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CNN RELIABLE SOURCES
Pro-Trump Media's War on Mueller; A Tale of Two Media Mega- Mergers. Aired 11a-12n ET
Aired December 17, 2017 - 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 HOST: Hey, I'm Brian Stelter. This is RELIABLE SOURCES, our weekly look at the story behind the story, of how the media really works and how the news gets made.
Ahead this hour, Disney buying most of 21st Century Fox. Why is Sarah Sanders saying this could be good for jobs while Wall Street expects layoffs? We'll get into that.
Plus, stunning remarks by Fox's Rupert Murdoch who says that Fox's sexual harassment scandals are nonsense. Did he really say that? Former Fox Tamara Holder is here to respond.
And later, a story you'll have to hear about a Mexican reporter who's been detained in the United States. He says deportation could equal death. His lawyer will join me to explain.
But, first, Robert Mueller is investigating Russia's attack on the American election. But now, he is under attack. And this new assault is not coming from Moscow. It's coming from Fox News headquarters right here in New York. And it's coming from the White House.
It's an anti-Mueller, anti-FBI feedback loop, claiming that Mueller's probe is hopelessly biased and downright corrupt. Let's cue Fox.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, FOX NEWS)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think what we have here is potentially one of the biggest scandals in American history where we're seeing, you know, our justice system being used to really change the outcome of an election.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STELTER: That's from "Fox & Friends" just today. Now, let's cue Trump aide Kellyanne Conway last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: The fix was in against Donald Trump from the beginning. And they were pro-Hillary.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STELTER: This is the feedback loop in action. I want you to see it over and over again. Fox, Trump, his aides, GOP lawmakers, all of them, they're taking a legitimate issue, which is the discovery of a Mueller team member who expressed his hatred of Trump in text messages, and then they're blowing it up, trying to discredit the entire probe.
Now, remember, that team member was removed from the probe when the text messages were found. But every day, it's something new, some reason to claim that special counsel is illegitimate. So, as you watch the coverage, try to notice how this works. Notice how right wing commentators and GOP lawmakers are echoing each other and pay close attention to the banners on the bottom of Fox's screen.
Last night -- I can't believe this -- Fox is asking if the FBI has engaged in a coup. This morning, the banner said the investigators are in the hot seat.
This isn't just an alternate reality. This is a reversal of reality. Obviously, it's Trump world that is on the hot seat. Four Trump associates have been charged with crimes. Two of the four have pled guilty. Mueller is investigating a massive fire. And everyone can see and smell the smoke.
But this, instead, is what the president is hearing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEANINE PIRRO, FOX NEWS HOST: The only thing that remains is whether we have the fortitude to not just fire these people immediately but to take them out in cuffs.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STELTER: That is Jeanine Pirro, one of Trump's informal advisers, not just calling for firings but arrests.
Look, I don't say this lightly, but these FOTs, these friends of Trumps, they are -- they're talking like propagandists. This sounds like propaganda and it sounds dangerous.
Pirro is demanding a cleansing of the FBI. Sean Hannity is calling Mueller the head of the snake. Other Fox hosts are calling the FBI corrupt and out of control. Rush Limbaugh is describing it as a coup and guests on these programs are comparing the FBI to the KGB.
The conservative media choir is telling Trump that Mueller is out to get you, trying to reverse the outcome of the election. It doesn't get any more dangerous than that.
Joining me now to talk about this, Kurt Bardella, he's a former spokesman for "Breitbart", now the president of Endeavor Strategies, Hadas Gold, a CNN reporter who covers politics, media and business, and David Folkenflik is the media correspondent for NPR.
Kurt, what is going on here?
KURT BARDELLA, FORMER BREITBART SPOKESMAN: Well, I think you're seeing exactly that Fox News has basically become de facto state run propaganda. It's state-controlled, state run television that is getting its cues directly from the White House. I don't know how anyone could look at what's going on right now and not reach that determination. Trump is creating his own reality.
STELTER: But when you say that, it's not as if the White House is literally running Fox, or are you saying they are?
BARDELLA: Well, if you look at the coverage, it sure seems like they are. They have gone so far -- I remember the days, Brian, when what you saw on pages like "Breitbart" were considered the fringe. It was considered so far beyond the mainstream, not even Fox News would touch what was on those pages. Now, Fox is going almost farther than Breitbart. And you have right now, at this second, there's an ad running in different markets with Fox News contributor Tomi Lahren advocating and attacking the Mueller investigation.
[11:05:02] STELTER: So, David Folkenflik, do we call this collusion?
DAVID FOLKENFLIK, NPR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: I think you've seen an almost total erosion between what you're hearing from Trump administration officials desperately spinning and trying to defend the president, Trump surrogates who appear on cable networks all the time and the Fox News talent, the hosts, the commentators, the people being paid by Rupert Murdoch and by 21st Century Fox and Fox News. They're offering the same message.
And the message is, don't look at or think about what may be under investigation. Let's find whatever we can to undermine the pillars of the respect that we tend to confer upon institutions like the FBI and the Justice Department.
STELTER: You and I have covered Fox News for years. Is it appropriate to call the channel a news channel?
FOLKENFLIK: It's such a good question. I think that --
STELTER: Shepherd Smith is a journalist. He works for Fox.
FOLKENFLIK: Here's what I would say --
STELTER: Bret Baier is a journalist. He works for Fox.
FOLKENFLIK: Here's what I would say, here's what I would say, and I think it's only more true now in the Trump era. I would say that there are journalists, there are reporters, there are producers, there are people who care about the news who work at Fox News.
Fox News is not about news. Fox News is about Fox. Fox News is about getting a tonal point of view, making sure that viewers get what they think viewers need to get, whether or not that involves, much of the time, facts.
And you see it -- you know it's true because it's true at the most highly rated times of day. It's true for who is being paid, who is being promoted, why are they being promoted. You see anchors who are slipping into some of those "Fox & Friends" host guest slots and they start taking a sharper tone. They start taking a more kind of incredulous look on their faces.
They are pushing out the same message of incredulity about prosecutors, investigators, doing their job, trying to look at some very serious issues being raised about people who are around this president.
STELTER: So, rather than just talk about what Fox said, let's watch some more of it. Hadas, watch this clip of me and then on the other end, talk to me about how the Sean Hannitys of the world communicate with the president. First, this montage.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS HOST: The FBI is out of control.
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: There are clear, abusive biases at the DOJ and the FBI and Robert Mueller's team.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pieces of information here that may seem small but they add up to a pattern of bias.
HANNITY: Unethical political crusaders.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There are more e-mails coming out to show the bias here.
HANNITY: Mueller's hand-picked minions are a bunch of Trump-hating, Hillary-loving partisan hacks.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People who hate the president, who have a bias against him, investigating him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's inherent bias in the investigation.
HANNITY: It's one giant cesspool. It's full of corruption, partisanship.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have a coup on our hands in America.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you can understand why the president can get frustrated.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STELTER: You can understand why the president gets frustrated if that's what he's hearing every hour of every day.
Hadas, what do we know about what President Trump is hearing privately from these hosts? We know what they say on the air. What's going on off the air?
HADAS GOLD, FOX POLITICS, MEDIA & BUSINESS REPORTER: Well, we know that the president loves watching television, and he watches a lot of it every day and especially Fox. I mean, he watches all media and he definitely engages in all media. But especially Fox, "Fox & Friends," it's now become this common trope where we see him tweet something and then we go back on Fox to see what was said, where he got the inspiration from.
But in terms of how he talks to the host, we know for a fact that he talks to quite a few of them. He talks to, first of all, Rupert Murdoch, the head of Fox, on a regular basis. He talks to Sean Hannity. He consults with them, sometimes to get an idea on how things are playing out amongst his base and how he should approach things.
And we also know and we have seen quite a few Fox people who either have ended up in the administration, like Heather Nauert, who is now at the State Department spokesperson, or people they have long discussions with about possibly joining the administration, like Kimberly Guilfoyle, or a former Fox host Eric Bolling. So, there is a clear --
STELTER: I forgot about that about Guilfoyle. Yes, yes.
GOLD: There's a clear synergy there and we catch them at the White House, going to dinners, just being there for interviews.
I mean, it's sort of become a normal thing to know that the president is talking to these news hosts all of the time, or having them at the White House, where it used to be a big story -- we used to have like a -- we make a big deal about it if the president was having a one-on- one dinner or talking to a news host all of the time or maybe more of an opinion host would be a more proper description of it. And now, it's just sort of far for the course. Oh, he talked to Hannity again last night.
FOLKENFLIK: It's not just the question of commonality of outlook or some sort of shared thinking in some generalized way. We're talking about concentrated message, you know, the words being used time and again.
FOLKENFLIK: And sometimes, the message seems to be coming from around the White House where I think often it's not -- you are seeing these Fox hosts pushing forward messages they want the White House to hold on to, to grab hold of and to ride. And you're seeing -- it's not just a synergy, it's just this constant, current floating all in the same direction.
There are no admission of facts against interests on these shows that you're talking about. And that, I think, is why it's not news.
STELTER: On Tuesday night, for example, actually really Wednesday, Fox moved on very quickly from Roy Moore's loss in Alabama. So, quickly, Kurt, since you used to work for "Breitbart", what was your take on the election result?
[11:10:01] Was Breitbart and Steve Bannon, were they the second biggest losers of the election? BARDELLA: Oh, I mean, after Roy Moore, absolutely they were. And
maybe they were even bigger losers than Roy Moore ultimately because there was such a clamoring of Republicans to say, we need to create distances from Steve Bannon. This is the moment where he needs to step off the stage.
What they don't understand is he's not going anywhere. And, frankly, it's because of programming on Fox that gives Steve power, that gives him that -- he's part of that loop with Trump and with Fox. And as long as that's the case, as long as Trump takes his cues from that type of programming and content, he's going to need them. And particularly as the Mueller investigation intensifies -- it looks like what they're doing is laying the groundwork to rationalize firing Mueller and ending the investigation.
STELTER: Kurt, thanks for being here. Hadas, David, please stick around.
All right. I just -- control, I got to one thing before we go to break, look, the American people, me, you, all of us watching, we deserve to know exactly how Russia interfered in the election last year. That's what Mueller is probing.
We and all the American people deserve to know if the Russians had any help. We need to know if the Trump campaign knew about the Russian attack. We need to know if the president of the United States somehow is compromised by a foreign government and we need to know if he obstructed justice. That's what Mueller is probing.
We, you at home, we deserve the answers. And I think all the time we spent thinking about Fox's attacks, it's important, but it distracts from those key questions, who knew what, when, and what we need to do to make sure it never happens again?
All right. Rant over.
After the break here, more on Fox, more on Rupert Murdoch actually. A tale of two media mega mergers. Why is the White House literally cheering on one deal while fighting the other? Could it have anything to do with that hug?
We'll be right back.
[11:15:57] STELTER: A $54 billion deal for the video streaming era.
Disney CEO Bob Iger buying most of Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox empire. Or as the cover of "The Hollywood Reporter" portrays it, Mickey Mouse is eating a fox.
Now, Disney says it needs FX, The National Geographic, and Fox's film studios, to challenge tech giants like Netflix and Google.
But Rupert is keeping news and sports, he's keeping Fox News, Fox Business, Fox Sports and Fox broadcast network. Now, it's going to be in the hands of the government regulators, who
are going to review this deal, trying to determine if it's good or bad for consumers. This is the third big media deal being scrutinized by the Trump administration.
The first, of course, was AT&T's bid to buy CNN's company Time Warner. Right now, the Justice Department is suing to stop that deal, saying it's violating anti-trust laws.
The second big media deal is Sinclair's acquisition of Tribune. As of this week, here's the headline from "The Wall Street Journal" headline, it looks Sinclair is going to get approved with a few concessions.
And now even more consolidation, Disney and Fox.
So, how will the government react?
Well, so far, President Trump has personally embraced his friend's sale. Trump called to congratulate Rupert Murdoch on Thursday and the White House has had supportive things to say.
So, is that a signal to the regulators? Is Rupert's support to the president paying off?
Let's talk about it now with three experts who have been tracking and covering this deal. Rich Greenfield of BTIG Research, Amy Chozick, writer at large with "The New York Times", and back with me now, David Folkenflik, NPR's media correspondent and the author of a biography of Rupert Murdoch.
So, Rich, you and I were shocked to hear White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders say this about the deal on Thursday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I know that the president spoke with Rupert Murdoch earlier today, congratulated him on the deal and thinks that -- to use one of the president's favorite words, that this could be a great thing for jobs and certainly looks forward to and hoping to see a lot more of those created.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STELTER: How could a deal that involves $2 billion in cost cuts be great for jobs?
RICHARD GREENFIELD, MEDIA AND TECHNOLOGY ANALYST, BTIG: Look, there's only two ways you get $2 billion of synergies which is what Disney, Bob Iger, and team, have talked about in this transaction. You shut down projects. So, you make fewer TV shows and end up with less actors, producers, writers getting hired. And the other way you get cost savings is fire a lot of people.
Our math says this deal, looking at the overlap, probably 5,000 to 10,000 jobs will be lost as part of this. So, the idea that jobs are gong to be created is actually, you know, frightening to hear, because it doesn't make sense logically that you'd end up with more jobs. But what really is scary for this transaction, when you listen to the Trump administration, is that Disney has been the biggest bully, you know, really in the sand box for many years.
STELTER: What do you mean?
GREENFIELD: Well, they use -- they use ESPN as really a sledgehammer. So, if you want to get any of the channels, you want Disney channel, you want ABC, ESPN is their hammer. And they use that hammer to get higher and higher fees.
GREENFIELD: All your viewers who are watching right now, they are paying probably, unknowingly, $8 a month just for ESPN. You're going to add to that all of the power in New York of the Yes Network and Fox Sports West --
STELTER: Right, right, right.
GREENFIELD: -- and you're going to end up with Disney having incredible leverage. And so, if you're a consumer, the one result of this merger other than job loss is your cable bill will be higher than it was before.
STELTER: Now, Rich, you're a Netflix bull.
GREENFIELD: We are.
STELTER: Does that mean you're a Disney bear? Are you down on this deal for that reason?
GREENFIELD: Now, look, this deal is not terribly interesting in terms of Disney looking towards the future. You know, Jeff Bezos --
STELTER: Well, what's going to happen when the government reviews this? If the DOJ looks at this deal, a horizontal merger, given that they're opposing CNN's parent company's vertical merger, what's going to happen with this?
GREENFIELD: Well, if you listen to what Sarah Huckabee Sanders just said on that videotape, it sounds like the government seems predisposed positively towards this deal.
[11:20:02] But what really concerns us is that if you look at the AT&T/Time Warner deal, there's no job cuts, nothing major. Maybe some head count, you know, reductions.
But the real issue with AT&T/Time Warner is they're in different businesses. They're not increasing their leverage in the media business. They don't really have any cable networks. They don't have a film studio.
And so, the threat to consumers is a theatrical harm. In this case, there's a very obvious harm. The government has a problem with AT&T/Time Warner. Look, there are risks, but they're theoretical. What our problem is, if you see problems in AT&T/Time Warner, you should have far more problems with Disney and Fox merging.
Yet, if you listen to that tape, it sounds like one is bad because it owns CNN and one is good because it's connected to Fox News.
STELTER: That's certainly the concern. I've heard others bring up.
Amy, let's talk about this personally for Rupert Murdoch. You wrote this week, a headline in "The New York Times" describing this as Rupert Murdoch's King Lear moment. What do you mean by that?
AMY CHOZICK, NEW YORK TIMES WRITER-AT-LARGE: Well, he's had a remarkable career. He's built from a single newspaper, an enormous media empire with political influence on three continents. Brian, he didn't do this by selling. So, this is -- Rupert Murdoch is a character that we've all covered for years who is buying, who is acquiring. Remember when he bought Dow Jones for $5 billion even though his closest advisers said, why do you want "The Wall Street Journal" so bad? Well, he did and he bought it.
CHOZICK: And that has always been his modus operandi.
So, this is a really remarkable shift for him, selling off vast portions of his empire, throwing succession into question, we get into the King Lear analogies, and really showing what we know is his first true love. He could care less about that spot at the Oscars or on the red carpet. He loves his newspapers. He loves his newspapers. He loves his political influence.
STELTER: His access to President Trump and the White House.
CHOZICK: Well, absolutely. Not just President Trump. I would say before that, Tony Blair in the U.K. I mean, this is what gives him influence.
And so, he is keeping those businesses that he loves that give him a seat at the White House rather than a seat at the Oscars.
STELTER: David, he is retrenching. Why? Why is he retrenching?
FOLKENFLIK: Well, you heard for the past year, James and Lachlan, his sons, who together have helped him lead this empire, talked the last year about scale. You know, they said, we have scale at 21st Century Fox. We're going to be one of the survivors.
And what they clearly concluded is they didn't have scale. Think how remarkable that is. This is a company with a market cap in excess of $60 billion. Time Warner Company, Jeff Bewkes leads, that has a market cap in excess of $80 billion.
STELTER: Sounds pretty big.
FOLKENFLIK: Both of these companies concluded they didn't have scale, that is they weren't big enough to compete against these giants that Rich studies so carefully, at Netflix, Google in some ways, Facebook, Amazon.
FOLKENFLIK: Possibly Apple.
You know, they're saying we're not going to be in that league and Netflix is going to spend $8 billion on original content. We just can't compete.
So, they said we don't want to do that. What did they want? They wanted something to hunker down and they wanted to deal with this. Lachlan Murdoch, it looks like, is going to emerge at what time, you know, the clear crown prince, then a dark horse, now back in the game. It looks like he's going to end up leading his father's company for -- as long as they hold on to it.
GREENFIELD: You know, selling makes a lot of sense. Advertise something switching from television to mobile.
You look at the bundle. More cord cutting, cord shaving, cord nevering, that's kids who grow up who never get a cable bundle. You know, we started a hashtag, #goodluckbundle.
I mean, you look at the fundamental change in this ecosystem and it's -- there's real headwinds. And so, Jeff Bewkes, as David mentioned, getting out, Ken Lowe at Scripps getting out, you know, this looks like a pretty great time to be selling. So, if Rupert is able to literally, you know, kind of figure out that the game is up, that the world is changing, that he's not going to be able to compete, selling now makes a tremendous amount of sense.
The real question, Brian, is: why does Bob want to buy? Why is Disney not looking toward something more exciting live videos or other sectors?
STELTER: And I would say he's buying because he needs a lot of programming to make you buy a streaming service that's going to come out in a couple of years.
But, Amy, last question to you. Now, Rupert Murdoch, his company will still have Fox News and Fox Business. He still has "The Journal", all his newspapers. He is really coming back to his one true love of news and politics, right?
CHOZICK: Exactly. This is getting back to what he really loves.
CHOZICK: You know, you contrast him with another, and there aren't that many of these self-made media moguls left.
STELTER: Yes. CHOZICK: But contrast him with Sumner Redstone, who went to war for Paramount, was the ultimate jewel in his empire to own this storied Hollywood studio. Rupert could really care less. I mean, they are hanging on to the physical studio, because it's some of the most expensive real estate in Beverly Hills.
But he cares about having his sleeves rolled up in a newsroom and Fox News he will still have. By default, he'll still have that direct line to the Trump administration.
STELTER: So, let's talk more about Rupert.
Panel, thank you very much for being here.
I want to show you all something while Rupert Murdoch was out promoting the Disney deal, something he said was outrageous and dismissive of Fox's numerous sexual harassment scandals. We're going to show you that right after the break and then one of the victims is here to react.
[11:29:33] STELTER: Hey, welcome back to RELIABLE SOURCES.
Twenty-First Century Fox is in repair mode this weekend, trying to tamp down the furor that was created over comments by patriarch Rupert Murdoch. He told in an interview that it's all sense, when he was asked if the sexual harassment scandals of Fox News have hurt Fox's bottom line.
Now, there were a number of factual inaccuracies in the interview. We're going to play the entire clip so you can see for yourself. But there's also something about his tone, his dismissive tone, the way he brushed it off that was particularly offensive, offensive especially to some of the victims of that harassment culture at Fox.
So, joining me now to react to Murdoch's comments is Tamara Holder. She's a former FOX News contributor who settled with the company after she reported that she was sexually assaulted by a FOX News executive.
Tamara, thank you for coming on the program today.
Let's go ahead and play in its entirety, including the question, Rupert Murdoch's comments.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUESTION: How harmful has the whole raft of allegations about sexual harassment at FOX News been for the business? Has it?
RUPERT MURDOCH, CHAIRMAN AND CEO, NEWS CORPORATION: No, it's all nonsense.
There was a problem with our chief executive sort of over the years, but isolated incidents. As soon as we investigated, he was out of the place in hours -- well, three or four days. And there's been nothing else since then.
Now, of course -- but that was largely political because we're conservative, although liberals are going down the drain. NBC is in deep trouble, CBS, their stars.
You know, I think it's a very interesting subject we could go into at length. But, I mean, there are really bad cases that people should be moved aside. And there are other things...
QUESTION: But did it repress...
MURDOCH: ... which probably amounted to a bit of flirting, you know?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STELTER: Tamara, your reaction?
TAMARA HOLDER, FORMER FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, thank you for having me here.
And I also want to thank Yashar Ali for his story where he got all of -- many of us to speak out.
I just -- I want to be very clear here. I would not have been able to be sitting here to say what I'm about to say if it wasn't for Mr. Murdoch and what he said, because my settlement -- exchange for money, I had to agree, be quiet, except if I was disparaged or maligned.
And because Mr. Murdoch said what he said, that 60 seconds has allowed me to speak out.
So, what I would like to do -- this is not fake news -- I want to go through the fake facts that Mr. Murdoch spouted out in that 60 minutes.
To start, he said it was all nonsense.
And then I heard him say that, within three or four days, they fired Roger Ailes. That's not true. It took at least two weeks.
HOLDER: Well, right.
I mean, but let's just start with -- I will make this really fast. He said it was all nonsense.
STELTER: We got time.
STELTER: Yes. HOLDER: He ruined -- FOX News ruined people's lives. He ruined my
I don't have a job in TV anymore because the place that he has secured down like Fort Knox allowed abusive predators to prey on women who just wanted to work. That is not nonsense. This is people's lives.
He said it wasn't just Roger. Well, we don't need to name names. We all know that it wasn't just Roger. He said nothing more since then. That's a lie. We also know that Bill O'Reilly paid 30-plus-millions- dollars to somebody. And then, of course, they rehired him after that, largely political.
I want to say something. I gave up my law practice to go to FOX News in New York, to work for FOX News, as a Democrat, to be a sports commentator, a legal commentator, all of those things. I wasn't planted by Hillary Clinton or Nancy Pelosi. None of us were. We just wanted to work.
And when we came out and spoke out, this had nothing to do with politics. This had to do with something that Mr. Murdoch knows every day. And that's called rights. He has rights. He doesn't -- he's not worried about anything. He has all the money in the world. He's cool. He has billions.
HOLDER: We just wanted to work. That's all we have ever wanted to do, was work. And it has nothing to do with politics.
He says that there are cases that amounted to flirting.
Let me be clear. I had a man pull out his penis in his office and shove my head on it. That was not flirting. That was criminal. That was not sexual harassment. There are no, you know, gray areas, whatever Matt Damon recently said. This is criminal.
And I'm not the only case. There are just women who can't speak out.
I want to talk about investor sentiment, because, really, this is a conversation about investor sentiment. Either Mr. Murdoch is a liar, or he's delusional and old and needs to get out.
So, if you're an investor, you need to decide, do you want your money with a man who has continued to lie to you for the past 20 years? Your money, hundreds of millions of dollars of your money has gone to settling cases with women over and over and over again. And we have been told that we have to shut up. And that's what we have done. There's just been a little bit here and there, but we can't speak out.
And then he blames American lawyers. Well, as a member of a bar -- of the bar, you know, there are plenty of American lawyer jokes. I get it. But let me tell you something. American lawyers don't want to be
doing this kind of work. We want to be doing other things besides protecting women in the workplace, which is something that should just be a natural thing.
And the last thing I want to say is that I don't want to be here talking about this.
STELTER: I was wondering about that.
HOLDER: I want to be on TV talking about the things that -- but we don't want -- we want to talk about what we -- what we were paid to talk about on TV. That's politics. For me, it was law. I had a sports show.
But I'm stuck here talking about this because there are people like Rupert Murdoch who continue to deny that we were abused, that we were -- just our careers were destroyed and our lives were destroyed.
And this is not political. This is people's lives.
STELTER: I was thinking about how hard it must be to have to come on TV and talk about being sexually assaulted, as opposed to what, you know, you said. You would rather be talking about politics and sports.
And I don't think Rupert Murdoch understands that, that you don't want to be out here talking about this.
HOLDER: You know, there's something else about my agreement.
And, you know, they will probably sue me. My agreement said that I couldn't ever apply for a job at any FOX News corporation. I could never work for FOX News or any other place that FOX News owned.
Here in Chicago, FOX News owns media entities and -- or 21st Century Fox. So, I am now being punished -- on top of not having a career in TV, I can't even apply for a job, because he allowed me to be abused in his workplace and didn't protect me? And I -- I can't work anywhere now? There's something wrong with me?
It's just -- it's just pain on top of pain on top of pain. And then for him to say something like that that's just so dismissive, there are so many women, Brian, who are hurting. We just want to work.
Like, I had to do an MDMA illegal therapy to deal with my PTSD, because I couldn't function. And, thankfully, it's helped me. But I just want to work.
Like, what is -- why? Why is he denying this? If he -- if he and Bill O'Reilly and everybody else -- Bill O'Reilly is on political saying this is political. That's their new line.
STELTER: Yes. Yes.
HOLDER: If this is political, then let's take these cases to trial. I'm -- hey, I'm down. Let's open it up.
STELTER: Really? You...
HOLDER: You're the ones that wanted to settle. You're the ones that wanted us to be quiet.
STELTER: Do you think FOX really might sue as a result of you talking today?
HOLDER: Well, I'm in violation of the contract, except for the fact that I legally have a right to respond if I'm disparaged or defamed.
HOLDER: And what Mr. Murdoch said, in my opinion as a lawyer, not as a victim or a survivor, as a lawyer, is that this gives me a legal right to respond.
And I'm responding not for myself, but on behalf of every woman in America who has been abused.
And I'm so sorry to hear about the details of it. I have read about what happened to you in that office. But to hear you have to talk about it, I know how difficult it is.
And I also know it's difficult to see FOX try to clean this up, right? You saw -- did you see FOX's statement they put out over the weekend?
We can put part of it on screen, I think.
STELTER: FOX came out and tried to do damage control and said: "Under Rupert's leadership at FOX and with his total support, the company got rid of Roger Ailes, compensated numerous women who were mistreated, trained virtually all of its employees, exited Bill O'Reilly, its biggest star, and hired a new head of H.R. By his actions, Rupert has made it abundantly clear that he understands there were real problems at FOX News."
So, that's what the company's statement said.
STELTER: But that's not what he said out loud in the interview. There's a real difference.
HOLDER: There's a real difference.
And, remember, one of the other things that he did was, he got rid of all the women who were abused as well. And we're still without jobs. And we're perfectly capable. You don't have to like my opinion. You -- a lot of people may not like what I have to say, or they may not like how I look on TV. I get it. But Roger Ailes was good at one thing, and that was finding talent and finding people who were good at their jobs, regardless of the other stuff.
And FOX News paid me time and time, and resigned me over and over again, uprooted me from my law practice to New York. And, suddenly, when I speak out that I was abused, they don't want me anymore. And not only do they not want me anymore. I can't ever work anywhere again.
So, I would just -- as a plea to other networks out there -- I'm not making a plea for myself. I will be OK. But hire one of us. Put -- it's nice that we're on to talk about this, but you have all this talent sitting at home dying inside.
Like, we just want to work. Bring us back. Allow us to do what we did before we were abused.
STELTER: Tamara, thank you so much again for coming on the program, for sharing this. I couldn't agree with you more.
HOLDER: Thank you so much for having me. It really means a lot to me.
STELTER: There's more to say on this subject. Let's take a break and get back to it.
STELTER: What began last year at FOX News last year with Gretchen Carlson and what continued this year with the Harvey Weinstein investigations, it shows no signs of stopping.
Earlier this week, on Megyn Kelly's show, several of the women who have accused President Trump of sexual misconduct in the past all came together, speaking out and calling for change.
And we continue to see on a daily basis men in various industries held accountable for past actions.
Mario Batali, for example, apologizing for some of his past conduct. He was fired from the ABC show "The Chew" this week.
PBS suspending and then canceling Tavis Smiley's show, his longtime talk show, amid allegations that Tavis Smiley is denying.
Morgan Spurlock, formerly here on CNN, he has stepped down from his production company after coming forward and writing a confessional piece about misconduct in his past.
Russell Simmons now under investigation by the NYPD, as there are a growing number of rape allegations against him. He has denied those. The police are now investigating.
At "The New Yorker" this week, Ryan Lizza, the Washington correspondent, fired by the magazine. He is also a CNN contributor. CNN is now investigating and says he won't be on the air until the end of that investigation.
And new this weekend, according to "The Daily Caller," Chris Matthews accused of sexual harassment -- not of sexual harassment, but accused of misconduct, inappropriate behavior at work in 1999. "The Daily Caller" reporting and MSNBC confirming that this was investigated at the time and Matthews was reprimanded.
All of these cases very different and distinct. And there are differences in each of these cases. Matthews, for example, is not being accused of sexual assault, the way some other men have been accused of, the way Matt Lauer was accused. But he was accused of verbal abuse.
And speaking of Lauer, there was a new case, a new woman coming forward, a production assistant this week, speaking with "Variety," describing a consensual relationship that she had with Lauer that she now looks back and realizes was an inappropriate power dynamic, that she was his victim, that she was his prey.
There was also a story out of Kentucky, a disturbing story about a lawmaker who killed himself after a local news outlet published an incredible investigation into his past, including into sexual assault allegations. Dan Johnson then killed himself.
Many other stories here.
Let's pull them all together with CNN's Hadas Gold. She's back with me now.
Hadas, this list keeps going on and on. I could go until the end of the hour here. The NFL Network suspended three commentators this week. ESPN suspended two commentators this week.
What do you think is being missed, though, in all the conversations about powerful men being suspended or fired?
HADAS GOLD, CNN POLITICS, MEDIA, AND BUSINESS REPORTER: Right.
The headlines now have been, somebody did something wrong in the past or new accusers come forward. The networks or their companies then take them off, fire them. And that's all dramatic and really exciting.
But I think the more important story is, what's being done to prevent this in the future? How are the cultures of media, of Hollywood, of business changing, so that companies don't have to deal with this in the future? It makes sense from both a business point of view, because you have to pay settlements, you don't have to get all this bad P.R., but also in terms of protecting women and making sure that these women, and all women and men feel comfortable where they're working and feel comfortable to speak up when something does go wrong, when something is inappropriate?
And that's what I think we're not hearing about is, we hear about all these new programs, new H.R. people. But there is something about, how are we changing the culture, where this -- we can just prevent this from happening in the first place?
STELTER: And create true equality in workplaces.
And, by the way, Tamara Holder a few minutes ago talking about the need to hire these women back, she's not the only one saying that, is she?
And Gretchen Carlson, who really kind of helped to start this conversation going when she came forward with that really explosive lawsuit against Roger Ailes and FOX News over a year ago, she has also said the same thing.
And they do -- they are making a point, because it would make a big statement if companies went forward and hired these people and said they're not tainted, because that's how a lot of these victims feel. They feel as though they are now tainted, that they are connected to this story, that they will always have their name associated with this incident that has been a stain on their lives, and that not only is the accused also tainted, but so are they, even though they might have not necessarily done anything wrong.
So, it would make a big statement if companies came forward and said, you know what? I'm going to hire this actress or I'm going to hire this commentator and bring them back and show that this isn't their fault and that they are still valuable in what they are -- originally can do.
Hadas, thanks for being here.
And, of course, our coverage of this continues every night in our RELIABLE SOURCES newsletter, RELIABLESOURCES.com.
Up next here, a pretty new disturbing report says there's a record number of journalists jailed all around the world. And we have a story you have to hear about this award-winning Mexican journalist who is being held right now in Texas.
STELTER: Detained and facing deportation, that's the reality facing this award-winning Mexican journalist, Emilio Gutierrez, and his son as well.
Emilio was -- tried -- he sought refugee status. He was denied, and then his appeal failed. So, he fled to the U.S. in 2008 after threats on his life because of his reporting on Mexican military corruption.
Now he fears those threats will be carried out if he's forced to return. And Emilio's case is just one of many. In fact, there are 262 journalists jailed worldwide, with the bulk of them in three countries, Turkey, China and Egypt.
Now, his case is unique. Let's start with that.
His attorney joins me now, Eduardo Beckett. He's the attorney for Emilio. Also with me, Courtney Radsch, the advocacy director at the Committee to Protect Journalists.
So, let's start with the cases in Texas involving Emilio.
Eduardo, what is his current status?
EDUARDO BECKETT, ATTORNEY FOR EMILIO GUTIERREZ: His current status right now, he's detained at the El Paso detention center.
And we filed an emergency stay of removal with the Board of Immigration Appeals that was approved. And we're waiting on the board to move on the motion to reopen, so that he could have another chance to apply for asylum.
We're asking the Board of Immigration Appeals to actually grant him asylum. And we're asking simultaneously for ICE, Department of Homeland Security, to release him on humanitarian parole.
STELTER: So, the U.S. says he's here illegally and he has to go home. Is it that simple?
BECKETT: He entered legally back in 2008. And he basically turned himself in to ask for asylum. He openly has been criticizing Mexican government security forces, in particular the military.
He's right now being treated like a criminal. It's -- we call it the criminalization of asylum. The denial of his asylum is basically sending a signal to the world that the United States does not want to promote democracy and freedom of expression.
And if they deny him again, then what the U.S. is actually promoting -- and not the U.S. in particular, but I would say the Department of Justice under Jeff Sessions or under the Trump administration -- I would say that they're promoting tyranny. And that's the message that they're sending, right, that we don't care about free expression.
And I believe that we have to protect our journalists here at home and abroad, because that is fundamental to the promotion of democracy and freedom all over the world. And that's something that the U.S. has always fought for.
BECKETT: And, in this case, they're denying justice to my client. STELTER: Certainly, journalists are -- journalists are regularly
killed in Mexico. We know it is a dangerous country to operate as a journalist.
Let's zoom out here, Courtney. You just released a new report for the Committee to Protect Journalists on the number of journalists jailed in countries around the world. Right now, there are two Reuters reporters who were arrested this week in Myanmar. That's the latest case getting attention.
But tell us where the most dangerous countries are right now for journalists.
COURTNEY RADSCH, COMMITTEE TO PROTECT JOURNALISTS: Well, certainly, Mexico is one of the most dangerous in terms of killing and murder. There have been six murders this year.
But if we look at imprisonment, more than half of the 262 journalists imprisoned around the world are in Turkey, China and Egypt. Sadly, these are also three of the countries that President Trump chose to meet with their leaders at the beginning of his term, and as far as we know didn't raise this.
We know that journalists are generally being jailed on anti-state charges, which mean that they're doing journalism, but it's being equated with supporting terrorism. And we're also seeing that the whole false news issue has landed more than twice as many journalists in jail as last year.
STELTER: Meaning this dictatorships are using the term fake news as a slur in order to attack journalists?
So, we're seeing that it's being used not only to imprison and attack journalists, but to kick them out of the country, as in the case of Cambodia kicking out Radio Free Asia, in terms of delegitimizing journalists.
So, this year, there are 21 journalists behind jail on false news charges. And, usually, this means that they were reporting on something that the government didn't like or didn't agree with or would prefer to remain silent.
STELTER: A very disturbing situation. And the takeaway I found from your report is that it's getting worse. It's not getting better. We're at the same numbers as we were this time last year.
RADSCH: It is getting worse.
This is the worst year on record since we began keeping records in the early 1990s. And last year was the worst year before this.
So, what this is saying is that journalists are in a very perilous position. And it's made worse by the president of the United States deciding to pillory the news industry and target individual journalists.
And this is having an impact. We can see the fake news, you know, rhetoric being used by leaders around the world to legitimize a crackdown on the press from everywhere from Russia to Egypt, even Poland and Hungary.
STELTER: Courtney, thank you for being here.
Eduardo, keep us updated on the case, please.
And, by the way, all of you at home, you can read CPJ's report on the jailing of journalists at CPJ.org.
That's all for this televised edition of RELIABLE SOURCES. We will see you online, RELIABLESOURCES.com, for our daily coverage.
And I will see you right back here next week.