tv Reliable Sources CNN June 10, 2018 8:00am-9:00am PDT
i'm brian sell the ter, t-- stelter, this is reliable sources. this week the loss of anthony bourdain. we're here to find out how this meal with anthony changed his life. we'll also have a frank conversation about how to cover and how not to cover suicide. plus, president trump cracking down on leaks as the justice department seizes a reporter's e-mails and phone records. buzz feed editor is here. but, first, if you snooze,
you lose. right now is the worst time for news fatigue, and the best time for reporters to be thinking differently about how to tell stories. this new pew survey is a wake-up call. it finds that roughly 7 out of 10 americans say they feel worn out by the amount of news out there. do you feel it? i sure do. news fatigue. now is not the time to take a nap. i mean, look what's going on. president trump excels at making news. he shocked the world again last night by criticizing canada and insulting the g7 on his way to singapore. let's go back a few days. trump started the week off by disinviting the team from the white house and lying about the team. then he went to a fema meeting about hurricane season but only briefly mentioned puerto rico, never acknowledging the new estimates about the death toll there. the washington post got trump's
private remarks. he went on about his popularity, political endorsements, defense department purchasing guidelines and coal. >> trump says he has the absolute right to pardon himself and on kim kardashian west's advice he did pardon alice johnson and he said he was considering pardoning mohamed ally who doesn't need a pardon since his conviction was overturned by the court. trump continued to bash the special counsel calling it unconstitutional. it's not. trump's lawyer rudy giuliani said robert mueller is trying hard to frame donald trump. ended the week by finally new obstruction charges against manafort and one of his long-time business associates. trump keeps talking, mueller keeps working. the so-called witch hunt snags another witch. are you tired yet? are you numb? i'm not done.
the list of trump world scandals keeps growing. the stories of epa chief scott pruitt stacking up at a dizzying pace. other stories are embarrassing. it's a lot to keep track of, which means it's a really bad time to have news fatigue. what can news rooms do to lp joining me now is an all-star panel. david froome, author of "trumpocracy." and a journalist from pointer and columnist with the "boston globe" and with me here in new york, steven ba ril, founder of court tv. do you feel what i'm feeling? are you feeling this news fatigue, too? >> absolutely, and, you know, not only am i feeling it. the pew survey that you referred to showed that seven in ten americans are feeling it. it's an even more pronounced feeling among republicans, conservatives and people who we found in our pointer media trust survey don't like the media,
don't trust the media, don't like the coverage. i hear this routinely from everyone i know, whether they're in the news business or not, that they're wanting to delete twitter from their phone, delete facebook and turn off from the news because it's so depressing. what i think the problem is overload. when there's outrage every single day, the president manages to normalize it and effectively it means we stop paying attention to really what is outrageous because everything seems outrageous or that's his plan. >> this pew study found a slight difference between the republicans and democrats. 77% of republicans said they felt news fatigue. only 61% of democrats. that's still a high number for both parties. overall as you can see, 68% of people worn out by the amount of news. steve, are there solutions that news rooms can be helping with? are there ways for news rooms to help with people to make sense from all of the nonsense? >> i think the news rooms are doing a pretty good job.
the problem is the fatigue. for example, the washington post has done a series of stories not just about, you know, the scott pruitt scandals and embarrassments but about how the trump administration has undermined the basic hidden functis of the government, whether it's the department of agriculture, whether it's the department of health and human services, whether it's making decisions in court, for example, not to defend the pre-existing conditions regulation. all of this really important stuff is going on in terms of what the government is doing that is getting drowned out by the pruitt stuff and the president's, you know, continuing -- >> by the tweet of the day. >> -- tweet. that's a real problem because we're going to wake up in a year or two and see the basic functions of government, which i tried to cover in the book i just did, the basic functions have been undermined by termites
who have been put into the government who are people who don't believe in those functions of the government and want to undermine them, whether it's letting the pay day lenders, you know, go back to charging 100% interest a week. it's all that stuff that we're not able to pay attention to. >> my concern is that we're not always telling the big picture story. we're telling lots and lots of hour by hour stories about trump and changes in government. here's what jay rosen wrote about the big picture of what's going on. he's a big trump critic. he said the marginalization of science, contempt for diplomats, refusal to prepare for meetings, the campaign to discredit the press, it's all one story but it's not told that way. do you think that's a fair point? >> i think it's a fair point, but i also think maybe it has to be packaged differently. >> packaged differently? >> for example, the washington post i think every month ought
to publish something separately that contains all its good reporting of what's going on inside the government's agencies that people will he to notice because it's packaged differently. it's not just, you know, a story on, you know, the 11th page of the new hampshir you know, on a given wednesday morning. >> right. right. right. >> because this is really important stuff and real people are affected by this. no one's really affected by, you know, scott pruitt's hunt for moisturizer at the ritz carlton. >> although that story was embarrassing. david frum, the subject of the g7, maybe now the g6. president trump has an impromptu news conference. he seemed to be chatty. when a cnn reporter asked him about his relationships with other countries, he said it was a 10. here's how the president reacted with a cry of fake news.
>> who are you with? >> cnn. >> i figured. fake news, cnn. the worst, but i could tell by the -- i had no idea you were cnn. after the question i was just curious who you were with. you're with cnn. >> david, how unusual is it for an american president to make fun of the press not just when he's home but abroad. >> when the president does these things he empowers every thug, every dictator around the planet. to your very first question about news fatigue, if your child is feverishly ill, it can be very fatiguing to sit by her bedside and take care of her but it's what you do. that's your duty and i think your responsibility and it's also a source of satisfaction to you. if your country is ill, you have the same responsibility. you know, there may be things that news rooms can do differently or better to help people keep better track of the stories, but it's also your responsibility as a citizen. you can't put your responsibilities on the press and say, why didn't you make
this easier for me, more entertaining. why didn't you make the news less frightening than it is? i would like a different truth please. the job of the press is to tell you whether it's good news or not. it's your responsibility to accept it and to internalize it and to act on it. in many ways, we got donald trump in the first place as a punishment for not being good enough citizens and our ability to mitigate the harm he's going to do to institutions, to alliances, to the security of the world will depend on our -- as individuals willingness and that means being informed citizens. that's not on the press. >> you voted to a very bruising piece from the atlantic about what happened at the g7 meeting. what i wondered is if you thought about keeping your powder dry when trump is heading into this key meeting with the north korean dictator. is itaggressive, to be so
critical of trump ahead of this summit? >> i don't even understand that question. i had a chance to get inside the meeting a little bit and to tell people what had happened. >> right. >> the trump people want to, i think, suggest that just as the canadians, although they didn't, burn down the white house, it would be justin trudeau's fault. if trump's deal in singapore isn't something he can package. i've written about this, people need to understand the difference between actual success that secures the security of the world and the peace of the world and what trump is going to pass off, which will actually be a tremendous -- which is actually a series of concessions from the north koreans that will make the united states less safe. >> you're saying don't be fooled by the photo op. i think the broader issue is the idea of journalism and patriotism. you've talked about this for many years. journalists, american journalists, they still have a
sense of patriotism. i've heard people on tv saying we're all rooting for this to go well. that's what i mean when i say is it appropriate at this -- >> rooting for it to go well and saying it's gone well when it hasn't be gone well -- >> that's true. >> that's like saying let's root for victory in vietnam as opposed to reporting that, you know, we're winning, we're winning, we're winning in vietnam when we're not. that's hardly patriotic. >> must tell the truth about what's actually happening? >> yes. >> one more piece if i can work you in, indria. trump's conspiracy theory, it's important to recognize his source of information, in this example he was tweeting about the mueller probe, he was tweeting about the new conspiracy theory and that somehow the fbi investigation began in december of 2015. i think we can show on screen the original tweet there. his source for this seems to have been a redit threat on the
outer fringes of the internet. it was picked up by a far right blog and lou dobbs and made its way to the president. have we become numb to how crazy this is? >> look, i had referred to this in my columns as boiling the frog and trump is essentially boiling the frog. you know, that oilld parable th you turn it up on the frog until he doesn't realize it. >> in the mueller probe it seems like the rule of law is the law. it seems like he says i can't obstruct the law because i am the law. i can pardon myself, all sorts of things that are out of the norm, not only a democracy but the outer fringes and even more basic democracy rule of law. this is all incredibly troubling. the boiling of the frog, what bothers me is we're getting numb to this. one way that news rooms can help to this is by not alerting every single thing that happens. everyone of us that carries
around phones know that every little thing gets alerted. maybe we need to figure out what the really big stories are and i might add the important policies that are happening in the background, changes in regulations and it's true at the epa that are making a huge difference for millions of americans and we're not talking about those because we're attracted by the latest, you know, squirrel running across the screen or the latest shiny object. we've been talking about this, brian, and you've had your eyes on it since the beginning of the presidency, but it's not gotten better. we're easily distracted as journalists and american citizens. it's a problem. we need to wake up before we're cooked. >> david frum, thanks for being here, indira, please stick around. steve, stick around. >> buzz feed investigator, ben smith. he's blasting phone and e-mail records. later in the hour, remembering anthony bourdain. jason rosian opens his heart for
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arrested, james wolfe. he denies that he gave any reporter any classified information and watkins also denies that wolfe fr gave him classified information but watkins and wolfe were in a romantic relationship for several years. that's part of the complication here. she said she disclosed that relationship to her employer, first buzz feed and politico, but it makes it a messier story. but let's take that to the side for a moment. the spectacle for a moment to the side and focus on the substance. we're seeing the continuation of aggressive tactics, first utilized by the obama administration against the press, now by the trump administration, by seizing phone records and text message records to try to find out who's talking to reporters. this raise sz really begs the question about how many other journalists may be under similar surveillance. lots to get to here so i'm joined now for an exclusive
interview by ben smith. ben, allie worked for you at buzz feed. she was working on a number of sensitive stories. what was the story that got us to this point? >> well, that's actually one of the really remarkable and strange elements of this indictment. it's for lying to the fbi. story is a great story which nobody has challenged a word or a comma of, about contacts between carter page, the trump adviser, and a couple of those agents and russian intelligence. if you read -- i think people who are interested in this should read that story really closely. the sourcing in that story is really clear. there was an indictment filed in the southern district of new york in 2015. you could have gone down in 2015 and taken a look at it. last year and now to take a look at it. russian spies are talking about
that the american oil executive and his unusual behavior. you read it and think that might be carter page in fact if you were to read it. the other source in the story is carter page saying, yes, that was me. >> you're saying why did the government go hunting after a leaker when page admitted he was this person? >> i don't understand why they would be going hunting for a leaker. why should this be an emergency and keep it from the american people. >> this story was a couple of years at this point. >> last year. >> did you know at that time when allie was writing for buzz feed that she was in a relationship with a staffer? >> it's not appropriate for me to comment. i would also say this by the way is a conversation the department of justice wants us to be having. >> you think they want us to focus on the romantic relationship and whether it's appropriate? >> i don't see why else there
are paragraphs of that in an indictment about a guy who allegedly lied to the fbi. he has text messages from his phone that appear to confirm that in their view he lied to the fbi. i think they would love to have a conversation about a reporter's personal life. they have launched disgusting smears about reporters rather than a conversation about what they were doing, what impelled them to use this last-resort tool covertly spying on journalists. >> but is it appropriate for a reporter to date a source? >> you're making an assumption about who ms. watkins source was in the story that by the way isn't asserted in the indictment and, yeah -- >> okay. >> now a year's worth of phone records get seized. not the calls, not the content of the calls but the records of who she was calling and then. >> andy melon. >> that is shocking that the government is seizing years' worth of records for any
reporter for any reason even if that reporter was dating somebody that was involved. how unusual is that? >> you know, white houses have always gone after reporters. the obama white house escalated this. later said they regretted it. went after fox news, went oafte the associated press. as jake tapper said, we were upset. trump has threatened to escalate it. this could be the beginning of escalation. they could be looking at other reporters phone reports. >> we just don't know, that's the concern here. this could be happening in a widespread way or maybe it's not. >> this wasn't any reporter covering any beat. there is a long tradition in the russian investigation and having reporters report outside of government channels and talking to patriotic government officials who want people to
know what the government is doing. it's how we know, that is how most of us know what is going on but changing that would be a radical attack. >> james wolfe has not been charged with leaking. we want to make that clear. he's been charged with lying. leaker has a bad connotation. you're making the point that patriotic government officials sometimes leak or blow the whistle in order to tell the public what's going on? >> right. there's a long space between the white house official talking in an authorized way to somebody who is blowing the whistle on something that they're there to desperately stop. in the broad middle is people telling the truth about what your government is doing to you to expert careful reporters who are trying to communicate with americans what america's government is doing in the field of war and peace. that is how we have learned about these things for as long as we have been alive. >> the government's argument is
we didn't go snooping on the other reporters, we only sought the records of allie. they have clear evidence that he lied to the fbi and questions about whether he talked to reporters. they insert voluminous correspondence for reasons -- the only reason i can see is to distract from their conduct and try to make this about her? no r no, that's not it. >> thanks for being here. >> the wolfe in2k50i7dictment in tuesday. a look back at anthony bourdain's life and a side of tony you didn't see. and some of the tributes pouring in here at cnn.
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a father, a chef, correspondent, a poet, a renega renegade, an international tv icon. anthony bourdain was one of the greatest storytellers of our time, and most of all he was a friend, a friend to millions of viewers who never got to meet him. i'm sorry, i've been dreading this conversation. i know it's been a couple of
days, but it is still so raw. bourdain took his own life at a hotel in france, and ever since we here at cnn found out on friday morning, we've received thousands of tributes. these are just some of them on cnn.com. i just wanted to read you one of them from jeremy lincoln who writes what i felt. he said, i lived vicariously through tony's show. bourdain joined cnn five years ago and changed us forever. remember, we didn't have shows like "parts unknown" back then. he took a risk by coming here, and cnn took a risk on him. it ended up being incredibly rewarding for everyone. right now i can't picture cnn without him. let me show you some of the tributes that we've seen here at cnn. this is in atlanta at our world headquarters. there's a big poster of anthony on the wall and you can see viewers, fans have been bringing in candles, flowers, writing notes to him on the wall. same here at cnn in new york.
here at our office employees have put up little post-it notes with hearts on pictures of anthony. think about him, the world was his oyster. he reported from the dinner table or walking on the beach. he was the friend we walked and journeyed with to parts unknown, including to iran. a famous episode of "parts unknown" where anthony interviewed jason rezaian. a few weeks later he was arrested and imprisoned in iran. he was freed a year and a half later and he joins me from washington. jason, i know you haven't talked about anthony's death publicly. i'm grateful you're able to talk to me about this. i don't think people know the connection you had to him. some people think the interview he did with you is what landed you in prison. is that true? >> no, it's the furthest thing from the truth, brian, and i appreciate you having me on, giving me an opportunity to talk about this.
you know, our appearance on "parts unknown" for my wife and i was such an important moment in our lives, and we knew that then. and as you mentioned, just a few weeks later we were arrested. and throughout my imprisonment i was always sort of wondering if -- if that conversation that we had with him would make it to air. and i'm so happy that it did. when i was released in 2016, and up until, you know, right now, every time that somebody recognizes me in public i would say nine out of ten times it's because of our appearance on that show. and the show actually had nothing to do with us being arrested. and if anything, i think our appearance there was really one of the most beloved television personalities and people of our generation raised awareness in a
different kind of way that nothing else could have. >> it did help us when you were in prison, i remember, having the video from bourdain's show helped us to be able to broadcast the news of your imprisonment. it gave us a face to put with a name, and i think that was really important. by the way, bourdain did this all around the world. >> right. >> he talked to people all around the world, some of whom ended up in exile, imprisoned, killed by governments. he was telling real stories about international foreign affairs, through food, culture, cuisine. >> i think after so many of those episodes i can only imagine how many people he continued to stay in touch with and connected with. we are two of them and he continues to -- more than the support that he gave and the advocacy that he gave while we were in prison, continued to be a good friend to us after we released counseling us privately
in our interactions with them and how to get through what was a tough re-integration. >> that's what people don't know. >> right. >> he was advocating for you while you were in prison, on cnn advocating for your release and after he got home didn't his book "imprint" acquire your permission? you're working on a book from your time there? >> yes. i had several offers who wanted to publish it but it was a very personal e-mail that i got from tony at really the last hour when i needed to make a decision that put it over the top for me. i got it and read it to yeggi back in late 2016, we just kind of agreed there that we were doing this with tony. we've been with him for a couple of years and we were going to keep going. >> what do you think it was about his storytelling that stood out so much? you know, iran, other countries that he would go to sometimes
seemed mysterious or demonized as terrible. he made it personable. >> in our encounter in iran it was very clear that he let himself be open to the experience and not overly influenced by what he had heard over the years about that country and just let himself be there. i can only imagine that's what he did everywhere he went. >> yes, indeed. jays southern, how should we best pay tribute to him? what do you think are the best ways? >> i think we should keep reading him. we should keep watching his shows. we should keep traveling around the world. one of the things i said to him in that first meeting when we met in tehran was that it's a uniquely american thing to do to get out and see the world and i hope more people continue to do that and open their hearts and minds. >> his 18-year-old book is the number one book on amazon right
now. >> it's incredible. >> people want to re-read. >> they should. all of his other books as well. >> jason, thank you very much for being here. >> thank you, brian. before anthony died cnn was already planning on airing a new episode of "parts unknown" tonight. it's sunday night. they have planned on going forward. tonight's episode 9:00 p.m. eastern features berlin. anderson is taking a special introduction. it will be followed by our special tribute broadcast. when we come back some very important lessons on how the media can help prevent suicide.
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kate spade on tuesday, anthony bourdain on friday. two household names, two deaths by suicide. as a result we've seen a real change of how news rooms are covering these painful stories. cnn is doing lots of other news outlets invisibly listing the national suicide life line number. all three news broadcasts were showing the number encouraging people in a very active way to call for help. there's also the crisis text line. we'll put those numbers up on screen. but let's talk about some of the best practices for journalists when covering these sensitive stories. there's a lot that's been done
wrong in past years and a lot that can be done right. back with me now to discuss this, i snndira, thank you. you wrote about this for pointer. what do journalists get wrong when doing this, indira? >> well, a lot of the problems, pointer's vice president kelly mcbride has been writing about this for years, a lot of the problem is lionizing and describing in detail, not only lionizing the people who have killed themselves but also then describing in too much detail how they do it. academic studies have proven this was a big study in the major scientific journal, medical journal "the lancet" back in 2013 have proven a contagion effect. when there is more coverage there is an increase in suicide. some of the guidelines that pointer has on our website, poynter.org, you can see reporting on suicide.org which is a consortium. a number of organizations got
together including poynter to make clear to your readers, first of all, information about prevention. like you say, the suicide hotline is really important. to also make clear that suicide is not the necessary and natural outcome of depression and adversity. you know, to make all resources available, to use neutral photos in showing the people. also to make neutral headlines, things like anthony bourdain, you know, comma, 61, dead without going into the gory details as much as possible. and also describe trends in suicide factually and without alarm instead of stirring up more information about it. we know that in social media in particularly there is a contagion effect. there's a way to cover suicide in a very neutral way trying to put the focus on relief and treatment that people can get rather than sort of
sensationalizing the details in a way that might encourage other depressed people to follow suit. >> it sounds like in some cases just waiting a minute, thinking through the framing can make a big difference. you know, friday morning i was lo woken up to this at 5:30 a.m. we started having conversations about how we were going to break this news on television and the website. anderson cooper shared some advice. he said, it's not appropriate to say someone committed suicide. anderson's talked about how his brother died 30 years ago and i noticed that in the poynter story as well, we can put it up on the screen. it says avoid using committed suicide except in direct quotations from authorities. alternative phrases like he killed himself, took his own life. the problem with commit is it can imply criminal act. indira, i had never thought about that. it never crossed my mind until friday morning. >> that's right.
this is from ap, the ap style book. it is true that before suicide was considered a crime, and this does imply that, but also part of the guidelines we talk about is using passive voice. >> you know you can do that. that's one case where we tell people to use adjectives, adverbs, put things in passive voice so you're not giving so much agency to the person who was depressed and saw no other way out. i think the crucial thing here is trying to promote the positive and quote experts who talk about how in most people, in the case of most people who are depressed and who think about suicide, most people do not actually kill themselves and so it's a way of having coverage that is measured and doesn't encourage other people to copy cat. that's what we're most concerned about. >> indira, thanks for being here. i appreciate it. >> thanks for talking about this important issue, brian.
>> again, the number on the screen there is 800-273-8255. that's the life line available 24 hours a day. (woman) how old do you think that one is? (man 1) my guess would be, about... (man 2) i'd say about two hundred. (man 1) yeah... (burke) gives houseplant a whole new meaning. and we covered it. talk to farmers. we know a thing or two because we've seen a thing or two. ♪ we are farmers. bum-pa-dum, bum-bum-bum-bum ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens ♪ ♪ bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens ♪ ♪ brown paper packages tied up with strings ♪ ♪ these are a few of my favorite things ♪ ♪ ♪
there is a history of injustice in this country that goes back to the very first day. but there's also a history of people pushing for justice. when we think about fighting the injustice that is this president, i think we should take pride in trying to be part of that tradition. we have a president that has lied over and over again. you know, donald trump is not a law-abiding citizen. president trump has made an abomination of the office.
>> and one of the aspects that i report on is the polarization of the countrynd the media, in fact, trail blazing breakthroughs in the media. technology break throughs that played a big role. if you compare the 1940s and '50s and '60s of the technology breakthroughs in media serve to unite us. we all gather around the radio to listen to an fdr fire side chat. we gather around the television to watch the moon landing, to watch the kennedy assassination end, everybody saw the same set of facts. >> right. >> they were brought to them by the same set of three or four or five different media organizations. that has its own kind of problems. now with technology beginning with cable television and moving onto the internet and moving on
beyond that to social media and news feeds, what we have is exactly the opposite effect of the media breaking us up into little pieces. none of us sees the same set of facts. >> do you see a solution on the horizon to that? >> the best solution is the mainstream media have to work hard harder at keeping the audiences they have. they have to hold the other media, all of us readers and users have to hold everybody accountable. >> it lieds eads me to fox. he gave his first tv interview to anderson cooper. he called fox a destructive
media. >> with the rise of donald trump, it leads them to a destructive analyst machine. they were attacking the rule of law, the fbi, justice department, robert mueller. the intelligence agencies. they're doing it for ratings and profits. they're doing it knowingly in my view. >> i think that everybody has a fair critique when they go after people who engage in propaganda. that can be on the left and that can be on the right. you can see news sites on the left that do that. the fact is that right after 9/11, a high percent of people, 10, 15, 20% thought that 9/11
was an inside job by the bush administration. x percent of the people in america, 10 or 15 or 20%, you know, still think that president obama wasn't born in the united states. those are knowable facts and yet the media,, certain corners of the media have allowed people to digest their own set of facts that they prefer to rathhere. >> and people all the way up to president trump are comfortable. >> the obligation of our political leaders is to counter that. the obligation of our >> my book says is a product of what's been going on for the 40 or 50 years. she not cause of it. >> thanks for being here. >> thank you. >> best of luck.
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he played a huge role. bridging the political divide. that's all for this televised edition of the program. we'll see you back here this time next week. >> odd man out. president trump pulls out of the g7's agreement and issuing a warning to allies. >> we are like the piggy bank. >> is there an actual strategy here? >> we will not be pushed around. plus the president touches down for a summit many thought we would never see.