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Is Coverage of Clinton Email Probe Over-Hyped?; Voters are in Two "Parallel Universes". Aired 11a-Noon ET

Aired October 30, 2016 - 11:00   ET


[11:00:15] BRIAN STELTER, CNN HOST: Hey, good morning. I'm Brian Stelter. And it's time for RELIABLE SOURCES, our weekly look at the story behind the story and how the media really works, how the news gets made.

A special welcome to our viewers here in the U.S. and around all the world on CNN International.

Ahead this hour, Newt Gingrich versus Megyn Kelly, the race for the White House taking place in parallel universes. So, will November 8th bring us back to reality?

And speaking of reality, meet the reporter who spent the last 43 days fact checking every word Donald Trump says. He's here for a live interview.

Plus, I have fresh reporting about the prospect of the most talked about Trump TV.

And then, there were nine. Nine days until Election Day in America. And this might have been the last October surprise. Friday's FBI announcement about new e-mails related to Hillary Clinton's use of a private e-mail server. Pundits on TV immediately said this was good news for Trump.

And you could say it was also good news for the media. Adding a jolt of excitement to all the horse race coverage summed up by the cynical Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight. He tweeted this, he said the FBI story also broke at the exact time when the media was eager for a dramatic twist or complication in the Clinton coasts narrative.

Now, it is true, FBI Director James Comey's letter sent shock waves through the media that are still reverberating here on Sunday, but it's also a fact that we know very little else about the investigation. Information about what these e-mails are, who they were from, et cetera, et cetera.

So, what is the proper tone for the media coverage? Has there been a fair reaction or an overreaction?

Let's bring in two experts, two CNN political commentators who know all about this. Matt Lewis is a senior contributor to the conservative news site "The Daily Caller", and Hilary Rosen, also a CNN political commentator, managing director at SKDKnickerbocker and a Clinton supporter. I appreciate you both for being here this morning.

Matt, let me start with you. Looking at the coverage the past, I don't know, almost 48 hours, ever since this letter shocked the country, do you feel that the news media rushed to judgment in the initial coverage?

MATT LEWIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No, I think the coverage has been really good. I think it's been nuanced. I think it's had an understanding that Director Comey was in a very difficult position, sort of a danged if you do, danged if you don't situation. I think there's been good coverage of that.

I was a little worried that we were going to get sort of a media angle, which was originally this was framed as the case being, quote, "reopened." It turned out that may be a matter of semantics, but that wasn't precisely correct.

STELTER: Technically, the case was never closed. So, you were worried there was going to be more focus on the technicalities?

LEWIS: I was worried that the story was no longer going to be about substance and all of a sudden be about the media getting it wrong, and -- but it turns out I think it's been handled very appropriately so far. We're still in the very early stages. This thing just broke Friday night basically.

STELTER: Now, Hillary, you were on Twitter over the weekend that you could barely watch the news right now, it was so stressful to see this.

As a Clinton supporter, why do you say that? Do you feel like the press overreacted?

HILARY ROSEN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It was stressful, but I watched anyway. You know, I actually disagree with Matt. I do think that there was an over-amount of hyperbole on Friday.

We saw media outlets change their headlines after they realized they weren't sort of reopening the investigation, that they didn't have information. I actually think the FBI felt like there was a media overreaction too, because what we saw right away after that was Friday evening and all day yesterday, people at the FBI were backgrounding reporters to kind of walk back the hysteria that Comey created with his vagueness.

And I think that they would not have done that --


STELTER: When you say background reporters, what that means is they'll call up reporters, speak to them on condition of anonymity, and share more details beyond the letter. We definitely did see that on Friday?

ROSEN: We saw a lot of it. In fact, that's why we know the details we know. That's why we know, for instance, that these were not Hillary Clinton e-mails. That these were not -- they might actually have been e-mails that were already turned over. That they don't really know the contents.

So, we know now a huge amount of information that was not known to the FBI, and none of that was in Comey's original letter. What you saw was Comey was originally nervous. You know, I saw this move as a CYA to him with the Republicans, his original letter. But then later, you saw even more come out from the FBI because they knew that they created a hysteria.

BLITZER: I have seen tone deaf about cable news, the reality of the media age. Matt, go ahead.

[11:05:00] LEWIS: I'm sorry. I was going to say, I think that part of the reason that Director Comey felt that it was important for the integrity of the FBI and for the process to be very transparent about this is because -- partly because of the media environment in which we live.

I mean, look, we live in a world right now where a lot of Americans, especially Republicans, but a lot of Americans don't trust our institutions. We don't trust the media. We don't trust government.

And if it came out after the election that the FBI had stumbled across this information in the process of looking into the Anthony Weiner story, and had not gone -- had not been transparent, had not notified Congress that they were reopening, and I use that term with air quotes, this investigation, that would have looked like a cover-up, like the election was rigged.

ROSEN: You know, it's interesting. We saw CNN's Tom Fuentes last night, former FBI agent, on TV. He essentially said that Comey and the FBI were -- have been super sensitive over the last couple months about what they perceived were ongoing attacks on the credibility of the institution of the FBI --


ROSEN: -- since they came to the conclusion that Hillary Clinton did not have any criminal intent. And that those attacks got to them.

And what I -- what I think is that really, those weren't media attacks. Those were really Republican attacks. And what I think happened is, you know, the Republicans were sort of their base. Their strongest supporters, and it bothered them.

So I disagree with Matt a little bit. I think they kind of went unusual, as we know for them to report while there might be something we don't know anything, so here, we're going to be talking about it this close to the election. You know, and that's why we saw the attorney general say that this was a mistake to do.

I think that what we have is the media now and social media affecting the decisions of how our investigators work. And I'm not sure that's a good idea. STELTER: Let's look at what Donald Trump has said just in the last

few minutes. Something that has no accuracy whatsoever. He wrote on Twitter just now, "Wow, Twitter, Google, and Facebook, are burying the FBI criminal investigation of Clinton. Very dishonest media."

Now, I think what he's talking about, I think he's alleging that these stories aren't trending on social networking sites.

Let's go ahead and pull up Google News. You look at Google News just a few minutes ago. You'll see the FBI story is front and center on the Google News site.

Furthermore, you look at Facebook. James Comey's name is trending on the top of the trending box. And on Twitter's version of trending, you'll also see the FBI situation.

I wonder, Matt, if you can help us understand why Trump would share something like this on Twitter. By the way, ironic that he's saying on Twitter, claiming something is being covered up when it's not being covered up. Why do you think this kind of claim, which has no basis in reality, actually does stick with some of his supporters? Why are they inclined to believe a lie like this?

LEWIS: Well, I think first of all, I believe that there was some website or media outlet that erroneously made this allegation.

STELTER: Yes, well, this morning, Zero Heads made this allegation, a financial blog. There's been some other fringe sites that claimed this, but it just isn't true.

LEWIS: Right, right, but I also think this is part -- this plays into Donald Trump's message of sort of they're out to get us. The game is rigged. There's a sort of an apocalyptic nature.

That, you know, look, this goes back to Spiro Agnew and nattering nabobs of negativism. So, this fits into his message. But honestly, I think it's a mistake.

Donald Trump -- look, if we're talking about Donald Trump, he's losing. If we're talking about Hillary Clinton, she's losing. What we're talking about Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump should be quiet and go dormant right now and let the press focus on Hillary. That's the best move he could make.

STELTER: I asked the Trump campaign to explain where he got this information from. They have not responded to those inquiries. He puts it on Twitter, gets thousands of retweets. It plays into a narrative that's false.

Hilary, you were laughing when he claimed Google is covering up the news. It's actually a big deal from him to allege this about a giant tech company.

ROSEN: Well, it is a big deal because we've seen the power, obviously, of those three companies in this election and frankly in our society today. And I think Donald Trump is playing to his base. I don't think it helps.

But I do think that what we have seen, particularly on Twitter and Facebook this election, is really both sides energizing themselves. I'm not sure that, you know, I have hundreds of thousands of followers on Twitter, I don't know that I convince anybody on the other side of anything I'm saying.

I'm reporting. I'm sharing. I'm, you know, beefing up. But I'm not naive enough to think that I'm convincing anyone on the other side to switch their views.

[11:10:04] So I do think that Trump, when he does that kind of narrative, that in my view is fairly anti-American, anti-institution, and if that's what he wants to talk about with his supporters, I don't think that's going to get him new votes over this next, you know, eight days, but if that's where he goes, that's perfect.

STELTER: I feel strange kind of trying to stand up for Google here, but he's claimed in the past that Google has manipulated search results. There's no evidence of that. I hope viewers understand that, that when he says Facebook and Twitter are trying to cover something up, not only is there no proof, it's clear when you look on Facebook that these stories are trending.

Anyway, Hilary, Matt, please stick around. I want to bring you back in the program here.

Right after the break, we're talking about parallel universes and what Newt Gingrich described to Megyn Kelly.

Plus, what is Megyn Kelly's future at FOX?

We'll have all that right after the break.



The fractures in conservative media partly caused by Donald Trump were on full display this week. I'm sure you saw this heated exchange between one of conservative media's biggest stars, Megyn Kelly, and Trump supporter Newt Gingrich. You know, there's a lot of conversation about how he accused her of being fascinated with sex.

But look at this exchange a couple minutes before that.


MEGYN KELLY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: You think Trump is going to win Pennsylvania?

NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER HOUSE SPEAKER: Look, all I can report to you now is they're outvoting the Democrats in early voting which is also true in Florida, which is unprecedented.

KELLY: But all of the polls in Pennsylvania have her winning. [11:15:02] GINGRICH: What?

KELLY: All of the polls in Pennsylvania have her ahead.

GINGRICH: I know. I just told you we have two alternative universes right now.

KELLY: All of the moves on the map in the past three weeks by Larry Sabato, by Cook, by the FOX News Decision Desk, these are nonpartisan outlets that are just trying to call the electoral --

GINGRICH: They're not nonpartisan outlets. Every outlet you described is part of the establishment.

KELLY: FOX News, really? I don't think so.

GINGRICH: Come on.


STELTER: What a revealing moment there. Gingrich is saying that FOX News is part of the problem. He's a paid FOX News contributor, by the way.

But he was right about the parallel universes. I think we all feel it right now. The timing of the fight was fascinating because it happens that Kelly is in negotiations with FOX about a new contract, a big new contract. But she may decide to leave. Her current deal is up next summer.

Rupert Murdoch took her contract talks public this week, saying he wanted her to stay, but there's lots of other people who could take her place.

So, how would the results of the November 8th election affect all these cracks that have splintered conservative media and perhaps more importantly the GOP itself, and what's next for Kelly?

Joining me now, a trio of top conservative media columnist. Jennifer Rubin of the "Washington Post." She writes "The Right Turn" blog there. Rich Noyes, a research director for the Media Research Center, and a senior editor for And back with us, Matt Lewis, a CNN political commentator and senior contributor at "The Daily Caller".

Rich, your study got a lot of attention, including from Trump and Mike Pence. You said 91 percent of media coverage on the nightly news of Donald Trump was hostile, in the 12 weeks after the convention leading up until now. Tell us how you came to that conclusion. What does that 91 percent number represent?

RICH NOYES, RESEARCH DIRECTOR, MEDIA RESEARCH CENTER: Well, we looked at all the statements. We stripped out the campaign rhetoric. We didn't count Trump sound bites about Hillary Clinton or about himself or vice versa. This is the reporter statements. The nonpartisan experts they would bring in, the voters they would bring in. Partisans who broke the partisan mold that would then get attention on the news, things that really lent a spin.

We found almost 700 statements about Trump, 91 percent of them were negative. We found fewer than 200 about Hillary Clinton, about 79 percent of those were negative as well. But my conclusion, looking at that, is she's really out of the line of fire in the news media up until I guess this past weekend. And he was the central focus, and it was very, very negative.

STELTER: When you look at the kind of the fairness between the coverage of Clinton and Trump, would you think it's fair to say that Clinton has had fewer controversies or more controversies for nightly news to cover?

NOYES: Well, she's got her controversies, and you know, they're certainly getting less air time. We found 440 minutes of this air time devoted to Trump controversies, 185 about 40 percent of that, to Hillary Clinton. Now, you could argue that the e-mail controversy, which is now back in the news, the Clinton Foundation pay for play, those are potentially very significant about her time in $ public office going right to questions of ethics and competence.

And yet those were getting far less coverage than, say, Trump and his behavior towards women, which is certainly a valid issue, Trump's taxes, things like that that the media seemed more eager to cover. Whereas with Hillary Clinton, they seemed ready to call that old news again until this weekend. Our study stopped October 20th.

STELTER: Jennifer, do you look at this study and see the playing field tilted in Clinton's direction?

JENNIFER RUBIN, THE WASHINGTON POST: No, I see this is actually the Donald Trump strategy. To the consternation of Republicans, whenever the coverage and the story line has drifted to Hillary under terms that might be beneficial, he grabs the spotlight back.

He knows exactly what he's doing. This is how he frankly got through the primaries when he got overwhelming coverage from the networks. So, I don't think this is necessarily the media choosing to root for one side or to make him look bad. It's an intentional strategy on his part.

I also think that frankly, you know, you can take any segment of the election, these 12 weeks, if you took the period of time, for example, when the FBI originally came out on the e-mails, the news was quite negative for a long period of time against Hillary. So, there is an ebb and flow.

And I think just to say 91 percent of it during these few weeks goes this way doesn't look at the election as a whole. I think it will be interesting at the end to see how the numbers play out over the entire election season.

STELTER: Matt, talking about Newt Gingrich here, the Gingrich/Megyn Kelly exchange. I played the parallel universes bite because it's the key to understanding what's going on. Folks are in their own echo chambers. Do you have any advice about how to break out past that, but how to

encourage people to hear all sides during this election?

LEWIS: Well, I mean, I think that's it's really a microcosm right now, as you were saying, of the conservative movement.

[11:20:05] I mean, Newt Gingrich is wearing his hat in the role of a surrogate, so you would expect him to defend Trump. So, that sort of deserves an asterisk.

But if you put that aside, I think you have a sort of nationalist, populist, pro-Trump movement that is maybe the most indicative of that. And then, you have a more mainstream, conservative, traditional conservative movement. Maybe the "National Review" is more indicative of that.

I think Megyn Kelly is sort of at the center of this. If FOX News keeps Megyn Kelly, then I think it's a clear sign that they're going to be -- they want to move in sort of a thoughtful, center right "National Review" direction. If she goes, and you have, for example, Sean Hannity becoming the marquee primetime host, then it's a sign that they're going the other direction.

So, as the conservative movement is sort of splitting away and trying to decide what it's about, FOX News is like a microcosm of that battle.

STELTER: Rich, do you agree with matt, or is it possible FOX News can be all things to all conservatives or even moderates?

NOYES: Well, I think it's going to be difficult. I mean, FOX is going through its own changes right now. But you know, they have been up until this election a really including this election, the one place on television, cable television news where conservatives felt they were getting a fair shake, getting some respect, getting their point of view across.

Now, conservatives are split amongst themselves so some are unhappy with FOX one night, or they like this host, they don't like that host. So, you know, when the conservative movement sort of pulls itself together, it will be easier to serve them as a constituency. Until then, it's going to be more difficult.

STELTER: You know, you tweeted something originally, there have been a couple polls showing that most Americans think the meet yeah, writ large, wants Clinton to win, not Trump to win. That feels to me like a problem. It feels like a problem. If most Americans think the scales are somehow tilted in Clinton's favor.

Yet at the same time, I don't know how to separate that from Trump's dominant anti-media rhetoric, that he's always telling his supporters the media is trying to tear down his candidacy. When you look at the polls that show that, do you think that it has a lot to do with Trump's anti-media rhetoric, which he has toned down in recent days?

NOYES: Well, I mean, that's part of it, but the other part is we have journalists -- this week, Dana Milbank is one that said the press can't play it fair anymore. The press can't play it neutral.

STELTER: But he's a liberal columnist.

NOYES: Well, I know, but he's talking to other journalists. He's suggesting that it is illegitimate to give Trump the same press as any other Republican candidate. When the press wants to get in there and take sides because it's too important to lead to the voters to make up the decision themselves, they're basically playing to Trump's hand and saying it is a rigged game, and then they're demonstrating that with their coverage every night being much more adversarial against Trump than against Hillary Clinton.

STELTER: Well, Jennifer, you work at "The Post." How do you feel?

RUBIN: I disagree. I think this is one of the problems with conservative media and conservative watchdogs. They don't, for example, distinguish between the actual reporters and the columnist.

I don't think anyone can accuse David Fahrenthold who has done really Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporting, as being biased. He's doing his job. He's digging.

Part of this is fuel by the fact that Donald Trump refused to reveal a lot of information that most candidates have traditionally done. So, there's more to find out on that side.

But I will say something else. FOX for a long time has played this game of saying, well, we have our opinion shows, Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly, but then we have straight news from people like Kelly, people like Brit Hume and so on.


RUBIN: And I think what has happened is these distinctions have gotten completely blurred. They put Sean Hannity at a desk that looks like a news desk. They have the bug on it that says FOX News.

And so, that they have really sort of eviscerated these distinctions between what is real news, what is hard news, what has to be corroborated, what is based on facts, and what Hannity and O'Reilly do. I think that was a mistake for them. I think it has denigrated from their real news people like Megyn Kelly, like Bret Baier, by associating them, and then everyone thinks FOX is Sean Hannity. Everybody thinks FOX is Bill O'Reilly.

When you point that out, they get very offended, but frankly, it's a game they started and they exploit.

STELTER: Hannity has been raising the prospect of voter fraud. When you look at polling, when you look at polling that compares fans of CNN versus fans of FOX, for example, you'll find FOX viewers are much more concerned the election results could be manipulated.

Jennifer, do you feel conservative media leaders are misleading their audience about that?

RUBIN: Some of them are.

[11:25:01] And again, it's hard to say conservative media anymore because there are very big distinctions.

Listen, some of the best analysis debunking the "it's being rigged" has been done by conservative media, has been done by "National Review" and others. I think you have to really separate those people who maintain a journalistic standard of accuracy, of fairness, and those who are simply shooting off the top of their heads.

Listen, Sean Hannity perpetrated the birther lie, too. And that's my objection to putting those folks on with a news label, because they're making stuff up. And that's not news.

STELTER: I'm all out of time, but thank you to the three of you for being here. I appreciate it this morning. Thanks.

And up next here, we have seen a lot about Trump supporters all year long. We have a panel of them a few months back. Now, we're going to flip the script a little bit, talk to a panel of Clinton supporters about double standards, sexism, and personal animosity for the candidates. Hear their views on how the press treats Clinton after the break.



STELTER: With so much ink, so much airtime to the Clinton e-mail story -- it has already got a hashtag -- Trump says it's bigger than Watergate.

But has the coverage been fair, or is there some bias in the way the story is being reported?

We have talked about bias many times on this show. In August, we gave four Trump supporters an unusual roundtable, a platform to talk about grievances about the media's lack of fairness covering Trump.

So, we thought now it's time to flip that around, to talk about how Clinton supporters feel about the way she's treated by the mainstream media.

Joining me now, Peter Daou, a former adviser to both Clinton and John Kerry. He's the CEO of the Democratic media company Shareblue, in Miami, David Brock, the CEO of Correct the Record, a pro-Hillary Clinton super PAC. He's also author of "Killing the Messenger: The Right-Wing Plot to Derail Hillary and Hijack Your Government." And back with us, Hilary Rosen, a CNN political commentator and Clinton supporter.

And thank you, all three, for joining me this morning.

Peter, let me start with you.

You have been outspoken about your disgust in some of the ways Clinton is treated. So, get specific with me. Where do you see a double standard in the coverage?

PETER DAOU, FORMER ADVISER TO HILLARY CLINTON: Well, the first thing I don't want to do is to accuse -- when I do media analysis, to accuse any particular reporter of sexism.

It's really more about the culture of the media, of the national media...

STELTER: How so?

DAOU: ... as an institution.

It's what is allowed. Let me give you a more concrete example. Matt Lauer was criticized pretty severely by his own peers for the Commander-In-Chief Forum a couple of month ago. But all he was really doing was reflecting -- it was really a microcosm in one hour of what the media coverage had been for the previous 14, 15 months.

Seventeen minutes, he started with Secretary Clinton on the e-mails.

STELTER: More like 10 minutes, I think.

DAOU: Well, we can...

STELTER: But it was a big portion of the beginning...

DAOU: It was a big portion that he started.

It was relatively an antagonistic approach. He was grilling her. He was more deferential to Donald Trump. And, in that one hour of coverage, you could see what we, our research has done -- and I saw the segment previously about 91 percent coverage had been negative towards Donald Trump.

Well, the e-mail story has been covered since it broke in early March for 600 days in the national press. And the definition is a national outlet or major regional outlet covering the story, talking about it; 600 days of coverage exceeds Watergate and pretty much every other major news story, political news story in the modern era.

It's about proportionality, Brian. It's not about not covering the story. Of course it's newsworthy. And there's no reason not to cover a newsworthy story. But it's about proportion.

When she didn't give a press conference a few months ago, there was a constant drumbeat: Why aren't you doing press conferences? Reporters were counting the days, whereas Donald Trump has not done a press conference in the entire general election. But you don't hear the drumbeat.

So, it's -- all we're asking for is proportionality and fairness of the coverage.

STELTER: I hope you hear a drumbeat on this program about both candidates needing to provide more access. Let's talk about Clinton's lack of press access for a moment. CNN's

Dan Merica wrote this just the other day, pointing out that Hillary Clinton has not given a national TV news interview in more than six weeks. He says Clinton did speak with "The New York Times" and Snapchat earlier this month and then sat down with Ellen DeGeneres in the middle of the month.

He gave -- she gave an interview to a Univision entertainment show a couple of days ago.

But, David Brock, the truth is, Clinton has been avoiding national television news interviews to an even greater extent than Trump has been avoiding it. Shouldn't Hillary Clinton in these final days of the campaign provide more access to the media? Wouldn't that solve some of the bias claims that Clinton supporters have about the media?

DAVID BROCK, FOUNDER, CORRECT THE RECORD: Well, look, I'm all in favor of more access to the media. But I don't believe that it would be a corrective in terms of the kind of coverage she gets. I don't think one follows from the other.

Look, you covered earlier in your show how a lot of the press on Friday botched this story of the e-mails. But let's remember that where this story started a year-and-a-half ago at "The New York Times." You had a series of three stories in "The New York Times" making what ended up being false accusations of misconduct by Hillary in reference to the e-mails, nothing that the investigation subsequently ever verified.

And you had an extraordinary episode last August, where the then public editor of "The New York Times" extracted a promise from the executive editor of "The Times" to be fairer to Hillary going forward. So, this isn't the first botched e-mail story.

The second issue is fact-checking. I think the fact that, present company accepted, that a lot of the press has avoided doing the fact- checking on Donald Trump intrinsically, just it leads to an imbalance in the playing field, because Hillary has been rated by the most credible fact-checking sites as the most honest candidate in this whole field. So, she's disadvantaged by the fact that Trump gets off the hook for blatantly lying.

And, three, on a double standard, let's take both foundations. Let's take the Clinton Foundation that has saved millions of lives, that has been flyspecked for more than two years by the press corps, finding nothing wrong.


And then you have got the Trump Foundation, which is basically a sham operation, where he takes money from other people and has used it to make illegal political donations.

Now, the truth is, "The Times" has had 16 front-page stories on the Clinton Foundation. What did they do with the Trump Foundation and the accusation that he had pay-to-play in Florida with the attorney general? Paragraph 23 is the first time it's mentioned in "The Times."

The AP ran a very misleading story on the Clinton Foundation a few weeks back. That got three times the broadcast news coverage than the Trump Foundation misdeeds did.

STELTER: So, you're talking about proportionality the way Peter was.


STELTER: This gets to the parallel universes, because in talking with Joel Benenson last night, Clinton's chief strategist of the campaign, he brought up the same fact-checking point you're making.

And yet, talking to Trump aides, talking to Trump advisers, they feel like the press beats him down every single day.

Hilary, what do you hear fro Clinton supporters? How would you channel the frustration of Clinton supporters, when they're watching coverage of their preferred candidate?

HILARY ROSEN, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think the problem in some respects is about the candidates themselves, which is what we have in Hillary Clinton is really a single mistake, if you will, that people have been hounding on, as Peter and David have said, for the last 15 months.

What you have in Donald Trump is literally a thousand times where he's been, you know, sued for cheating, backing out of deals, you know, doing -- denying his bankruptcies, and, you know, claiming policies that he doesn't give his own employees.

So, there are literally like a thousand things about Donald Trump, the most lying candidate ever, according to PolitiFact, in history. And so it's simple marketing. If you have one mistake that is played 1,000 times, and then you have 1,000 things that each get like one mention, what's going to -- what's going to penetrate the most?

So, I do think that Hillary Clinton, there's been this kind of false equivalency that the media has done. And, by the way, she never lied about her e-mails. She -- even the -- the FBI said she was always honest with them.

You know, she might not have been accessible to the media as much as they wanted on this issue, but she never lied. And this false equivalency about that they're both dishonest, I think, has been kind of created by the media.

STELTER: All right, final word to you, David.

If you could change one thing in the last nine days -- you're obviously a partisan on this, but if you could change one thing, what would it be?

BROCK: Well, if I could change one thing is to, you know, let's get the facts about this FBI situation correct, because subsequent reporting from the bombshell treatment that we had on Friday has shown, in Yahoo News, that these e-mails were not even looked at by the FBI. So it can't be said there's a damaging bombshell here.



STELTER: Well, we don't know that. Yahoo has reported that. CNN has not reported that yet.


STELTER: There's a lot more reporting that needs to be done on this.

BROCK: Well, that's true. I agree with that.

But I think everybody ought to just chill out for a minute. This was a very vague letter. We're owed more information from Director Comey before we can take it much further.

And you're right. There's a lot of speculation out there in the press. But "Newsweek" has reported that these e-mails were not to or from Hillary. So, we really need to get to the bottom of this and take our time to get to the bottom of it, not rush to judgment.

ROSEN: Do we have one more time for a sex bias? No.


STELTER: Go ahead. I'm sorry. Go ahead.

ROSEN: Well, I was just going to say that, you know, the bias issue of whether she's a woman, for a year, I think the media -- when Hillary would talk about what mattered to women and that Donald Trump's behavior was boorish after the Megyn Kelly, after everything, people claimed her playing the woman card.

It wasn't until men heard for themselves that "Access Hollywood" tape that they sort of got on board. But women had sort of understood those messages long before the media did. And I do think that that's a bit of a bias and difference between the sexes there.

STELTER: Interesting.

Peter, David, Hilary, thank you all being here this morning.

DAOU: Thank you.

ROSEN: Take care.

BROCK: Thanks.

STELTER: Up next here: talking about fact-checking. I will sit down with a reporter who fact-checks every word out of Donald Trump's mouth. You have got to hear the findings he's had right after this.



STELTER: Has Donald Trump made fact-checking great again?

Trump, at best, is indifferent to fact-checkers. And, at worst, he's openly hostile. So, we have seen some journalists stand up and come up with new ways to fact-check this uniquely fact-challenged candidate.

Check out what Daniel Dale is doing. He's a Washington correspondent for "The Toronto Star" who is making a list of every Trump falsehood every day.

Lately, he says he's been recording record numbers of untruths. So, let's learn more about his findings.

Daniel is joining me now from Washington.

Daniel, you have been calling this the TrumpCheck. And you recently wrote that you think the count, the actual number here, is a story in itself. What is that story? What have you been learning?

DANIEL DALE, WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, "THE TORONTO STAR": Well, the story is that we have a candidate who lies strategically and pointlessly, who lies about things big and small, but who, most of all, lies frequently.

The way fact-checking has traditionally been done is, you know, that the fact-checker will take one or two or maybe three false statements in a day and meticulously fact-check them and post an article.

But that doesn't -- that doesn't work when we have a candidate who is frequently saying more than 20 false things in a day, up to 37 on some days. So, what I have been trying to do is fill that sort of frequency void and make clear to people that this is not a normal political liar who can be shoehorned into normal patterns of political coverage.

STELTER: So, what is a normal political liar? You mean like a Hillary Clinton?

DALE: Well, you know, that's for people to judge.

Hillary -- for example, Hillary Clinton in the three presidential debates,said four false things, five false things, and four false things, by my count. Donald Trump said -- let me get this right -- 33, 34, and 37.


So, there is a massive imbalance in the frequency of dishonesty. Now, I'm not going to make the -- it's not my job to make the case that Hillary Clinton is an honest person or a truthful person.

But what I can say with certainty is that there's no comparison in her level of accuracy with her opponent.

STELTER: You said that Trump lies pointlessly. I wonder what you meant by that, pointlessly?

DALE: Well, he gets things wrong on subjects where there's no political advantage to be gained. And, in those cases, it's not clear whether he's lying or simply confused or unwilling to take the time to learn the facts.

So, for example, you know, when he says things like the song "The Snake," which he reads as an allegory for the danger of Muslim refugees, was written by the singer Al Wilson in the last 1960s, in fact, it was written very proudly by a civil rights activist named Oscar Brown Jr. in the early 1960s. And he says this over and over.

So, this is not just defensive lying. It's not just evasive lying. It's just getting things wrong all the time for often reasons unknown.

STELTER: Clinton supporters were on the last block about five minutes ago saying that Trump should be fact-checked more often.

You would seem to be doing what they want to see done. And yet how do you determine when something is a lie, not just a fib, not just an exaggeration, but a lie? There are times where you say that Trump is making promises he can't keep, and you're calling those lies.

DALE: Yes, so when I do the daily what I call TrumpCheck, I don't call any of them lies, because determining intent is really difficult. I simply call them false claims. I can prove with certainty that something is false, not why he said it.

But I think there are times where it is clear to anyone who is looking at this fairly that he is lying. For example, his claim to have opposed the Iraq War in advance, we know that that is false. And he's said it enough to know that that this cannot simply be confusion.

When he says over and over that neighbors of the San Bernardino terrorists saw bombs in the garage or on the floor of their apartment and didn't report them...

STELTER: Yes, that's a really egregious one. Yes.

DALE: ... you know, that's essentially slandering the entire Muslim community for political aim.

So, in certain cases like that, I'm comfortable saying lie.

STELTER: You have reported on the late Rob Ford, the former mayor of Toronto. You say that that helped you, it gave you an advantage covering Trump. How so?

DALE: Well, it got me and my paper, probably more crucially, comfortable with the idea of calling out a candidate for lying and calling out a candidate who's lying much more often than his opponents.

Papers are traditionally very reluctant to, you know, to -- quote, unquote -- "take sides" in this way, even though it's taking the sides of -- taking the side of the facts, and, you know, taking a stand and saying there is an imbalance here.

That's not something papers have usually done. So, we did that with Rob Ford and his brother, Doug Ford. We got used to it. And I think that -- that made my editors comfortable allowing me to do this with Trump.

STELTER: Daniel Dale, the Trump checker, thank you for being here.

DALE: Thank you very much.

STELTER: Up next: They say sharing is caring. Well, when it comes to sharing news from social media sites, if you really care, you will triple-check before you share.

I have got an essay you have got to hear and you have got share with your friends right after this.



STELTER: Americans are divided right now. The divide is real and it is distressing.

And it's partly because of Facebook -- yes, Facebook. Fake news has become a plague on the Web, and especially on social networks like Facebook. There are so many unreliable sources about this election.

So, we need a new rule for the Web: Triple-check before you share. Let me show you why.

Now, there are countless Web sites designed to trick and mislead people. More of them are popping up every single day.

This one claims that a Donald Trump protester was paid $3,500 to protest one of Trump's rallies. But zoom in on that logo. It says ABC News, but it's not the real ABC News. And the URL isn't quite right. Look at it. It says That's the domain name for Colombia in South America.

But this site has tricked a whole lot of us, including Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway and Trump's son Eric, who clicked on the link and then shared it on Twitter.

The fake story reinforced a right-wing media narrative about anti- Trump protesters being paid off. So, Eric wrote, "Finally, the truth comes out."

Actually, it was the opposite of the truth. They had to delete those tweets. But this happens to all of us. I have been fooled by these sites before. Maybe you have been, too, because they are designed to be shared on social media.

I see three buckets of them, number one, total hoax sites with totally made-up news solely trying to trick you. Number two, hyperpartisan sites, which aren't lying, per se, but they're misleading, because they only tell you good news about your side and bad news about the other side.

But I think number three is the most dangerous kind. These are the hybrids, because they purposely mix a little bit of fact and then a lot of fiction.

Let me show you one, without trying to give it any more attention, OK? This is a site called Now, let's click on that link on the right one.

It says that the WikiLeaks e-mails revealed something shocking, that Hillary Clinton wanted Trump to run for president and predicted he would be successful.

Now, there's a tiny bit of truth here. According to WikiLeaks, Clinton did say to an audience of bankers that she wanted more businessmen to run for office, but she never mentioned Trump. So, the quotes on the Web site all about that are entirely made up.

Now, here's the depressing part. Look at these Google search results about it. I think these disinformation sites are like a spider web, with the initial lie right in the middle, then spreading out in all directions onto dozens of other sites that all link to each other, strengthening the entire web. You can see it here all over these sites.


It makes it seem never-ending. It makes it seem true.

This is something that we have to reckon with. And when I say we, I'm talking about Facebook and you and me. These sites exist because they're profitable. They're click-bait. Every time we click and share and get angry about these fake stories, somebody makes a little bit more money.

Completely fake stories have even ended up right in Facebook's trending box. But while it may be all fun and profits for the fakers, these B.S. stories hurt the people who read and share them over and over again.

Just this morning, a big pro-Trump Facebook page posted about that pretend ABC story about a paid protester, and then dozens of people posted angry comments about it, further reinforcing their world view and insulating themselves from the truth.

These bogus sites are not going away. So, all of us have a responsibility to triple-check before we share links. And newsrooms have a responsibility to debunk this nonsense.

Now, that's all for this televised edition of RELIABLE SOURCES.

But our media coverage keeps going all the time on Make sure you sign up for our newsletter, I have been writing a lot about this fake news plague in the newsletter. It gets delivered every night, so sign up,

And we will see you back here next week for a special pre-election show from Washington.