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CNN RELIABLE SOURCES

Trump: "I'm Running Against the Crooked Media"; Do Normal Journalistic Standards Apply to Trump?; Treatment of Journalists at Trump Rallies. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired August 14, 2016 - 11:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[11:00:09] BRIAN STELTER, CNN ANCHOR: Hey, good morning. I'm Brian Stelter, and this is RELIABLE SOURCES -- our weekly look at the story behind the story, of how news and pop culture get made.

We have quite a show for you this morning.

Ahead this hour, is this cause and effect? Donald Trump is slipping in crucial swing state polls and he's attacking the media like never before. Is he rewriting "The Art of the Deal" with the "art of the blame"?

Plus, the scene at Trump's rallies, some of the hostilities towards journalists might really shock you. I'll ask a reporter who's been there if Trump -- if covering Trump and being at these rallies has her worried about her personal safety.

And later, a leadership change at FOX News. How will change what you see on the screen, on the network? I'll sit down with a journalist who has an exclusive look behind the scenes.

But, first, with apologies to NBC, let's start Donald Trump's favorite show. No, it's not "The Apprentice", it's beat the press. That's what he's doing right now, running an anti-media campaign.

And journalists and editors are honestly struggling over how best to cover a candidate that has a tenuous relationship with the truth and a fondness for conspiracy theories. Trump says the media is trying to take him down. He says they're trying -- we're trying to protect Hillary Clinton.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I'm not running against crooked Hillary. I'm running against the crooked media. That's what I'm running against.

But these are the most dishonest people. The good news is, I love -- you know, I put down failing at "New York Times." The newspaper is going to hell.

Crooked CNN, CNN is so disgusting. CNN.

(BOOS) Oh, look, their camera just shut off. Their camera just went off. That's funny. I got to know all the cameras. All these red lights on.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STELTER: The cameras never did turn off, they continued to broadcast and there were several CNN reporters at the rally last night.

Joining me now for a perspective about how the Trump campaign is being covered by the press, Jason Miller is joining me. He's the senior communications adviser for the campaign.

Good morning, Jason.

I know that you have strong feelings about a "New York Times" story, on the front page of today's paper. You say it's a hatchet job. The story describes Trump as erratic, as sullen. It says here, the headline, "Inside the Failing Mission to Tame Donald Trump's Tongue."

What's inaccurate, if you can tell us, what's inaccurate about "The Times" story?

JASON MILLER, SENIOR COMMUNICATIONS ADVISOR, TRUMP CAMPAIGN: Well, thank you very much for having me on, Brian. I appreciate the warm introduction.

Actually, I believe what I referred to the article as a liberal hatchet job.

This is -- Brian, this is exactly why the American public is so frustrated and irritated at the media and why they view Mr. Trump's campaign is being treated unfairly. There was an article on the front page of the "New York Times" today that had chockfull of anonymous blind quotes and sources, talking about meetings that quite frankly never even happened.

Here's the reality of the campaign. We have an energetic base. We're reaching out. We're talking to folks about how we're going to rebuild the economy. Mr. Trump will be in Youngstown, Ohio, tomorrow, talking about he's going to defeat radical Islamic terrorism. We're putting good messages out there, the stark contrast to Hillary Clinton. We feel good about the campaign, a lot of energy, a lot of excitement.

STELTER: OK.

MILLER: But, Brian, really quick --

STELTER: Are you asking for a correction on anything in the story? Anything you're asking for a correction on?

MILLER: Well, it's completely -- these cakes are already baked before they even get to us. It's completely ridiculous. It's chockfull of --

STELTER: Tell me about that. Tell me what you mean by that. MILLER: Because they're talking about supposed events and meetings

that didn't take place. It's a bunch of people hiding behind nameless --

STELTER: Which meetings?

MILLER: Brian, you read the story. It's talking about things that just quite frankly didn't even exist. I mean, this is a campaign that's energized, we have a great candidate, we have excellent events.

And this whole sky is falling approach that the "New York Times" wants to write up, and quite frankly, it's not just today. It seems to be Groundhog Day where -- every day or every week, "The New York Times" and too many other publications are writing things like this. It's ridiculous. It's chockfull of people who don't want to come out and put their names on what they're saying. And we're going to push back on it.

STELTER: I can imagine, this is a very difficult job you've got. I could imagine you would like to have a flak jacket at times while dealing with reporters. But you're not asking for a correction on any specific facts on the story?

MILLER: Well, again, Brian, the entire premise of the way that you're setting up here I think is ridiculous. I mean, we're being asked to punch at ghosts here. And this is -- when you can have an entire story that has, you know, these supposed quotes and you know descriptions of meetings that quite frankly never even happened.

STELTER: You're sowing doubt about the sources. Donald Trump on Twitter has said that these sources were nonexistent? Do you have any evidence that "The Times" manufactured sources?

MILLER: Brian, that's not what I'm alleging. What I'm saying is that --

STELTER: Why did he say they were nonexistent? I found that to be on offensive.

MILLER: Well, clearly, some reporter, I'm not going to go after reporters by name or try to make this thing personal.

[11:05:05] But clearly, someone is writing down and believing that they're talking to someone. But the fact of the matter is these meetings didn't happen. The entire description of this is garbage.

You ask if we're going to have a retraction. I mean, look, I would urge people to cancel their subscription to the "New York Times" and just not give the paper any more credence if they're going to pull nonsense like this.

STELTER: Full disclosure, I used to work there. I know that when I was using anonymous sources of "The New York Times," I had to tell some of the top editors of the paper who my sources were. So, when Donald Trump says the sources were nonexistent, that means that he thinks they made up the sources. Do you know if he thinks that for sure?

MILLER: I mean, Brian, again, this entire article today was a hatchet job. It was garbage. It's talking about things that didn't exist. And it's just -- you know, when you talk about a retraction, I would take the entire article and throw it in the trash.

STELTER: OK, I know what it's like to have stories written about you that are false. I've been there. I have had stories written about me that were so untrue, I can prove it. I had documents that they could prove they were untrue.

But then I've also had stories written about me that were true but painful. You know, they were true. I wish they hadn't been written. They were embarrassing as hell, but I had to admit they were true. Do you wonder if -- do you feel like these are cases where you don't want the stories written, they are painful to read, but they are still fundamentally true, that there is a struggle behind the scenes of the campaign?

MILLE: Well, first of all, there's not. We have a unified campaign. We have a candidate with that campaign. We have a candidate who knows exactly what he needs to do, and is delivering a concise message talking about the economy, defeating radical Islamic terrorism.

There's important point that you just brought out, Brian, and that is about telling the truth. And part of that means telling all of the truth. And what we're not seeing out of too many publications, "The New York Times" being one, is what exactly is going on with Hillary Clinton's campaign.

We're not seeing the attention that deserves to be paid to the corruption, to the pay-to-play scandals, to the disastrous handling of the Middle East. I mean, this is a campaign that has some serious problems that deleted emails. I mean, as we know, as we saw from the news that came out about Doug Band and Cheryl Mills this week, those emails weren't all about yoga. They weren't all by wedding planning. There is some real deal, corruption and pay-to-play that were in those emails. And we want to know where those 33,000 emails are.

STELTER: Last night, Trump renewed his warning to "The New York Times," saying he might stop giving the paper press credentials. Can you tell me that's actually going to happen?

MILLER: We'll see. I mean, certainly today's article was complete nonsense and we'll be reviewing that very closely.

STELTER: Don't you feel it's undemocratic given that the First Amendment of our Constitution ensures a free press to warn about rebuking press credentials from news outlets?

MILLER: So, our events are open to anyone. Anyone can come to our events. Anyone can sit in the audience. But as far as areas we have blocked off for press credentials and for increased access, look --

STELTER: Right.

MILLER: -- if there's complete biased, ridiculous reporting that's going on, then, look, we have to stand up and defend ourselves.

STELTER: Your message is about media bias. I know that every day, almost every day this week, you have been sending out emails, you can put one on screen, the label specific web pages and articles as examples of media bias.

Is it fair to say that Donald Trump also consumes bias media, you know, shows like Sean Hannity, and then repeats things that he hears on FOX News?

MILLER: Brian, you're putting up a couple of images of these.

So, very specifically what we have started doing with the campaign is that we have started pushing back on these examples of media bias that are out there. And a lot of times when folks think of media bias, they might be thinking purely of, say, a reporter editorializing from under a byline, putting their own personal thoughts and feelings into a story. That's certainly the case. Or sometimes, the full picture of what's going on isn't actually being presented to the reader.

But one of the biggest problems that we have are the filter with which news is being presented to people. So, for example, as you showed up there, there were two days in a row this past week, where the "New York Times" or maybe the week before, where the "New York Times" had two top of the fold, top right hand corner stories that were both negative on Mr. Trump. They did that two days in a row.

This is at the same time where Hillary Clinton was going through her $400 million or the administration and Secretary Clinton's failed leadership, talking about $400 million in cash went to Iran as part of the $1.7 billion that's part of that payment. We're continuing to talk about emails over and over again. But there was none of that on the front page of the "New York Times."

One of the other things that we have started to point out is website biases. So, WashingtonPost.com, our first repeat winner for the media biased award, where literally they have the first six or seven stories in the left hand column were all negative hit pieces on Mr. Trump, which is ridiculous. And this is again, in the middle of Hillary Clinton --

STELTER: You call them hit pieces, I call them reporting. There's a lot to write about the Donald Trump campaign. And you're making it sound like there's an equivalent amount to write about the Clinton campaign.

MILLER: There's not all anything like that being written in many of these publications. And so, for example, and, Brian, this goes back to the point. When you have in one column seven negative pieces that are all being put up against Mr. Trump and you have nothing on a home page that's negative against Secretary Clinton, or may be on a day they might accidentally post one story because they feel shame because other news outlets are doing it, that is a hatchet job.

[11:10:13] So, it's not just the way media is being presented to folks, but it's also the fact, the way that negative attention to Secretary Clinton is not being presented. And that's an extreme form of media bias as well.

And, again, our approach is that we want to make sure that folks realize what's going on ad that there is a thumb that's being put on the scale with regard how coverage is actually being presented to the consumer, to voters at home.

STELTER: I definitely want viewers at home to pay attention to this as well. I think media literacy is crucial.

Here's something I'm worried about, though. Let me ask you about Trump holding up charts at his rallies. He says he's a chart guy now. I love that guy from him.

This is an example. He was holding up a chart here. In some case, they're FOX News graphics. But this one, this is actually from a fringe right wing website. He's holding up a chart here that shows alleged donations from Middle Eastern countries to the Clinton Foundation.

But if you look at this website, beforeitsnews.com, it's a crazy website, to be honest with you, it's got alien stories, conspiracy theories, UFO stories, stuff like that. (INAUDIBLE) post to the site.

Who checks this data ahead of time to make sure the sources are accurate and reliable?

MILLER: Brian, on this particular chart, I haven't seen this particular chart before, so I can't comment on that.

STELTER: So, who on the campaign gave it to him? Somebody printed it out, put it in his hands and sent him up on that stage.

MILLER: Brian, again, when we're talking -- so, two things here. Number on, on that particular chart, I have not seen that. These are usually produced with our policy department. But again, going to the point of what Mr. Trump is talking about is how the American economy is going down and is not doing well under President Obama.

STELTER: He's got --

MILLER: Hold on, hold on --

STELTER: No, we can't start with the facts, if he's going to hold up made up articles or made up charts from fringe websites, how can we believe what he's actually saying?

MILLER: Brian, again, are you saying that our economic growth right now is going in the right direction? Are you saying that American home ownership is in a good place right now?

STELTER: I'm saying that I want every presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Jill Stein, Gary Johnson, every other candidate to hold up charts that are accurate and that are well-sourced. I prefer for them to not rip them off the Internet from creepy websites.

MILLER: Brian, what I'd like to see a chart from Hillary Clinton showing where those emails went. That's what I would like to see.

STELTER: So you think she would hold up charts as well. But that's not the point about Donald Trump's charts. Where is he getting this stuff? Who's vetting this stuff before it goes up on stage?

MILLER: Brian, you already heard me give the answer, as far as I haven't seen that particular chart. But again, the point that Mr. Trump has been making is about the American economy. And if Hillary Clinton wants to own this third term under Obama, she has to own the terrible economic record as well.

STELTER: And I got to give you credit for coming on this morning, because we also asked you counterpart on the Clinton campaign to be here, and they declined.

Someone else that we have been booking, trying to book actually is Katrina Pierson. And I wanted to ask you about her because she's Trump's national spokeswoman on television.

This is a series of comments recently on television, including one yesterday that was inaccurate. Let me play the clip and then ask you about it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

KATRINA PIERSON, TRUMP SPOKESWOMAN: What I'm saying is the police of Barack --

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Because we just said we weren't in Afghanistan --

PIERSON: -- Obama and Hillary Clinton -- that was Obama's war, yes.

It was under Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton that changed the rules of engagement that probably cost his life.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm speechless because I'm trying to follow your logic here, Katrina, and I'm having a hard time.

PIERSON: I can tell.

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

STELTER: Yesterday, she said that the Afghanistan war started under President Obama, she later said that there were audio problems that were not actually happening.

Will Katrina Pierson continue to appear on television as a Trump's spokeswoman?

MILLER: Brian, Katrina is a valuable member of her team. We're glad to have her onboard. She's onboard pretty early with Mr. Trump. As you heard her say, there was some audio difficulties hearing that question.

But again, the premise about President Obama and Hillary Clinton destabilizing the Middle East I think is an important one. I think as part of that discussion shouldn't be glossed over.

STELTER: Do you believe that she should continue to appear on television like this?

MILLER: Katrina is a great advocate for the campaign. Again, I pointed out to that example with the potential of audio difficulties. Obviously, I didn't have an ear piece in my ear at the same time. She's a tireless advocate for the campaign. We're glad to have her on board.

STELTER: I will be the first to admit that live television is incredibly tough. So I don't want to scrutinize anybody too much. But it seems to me there's a pattern of misinformation. It makes me worried about where her sources of information are coming from.

MILLER: Brian, I mean, that's just a ridiculous comment. That's just an unneeded slight towards one of our campaign members, and I don't think that's really part of the conversation here.

STELTER: My biggest concern of all, though, and I know you heard me talk about this on TV this week, is about Trump saying the election could be stolen. He said the election is going to be rigged and then he said Pennsylvania will only go for Hillary Clinton if there's cheating involved.

What are we going to do, Jason, between now and Election Day to ensure the integrity of our voting system?

MILLER: Well, thanks. Well, our campaign and our vision, Mr. Trump's vision is that we want open, honest and fair elections.

[11:15:01] And we want as many people --

STELTER: We all do.

MILLER: -- who are registered to vote to be able to take part in this. And, quite frankly, you can go into debates and other things. We want as many people to participate as possible. Again, now, election --

(CROSSTALK)

STELTER: You're a veteran political strategist for Cruz and others. You know how dangerous it is for a candidate to be saying this election is going to be stolen from him. You know that he could end up delegitimizing the results and sowing unrest in this country.

MILLER: Brian, that's a ridiculous assertion.

Let me go and finish what I was saying. We want open, honest and fair elections. Now, we think going into Election Day, we'll be a good enough spot in Pennsylvania to where the only that way we could lose Pennsylvania is if there's funny stuff going on.

Now, there was a report that was put out in 2012 from Philadelphia city commissioner Al Smith that detailed the number of voting irregularities in the city of Philadelphia, where you had in some places, more votes than you had voters, you had people who weren't U.S. citizens who were voting, the examples of people voting more than once.

We need to make sure that the integrity of our elections is intact, regardless of where it is, whether it's in Philadelphia or anywhere else in the country. And this is important and people fight hard --

STELTER: It is.

MILLER: -- for the right and the ability to vote. And we want everybody who is legally able to vote to do so. That's our approach.

STELTER: It is. Voter fraud, though, is vanishingly rare and your candidate is sowing distrust in the system. Just to be clear, you don't think it's dangerous for him to be doing that?

MILLER: I think it's important for him to raise the issue of voter integrity. And that's why we're in favor of voter I.D. laws.

But, Brian, your assertion that there's -- I think you're going a little bit too hot on that one. I got to disagree.

STELTER: If Hillary Clinton was warning about the election being stolen, I'd be freaking out about that right now. But, Jason, I heard you.

MILLER: To that point, I mean, when you see the corruption and the pay-to-play and the dishonesty out of Hillary Clinton in the past week, I mean --

STELTER: OK.

MILLER: -- you know, there's several DOJ investigations being waved off.

But anyways, but, you know, Brian, the one thing I would also just want to make sure is that when we talked about media bias a little bit earlier, one thing that's not accurately being portrayed, you saw Mr. Trump talked about this on Twitter this morning, are -- is the enthusiasm and the size of these crowds that are coming out to -- in support of his campaign, the fact that he is energizing and mobilizing entire parts of this country who have felt left behind, people who have felt disenfranchised.

STELTER: You know, that's why reporters shouldn't be blacklisted. They should be allowed to be in the press pence so they can see the size of the rallies. "Politico", "The Washington Post", "Huffington Post", and others, they should be taken off the blacklist. Will you commit to taking them off the blacklist?

MILLER: I think we should see honest and unbiased reporting from all news outlets. That's what I think.

STELTER: So it's sort of a test, you're making them -- you're testing them before the can have access to the press pen? MILLER: What we're seeing is that we want to see honest and unbiased

reporting. And, again, our events, Brian, our events as I said before are open to the public.

STELTER: OK.

MILLER: So people can come, but if people want the special access, I think it's only reasonable for us to ask for honest and unbiased reporting. I'm not saying --

STELTER: I definitely want honest reporting as well. I hear you on that, and I respect that.

(CROSSTALK)

STELTER: Sorry. Go ahead.

MILLER: I was going to say, that doesn't mean that we're going to like every single story or everything that's written, but we want to have an honest exchange of ideas and make sure that information is being presented. And again, it's not about always even the article that's below the headline, but it's also about making sure that there's honest representation of what's going on with the enthusiasm behind Mr. Trump's campaign, his economic vision, fighting to defeat radical Islamic terrorism.

I mean, as we see this week and Hillary's been on vacation. I guess it's nap time. I don't know.

STELTER: I would respond, but I'm desperately out of time.

Jason, thank you for being here this morning.

MILLER: Thanks, Brian. I appreciate it very much.

STELTER: After the break, one of the great magazine editors in America joins me to discuss coverage of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[11:21:43] STELTER: Most journalists I know take their jobs very seriously. This profession is premised on fairness, on being fair. What does being fair look like in an election, the likes of which we have never seen before?

The truth is, right now, most journalists think Trump's campaign is a bigger story than Clinton's campaign due to various controversies.

Let me show you some data from TVEyes. This is six weeks worth of mentions of the two candidates all across television. Notice the red line, you see it spike up there in the middle of July, that was the Republican convention, then you see a spike on the blue line, that's the Democratic convention, and ever since, you see Trump leading Clinton in terms of the number of mentions on television. Clinton, of course, getting a lot of coverage, but Trump is getting more. Is this fair? And is the way Trump is being covered fair? He doesn't think so.

Let's talk about it with the former editor who has spent his career answering hard questions like this. John Huey is the former editor in chief of Time Inc. He was also a Shorenstein fellow at Harvard's Kennedy School where he co-author a great history of the intersection between journalism and technology.

John, thank you for being here.

Do you think the normal standards of journalism apply to Donald Trump?

JOHN HUEY, FORMER EDITOR IN CHIEF, TIME INC.: Well, I think that in order to answer that, you have to really define what it is that Donald Trump h done that's changed the environment. And I would -- I would propose that the most overused word in political rhetoric is probably demagogue, and demagoguery, we throw it around like it is almost meaningless. But I'd like to --

STELTER: So, what do you mean by the word, define it for me? Yes, go ahead.

HUEY: Right. I'm going to read very quickly from that unimpeachable source Wikipedia. A demagogue is a leader in a democracy who gains popularity by exploiting prejudice and ignorance among the common people, whipping up the passions of the crowd and shutting down reasoned deliberation. Demagogues have usually advocated immediate violent action to address the national crisis while accusing moderate and thoughtful opponents of weakness or disloyalty.

Demagogues violate established rules of political conduct. Most who are elected into high office change their democracy into some form of dictatorship.

Now, if you want a more scholarly take on that, James Fillmore Cooper wrote a great essay in 1838. So, there's nothing new about a demagogue, or about Donald Trump being a demogoue.

[11:20:25] There's really nothing about what he does. What is new and what's challenging here is the emergence of a full bore demagogue who's very skilled at manipulating televised media and social media. And that's what we should be looking at.

And it's particularly important right now because as a Harvard Kennedy School Tom Patterson professor has pointed out, since 1972, when the primaries were reformed, the media in the United State has effectively been in charge of running our electoral process. The media is neither institutionally --

STELTER: It's interesting.

HUEY: -- nor temperamentally suited for that.

So, that's what we're facing here. You guys have a tremendous burden to carry out an electoral process. And you yourself have had high dudgeon about the idea that our electoral process is somehow rigged. So, that's what -- that's the questions.

STELTER: You know, I think about Hillary Clinton coverage, there's been tough coverage of her this week, quite a bit of it at CNN and elsewhere. And yet it's true that we're talking more about Trump.

What do you say to his supporters who say that's a flagrant example of bias, completely inappropriate?

HUEY: Well, I think it's because of her many flaws or missteps or mistakes, Hillary Clinton who's not her own worst enemy, to me, not that she doesn't have some real enemy, she's still a traditional politician who operates by traditional means, whether you agree with them or not, whether you think they're honest or not.

Trump is more media than he is politics. I mean, your show ostensibly is a show about media, but it's become pretty much about politics, and say, politico playbook is ostensibly a newsletter about politics, but it's largely about media.

So, Trump really is more media than politics and now, after using vehicles like CNN to launch himself, he's turned to bite the hand that fed him. And so, he is the cause of this media-centric -- he does something every day to put himself, to keep himself in the media, and a classic demagogue always has to have a scapegoat. First, it was the Mexicans, then it was the Muslims, now, it's you. It's the media.

And so, I think there's going to be even more of Trump in the media than less, because he is the one who thrusts himself into it.

Hillary has -- avoids the media at all costs. She buys advertising.

STELTER: True.

HUEY: She has blogs. She has podcasts. She doesn't create media. She wants to avoid them. Donald Trump breathes and lives off being in the media.

STELTER: This week, Hillary Clinton launched a podcast where she's interviewed by someone who supports her. That's an example of her avoiding the press.

John, I hope to have you back again soon. Thank you for being here this morning.

HUEY: Thank you for having me, Brian.

STELTER: Coming up, the art of the blame? Is Trump at war with the media or is it the other way around? We want to be fair about this. We're going to look at both sides right after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[11:32:20]

STELTER: Hey, welcome back to RELIABLE SOURCES. I'm Brian Stelter.

If you had to summarize Trump's week in one image, it might look like this. This is "TIME" magazine's cover, an image of Trump melting down. And it certainly is the media narrative, but Trump says it's the media's fault.

Just this morning, he tweeted this comment: "If the disgusting and corrupt media covered me honestly and didn't put false meaning into the words I say, I would be beating Hillary by 20 percent."

So, what reporters perceive as Trump's war on them, he says it's their war on him.

Does the truth get lost in this back and forth?

Joining me now, Jennifer Pozner, a media critic and the executive director of Women In Media and News, Steve Malzberg, host of "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

Jennifer, do you think it is true that Clinton would be down 20 points, Trump would be up 20 points if it weren't for us, for these cameras?

JENNIFER POZNER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, WOMEN IN MEDIA AND NEWS: That's statistically not actually possible.

But the bigger thing about Trump's sort of lunatic fringe idea that the media is having a war against him, he would not be the nominee of his party right now if it hadn't been for an institutionally megaphone that the media has given him all year.

STELTER: You think it's structural? You think the press has been rooting for Trump up until now?

POZNER: I don't necessarily think that the press has been rooting for Trump, but the commercial implications, the commercial biases of media consolidation allowed for Trump to dominate coverage more than -- way more than any other GOP candidate in the field.

STELTER: I would just say that is because he was a better story.

POZNER: It depends.

If you want to say -- if he was -- if they were covering it as a better story, there could have been critical -- there were a zillion different angles to take critical journalistic attentions towards Trump's campaign. Instead, we had CBS' CEO Les Moonves talking about how this may be bad for America, but it's great for CBS -- and the exact quote was, "This may be bad for America, but it's damned good for CBS. Go, Donald, go. Let's keep the money rolling in."

STELTER: He was liking all the advertising revenue. Of course, Clinton is the one right now buying a lot of ads.

But, Steve, let me ask you this. Did the media build Trump up just to tear him down? Is that your view?

STEVE MALZBERG, NEWSMAX TV: I don't know why they built him up.

And they're trying -- I have been saying for weeks that there is a media war going on. I have never in my life seen anything so disgusting. I have never in my life seen anything so biased. I could give you example after example after example, because I watched Jake Tapper today, with all due respect to CNN. I'm not picking on Jake Tapper. I watched him this morning.

Forty-five minutes went by in that show, a week-in-review show, OK, "STATE OF THE UNION," before Hillary Clinton's scandals, e-mail anything was covered. You, with all due respect, in a previous guest, mentioned that you were worried about delegitimizing the election, Trump saying he might....

STELTER: Very worried.

[11:35:00]

MALZBERG: OK. Were you very worried when George W. Bush was elected?

And the media to this day, you have sycophants who say he stole that election.

(CROSSTALK)

STELTER: I don't know of media sycophants who say that.

MALZBERG: Did that worry you, Brian?

STELTER: What I know is no candidate for president has ever come out and said, the election is going to be rigged.

MALZBERG: OK.

And did it worry you also when Barack Obama in '08 threw off the Washington -- "The Dallas Morning News," "The Washington Times"...

(CROSSTALK)

MALZBERG: ... off his plane?

STELTER: Very different situation.

MALZBERG: Very different?

(CROSSTALK)

MALZBERG: That's the problem. That's the problem.

(CROSSTALK)

STELTER: But Manafort was on for 15 minutes. He had ample opportunity to talk about Clinton.

MALZBERG: He did. He did. He brought it up, but it always went back to Clinton -- back to Trump.

POZNER: The idea that the media is rigged for Trump or that the media...

(CROSSTALK)

MALZBERG: I'm not saying that .

(CROSSTALK)

STELTER: I understand. I understand you're not saying that.

(CROSSTALK)

POZNER: Trump is saying that. And you're just calling back to it.

But the idea -- Trump's idea the election is rigged and that the media is rigged toward Trump is basically like every frat guy who says that a woman won't go out with him, she must be gay. It can't be just that she doesn't like him. It's absolutely irrelevant.

(CROSSTALK)

STELTER: Do you think there is any bias at all, though? Most journalists would have some liberal tendencies, if you got them to be honest about it.

POZNER: Actually, my former colleagues at Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting years ago have done statistical analysis that have shown that, individually, the political ideologies of journalists don't actually change the overarching structural bias that comes out in the press, which is not liberal.

But that's a different issue than I want to talk about right now. When Trump is talking about a war on him in the media, I just published this week at The Establishment an analysis of coverage of Trump up until this point.

And it has been incredibly facile and not critical at all, until the unprecedented moment -- it took a political nominee of a major party for president making a veiled threat of assassination against his competitor...

MALZBERG: OK. OK.

(CROSSTALK)

POZNER: That's all right. I didn't even finish.

(CROSSTALK)

MALZBERG: I know. Could I get a word in?

(CROSSTALK)

STELTER: The threat of assassination, you're saying that the media coverage changed after that time?

(CROSSTALK)

STELTER: A lot of people don't think it was a threat of assassination.

(CROSSTALK)

POZNER: A lot of people don't.

But if I can finish the comments, I will say that when you dog-whistle to unstable members, a certain small percentage of unstable members of the club the media, that is an unprecedented moment in American history, and media finally took -- finally went off-script and covered him critically. That has not happened...

(CROSSTALK)

STELTER: You don't agree?

MALZBERG: No, I don't agree.

Hillary Clinton said, I'm not dropping out of the race in '08 because, look, Robert Kennedy got assassinated.

STELTER: You realize those aren't the same thing, right?

MALZBERG: No, in your mind, Brian, they're not the same thing.

What she said was worse.

(LAUGHTER)

MALZBERG: She said, I'm not dropping out because Robert Kennedy was assassinated, so Barack Obama might get assassinated.

How is that not the same thing or not worse?

STELTER: It was covered at that time.

(CROSSTALK)

POZNER: It's worse when a candidate tells First (sic) Amendment people that they should do something with their guns.

(CROSSTALK)

MALZBERG: No, it was not. It was not.

STELTER: I wish we could go on for hours.

MALZBERG: Hey, how about the plagiarism, Barack Obama plagiarism?

(CROSSTALK)

MALZBERG: Nobody cared.

(CROSSTALK)

STELTER: We're going to keep this going online this afternoon.

I have got to take a break, though.

Jennifer, Steve, stay with me. Don't go anywhere.

MALZBERG: Thank you.

STELTER: But I have one segment I really want you to see right after the break.

It's an important one. We have been working on it for months. It's about what happens at Donald Trump's rallies with the reporters in the press pen. There's been some interesting behavior at these rallies. We're going to talk to a reporter who's been at dozens of them right after a quick break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[11:42:23]

STELTER: Hey, welcome back.

Have you heard of the press pen? It's where journalists are kept during Donald Trump rallies.

Other campaigns have the same areas where journalists can sit and work during rallies, but Trump's events are different. He oftentimes, almost always actually, criticizes the press, and that causes the crowd to boo and jeer in response.

At one event this week, the crowd really kind of turned on the reporters in a new way. You know that anti-Hillary Clinton chant of "Lock her up," it became "Lock them up."

And you can also see this happen. This was captured by CNN's Noah Gray and Jeremy Diamond, this Trump supporter calling reporters in the room traitors, while he says he is a patriot. And he put up his middle finger in response at one point.

I know the video is offensive, but I think it's important to recognize what journalists are up against at these rallies and really how significant is it?

Let me ask Jill Colvin of the Associated Press. She joins me now here in New York. She's been on the road with Trump for over a year.

You have been at over 100 rallies so far.

JILL COLVIN, POLITICAL REPORTER, ASSOCIATED PRESS: I think just about.

STELTER: Trump's campaign rallies, are they different from a journalist's perspective? Is it right to say that this is really unique, it doesn't happen at Clinton events or other events?

COLVIN: Yes, I think it's very fair to say that a Donald Trump rally is just a very different beast than another candidate's rally.

STELTER: And, for you, when you're being booed, what is that like?

COLVIN: It is quite a feeling to be sitting in a room.

And the way that the campaign structures it is, they put reporters in this kind of cordoned-off press area. As Trump supporters come into the auditorium, they often come over. They take pictures of us. I guess they kind of haven't seen reporters positioned like that.

STELTER: Do you feel like you're in a zoo?

COLVIN: I mean, there's kind of a feeling of that, of people coming and looking at you and trying to get a sense of who you are.

STELTER: But, hey, that's part of the job, right? When I'm out on live shots, people come over and take pictures.

I talk to some journalists who say, no, it's not threatening, it's not dangerous. Other reporters have told me it does sometimes feel personally threatening.

What about you? Have you ever felt personally in danger at these rallies?

COLVIN: I would say, for me personally, that's not something I have experienced.

Now, I don't want to speak on behalf of all of my colleagues. I think that it's quite different for network correspondents who are familiar faces to a lot of the people who are at these rallies, who have been singled out as individuals by Trump in the past.

I think that they have some different experiences. But it's undeniable that, when you are sitting in the room and, suddenly, 10,000 people all turn their backs on Donald Trump, direct their attention at you, start booing, start raising middle fingers -- you know, over the last couple of weeks, as Trump has escalated his attacks on the media, we have been seen more and more of what you saw in that footage.

That was not an isolated incident, to have people coming and screaming at us, calling us liars, traitors.

STELTER: I want to be clear. There's people that also come up and they flatter you all, right? Sometimes, people are nice?

COLVIN: Yes. It's actually -- it's actually kind of lovely to see.

We have got people who come up and, you know, thank us for being there, who -- you know, a lot of people do not obviously interact with reporters all that frequently.

[11:45:07]

And I think that all of us try to be, you know, as considerate as possible, and they can see that we're real people, that we're giving up our kind of lives to be there to work there.

STELTER: Oh.

COLVIN: And I have actually had, like, many, many very positive moments with Trump supporters.

STELTER: Bottom line, though, it sounds like it is -- I'm not trying to put words in your mouth -- but it sounds like it's kind of getting worse.

COLVIN: It definitely -- I mean, you have seen over the past couple of weeks, as Trump has been struggling, that he's increasingly blamed the media.

In his speeches now, he dedicates long portions of his remarks to going after the media.

STELTER: What did he say a couple of days ago? We're the lowest form of humanity?

COLVIN: We're scum. We're the lowest form of humanity.

STELTER: Do you feel like we're the lowest form of humanity?

COLVIN: You know, I have to say, I'm a fan of yours. I think that we all work really hard.

(LAUGHTER)

COLVIN: What am I supposed to say? I don't think we're the lowest form of humanity.

STELTER: I think we make mistakes sometimes. I think we should fess up and learn from those mistakes. But I would like to think most journalists are trying pretty hard to do their job at these rallies.

COLVIN: Yes.

And you kind of have these lovely moments where, you know, Trump supporters are standing there for hours. They come over. They ask to use the plugs so they can charge their telephones. They want to chat with us about what it's like.

STELTER: Well, maybe that is some common ground. That's great. Maybe we can bring chargers for all the Trump supporters.

Jill, great to see you.

COLVIN: Lovely to see you.

STELTER: Thank you for being here this morning.

After a quick break here, Sean Hannity and his role spreading conspiracy theories about Hillary Clinton's health.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[11:50:28]

STELTER: Hey, welcome back.

Let me ask you a question. If photographers followed you around every day for decades, would they come up with any embarrassing video of you?

With that in mind, watch Sean Hannity spread conspiracy theories about Hillary Clinton's health.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEAN HANNITY, HOST, "HANNITY": What about some of the weird pauses she has, the coughing fits she has? There are moments when I'm literally watching her and I'm thinking, OK, the facial expressions are odd. They seem off.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I don't know this, because I'm only looking at video.

But I saw the same video you saw. And I'm wondering about a word called aphasia, where you're searching for words. You suddenly lose those words. And that can be the sign, again, of some kind of traumatic brain injury or the after-effects of a concussion.

HANNITY: Is it possible she had a stroke, or do you really believe it was a head injury, traumatic brain injury?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I believe that she had a concussion with a possible brain injury. Of course, I haven't seen the medical records.

HANNITY: Let me go back to this video, Dr. Seigel, that is on the screen now. And we will put it up again.

I mean, it's a violent, violent, repetitive jerking of the head here. Now, you can see, it's uncontrollable. Watch the reporter, like, pull back as she -- the reporter got scared, and she keeps doing it. What is that?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STELTER: Let me be clear.

That was reckless speculation by Sean Hannity, all of it. This whole "Clinton is secretly sick thing" has been promoted by conservative news sites for years.

There's a grain of truth to the idea about her health, because she did have the health scare in 2012. It was well-reported at the time. But her doctors now say she's physically fit to be president and that there's no doubt about that.

But Hannity is not interested in the truth about Clinton's health. If he was, he could have interviewed people who were actually there during the episodes that he's exploiting.

Let's take the one at the very end. Hannity said Clinton was violently, uncontrollably jerking her head. He said the reporter got scared.

Sean, why not go ask the reporter? Go ask the reporter. The AP's Lisa Lerer wrote about this. She says FOX never contacted her and says she was never scared.

Here's what she says really happened that day.

Reporters were asking about a meeting with Elizabeth Warren. Lots of questions. Lots of questions to ask. So, Lerer writes: "Perhaps eager to avoid answering, or maybe just taken aback by our volume, Clinton responded with an exaggerated motion, shaking her head vigorously for a few seconds."

Look, conspiracy theories are so much more interesting than the truth. But the last time I checked, FOX still has the word news in its name.

Now, speaking of FOX News, a channel that is many things, including a news channel, as well as a political channel, let's talk a bit more about this, because there were big changes this week.

Rupert Murdoch has spoken. And he's weighed in, naming a new senior leadership team and management structure. As you know, Roger Ailes is out. He resigned weeks ago. And so Jack Abernethy and senior executive vice president Bill Shine are both going to be co-presidents of the channel.

Are these the only changes for FOX News or just the beginning of many other changes?

Joining me now to discuss all that is Sarah Ellison, contributing editor for "Vanity Fair" whose latest article, "Inside the FOX News Bunker," really explores the concern that FOX News employees have about the future of the channel.

Sarah, clearly the Murdochs are trying to get all of this over with. They're trying to name new bosses so we will all move on. What's the significance of these appointments on Friday?

SARAH ELLISON, "VANITY FAIR": Well, these are people who are -- Bill Shine started his career as a producer for Sean Hannity.

And these are the people who have been -- they have both been with FOX for a long time. Jack Abernethy left for a short period of time. But this is sort of 21st Century Fox and the Murdochs' effort to move on, quell any concern among the talent that anything is really going to change, aside from the fact that Ailes, who apparently controlled everything, is gone. It's sort of trying to cut the head off of this hydra and then it's

leaving behind a lot of the people who were doing exactly what it was that Ailes asked them to do.

STELTER: It's showing that the Murdochs don't believe they need brand-new leadership to clean house.

ELLISON: I think they're concerned that if they got brand-new leadership at this point, they would kill the goose that lays the golden egg.

(CROSSTALK)

STELTER: And maybe lose some of their stars.

ELLISON: And maybe lose some of their stars, like a Sean Hannity, or like Greta Van Susteren, who are people who are still very much loyal to Bill Shine.

STELTER: Ailes is denying the sexual harassment charges -- allegations against him.

There's that lawsuit by Gretchen Carlson now more than a month-old. And you reported there are settlement talks under way. What can you tell us about the latest on that?

ELLISON: Well, the settlement talks are something that have started pretty recently.

And one of the things that came up in those settlement talks is that multiple women were taping conversations with Roger Ailes. And those tapes are something that is really at issue in those discussions which are supposed to reach -- the settlement -- the number that I heard floating around was an eight-figure settlement.

[11:55:05]

STELTER: More than $10 million.

ELLISON: More than $10 million.

STELTER: That's a big deal.

You're saying there's multiple tapes that multiple women recorded of Ailes talking inappropriately with them.

ELLISON: Well, we don't know exactly what is in the tapes.

But I think that fact that they are at issue in the settlement discussions would lead you to believe that they were not just talking about the weather.

STELTER: What do you expect to happen next in this story, because it's not over yet?

ELLISON: No, it's got many more -- and I think there's a lot more that is going to come out. I think that what we're going to see is an effort of interests diverging.

21st Century Fox is going to want to move on. They want to sort of improve the culture and still have a very profitable news network. But I think we're going to have more women who are coming forward and probably more headlines.

STELTER: We're out of time on TV. So, let's keep talking online. We're going to talk a little bit more online, post it on CNN.com.

But, Sarah, thank you for being here.

ELLISON: Sure.

STELTER: We're out of time on TV, but our coverage keeps going at CNN.com. Sign up for our newsletter there as well, CNNMoney.com/media.