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Former Facebook Moderators Blows The Whistle; Lawmakers Introduce New Bill To Build Fallen Journalist Memorial; Remembering A Time When T.V. United Instead Of Divided; Are Headlines Still Talking Trump At His Word?; Trump Trump-Fox Feedback Loop, Iran Edition. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired June 23, 2019 - 11:00   ET


[11:00:13] BRIAN STELTER, CNN ANCHOR: Hey, I'm Brian Stelter. This is RELIABLE SOURCES. It's our weekly look at the story behind the story, about how the media really works, how the news gets made and how all of us can help make it better.

This hour, there are new statements from President Trump in this brand new interview. We're going to unpack it all with our expert panel.

Plus, a whistle blower speaking out about what it's like to clean up a social media dump. Hear from a former Facebook content moderator, here with me, live.

And with the anniversary of the "Capital Gazette" attack coming up, lawmakers are taking action to memorialize the victims. There's a big announcement happening first on this show in just a few minutes.

But, first, I'm live from Los Angeles this Sunday. In the front page of the "L.A. Times" tells one of the weekend's biggest story. The headline here: Trump delays ICE sweeps and deportations.

Now, their headline gets it right, keep it simple. But we have to talk about the problem with headlines. We're 2-1/2 years into the Trump presidency and news outlets are still putting Trump's far- fetched and false assertions right in the headlines and sometimes right on the TV banners.

What is going on? I mean, yes, what the president says is often times newsworthy. He makes a ton of news. But reporters keep repeating his nonsense and noise without calling it that.

So, let me show you specific examples this week, where the headlines came first and the fact checking came later. Trump, for example, claiming he's delaying those immigration raids across the country for two weeks but he originally tweeted out that millions of people would be deported starting next week. Millions of people.

Now, that's nonsense, according to numerous news reports. The plan was to only target about 2,000 people. But many news outlets, especially the people on Fox, ran with that millions quote, put it in headlines, put it in banners, like it was true. I mean, take a look at these banners shown on Fox when President Trump put out these tweets. The banners were relying Trump's lie as if it were true. Maybe that's

because people on Fox want it to be true. I don't know. This is a bunch of nonsense right on the screen.

It's not just Fox where this happens. There's a headline from Breitbart. We'll put the Breitbart on the screen, just taking Trump's word for it, using the word "millions," putting the fear in the heart of many people.

And again, here's the "Reuters" headline, a CBS News headline, all just repeating Trump's claim. Now, I get it, Trump is repeating his talking points from 2016, trying to amp it up once again. But too many in the media are repeating the same mistakes from 2016.

Why does the president still get the benefit of the doubt when he, on a daily basis, exaggerates and straight-up lies to the public, to the press and about the press? What do we do about this headline problem?

Joining me now to discuss, Shani Hilton, she's a deputy managing editor of news here in L.A. for "The L.A. Times" and also, Ron Brownstein, senior editor at "The Atlantic", and a CNN political analyst, and one of the hosts and executive producers of the "Young Turks", Ana Kasparian, here with me, all in L.A. this morning.

Ana, first to you, this headline problem, am I off base? Am I missing something here?

ANA KASPARIAN, HOST, THE YOUNG TURKS: Absolutely not. You're not off base. In fact, this is one of the first times I've heard anyone in the news not only call this out but refer to Trump as a liar. Because you'll hear oh, he's misleading the public but you'll never hear anyone in journalism straight up say, no, he's lying.

STELTER: I think that's been going on for a while. You don't think so?

KASPARIAN: I think that he gets treated with kid gloves when it comes to that particular word. And I think part of that is because some reporters feel and some editors feel that they might be considered, you know, subjective in saying that. But I think there's evidence to prove that, yes, he has lied over and over again.

People need to understand that the average American is working nonstop just to provide for his or her family and they don't have time to go into the details and nitty-gritty of the story. A lot of people are informed through headlines, which is why it's important to make sure you don't just regurgitate what Trump is saying.

STELTER: Here is something that President Trump said in his interview with NBC's Chuck Todd. It's just aired on NBC. And this on the subject of these camps, these facilities where migrants, including children, are being housed in apparently very poor conditions.

Chuck Todd challenged the president and said, do something. Here is the exchange.


CHUCK TODD, NBC NEWS ANCHOR: Why aren't you doing something about it? They are in terrible shape down there, Mr. President. Down in Homestead, Florida, where I grew up, the conditions are terrible.


TODD: Do something.

TRUMP: It's been that way for a long time.

TODD: Do something.

TRUMP: And President Obama built the cages.


STELTER: And so, he just diverts blame and blames Democrats. But, Ron, I do think it's striking to see a news anchor telling a president, do something.

RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, first of all, the press has trouble dealing with a president who lies. And there has been a great debate -- who lies so repeatedly.

[11:05:00] STELTER: Frequently.

BROWNSTEIN: Relentlessly and really as a matter of strategy. On a consistent basis, trying to undermine people's sense that anything else than what he tells them can be relied upon. I mean, that is the ultimate -- the ultimate goal here.

I think the press has gone further clearly with this president than ever before. Some in the "New York Times" have a big debate about using the word "lie." But still, you do run into limits of the president says something and in the kind of conventional news structure, that is news and the headline is not always possible.

STELTER: There's an instinct to say well, the president said it. You've got to repeat it. I don't know if that works anymore.

BROWNSTEIN: Absolutely right. Absolutely right.

We've seen it even to the point of fact checking in chyrons, as the president is talking, obviously something -- the first White House I covered was Ronald Reagan. The thought that like we would be doing that 35 years ago would have been, I think, inconceivable.

In the case of the deportation, they may have gone even beyond his tweet, because if you lock at the actual language of the tweet, the process of deporting the millions. The millions are here.


BROWNSTEIN: He didn't even necessarily, I don't think, in that tweet promise to deport millions if you read it carefully. So, it's interesting question, but as you say, it is what that part of the media ecosystem wants to hear. And it certainly is consistent with the overall strategy of trying to gin up his base.

STELTER: Make him sound tough. Obviously, the deportation under Obama, we can put them on screen, the numbers were even higher.


STELTER: President Trump wants to show off what he's doing with immigration in a way that Obama didn't. And in this case, Trump is exaggerating.

What do you make, Ron, putting your historian hat on, what do you make of the use of the term concentration camps? Lot of discussion about that this week on MSNBC, on Fox and everywhere in between.


STELTER: On MSNBC, it's been taken seriously. Experts on the air have been talking about how camps on the southern border are concentrating, undesirables, that's the language, historically. Obviously they're not death camps, as we saw in the Holocaust, but this term "concentration camps" is getting a lot of use. This morning, "Salt Lake Tribune" newspaper has an editorial supporting Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and others saying yes, these are concentration camps.

BROWNSTEIN: Look, it's a very explosive, volatile word. And there's an argument that it's counterproductive and can be counterproductive to the case. Yes, it draws more attention because it's a loaded explosive word. On the hand, we're debating whether the word is appropriate, not whether the conditions of the camp is appropriate.

STELTER: Yes, let's talk more about the conditions of the camps.

BROWNSTEIN: That's the problem with any kind of Holocaust, anything that touches on Nazi Germany, that touches on Hitler, the Holocaust. There was a rule that there was always a mistake to do that. That's one of many more things blowing up around this.

I still think on balance, if we're debating whether the word is appropriate, we're taking off focus on whether the conditions are appropriate and that means that is something of a misstep.

STELTER: Let me get back to the idea of the problem of headlines, and, Shani, let's talk about one of the weekend's other big stories, perhaps not getting perhaps enough attention. This is the accusation from a famed writer, a "Vice" columnist, E. Jean Carroll, that the president sexually assaulted her at a department store in the 1990s. "New York Magazine's" cover which is going to come out in newsstands tomorrow features here story. It's an excerpt from her new book describing her experiences with, quote, "terrible men".

Is this story getting enough attention, or perversely it's what happens because there are so many accusations against Trump, each individual case doesn't get enough press? SHANI HILTON, DEPUTY MANAGING EDITOR, NEWS, L.A. TIMES: Yes, I think

that the day that that story dropped, it felt like it was very much a part of the conversation on Twitter, it was really blowing up all day long. Two days later, it kind of feels like it's faded away. And I think by the end of the day on Friday, it really felt like here is one more allegation in the long line. And, you know, I think a lot of news outlets were struggling with how to cover it.

STELTER: Yes, look at from the headlines about President Trump's reaction. He came out with a statement on Friday, denying he had ever met the woman, even though the story in "New York Magazine" had a picture of them together at a party. So you have some of these headlines taking the president's denial at face value and not mentioning this photograph, which had been published five or six hours earlier.

Now, there's things I don't understand. Number one is, if the president is going to put out a statement denying something, didn't he know about the picture first? Didn't someone tell him about the picture? Didn't someone tell him about the story first?

KASPARIAN: Has evidence ever stopped him from lying before?

STELTER: Well, I guess that's part of the point.

KASPARIAN: Not only does he lie with the clear evidence right in front of him, he will continue to lie and attack the media as the enemy if they report the truth about what's going on. What's devastating about this story is now there are dozens of women who have made similar allegations against him and it appears that he has this strategy of refusing to apologize, refusing to acknowledge anything, refusing to acknowledge that he's in the wrong sometimes.

[11:10:02] He has the strategy of do not apologize. Just steam roll through.



KASPARIAN: The press forgets about things, in my opinion, by the way the news cycle right now under this administration is flooded. So, what do you cover? What is front and center for Friday's news?

STELTER: There have been dozens of allegations on a spectrum, some of harassment, others of sexual assault. Each case is distinct in its own way. Is that fair to say?

KASPARIAN: That is fair to say but there are some serious allegations. There were serious allegations around Kavanaugh as well and around other members of Trump's administration when it comes to domestic abuse. You have to look at this administration as a whole, the number of people who have been ousted from this administration due to the mistreatment of women.

What does this signal to women in the country, that they're nothing more than second-class citizens for this administration.

BROWNSTEIN: Let me say, it is -- for people are critical of Trump. It sometimes feels like he gets away with this, with everything, with all -- with lying, with kind of assault allegation.

It's not as if the American people have not seen this. I mean, if you look in polling, 60 percent of the country says he is not trustworthy, I mean, consistently. I mean, that is an extraordinary number.

If you look at his standing among women, particularly college-educated white women, many of whom are doing very well in the economy, Democrats had their biggest vote among them in the 2018 midterm. I mean, the idea that he is successfully controlling the dialogue about his presidency I think is wrong.

He is controlling the dialogue to an audience that, in essence, wants to have it controlled, that is participating in this conservative ecosystem. But the fact is that his approval rating among people satisfied with the economy, as I wrote this week, is 15 to 20 points below what it has been for other presidents, and that is really a reflection of his behavior and of all of these things that people who don't like Trump on the left are frustrated about, it's not without a cost. They do have a cost. And we have seen it very tangibly all the time in the midterm election.

STELTER: You're describing that base and his focus on the base. Shani, wasn't that the news from the president's kick-off rally? His relaunch rally, the message I took away is he is going to attack the media, and make the media enemy number one for the next 17 months.

HILTON: Yes, absolutely. I think he had a successful playbook. When I was at "BuzzFeed", we covered every Trump rally to the point where people would turn -- even this week, people would turn around and yell at people in the press pen when he mentions the media and boo and hiss at them because that works really well. He's clearly not interested in expanding his base.

STELTER: What about this headline, one last headline in our block? This is in "The Wall Street Journal", and it's really unusually because it's the archrival "New York Times" editor, having an op-ed in "The Wall Street Journal". This is an op-ed speaking out against Trump's attacks, specifically that he claimed that "The Times" committed treason last weekend. How remarkable was it to you that to see Sulzberger's op-ed in "The Wall Street Journal", Rupert Murdoch's "Wall Street Journal"?

HILTON: I mean, he couldn't really have done it in "The New York Times", though, I think. I think, you know, that would have made "The New York Times" even more of a target for Trump, even more directly that it would have been if he had done it in "The Journal".

STELTER: I think in some ways, Sulzberger is trying to reach a different audience, right, which is more conservative audience, with business leaders and show solidarity. Isn't that something we're seeing from news rooms like yours in this day and age, solidarity against attacks in the media? HILTON: You know, I think so but maybe not as much as one would


STELTER: You'd like more?

HILTON: Yes, I think, you know, the media has never been particularly popular, I would say, throughout history. But with the president, the highest post in the land continually attacking us, you would expect a little more solidarity.

BROWNSTEIN: That's what's so odd about this week. I mean, the president did something that's kind of normal for a president when he's announcing his re-election campaign, goes through all these mainstream outlets, "Time" magazine, he does interview, "Meet the Press", gives time to ABC, not only talking to Fox as he has been to his presidency, and yet when he goes into this the mainstream outlets, he delivers the same kind of narrow casted, sectarian message that he was delivering.

And, you know, through the conservative media channels attacking the media, saying to "Time" magazine, I don't really need swing voters. It's a strange thing. By talking to the broader audience he's basically reminding them of the things we were talking about, that hold down his approval rating and support among people who are otherwise satisfied with the economy. It's a strange thing to go broad band in your medium but your message remain kind of narrow cast and sectarian, which is a very kind of very odd combination.

STELTER: On "Meet the Press", he is saying again that there were millions of illegal votes. He says there's lots of illegal voting in 2016. That's a lie. It's a dangerous lie. He's saying it on "Meet the Press," not on "Hannity".

BROWNSTEIN: When you say it on "Hannity", the only people who hear it are the ones who are going to be responsive to it. When you say it on "Meet the Press", you're reminding lots of people who may say the economy is good about the kinds of things that are holding him back from supporting him, strange strategy.

STELTER: To our panel, thank you so much. Quick break here. And much more, including a look at what the president is hearing on Fox News and on television about Iran. Is he getting advice and is he being influenced by what he's hearing? That's coming up next.


[11:18:28] STELTER: President Trump making plans for a strike on Iran, and then pulling back. And now questions about what will happen next with tensions between the U.S. and Iran. So, where is President Trump getting his information, his advice?

We all remember in 2015, one of the last times he was on "Meet the Press," he told Chuck Todd about his military advisers, where he gets military advice and this was the answer.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TODD: Who do you talk to for military advice right now?

TRUMP: Well, I watch the shows. I mean, I really see a lot of great -- you know, when you watch your show and all the other shows and you have the generals and you have certain people --


STELTER: The shows, he said. Of course, that was in 2015. Trump was just a candidate then. Now, the president commands the armed forces but he is still listening to the shows.

"The New York Times" reported Trump has been taking advice from, among other people, Tucker Carlson. The Fox host has been staunchly in the anti-war camp, advising the president, pleading with the president not to attack Iran.

But there's also a pro-war faction at Fox. Sean Hannity talking about Trump bombing the hell out of Iran.

Here is what's interesting about what happened. After the president pulled back from the strike plan, the hosts on Fox, some of them like Brian Kilmeade said it was a mistake, it showed weakness, but others like Judge Jeanine Pirro are now praising the president. Watch.


JEANINE PIRRO, FOX NEWS HOST: The man has common sense, doesn't get caught up in the weeds and he continues to keep us safe.

[11:20:04] And that, my friends, is a good news Trump story.


STELTER: With me now is CNN national security analyst Samantha Vinograd.

Sam, do you feel safer that the president can be influenced by these pro and anti-war factions on Fox News?


You know, we've known for a long time that President Trump has a shadow cabinet, a shadow cabinet of foreign leaders, from Vladimir Putin and President Erdogan to military advisers on television who may not, in fact, don't have any military experience and don't have access to intelligence. We have former generals on CNN as well that have military opinions. They have opinions on calling off the strike in Iran.

They don't have up-to-date intelligence on the state of play on the ground. What the Iranian response might be like if the United States went ahead with the strike. And for that reason, no, Donald Trump should turn off the television and get back to the Situation Room.

And the fact that he is war gaming through the media right now, tweeting about why he called off the strike or pulled back, that's costly. In my opinion, he made the right decision in my opinion but the fact that he is allowing this to play out in the media means that the whole world knows about his indecision and, by the way, Iran can use this to play the victim card.

Every time the president tweets about his plans, Iran can say that the United States was about to attack them. This should all be happening behind closed doors and President Trump should turn off the television for a change.

STELTER: It does show the Fox Trump feedback loop. We saw other example of this unrelated to Iran, but I want to talk to our viewers about this, text messages between Sean Hannity and Paul Manafort. We can put some of them on screen between Hannity and the now in prison former Trump campaign chairman.

You can see that they were talking for months. You see at one point here Hannity telling Manafort, the left may win in getting me fired but I don't give a you know what. I'll get two Dixie cups and talk to myself.

In another exchange, Manafort asked Hannity to promote his legal defense fund, on the Website Go Fund Me. Hannity replies and says, oh, it might be problematic with Fox. I need to get the OK. I hope you understand.

It's interesting to me, for two reasons, Sam. One, we're seeing the Hannity off air is the same as the Hannity on air, and we're seeing this guy who claims he's not a journalist, but also says he does reporting, to be interacting with Trump world officials, or people caught up in Mueller's net as if it's just the normal course of business. This is that feedback loop in a really weird way.

VINOGRAD: It is. It's like a friends with benefits scenario, right? I mean, Sean Hannity is engaging with Paul Manafort because in his position at Fox he wants to get information, it's helpful to him to know what Paul Manafort is thinking, what he's going to do with respect to Jared Kushner and others. So, from that perspective, I kind of get it.

From Paul Manafort's perspective, Sean Hannity is useful. Sean Hannity is a mega phone, a media mega phone for Paul Manafort. He can deliver the messages that Manafort is giving to him on air.

And Manafort knows that Sean Hannity and the president are in touch. Sean Hannity and the president have traveled together. We know that they talked on the phone. Hannity may be the messenger that Manafort was looking for.

STELTER: That's interesting. One more case of this, there's more news out of the NBC "Meet the Press" interview with Chuck Todd that just aired. It involves the Jamal Khashoggi case. We have the president being asked, why won't you have the FBI investigate? Why don't you look into this and do more to hold Saudi Arabia accountable?

And the president's reaction is simply to say we're in business with the Saudis. They spend hundreds of billions of dollars with us. You called it on Twitter, how to get way with murder.

VINOGRAD: Exactly. President Trump is saying you can put a price on an American life. Let's not forget, Jamal Khashoggi wasn't just a journalist, he was an American resident.

The CIA did their own assessment. The CIA has said that Saudi Arabia was responsible for Khashoggi's death and it's likely that the crown prince directed his death. We know what happened and Donald Trump is saying that he won't even open an investigation into the murder of an American resident because Saudi Arabia buys a lot of stuff from us.

What I know to know is what kind of precedent does this set? Telling the Saudis and anybody else, you can kill an American resident. We won't look into it, as long as you buy our stuff. He's putting a price on an American life. And that really opens the door for more of this kind of activity down the road.

STELTER: Scary. Sam, thank you. Great to see you.

VINOGRAD: Thanks, Brian.

STELTER: Good to see you.

Quick break here. Then we'll talk about what's happening at Facebook. Heart attacks, harassment, PTSD, bed bugs -- how working conditions at a Facebook content moderation has sparked outrage. We'll talk with one of the former workers, next.


[11:28:08] STELTER: Welcome back to RELIABLE SOURCES. I'm Brian Stelter.

Sites like Facebook are the new public squares. So, who's keeping them clean or at least weeding out the worst of the worst, like violent videos and pornography?

Well, "The Verge" is out with a rare inside look at Facebook's content moderators. Facebook has hired about 15,000 contractors to flag graphic, inappropriate, illegal content. These workers watch disturbing videos and other disturbing content depicting murders and other violent acts against people, and animals and even child pornography.

But now, three of these former moderators have spoken out, breaking their nondisclosure agreements and speaking with Casey Newton of "The Verge". He's been leading the way on this beat. His news story is titled "Bodies in Seats" that documents the scathing working conditions at a content moderation site in Tampa, Florida, described as a sweat shop among other things.

So, let's talk with one of those former moderators, someone who has been there, who's done this. His name is Shawn Speagle, and he's joining me now from Tampa. Casey Newton along with us as well.

Sean, just tell us first what the job was. What were you moderating? What content were you looking at?

SHAWN SPEAGLE, FORMER FACEBOOK MODERATOR: Well, I was put into a department that was specializing in graphic content, which had to do with a lot of violent, sexual solicitation, lot of torture, a lot of abuse with minors. And I also was put into a queue that had a lot of hate speech.

My job was specifically looking and researching for the authenticity of a lot of this violent content. And what a lot of people don't seem to understand is that a lot of this violent content isn't just stuff that's being re-uploaded from other popular sites such as Best Gore or Chaotic. It's actually a lot of handmade tailored content being auctioned off in these Facebook private groups. And, unfortunately, the vast majority of this content had to deal with sexual abuse and torture of animals.

STELTER: I feel like every once in a while, there's a lot of attention around a specific horrible video -- most recently, the massacre in Christchurch, New Zealand. But you were looking at horrible content every day?

SPEAGLE: Yes, I was looking at this content every day.

(INSERT 11:30)

[11:30:00] SHAWN SPEAGLE, FORMER MODERATOR, FACEBOOK: had to deal with sexual abuse and torture of animals.

BRIAN STELTER, CNN ANCHOR: I feel like every once in a while there's a lot of attention around a specific horrible video, most recently the massacre in Christchurch, New Zealand. But you were looking at horrible content every day?

SPEAGLE: Yes, I was looking at this content every day.

STELTER: And how did Facebook react when you started to experience the symptoms of PTSD after you know -- what was the recognition for management about what's been going on?

SPEAGLE: Well, unfortunately, Facebook never asked me that. And one of my co-workers and friends that worked in that queue with me, unfortunately, started having a lot of problems after watching a cannibalism video and he threw up in the restroom. After that, he was very slow sluggish. He was like a zombie.

Part of the reason that I'm doing this is for him. He had a very hard time coping with what he saw, it was very traumatic. And this isn't just the (INAUDIBLE) average type of gore that a lot of people are going to see on such as live leak, this is more of the real deal first person on hands all hands on that kind of thing.

STELTER: It raises a lot of questions. One is why are people uploading this? What is the supply and demand here? Second, it raises a question to me, Casey, about who's going to manage all of this. Is it is it fair to say, Casey, someone or some algorithm has to try to clean up the sewer of social media?

CASEY NEWTON, SENIOR EDITOR, THE VERGE: Yes. Well, so what Facebook will tell you is that eventually, A.I. is going to solve this problem or at least it will be able to handle way more of the content in the future than it does today. But I have to tell you, I think that it is that view that has created problems like the ones that Shawn had.

The minute that you decide that someday math is going to take care of this problem you start to look at people like Shawn as just a speed bump on the way to the future. And so I think that's led to a lot of the terrible working conditions that I've been reporting on.

STELTER: And how do you feel, Shawn, to be thought of as a speed bump.

SPEAGLE: Unfortunately it's very accurate regarding of my time there. I was not paid any mind regarding to what I was looking at. Nobody ever asked me how I was feeling. As I said before, there was my co- worker that was just visibly distraught, puking. Nobody would help him except me. None of the managers even care to come and talk to them. And worst of all is due to Facebook's policies, a lot of this content would stay up on these sites.

And a lot of people don't seem to understand that a lot of this violent content regarding animals is not something people are going to see on a regular basis due to Facebook being used on a friends basis. So all of these are basically virtual black markets where people are auctioning off this violent obscene content of animals and Facebook is unfortunately not taking action against it.

STELTER: And people always talk about where is the line. We've been talking about this for months. What lines does Facebook draw with regards to violent content, with regards to lies and misleading content? Where do you think the lines should be drawn, Shawn?

SPEAGLE: I think the line should be drawn when animals are no longer able to be helped. I was told at Facebook that leaving this content up on their platform would help because police officers would see it which in hindsight doesn't make sense because police officers don't have any special software and they're not going into these private groups because it's invite-only and there's no good Samaritan that will be reporting this stuff.

So all of this is just floating around on there and you're desecrating the animals last moments just because Facebook's policies are flawed.

STELTER: Casey, part of what Facebook said when we asked for comment about this was "we work with our content review partners to provide a level of support and compensation that leads the industry." The statement goes on to say, yes, there's going to be challenges. Employees are going to experience very challenging situations. When that happens, when the circumstances warrant action on the part of management, we make sure it happens. Is that true, Casey? Is Facebook any better or worse than others

Silicon Valley Giants when it comes to content moderation?

NEWTON: So I have talked to moderators at other sites and certainly they do face similar challenges. They see similarly terrible things. I have not found moderators who have been more upset or who feel more traumatized than the moderators who I have spoken with at Facebook at least to date. This is a very hard job.

But one of the things I want to draw attention to is that you setting aside the challenges of the job itself, if the working conditions are grim, if the office is filthy, if you don't feel safe, then you're going to have a really hard time doing a good job. So I think if we could start there, then maybe we could talk about you know, what is a better way to talk about the health of these moderators.

[11:35:00] STELTER: Shawn, finally, your message to Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg is what?

SPEAGLE: My message is your platform should not be a virtual black market where people are auctioning off the unfortunate demise of animals, and children, and other human beings. You have the ability to stop this, I don't know why you won't. You need to fix your policies and you need to think of the living creatures that are being exploited on your platform. That's my message.

STELTER: Of all the issues with these social networks with misinformation and violence, I have to be honest, I wasn't aware that the issue with animal cruelty and black markets on these sites. It seems every week we discover a new ugly side of social media. These are sites we all benefit from and yet there are so many dangers as well. Shawn, thank you for speaking out. Casey, thank you for being here.

A quick break and then we're going to turn to some breaking news out of Washington. A bipartisan bill to honor journalists who have sacrificed their -- sacrificed their lives to support a free press. We'll have the details to coming up.


STELTER: Welcome back to RELIABLE SOURCES live from Los Angeles today. It has been nearly a year since a gunman open fired at the Capital Gazette Newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland claiming the lives of five employees there. It's important to remember this year and the years to come.

And that's part of the reason why in the coming days we're going to see a new organization introduce the Fallen Journalist Memorial. This is a foundation that's already secured bipartisan support in Congress to build a memorial in Washington D.C. to the slain journalist of the Capital Gazette and for all of the other journalists who have given their lives to defend and support the Free Press.

Here to speak with me about the plans for the very first time his former Congressman David Dreier. He's the Chairman of Tribune Publishing which owns the Capital Gazette and he's also heading up this new Memorial Foundation. Congressman, thanks for being here.

[11:40:31] DAVID DREIER, CHAIRMAN, TRIBUNE PUBLISHING: Welcome to Los Angeles, Brian. We're happy to have you spend money while you're here.

STELTER: Thank you. I will try. I know you're on the way to Washington now for -- to hold an event to announce this memorial. Why is this so important to have now?

DREIER: Well, you know, journalists are the keepers of democracy. In fact, if you think about our nation's history, we have had such very, very important research and information and study done. In fact, I was a public official in Congress forever.

Journalists hold public officials feet to the fire and that's why it's so critically important for us to do this to recognize the sacrifice that has been made for people who are pursuing the truth which is what you all do in journalism.

And I think that we this week is going to be a challenging one for us. As you mentioned our five colleagues of the Capital Gazette we're done down and we've seen around the world journalists under attack. And I think recognizing, recognizing the fact that people have lost their lives and building a memorial is something that is going to be really important.

James Madison famously talked about -- I mean, the author of our Constitution, he talked about how the press -- he said, the press alone chequered as it is with abuses, and we all know their problems with some reporters, the world is indebted for all the triumphs that have been gained by reason and humanity over error and oppression. We're seeking support all across the country --

STELTER: This will be entirely privately funded, right? No federal funding so you need private support.

DREIER: We want people to go to which is our new site. We've gotten the initial funding from the Annenberg Foundation and the Raechel & Jackie Foundation to launch this. Barbara Cochran at the National Press Club Journalism Institute and Julie Moose and Vince Randazzo, and many others are working.

This really was a little more than an idea eight weeks ago and we've just developed this and we wanted to do it on the anniversary of what single -- was the single deadliest assault against journalists in U.S. history what -- which took place on June 28th of last year.

I'm going to be with the family members and our team at Tribune is very, very proud to be launching this effort.

STELTER: So if people want to help, they can go to

DREIER: --and we have -- I just did an op-ed today that's carried throughout our newspapers the New York Daily News, Chicago Tribune, of course, the Capital Gazette and Baltimore Sun, and in Florida and others. And so we want to do everything that we can to get the ideas from the American people.

Brian, this is going to be a five to seven-year project. That's about the average amount of time that it takes to build memorials on or near the mall in Washington D.C. And we want creative ideas, we want support. We're going to have to have again, private support. We want it as broadly as we possibly can get it.

STELTER: I hope I can come visit it someday.

DREIER: We'll look forward to having you.

STELTER: Thanks for being here.

DREIER: Thanks, Brian.

STELTER: Great to see you. A quick break here and then taking a turn to the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. A CNN's incredible film about the moon landing is coming out in a matter of hours. After the break, I'll be joined by one of the astronauts who made that historic day happen.


[11:45:00] STELTER: These days, let's face it, television often divides us. But it has not always been that way. The Apollo 11 mo0n landing was one of those rare events that brought Americans together, brought the world together around their television sets to see what was about to happen.

That's why it was an honor to be able to sit down with Michael Collins. He was the man who was the command module pilot on Apollo 11. He circled the moon while near art Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon.

His feeling was that this was a mission that United the world and his wish is to push forward to Mars.


STELTER: Thank you so much for sitting down with me.

MICHAEL COLLINS, AMERICAN ASTRONAUT: Look, thank you. It's a pleasure to be here and honor.

STELTER: 50th anniversary right around the corner what does this mean to you? What is this occasion, this anniversary mean to you?

COLLINS: Well, it's a time I think to stop and think about where we are and where we're going. And if the year 50 is some magic and bringing attention to it, well, all the more power to it. I think it's a good time right now for space exploration.

STELTER: And everybody knows what your role was but how do you describe it?

COLLINS: I have to say in all honesty, for me it was just a wonderful experience from beginning to end. Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin were wonderful companions. I felt honored to join them. The fact that I did not walk on the moon to me was really kind of superficial.

I felt that I was a full third partner in the venture and it went, for example, I was behind the moon and not quite knowing what was going on. I was asked after the flight weren't you terribly lonely as the loneliest man in this whole lonely mission in the lonely history of this lonely planet? Weren't you lonely?

And I said no, not at all. I was happy. I had -- I had hot coffee. I could turn the thermostat up to 72 degrees. I loved my surroundings, the Apollo 11 command module Columbia. It was a happy home for me and far from feeling separated, I felt very much a part of what was going on.

STELTER: Hearing you describe those years, it makes me wish there was an equivalent project today in America.

COLLINS: Well, I think there is way out there. I call it Mars. I used to joke that after the flight of Apollo 11 that NASA sent me to the wrong place. Actually, I thought NASA should be renamed the National Aeronautics and Mars Administration and I bring that notion with me over the past 50 years. I'm still looking for Mars and I'm thinking it's getting closer and we're getting people like Jeff Bezos and Musk were throwing the billions into the kitty to add to what's there from federal appropriations.

And so I think we're getting to the point where we have more of the can do as well as the will do aspect of going to Mars and that pleases me a lot. I like that idea.

[11:50:30] STELTER: I've heard you say that when you're up there looking at the Earth from moon, you're thinking about how fragile this planet is.

COLLINS: I don't know why that is. You know, I grew up thinking that the earth was made out of rocks and when I look back from 240,000 miles, you get the feeling well, there it is this thing that I've been looking at. I seen a blue of the ocean and the white of the clouds. I see a streak of the rust we call continents, but it's tiny little thing.

And somehow it projects -- it almost gives off aroma of fragility and I don't know why that is. And that reaction is totally unexpected to me and today I can't explain it why it looks fragile. But if you examine terrestrial fragility, it's there. I mean, we are treating it as or making it fragile in so many different respects.

STELTER: It's interesting to hear that you've had 50 years to reflect on that feeling and it's still something that maybe mystifies you a little bit.

COLLINS: It does. Yes it does.

(END VIDEOTAPE) STELTER: Take a trip to the moon with us. This Apollo 11 film from CNN Films is airing tonight at 9:00 p.m. Eastern time. It is one of the best films I have ever seen and you can watch it here on CNN tonight. We'll be right back.


[11:55:00] STETLER: One more piece of news before we go today. Publishing industry sources tell me that one of the top prosecutors from Robert Mueller's team, Andrew Weissmann, is working on a book and Random House has acquired the publishing rights. I wonder what he will reveal.

You know, several special counsels -- special prosecutors in the past have published books about their experiences. It makes me wonder what about Robert Mueller? Where is Mueller? Will we ever hear more from him?

Well, that's a wrap on this week's RELIABLE SOURCES. Let me know what you thought of the show. Tweet me or look me up on Facebook and we'll see you right back here this time next week.