's been heard in the rest of the press. >> so i think there's two things to think about here. number one are' seeing a lot more corporate involvement and condemnation about this president and the comments he made and the -- >> that's right. >> so we've seen companies pulling out. and this is another step in that ecation. i think what's interesting would be to ask journalists of color working at fox how they take this. journalists that are from different groups working at this
organization. what's happening behind the scenes there. i think it sends a very strong message but see if that trickles down to the content. >> there is a suit pending now. we also heard from another ceo this week. making a stand against the president. in that case, speaking on behalf of viewering of univision. do you think that it's appropriate to see media ceos weighing in like that? we've seen a lot. but media ceos takes it to a different place. >> i don't know that i have an opinion on that that i'm going to express. >> that's an unusual answer on cable news and i actually really appreciate that. >> i think in general we are brought up not to, as journalists not to tell our viewers or readers our opinions. i think in general, that's a good practice, but i'm not going to comment on that. >> when does that change? jake tapper said to me, yes, we
keep our opinions in many cases to ourselves but on issues of decency and facts, that's when journalistst have to speak out. >> i agree. i think that's the difference. when we're talking about what this president has said and done that's exactly the reporting carl bernstein was referring to. we're doing it based on what he says and doesn't say and based on his policies. so anybody that's been following the policies of the administration can tell you not just the rhetoric, but the actual policies being implemented or attempting to be so, the muslim band, language about mexican immigrants, all of this is leading up to actual reporting and taking away what this president means. >> more stories to tell. thank you both for being here. we're out of time on tv but continue on reliable sources.com. since up for the nightly news letter there. sign up at reliablesources.com. see you back here next week.
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