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CNN RELIABLE SOURCES
How Kamala Harris Captured the Country's Attention; Rep. Tim Ryan Reacts to Local Paper Shutting Down; Trump at DMZ: Anything More Than a Photo Op?. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired June 30, 2019 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:00:19] BRIAN STELTER, CNN ANCHOR: Hey, I'm Brian Stelter. It's time for RELIABLE SOURCES. This is our weekly look at the story behind the story, of how the media really works, how the news gets made and how all of us can make it better.
This hour, the press was on President Trump's mind as he took this historic step in North Korea hours ago. His press secretary fought off North Korean officials to make sure the American press had access. We're going to get into all that.
Plus, fresh off the Democratic debate stage, 2020 candidate and Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan is here to talk about something very close to his home -- it's the death of his local newspaper, closing after 150 years.
And later, E. Jean Carroll is here, speaking about the impact of this magazine cover and why she chose this time now to come forward against Donald Trump.
But first, the state of the Democratic race is summed up in a front page this morning. This is on the cover of "The New York Times." Kamala Harris striding comfortably on to the stage, a very presidential pose, symbolizing her momentum after this week's debates.
Despite the technical glitches on night one, NBC's second night of the Democratic primary debates brought a record setting audience, more than 18 million viewers. Now, that is a record in terms of Democratic debates in history, 18.1 million viewers. That tops the CNN debate with Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders from 2015.
Now, of course, this is setting the bar very high for the debates to come. It shows that Americans are tuned in. They are already enormously interested in the field of Democratic candidates that want to take on President Trump.
So this in some ways is an attention primary. That's what "Vice" called it the other day, saying Harris won the most precious commodity for a candidate, media attention. Is that what we're going through right now? In a moment, I'll bring in my panel. We'll talk all about that.
But first, let me ask the national press secretary for the Harris campaign, Ian Sams. He's joining me from Washington. Ian, let's talk about the debates and much more. Do you buy into the attention primary, that the candidate with the most media attention ultimately prevails?
IAN SAMS, NATIONAL PRESS SECRETARY, KAMALA HARRIS 2020: Well, look, I think it's about how do you cut through to get to the American people. And what she did on Thursday night really cut through. And she did it by being personal, and telling her story, and connecting why her ideas and her policies are directly impactful to Americans.
This isn't about some sort of an ideological debate or academic discussion. It is about how the tangible benefits of her ideas will touch people. And it's about her personal story.
You know, when she talked about being that little girl and we showed people who that little girl was and we showed the human impacts of the policies that were passed in D.C. when she was growing up, that's immediately translatable to now. That's translatable to now and that's why when she talks about things like immigration, she talks about the stories of the mothers bringing their children to this country. It's not just --
STELTER: What is her position about busing now? What's her position today about busing?
SAMS: She supports it.
STELTER: She supports it. In that, there was some criticism from political insiders saying that that moment at the debate was planned, it was staged.
Do you think that matters? Do you think viewers care?
SAMS: Look, ever since the comments that Vice President Biden made, this has been weighing on her mind, because it's personal to her. This has to do with how she was raised and how she got ahead and how she got a good education.
So, look, this was all Kamala Harris, period. It speaks to a deeper truth. It wasn't just about her. It was about the thousands or millions of children across this country who are seeking to get a better education and who were seeking to having equal access to education. And she was speaking for them. I think that that matters.
STELTER: Let's look at the Google search results since the debates ended on Thursday night. How the 20 candidates up there, your candidate is number one, she's the most searched about since the debates. Marianne Williamson number two, Biden number three.
How do you sustain that momentum?
SAMS: Well, I think that what's most important to remember here is that people like you and I are following this every moment and micro- move in this race.
STELTER: Right. SAMS: But most people aren't. There was an "A.P." poll last week
that showed 22 percent of people know very little -- or know a lot about the positions of the candidates. Two-thirds of people are barely paying attention.
So, on Thursday night, 18 million people tuned in and keep in mind, only 30 million people voted in the Democratic primary in 2016. Just to show --
STELTER: That's a very interesting point.
SAMS: -- how big of an impact this is.
STELTER: By the way, 18 million, that doesn't count social media streams, doesn't count YouTube and Twitter and Facebook. It doesn't the coverage afterwards.
Are you surprised the numbers are as high as they were?
SAMS: Absolutely not. I think people are excited. People are ready to get Donald Trump out of office and they want to see their options. And so, we saw this as a huge opportunity to introduce her to the American electorate in a way that was personal and relevant to them and she hit it out of the park.
STELTER: After -- actually during one of these debates, Donald Trump Jr. retweeted and then deleted a tweet that was questioning Senator Harris' blackness.
[11:05:05] This has been a criticism, this is an attempt to try to play the birther card on your candidate, on your boss.
We have seen other 2020 candidates come to Harris' defense in the past couple of days, but what is the campaign's reaction to this online chatter trying to smear her in this way?
SAMS: Well, look, these are the same racist attacks as daddy tried on Barack Obama and they didn't work them and they're not going to work now, period. They're not. And we really appreciate all these other candidates who are speaking up about this, because it's going to take all of us speaking up and speaking out to confront the misinformation, to confront the smears and the racist attacks that this president's allies are going to promote on her.
They've got nothing else on her. And so, this is what they're going to do. They're going to try to use lies and misinformation to attack her and bring her down. And it's going to take all of us say this isn't going to work.
And we saw this four years ago, and it's very, very upsetting that it's still going on today, but I think that now, there's a more awareness about it, in both the public and media. And so, when we speak up about it, it saturates, and it makes people see this for what it is, which is a racist lie. STELTER: Ian Sams, thanks for being here. Please come back soon.
SAMS: Thanks, Brian.
STELTER: Let me bring back the panel, bring in the panel now. "New York Times" White House correspondent Katie Rogers is here. From the opinion side of "The Times", columnist Frank Bruni, and CNN contributor Bianna Golodryga.
Katie, you wrote about this smear against Harris the other day. You and Maggie Haberman had a story about it. There's an argument to be made, that by even writing about this trash on the Internet, that we give it more attention and oxygen and amplifying it in a way that we shouldn't.
What was your all decision making about whether to write about the smear against Harris?
KATIE ROGERS, NEW YORK TIMES WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: I think, ultimately, there was -- there was a discussion about whether or not, you know, elevating this would be good or bad. But at the end of the day, he's the president's son. He's -- he is an incredibly valuable surrogate. He just directly after deleting that tweet pinged all of Trump's supporters for more money ahead of FEC deadline.
So, I mean, I get that there's a criticism that we're elevating the initial sort of smear, but the fact that he's paying close enough attention to fringe alt-right figures to elevate them and then turning around and going to fund raise, I mean, it was -- it was a story to do that day.
STELTER: And, Frank, you've got a column this morning's paper saying that Harris and Buttigieg would be a dream ticket in 2020. Do you think Harris and Buttigieg are winning the attention primary? I mean, is that even a real thing, the media attention primary?
FRANK BRUNI, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I think it is a real thing and, you know, we frame it so far not only in terms of media, but also it ends up having huge fund-raising implications. Kamala Harris raised a lot of money in the days since the debate and that's just as important as the media attention at the end of the day.
I didn't exactly say it was a dream ticket. I meant I was playing with the notion. I was reflecting on the fact that I think those two were far and away the most impressive in the second night's debate.
And they kind of represent something about where the Democratic Party is trying to go in terms of diversity and in terms of setting precedence, in terms of tomorrow. It would be a very risky ticket. I think it would energize a lot of people, but I think the big question after the debates is does the Democratic Party have a problem with the most exciting candidates have moved far enough to the left that in fact nominating them would be a gift to Donald Trump?
I don't know the answer to that, but I think is the big question right now in the race. BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: And both of them came prepared in
a way that I think many people who are watching at home could see maybe there's a scenario where they could take on Donald Trump during a debate as well, I think especially Kamala Harris proved that.
STELTER: How did you react, Bianna, to the ratings record? I mean, NBC executives told me they were hoping for 8 million or 9 million viewers. They ended up with 15 million and 18 million viewers. You have been at ABC, NBC, and Yahoo, and CBS and CNN. You know how this game works.
Were these ratings really that surprising?
GOLODRYGA: No, not -- I mean, maybe in the sense that you have so many candidates and that this is the first of how many ever debates we're going to see going forward, through 2020. I think it shows that there is extreme interest in a lot of these candidates who -- and who can take on Donald Trump. I think this is the most diverse pool we have seen as far as Democratic candidates. And I feel that --
STELTER: Is that not going getting enough attention? Don't you feel like there should have been more of a moment on Wednesday and Thursday and the press to stop and say, look at the stage, look at these two stages?
STELTER: Look at what this represents about America. To me, that was almost glossed over in the coverage.
GOLODRYGA: Well, I think that's one of the downfalls of having two nights of debates and 20 candidates.
STELTER: Maybe, yes, maybe.
GOLODRYGA: I think we may get to that point later down that road, but there's so many issues to cover.
ROGERS: I think the candidates made the point.
STELTER: That's true. They did make the point.
STELTER: Frank, do you feel like it was glossed over?
BRUNI: No, I don't think it was glossed over, because exactly what Katie said. The candidates made the point. I mean, you had -- and we should pause and note it right now.
You had Pete Buttigieg making very kind of subtle and deft reference to being married to a man, that's historic. You had Kamala Harris have a moment with Joe Biden that was entirely about the diversity on that stage. So, I think it was right there in front and we didn't need to pause and say, hey, look how diverse. GOLODRYGA: And don't forget, Amy Klobuchar the night before saying on
the issue of women's and n reproductive rights, saying there are three women up here who can vouch for that.
STELTER: Yes. Do -- is there a situation in the press the Democrat are still being -- is there still grading on the curve happening when it comes to the Democrats versus President Trump? We'll talk about grading on the curve in general with Trump, because there's so much news, so much noise that can't all be processed.
[11:10:03] But I was thinking about this in relation to the debates where you've got this really interesting, important vital conversation about desegregation and busing in the Democratic field. Then you've got President Trump over in Asia not seemingly understanding what busing meant, talking about how buses are one of the only ways to get kids to school. You got the president at press conference talking about Western style liberalism, being asked about it, and then talking about California.
I just -- I wonder if we're in a situation that the Democrats are going to be graded more severely, Frank, than the sitting president.
BRUNI: A hundred percent, and that's because we cover man bites dog, not dog bites man. And when Donald Trump doesn't know his history or misspeaks or says something outrageous, it's just another day in his life. When a Democratic candidate does it, that's news by our definition and we are going to have to come some determinations and grapple with that, because if we don't, we're going to keep on doing this, where we are going to penalize and just vilify Democrats for doing things that Donald Trump does every hour and every minute.
STELTER: Yes, let's challenge everybody. But right now, I kind of think there might be two grade books. That's my concern.
One more point about the debates and, Bianna, you pointed this out on Twitter on night one, no mention of Robert Mueller. Really, almost no mention of Russian meddling or these topics that have consumed the past two years. We check. There were no real questions about this topic on night two either.
Should there have been? Should we -- you know, is this something that's kind of weirdly missing right now?
GOLODRYGA: When an adversary tries to attack our democracy, I would think so. I mean, we have been consumed by this in covering the news, and as the nation for the past two years and it happened to be on a day when the president once again was all chummy with Vladimir Putin. And I think that this not being asked -- now there were candidates who brought it up on their own --
STELTER: Who brought it up on their own, that's true.
GOLODRYGA: Saying this was the number one issue and geopolitical concern. But that having been said, if this is such a knock on our democracy, that not being asked, I think sends a message it's been trivialized, it's been normalized, that we're numb to it. And I think that that's a great mistake.
STELTER: And now we know that Mueller is testifying on July 17th. Katie, are you planning how you're going to cover it that day? Or are you thinking about what you're going to do that day?
ROGERS: Yes, we're setting up tents outside. No, I mean --
STELTER: Not quite, huh?
ROGERS: Two weeks away, but I think it will dominate the discussions up until then. But I think there are serious open questions about what to expect from the special counsel. Whether or not he's going to adhere to what he's already said, you're not going to get more out of me if I'm called to testify what's already on the report.
STELTER: Called to testify, right. Right.
ROGERS: So, I think it will be very interesting to get a sense of whether or not he is ready to sort of speak about the process and how it played out. You get hints of his dissatisfaction with how the attorney general took parts of the report and displayed it a month before it was released. So, those are the things that we'll be deciding coverage around.
STELTER: At the end of June, we know the big events of July, you know? We've got July 4th and whatever President Trump does on the mall. Then we've got Mueller in the middle of the month, and then we got the CNN debates at the end of the month. Kind of, you can think ahead of this long, hot summer. Do you have a final thought on Mueller?
GOLODRYGA: I just wanted to say with regards to the president and you have seen him go from actually being fearful of the Mueller report and the investigation, right, and being very defensive early on to now mocking it really. I mean, I don't know how you can describe it any other way, given what you have seen the president do in front of the global stage with Vladimir Putin saying knock it off or, you know, seemingly joking and being flippant about this.
So, it's interesting to see the arc of his relationship vis-a-vis Mueller --
ROGERS: I think he's mocked or made fun of it or try to take shots in the whole way through. I think in Helsinki, he's sort of -- you know, he was pretty flippant about intelligent assessments as well. So, I think that --
STELTER: More from the panel on Mueller and Trump and the rest of the news in a moment.
A quick break here. Later in the hour, looking at "The Loudest Voice", this is an explosive new travel about the rise of Fox News and the secrets that Roger Ailes tried to keep. Now, the producers of the show will join me live. But, first, an award winning newspaper in Ohio shutting down and it's in the backyard of presidential candidate, Tim Ryan. The Ohio congressman will join me in just a moment.
[11:17:36] STELTER: Print newspaper cutbacks are only getting worse and worse. The latest sign is out of Youngstown, Ohio. "The Vindicator" is the only daily paper in town and it's shutting down at the end of August. The paper telling its readers this weekend, quote, great financial hardships, we spent the last year searching for a buyer, but that search has been unsuccessful.
The paper had just celebrated its 150th anniversary. This is a photo of the newsroom staff from 1891. But soon, there will be no more local daily newspaper published in and around Youngstown.
With me now is the congressman for the area. He's also a 2020 presidential candidate, Tim Ryan.
Congressman, thanks for coming on.
REP. TIM RYAN (D-OH), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thanks for having me.
STELTER: It's heartbreaking to see a local newspaper, not just -- you know, we have seen it for years, unfortunately, layoffs, cutbacks, shorter, smaller papers but now in this country we are starting to see papers shut down. Daily papers like yours in Youngstown.
What does it mean for your community?
RYAN: Well, first and foremost, it's a job's issue. I mean, there are hundreds -- if you include the carriers, about 400 people are going to lose their job. But it's a -- it knits the community together. You know, if there's a big local concert downtown, or we open up a new business incubator, and the company is doing well.
I mean, this is the newspaper that highlights it. If we had people, you know, we had a boxing champions like Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini, or Bernie Kosar, who was the quarterback at the Cleveland Browns, he was from Youngstown, it just highlights people from the area who have been successful, but brings it back to the local level. And so, it builds culture.
And that's what you lose when you lose the local newspaper. You lose that culture that pulls you together. And at this moment in history, in our country's history, it's really a big body blow to lose that local newspaper because so much is pulling us apart and those local papers pulled us together.
STELTER: Together. What can politicians do to try to restore local news?
RYAN: You know, to me, in a lot of ways it's an economic issue. I mean, you probably could do tax incentives and we could have that conversation. But, you know, we have seen for the last 30 or 40 years an economic decline -- loss of the steel mills, loss of the auto plants. I mean, you're talking about tens of thousands of workers. We just had a General Motors plant which used to have 16,000 workers. Now, it's now idle.
So, people really -- they're underemployed.
[11:20:00] They're not making 30 or 40 bucks an hour. They're $15. And so, you get the pencil out and you start figuring out, you know, what can I cut out of the budget?
And sometimes the newspaper falls into that category to save a few bucks every month. I mean, it's that tight for people in this community and I think across the country.
STELTER: Obviously, paper needs independence from government, from politicians. And yet, I think it's important that the senators, the congressmen like yourself, the lawmakers from executive branch, other branches of government stand up for the importance of local news. And you saw on Twitter over the weekend saying it's a real heart breaking loss to see the papers shut down.
So, maybe that's the value you can bring to raise your voice. What do you think?
RYAN: Yes. I mean, not to pit the press as enemy of the state. I think that's probably a positive first step and to show the value of the transparency.
Look, I have been a congressman in this area now for 17 years. And the paper obviously at times wrote articles that I wasn't exactly pleased with. But the reality of it, is what's the alternative? I mean, you have a state-run paper like in China or like in Russia? You know, that's not good at the end of the day.
And so, even though there's that criticism that sometimes people on my side of the camera don't always like, it's essential to our democracy. And it's foundational. It was foundational to the creation of this country and it's embedded in the Constitution. That's how important the founding fathers thought it was, so we need to defend it even though we don't like what's coming out.
STELTER: Right. You know, speaking of that, I wonder how you felt about the NBC debate. Did you like how it was handled? You didn't get as much speaking time as the other candidates and, of course, there was the weird technical glitch in the middle of the debate on night one where you were. How do you think NBC fared?
RYAN: You know, it was tough. I mean, I got a few suggestions I'd probably make. But I was pleased we got time. You know, we wanted more time -- coming from an area like mine, I wanted to use that as an opportunity to get to know people.
But I was able to get my message out. I talked about bringing this debate back to the workers and the working class issues, whether they're white, black, brown, gay or straight. How do we talk about the economic anxiety? So, I was able to get that message out. I know there are a lot of questions out there, Brian, so people can go to TimRyanforAmerica.com if they want to more about my positions and where I stand.
But I thought, you know, all in all, it's tough. There's 10 people up on the stage.
RYAN: My one recommendation would be, have an amount of time and then when people start going over, shut the microphone off. Because there were a lot of back and forth going on interrupting people that didn't have the time.
STELTER: You know, I was going to wrap -- I don't want to cut your mic. Let me ask you one more question. The strategy that I've seen from you recently as one of the candidates that's not as well know is to be on all the shows, to be saying yes to many TV interviews as you can, including Fox News this weekend.
There's been this debate about what to do with Fox? Should Democrats be on Fox? What is your reason for saying yes to pro-Trump shows on Fox?
RYAN: Because there are people who watch Fox who may not be voting for Democrats, but if they heard a message like the one I'm talking about, about working class people, and really giving an honest economic criticism of Donald Trump, we can pull a lot of the voters back into our fold.
I mean, politics is about addition, not subtraction. And to have an opportunity to go on, to have millions of people who aren't in your camp already and persuade them to come in your camp I think is really essential. And I'll tell you I think what happened this weekend with North Korea, with China, I think it was Donald Trump's appeasement tour and so, I think we need to make sure that we hit him on some of these issues, the economic issues, the fact that 75 percent of the American people are still living paycheck to paycheck. Why in God's name wouldn't we want to go on Fox and make that economic argument to the working class people who watch Fox?
And they talk about historic moments. This is historic him going to North Korea is like Chamberlain going to talk to Hitler. I mean, this guy was lobbing missiles into the Sea of Japan just a few weeks ago and the president is going to talk to him? I mean, are you kidding me?
Go on Fox and make that argument that we're going to be smarter with foreign policy. And that we're going to have a strong, robust, economic agenda for working class people. They're going to be our focus. And let's communicate that to people who aren't watching maybe CNN or MSNBC.
STELTER: Representative Ryan, thank you very much. Great to see you.
RYAN: Thanks for having me. STELTER: We're going to talk much more about the president's trip to
Asia after a quick break here. This historic photo-op will it turn out to be anything more than that? Stay with us.
[11:28:06] STELTER: Joking with the Russian president, defending the Saudi crown prince and thanking the North Korean dictator for making him look good. President Trump spent several days seemingly cozying up to autocrats while further spurning the media. And we've seen just in the past two hours, while Trump was making history by being the first president to step on to North Korean soil, and with the opportunity to thank Kim Jong-un for making him look good.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: When I put out the social media notification, if he didn't show up, the press was going to make me look very bad. So you made us both look good so I appreciate it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STELTER: All throughout this trip to the DMZ, it seemed the president was talking about the press.
So our panel is back with me now to discuss this.
Bianna, it seemed like the president was preoccupied with how the press was covering his trip to the DMZ, and his travels throughout Asia more generally. We can put on screen the many examples of the president talking about fake news, complaining the press isn't covering him fairly.
How odd is it that he was talking about this instead of diplomacy?
GOLODRYGA: He complains to dictators about how the press is covering him. I mean, it's as if he's wanting them to console him or to commiserate with him on these issues.
Look, I don't any anyone is denying that meeting with the leaders is a bad thing. But you meet with them with purpose. It's not a binary choice. It's not hugs and kisses versus not meeting at all.
You come in with a policy. You come in firm with where the U.S. stance is on multiple issues. Not just for the photo-op.
I think time and time again, yes, if you want to cool down a lot of the heated rhetoric that by the way was instigated by this president, that's one thing. When it comes to policy going forward or rewarding Kim Jong-un with a meeting, he's presented nothing. Kim Jong-un in fact has increased their stockpile, right, not decreased it.
So if the option light now is to focus on denuclearization I don't know where that gets us. STELTER: Trump keeps doing the tease, the media tease. We're working
on it. We're making great progress. It's going great. Stay tuned. Coming up. It's all going to work out. He's very -- he's very effective at that with I think his fans frankly to say, I've got this, trust me, we're working on it, stay tuned. Stay tuned is the theme.
FRANK BRUNI, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Stay tuned. I'm making history. What did he say when he -- then he said big moment and he said something else that I wish we wouldn't let go by which he says it's an honor to be here with you. You know what, it is not an honor to be there with a brutal murderous dictator and he acts as if the mere historic nature of it.
The fact that he can now say I'm the first U.S. president since the Korean War to step on this patch of soil, that in and of itself means nothing if it doesn't lead anywhere. And to your point, it hasn't led anywhere yet except to get him ratings is what he would say about it.
STELTER: Let's call it what it is.
BRUNI: This is all optics.
STELTER: This was a stunt.
BRUNI: It's a total stunt.
STELTER: This was a stunt.
BRUNI: And we're -- and we're luckily talking about it as such. But again this is that notion when you give it attention are you, in fact, rewarding him for the stunt and that's something we still two years into this presidency grapple with and don't have a good answer for.
STELTER: Right, right. Katie, your thoughts on that.
KATIE ROGERS, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: I mean, I think that he is so focused on his press and focused on his media that I don't think he can see beyond I'm stepping over the line and meeting with Kim Jong- un. We exchanged lovely letters. He sent me a letter on my birthday. Why can't the press just understand what this means.
He is a leader who relies so much on -- he thinks he relies so much on his personal relationship and his charisma with these -- with these leaders. He really does believe that I can -- I can forge a bond with these leaders like no other leader can and that's part of the second feat of his -- this is such an amazing thing I'm doing but none of you believe it and none of you care. So I mean, he --
STELTER: Yes, let's give credit where it's due though. The new White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham, let's play the video again. She was there in one of the first few days in the job hanging over Sarah Sanders. There were issues with getting the American camera crews into the room where all this was happening, and you can see her there physically making sure there's space for the American press.
According to CNN's Jim Acosta, she was bruised just a little bit looking no worse the way afterwards, thankfully, but she was willing to stand up in a physical way for the American press.
BRUNI: She was and that's good but was she doing that for the press or was she doing it for the president. She knew the president --
STELTER: Hopefully both.
BRUNI: Yes. In this case, it worked out to both parties advantage but we I think -- I think I assume the main motive there was making sure the press was able to chronicle a moment that is we have just talked about was all about a moment to be chronicled.
STELTER: And beyond the significance of President Trump's comments earlier in the week with the Russian leader about getting rid of journalists, this was apparently just a joke but it was said about getting rid of journalists, this is not a joke in Russia. Can you tell us about that?
GOLODRYGA: Well, it came also on the anniversary of the Capital Gazette mass shooting right, where five U.S. journalists were killed. No, since latter where Putin has been president of Russia some 25 or 26 journalists have lost their lives covering politics and covering issues that clearly Vladimir Putin does not like. This is not a joke.
And in Russia in fact, people protest. There are thousands of students that are kicked out of colleges -- threatened to be kicked out of colleges if in fact, they go out to protest so. The visual of the president laughing it up and complaining about journalists with Vladimir Putin I think sends a terrible message not only about where we stand as far as freedom of the press but all of these dissidents around the world whether it be Hong Kong, whether it be Russia, whether it be multiple countries that are dealing with this issue now say America used to be the beacon that we turn to.
Now if the president's being flippant about it what's what is at stake for us when we're trying to advocate for our freedoms too.
STELTER: Jokes about fake news just -- they're never funny. They're never funny, especially in that situation. To our panel, thank you very much for being here. One more important story that you need to know about before take a break. This is a protest that turned violent against a member of the media in Portland, Oregon this weekend.
Conservative journalist Andy Ngo was out there covering rival protests on Saturday. Antifa on one side, right-wing figures on the other side. But as the demonstrations clashed, protesters -- it appears to be Antifa protesters then attacked Ngo. He's been out there in the past. He's been covering protests in Portland for quite some time.
His critics say he's there to cause trouble but that's unacceptable. The idea that he would be attacked, that he would be bloodied in that way unacceptable period. And it's important that everyone make that clear even left-wing critics who don't like him and things like that. There's much till to be done -- much more we don't know yet about all the circumstances but disturbing to see that in Portland.
A quick break here and then another story that's been in the press, a story that didn't get enough attention initially, and then received a lot. Later, she accused the Trump of sexual assault. So here, what this week has been like for E. Jean Carroll right out for a quick break.
[11:35:00] STELTER: Famed writer E. Jean Carroll came forward with her story in New York magazine one week ago. She alleged that Donald Trump attacked her in a Manhattan dressing room in the mid-1990s. The magazine cover was an excerpt from Carroll's new book he comes out on Tuesday and it's titled What Do We Need Men For? A Modest Proposal.
I discussed the book with her and why it was so important to tell this piece of her story now. This one about Trump she puts on a list of "hideous men." There's also been a lot that's transpired since the excerpt came out. Two of her friends have come forward to back up her account. Take a listen.
E. JEAN CARROLL, WRITER: I can't tell you what it's like for me, a woman walking down the street who's used to walking around unnoticed you know, with nobody ever looking at me and people stopping me and saying thank you. The tears welling in their eyes and taking my hand and saying I can't tell my story. Thank you for telling yours.
STELTER: But there was a time you thought you couldn't tell your story either.
CARROLL: I write an advice column in Elle Magazine. I've written there for 26 years. And for 26 years I've been reading letters from women complaining about their finances, their love lives, their sex lives, and there comes a line in almost every single letter where the cause of the problem is revealed and that cause is men.
And so for years, I've been advising women to get rid of men. Then in 2017, the Harvey Weinstein bombshell hit by Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor. And my mail, the letters coming into my column completely changed from black to white.
Now women were asking me, should I come forward and report my boss. Should I call the sheriff when my next time my husband tries to beat up our dogs. My stepson I think is molesting my daughter. These are -- and I thought they're coming to me for advice and I've been holding back all these years. It's time. It's time. And I did it.
[11:40:40] STELTER: And your book includes so much beyond Trump and I promise I'm going to get there in just a minute but I do want to ask you about a couple of the developments that have happened since the New York Magazine cover.
There's Donald Trump Jr. saying "Hey, as long as the media keeps giving these nutjobs unfettered airtime, they will keep coming. But of course, we know that and so does the media so they're happy to use a truly sick person for their political gains."
CARROLL: Oh, this is really --
STELTER: He's talking about you.
CARROLL: I know it's nauseating. It's absolutely nauseating. There's a reason why women hesitate to come forward and tell the truth, a really strong reason. A, they will be dragged through the mud. B, they will be dumped on the muff heap of you know, this back and forth. C, they'll be threatened. And D, they'll put their reputations, their very reputations on the line. They'll put their lives on the line and they'll put their livelihoods on the line.
There's no reason for me to come forward and put everything on the line unless I thought it would help other women, and that's exactly what I'm doing. And I'm not sorry.
STELTER: Not sorry.
CARROLL: Not sorry.
STELTER: It sounds like that's what you want Trump Jr. to know.
CARROLL: I wouldn't dream to want him to know anything.
STELTER: My colleague CNN Sara Murray spoke with your book editors and said we purposely came out with the New York Magazine cover story ten days before the book so that all the Trump coverage would happen, then you could talk more about the rest of the book. It seems like a logical strategy to me.
You described experiences with former CBS boss Les Moonves and others. What do you want the purpose of the book to be after all this Trump conversation is maybe over?
CARROLL: Well, it's a merry romp. It's a merry romp. I got into my car was the intention of going to challenge named after women and getting out of the car and asking people what do we need men for. And let me tell you, Brian, the answers were completely shocking and marvelous.
Then of course, because they were talking and the Weinstein story broke, I couldn't help remember a few the hideous men in my own life. I'm just wondering -- warning everybody this is not a Trump book, it is a merry romp through the towns of America finding out from women what do we need men for. That is what it is about.
STELTER: Heck of a journey.
CARROLL: Oh, I wish you could have been there.
STELTER: Check out my full conversation with Carroll on this week's RELIABLE SOURCES podcast available through Apple, Stitcher, TuneIn, Spotify or whatever podcast that you choose. Coming up next, here we go behind the scenes of Showtime's new drama detailing and exposing Roger Ailes' history at the helm of Fox News. Stay with us.
[16:45:00] STELTER: Roger Ailes changed cables news and America forever. It's been almost three years since he was forced out of Fox News due to a sexual harassment scandal. Now there's a new series on Showtime called the loudest voice that takes you back to the birth of Fox News and to the end of Roger Ailes tenure at Fox.
Two of the show's executive producers join me now. Jason Blum is the head of Blum House Productions and Alex Metcalf is that one of the -- is the showrunner for The Loudest Voice. Guys, think about for being here.
Alex, the idea for this series, there was obviously so much attention when Ailes was forced out of his job and then when he passed away in 2017. Have you had enough time not as actually step back and fictionalized this story?
ALEX METCALF, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, THE LOUDEST VOICE: Oh absolutely. I mean, we're looking at you know Roger and his influence on the culture and Roger and his influence behind the scenes at Fox News. So you know, what Fox News has become since Roger is quite different so I think it's actually the perfect time to step back and look at you know the arc of Rogers history over his 20 years of Fox News.
STELTER: Different how? What's different you think?
METCALF: Well, I think, look, I mean, Fox has become Trump T.V. in a lot of ways right. I mean, the relationship between Fox and the Trump administration is quite profound and I don't really think that Roger would necessarily be in favor of that because Roger would have liked to keep a little more of the power in his own hands rather than giving it up to the administration.
STELTER: Jason, you're the horror movie guy. You're the horror movie maestro, The Purge, and Us, and Get Out. Why Fox? Do you view this as a horror story too?
JASON BLUM, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, THE LOUDEST VOICE: Look, just to be clear to answer both questions, the show is not a biopic. The show is really the story of the genesis of Fox News and how Roger Ailes you know, Roger Ailes is part in that. And to me, that's really when the divisiveness in the country started. And that's what -- that's what made the show relevant to me today. And to me that is definitely fits in the category of a horror.
STELTER: Of a horror. Tell me about casting Russell Crowe as Ailes. Tell me about how difficult it was to come up with this world? For Jason.
METCALF: Go ahead.
BLUM: Russell Crowe was our -- was our -- Russell Crowe was our first choice and he left at the part he was -- I think he's really perfect for to play Roger Ailes. He spent four hours a day in makeup making himself look like Roger Ailes. We were really, really lucky to have him. Alex?
STELTER: That's incredible, four hours a day in makeup. And Alex --
METCALF: Yes, it was a pretty -- it's a pretty incredible transformation that Russell goes through, absolutely.
STELTER: Yes. And then the other characters, how did you try to make this show feel as real as possible because you're obviously dramatizing a real T.V. news world.
METCALF: Well, look, we're -- the show is based on Gabriel Sherman's book the Loudest Voice in the Room and Gabe did an incredible amount of research on this. He did over 600 interviews with everybody he could possibly get to. So I think we worked really hard to kind of be as fact-based as possible and to really stick to what we saw is the truth of Roger and his time at Fox News.
[11:50:25] STELTER: You know, and obviously Trump, Fox, Fox and Trump, it's an interesting topic. Full disclosure to our viewers, I'm starting a book about that topic so I'm obviously very interested in it. And Jason I wonder for viewers are going to watch your series, do they learn something new about the Trump presidency in the Trump age as well? Do think there are lessons about Fox that apply to what's going on today?
BLUM: Yes. I think they're real lessons about speaking to the base and driving the base which obviously is something that Trump does. And I think that that the genesis of that was Fox and Fox News and this idea of what is real and what is not real, the whole notion of fake news. It largely started you know, with the beginning of Fox News.
STELTER: Jason, you're a Hollywood hotshot these days. I know you care a lot about the presidential race. What do you think is going to happen?
BLUM: I don't know. I watched the debates -- I watched both nights of the debates and it was -- it was actually nice to see. I feel like we have a lot of good choices and hopefully one -- what I really hope is that a lot of -- a lot of the people on that stage drop out so we can kind of get down to talking about who's going to face off against Trump.
STELTER: Yes, that's interesting. All right, Jason and Alex, thank you both. The series is The Loudest Voice, a seven-part series premiering on Showtime this evening. A quick break here on RELIABLE SOURCES. Much more in just a moment.
[11:55:00] STELTER: I just want to close today's program with a question. Will we remember this photo of a father and daughter who drowned in the Rio Grande? It generated news coverage and help people talking about the power of a picture, but how long will we remember this photo? Here's one thing we need to remember. The Trump administration is
actively working to keep reporters and the rest of us in the dark and out of these border detention camps. Photos, videos are not allowed. We're almost never seen inside these detention facilities.
That is a problem. That continues to be a problem. When you see these heartbreaking pictures every once in a while from the border, think about what we are not seeing. That's a wrap on this week's RELIABLE SOURCES. Thank you for being with us. We'll see you back here this time next week.