tv Reliable Sources with Brian Stelter CNN June 6, 2021 8:00am-9:01am PDT
i'm brian stelter live in new york. and this is "reliable sources." where we examine the story behind the story. and figure out what is reliable. this hour, a special interview with the white house press secretary jen psaki. she has answered about how they tries to make sure the briefing room does not become a forum for propaganda. interesting insights in an interview coming up. plus as d.c. debates infrastructure spending, what about reporters?
the faces of local news layoffs and cutbacks. we'll talk about whether local news should be considered infrastructure. and later a first look at my brand-new reporting about fox news from the new paperback edition of "hoax." but first, a big story developing this weekend. gag orders against the american news media. that sentence doesn't make any sense, right. it is axio moronic. the media shouldn't be gagged but that is what happened. the government forced a gag order against a "new york times" against a leak investigation. there is the front page headline, justice department wages secret fight to get emails of times reporters and they couldn't even talk about. the newspaper lawyers were gagged and couldn't tell the people involved about this secret fight. this is part of a wider pattern seen first in the obama years then in the trump years of a
leak investigations that end up involving snooping on reporters. so let's just be clear here, spying on journalists is a front to the first amendment. there is no place for it. and now notably this weekend, president biden's justice department said it agrees. this doj will no longer seize reporter records when investigating government leaks. that is the commitment as of this weekend from the biden era justice department. so why is this coming out now? well, because we've been learning all spring long about the leak probes that ensnared reporters. you're seeing faces on screen now. reporters of the "new york times" had phone records secretly obtained, barbara starr had her phone and email reports obtained and reports of "the washington post" had their information obtained. what the government was getting was phone logs and email logs showing who these reporters were talking with in an attempt to root out leakers so after biden
was asked about this and he said he didn't want it to happen on his watch, the doj on saturday came out with a statement saying wheeze putting his promise into pract saying all of the reporters that are their records taken during the trump years have been notified and this justice department, this biden doj will stop the practice. but this is a justice department that said it will change for now but will this be put into permanent practice or will the next administration that comes along just go ahead and resume spying on journalists. that is one of the many questions that looms right now. there are others including what is the attorney general merrick g garland going to do, is he going to meet with reporters and talk about the issues. and what about the "new york times" gag order? we heard from the publisher of the "new york times," over the weekend saying there is significantly more that needs to be done and we're still awaiting
an explanation about why dodj moved to seize records. "the new york times" is out from under the gag order. but what about "the washington post." sally buzzby wants a full explanation from biden's doj about what happened in the trump years and what may have happened more recently. is anyone at "the washington post" under a gag order? is anyone at cnn still under a gag order? these are questions that demand answers. it is an important story because what reports know and whether reports are able to do their work freely, effects all of you at home and it effects everyone watching this program. so let's talk through this with three people beginning with adam goldman, a reporter at "the new york times" one of the four whose phone records were subpoenaed by the trump era but it also happened in the obama years so we'll get that into.
kaitlan collins is also here and dan abrams, the chief legal analyst and author of a new book called "kennedy's avenger", well get to that later but let's start with the recent reporting. adam, we learned about the trump era what i aview as an abuse of power seizing records belonging to you and other reporters but this also happened in the obama years. so this is a simple question, what is it like to have your phone records secretly sp subpoenaed by the u.s. government. >> it is certainly disappointing but i wasn't surprised. some of the same prosecutors who were involved in seizing my phone records earlier this year and unsuccessfully trying to get my emails were involved in secretly obtaining my phone records in 2013 when i worked at the associated press. this office, the u.s. attorney's office in d.c. has a history of trampling on the first amendment and that is why i wasn't surprised. they treat the media, they treat
newspapers like drug gangs. >> like drug gangs? >> yes. like drug gangs. see -- seeking process to get phone logs and emails, to root out information. it is preposterous. >> but in 2013, when this came out during the obama years, didn't the doj back then vow changes? what happened? >> that is the irony in all of this. in 2013 along with my colleagues, they vowed to change the guidelines to make them stricter because of what these prosecutors in the u.s. attorney office in d.c. had done and then te thursday around and they did it again. and there are no consequences at all. >> what does -- what should the consequences be, adam? >> there should be teeth to these guidelines. it should be codified. there needs to be an enforcement action for when these prosecutors take these
outrageous steps, they are held accountable and they are not. >> so when this all started to come out this spring, we learned about "the washington post" and "the new york times" and cnn. right after we found out that barbara starr was caught up in this. meaning she was out doing reporting and doing her job and her phone and email records were obtained. kaitlan, you asked president biden about this very subject. because you were able in an informal moment to ask him about this problem and he said it is never going to -- not going to happen under my watch. is that why this is all changing now? >> i think it certainly plays a major role. i don't think we could say it is the primary reason that this happened but it does not appear that the white house was on path to change the policy given what we found out on friday night to the gag order to "the new york times" because all of that was happening after merrick garland was confirmed as the attorney general, months after president biden has taken office and they had not taken any changes to
change the policy or drop the effort to get the emails. so that is why we asked president biden about it. he was leaving a room and after we found out that barbara starr emails they had tried to obtain those call logs of her cell phone, her pentagon goen and emails and i asked if this is a policy that you want to continue and we were told that that surprised not only white house but justice department officials when he answered that and i think it is notable how long it took the white house, which they should get credit for this but how long it took them to send out a entertainment from the justice department in a statement saying that this is a new policy because he made those comments on may 21st and here we are in june and they've just now put out this statement saying this is changed. but i think adam is right. just because think chanch the policy doesn't mean it will be going forward and there are questions about what the policy
will look like. >> and dan, it was cnn and "the washington post" and "the new york times," three of the outlets trump despited the most and because the doj targeted these reporters do you view that as a coincidence? >> no. it is probably not a coincidence. i think you need to separate out two issues. one is the lack of transparency and the other is the leak investigation. the lack of transparency is indefensible. there is not much you could say to the argument for why you wouldn't even inform members of media, why you would impose this gag order, et cetera. when it comes to leak investigations without getting into the specific investigations, i think there are going to be cases, much to the media's chagrin, where maybe it is justified. i know that many in the media will say that is horrific, that i'm suggesting that. but some of what wikileaks have done, et cetera, i think is
legitimate for the government to say, we need to figure out how this is happening. this is so important, this is so damaging to national security, we need to do what we can to prevent it from getting worse, et cetera. so i think there are two issues here and both need to be looked at. but agree with adam that codifying a set of standard and a standard ought to be really high for snooping on journalists. >> adam, is there ever a reason to do it? >> in my opinion, i don't think so. but what is particularly egregious about what the prosecutors do is -- what they did is they snuck this under the wire, right. >> right before trump left office you mean? >> right before trump left office when a new administration came in. they saw -- they got -- they saw the order to get the information in late december of 2020. i believe the judge signed it on january 5th. you're telling me they couldn't
wait throw weeks after fumbling around on this investigation for years which was a dead end, right, and then they throw this hail mary. they couldn't wait for the new administration to get in there for a new doj leadership to get in there who might have difrm different thinking about whether they should pursue these type of subpoenas. no. and they knew what the stakes were but they went and they got it in there and they snuck it in there and the whole behavior is completely sneaky. >> shady, yes. yes, indeed. and we've laid out some more questions here that still deserve answers. adam and kaitlan, thank you. dan, please stick around. when we come back, a deplatformed former president returns to the podium. i think silence was actually the biggest story of last night. i'll tell you why in a minute.
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donald trump's newsworthiness is still being debated in a big way. so let me tell you why i think it warrants five, maybe six minutes out of hour. trumpism is more news worthy than trump himself so i thought the biggest news last night was the silence. the silence. trump was speaking to the north carolina gop convention, his first twel vised speech since cpac and a lot of about the election and vague 2024 promises and cheering when he vowed to ban critical race theory and you can't ban an idea. but i digress. listen to how loud the cheering got when he said that. >> ban critical race theory in our schools. and we should ban it in workplaces. we should ban it in our states.
and we should ban it in the federal government. that it should be done immediately. >> you could hear that loud cheering. that is one of trump's biggest applause lines of the night. the audience loves it. so it tells us something about the state of gop and that is why the speech matters. i wants to hear how loud the crowd could be because it makes the silence more striking. and the silence was my biggest take takeaway. when he brought up covid-19 vaccines and pushing the fda and saving lives, you could hear the vaccine hesitancy, the resistance in the room. it is like he had broken some unbroke rule not to bring up the pandemic. it is a real problem. so let me show it to you. this is about two minutes into the vaccine talk and it is getting so awkward at this point that i feel like you could hear trump pivot. he started to complement the
crowd to try to get some applause, some cheering, some emotion. >> we saved a lot of lives. and saved millions of millions of lives and i'm very proud of it and that is something that is very special and the people in this room are very special. the biden administration -- >> did you hear it. there is a smatter of applause because he started to compliment the crowd. life saving vaccines are allowing us to get back to normal life. if that is not worth cheering. >> don't know what it is. but that is the divide. you could hear it in the silence at trump speech. one america is vaccinated, the other is far behind. as cnn's harry enten put it, it is trumpism at large. one america doesn't want to hear anything about trump, the other america hangs on his every word. news max cut into regular programming and carried his
entire speech live. trump is in the words of the "new york times" domminished and trump worthy. people in trump's circle are joking that his most senior adviser is a host on the america news network and on the phone all of the time and bob is cheerleading for the arizona audit and trump has been relying on her for that. so there is one america that never heard of christina bob and never will. she's an on obscure channel and doesn't even have nealson ratings but trump is hanging on her every word and that is why i say trump is worth five minutes, not the whole hour. but trumpism is still newsworthy for the reasons we just listed, the denialism, the vaccine hesitancy and the big lie that
continues every day. and i know a lot of people don't want to hear it any more but when trump is telling friends that he might get reinstated, that is a news story. let me bring back dan abrams. tell me if i'm wrong. maybe all of this reinstatement stuff should have been ignored by the president this week. >> absolutely not. i think it is absolutely newsworthy and that is the distinction, right. which is if the former president just repeats the same lie about the 2020 election, that is not necessarily news. i do think it is important to keep covering it. but it is not necessarily big news. when he said he thinks he's going to be reinstated in august or that is the reporting on it, of course that is newsworthy. of course the media aud to be focusing on that. i know there is a lot of people out there who want to say i don't want to hear anything about donald trump. well, that is their choice and they could go into a -- a media cocoon and achieve that. but i think a network like cnn
and other cable news networks of course have to be covering news that former president trump is making. why? he's the former president and he's the leader of the republican party. and if you cover his lies, you cover them and you talk about why they're lies and why for example he can't get reinstated. it is important to provide that context. it is important to not just ignore it. >> and the other america, it is covered without fact checking. so it is got to be addressed. hey, do stories on trump on mediaite still get clicks and does anybody pay attention. >> they still do very well. people are still very interested in donald trump. that is not the reason per se to cover him, right. but there is no doubt that there is still great interest. because, look, he still says outrageous things and as you know, outrage works on the internet. and so donald trump, and there is no question that without
donald trump in the news cycle every day, you're seeing a decrease in the amount of people clicking on stories, watching cable news, et cetera. >> originally i booked you here dan to talk about the new book "kennedy avenge". >> frankly there was a lot i didn't know until i opened this up. so i wonder, since your book shows that a lot of jfk conspiracies stemmed from the ruby trial, are there lessons from those conspiracy theories in the '60s to today. >> i think it is a lot about what we're talking about, right. in the book we give examples of times when things were left unanswered. the defense said to the prosecution, will you stipulate that lee harvey oswald acted alone and prsosecutors say we'r not stipulating to anything. and an fbi agent was questioned, objection to relevance and the question goes unanswered. people don't address the
questions because they didn't address the issues earlier, the conspiracy theories in my view flourished and that is why it is important to continue talking about these topics. because as we saw in the jack ruby trial, there were so many hints and suggestions. and look, they didn't know everything at the time. and so people were still asking very legitimate questions about what happened, who else might have been involved, et cetera. but i think that one of the problems was that in the '60s, people didn't take on in particular conspiracy theory about ruby head on because as we lay out in the book, based on the facts, it would have been almost impossible for ruby to have been part of a conspiracy. >> and that is the best thing we could do then and now. just lay out all of the facts and let people see for themselves where conspiracy theories don't add up. let people see it for themselves and i think that is a change
that over time we're making more progress with media outlets and primary source material and letting people see that this doesn't add up. >> go ahead. >> >> more than half of the american public still believes there was a conspiracy in the jfk assassination and the reason for that it had hadn't been back in the day adequately addressed. >> interesting. kennedy's avenger is on the book on sale now. up next, how chinese and russian state tv helped jen psaki prepare for her current role. interesting, right. she joins me with answers in an in depth interview, next.
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in this era of media bunkers an alternative realities, the white house press secretary faces some unique challenges. so let's hear from jen psaki to get her perspective five month news the job and what might lie ahead. >> jen, thanks for coming on "reliable sources." >> my pleasure. >> busy sum mer ahead, infrastructure, election reform, what does the press get wrong when covering biden's agenda, when you watch and read the news what, do you think we get wrong? >> well, look, i think some of the our muscles have atrophied over the last few years and there is not a lot of recent memory on how long it takes to get legislation forward or how messy the process of negotiating and the process of getting legislation across the finish line can be. so we know, we understand
everybody is always looking for a deadline, a time line, things like that. but at the end of the day, our focus is on getting these bills across the finish line, doing it in a bipartisan way if we can and we certainly recognize that that could be messy along the process. so i don't know that is the press getting it wrong. i'll leave you to critique that, brian. but i think sometimes we forget how strange the last four years were and when we're returning to a place where democracy is working, where we're talk with democrats and republicans and it feels foreign but this is how it is supposed to work. >> there were times in your briefing where you seem so comfortable and there are times when you seem frustrated by the lines of questioning so i want to know what the job is like versus what you expected it to be like? >> well i'm a human being. so even though every day i try to be completely even-keeled and per the president's direction is to treat people with respect and take questions and provide accurate information, that is my
goal. but i'm also human and sometimes when you're answering the question, the same question a tenth time or when a question more likely the things that get under my skin is when the premise of a question is based on inaccurate and misleading information that could be frustrating. i try not to show it too much and let people see me sweat too much but occasionally i have a moment of humanity. >> so those quos based on falsehoods come from like news max which does get called on. i know a lot of liberals don't think fox should be called on. so why do you call on fox news and news max? >> well, brian, we know there is a lot of different points of view on this as you just referenced, my point of view and the president's point of view is that the story is not about me or a debate with news outlets, the story is about the plans of
the administration and what we're trying to project to the american people. and when he pledges to governor for all americans, that means talking to a range of outlets, liberal, conservative, people who have different areas of interest, so that is exactly what i try to do every day in the briefing room. >> he said in his inaugural, we all have a duty to defend the truth and defeat the lies. five months in do you feel you've made any progress with that, defeating the lies? >> i try every day to. and brian, i think one of the things that i try to focus on or we all do in this administration is not undervaluing the intelligence of the american people. when people ask a question that is based on a false premise or a question that skips over some details, what we try to do on our best days is be informative, explain how a process works and how does a bill become a law, what is the importance of communicating or going to the g-7 or nato. we don't need to completely dumb things down. we need to speak about things in
an accessible way but we have a responsibility to peel back government and how things work and we think the american people will hopefully respond to that. what our assessment is of our success,ly tell you, i never thought we would be successful in rebuilding every element of trust with the public in five months. it is going to be an ongoing process and something we'll keep working on every day. >> obviously the press corp wants to talk to the president more often. why haven't you held more than one press conference. >> i have a interesting statistic for you in my back pocket that martha shared with me, in the first 100 days the president took questions from the press 77 days. i don't know how that compares, but he takes questions several times a week as always almost open engage with reporters and i expect that will be continue to be the case. >> and in a formal press conference that demands the country's attention, you have
chosen not to go that route. he doesn't give many interviews either. is that an attempt to lower the temperature and be boring? >> i don't think anything we're doing around here is boring. getting the pandemic under control, going on our first foreign trip and putting millions of americans back to work and i don't know what version of that is boring. but there is an opportunity several times a week for the president to have an engagement and answer questions from reporters. i understand that there is questions about a formal press conference but that may be driven more by the media than the american public, brian. >> i figured you would say that. you used to be on this side of the camera. you were a cnn commentator in between your time working with the obama administration and now working for biden. what did you learn here? what did you take from cnn and how does it ato your job now? >> i mean a lot. when you're a cnn commentator for any network, you do spend a lot of time sitting on a set, being prepared to give your
input on a breaking news issue or an issue that is developing in realtime and that is certainly good preparation for standing in front of the camera at the briefing every day and there are also a few people who i may have sat on that set with in the past who had strongly different views from mine. and that is sometimes is replicated in the briefing room with some questions or a line of questioning that comes up. so i tap into a lot of things. i had the honor and pleasure of doing in the past, including being a cnn commentator, including serving at the state department and i know that helps me in the briefing every day. >> well there is a version on the liberal blogs that go like this, jen psaki shuts down a questioner. it is this narrative and people celebrate you for doing this and that reminds me of cable news and the way that cable news eng engages, i'm not sure that is good for the country even though it might be entertaining. >> i'm not putting out those
assessments. but i also have a responsibility not to allow the briefing room to become a forum for propaganda or a forum for pushing forward falsehoods or inaccurate information. my best preparation was serving as the state department spoke when they were representatives the russian and chinese media asking me questions direct the by think government. so we see that from time to time in the briefing room. not every single day. but i have a responsibility to the public to make sure they're getting accurate information and the premises of questions that are propaganda pushing are not giving them inaccurate information. >> and speaking of inaccurate information, you are were asked on friday about facebook and the ban in effect now for almost two more years. you said the biden white house wants to the platform to crack down on disminformation and wha do you envision that looking like? >> look, there are a range of ways to do that, brian,
including these platforms, how they attract users and tracking the information that is going out there to the public. certainly it is a decision by them who is allowed to use their platforms as i also said on friday. we know a lot about former president trump and how he uses these platforms and it feels pretty unlikely he's going to massively change his approach over the next two years. i guess we'll see. but there is a lot of ways that the platforms could take initiative or take steps to ensure that the american public is not getting or the global public to be honest is not getting inaccurate information. >> for other p.r. professionals who watch what you do for journalists who watch what you do, what is your advice for them about trying to stay as close to the truth in this world of lies? >> well, i think what i try to do is stay grounded to the facts and what i mean by that, the details and what we could help provide publicly to clarify context, to make this more understandable to the press, to
the public. and it sometimes it is not more complicated than that. really talking to policy experts and gaining an understanding so i could communicate in a way that in a way my mother and mother-in-law and people not involved in politics like you and i are every day would understand what we're trying to do. i keep grounded in that but try to go deep into the details so i could kind of pull out and make it accessible. >> well that is the common thread. i know this is often adversarial but it also has to be functional. is the relationship between the white house and the press corp now at least functional in ways that it wasn't in the trump years? >> i think so. look, i go into the briefing room every day and the reporters do the same thing, they're going to ask tough questions and push me where they want more information and give more information, that is their job. my job is to provide as much information as i can, the president's point of view, what our policies are to the american public. sometimes i can't provide every single detail as to what is
happening privately because it is a private negotiation or a private discussion or a national security issue at play. that is a push and pull. but that is a healthy push and pull. part of our democracy. and something frankly returning to the briefing is something that sends a message to the world that we're not afraid engage, we're not afraid. we believe in the free press and it is part of the message that we're going to now project even as we go on our first overseas trip next week. >> i should mention that we pre-taped with jen psaki on friday before the new revelations about the gag order at "the new york times." otherwise we would have asked about it. i did ask her when the press briefing room will return to procovid norms so let's goat that to that. but first some personal questions. >> you recently told david axlerod that you envisioned being in this job for about a year partly because it is a grind. and then you'll hand it off to the next person. does that mean next january is when you envision handing it off? >> we'll see, brian. i always serve like any of us at
the pleasure of the president. he asked me to serve in this job and hopefully he doesn't fire me tomorrow and it is who he wants to serve in this job. i'm not walking out of the door day 365. i think what i was conveying to my old friend is that there is an opportunity, one of the roles i love to play in this job is an opportunity to lift young talent and new faces up and give other people an opportunity to be the front face and shine. i also have two little kids who are in preschool but this is a job of a lifetime, a huge honor to serve this president in this time and i'm not running out of the door at a specific mark, but i do want to give others an opportunity and i do have my kids in mind in spends time with them. >> i appreciate thinking you're in a relay race. you have the torch and hand it off to the next person and we're all bigger than our own individual role so i get that. i wonder if also you think about the history-making aspect of this job right now. the historic time that we're in.
in the midst of a pandemic. you tarted in that briefing room with social distancing and now at 50% capacity. when will the briefing room return to normal, 100% capacity. >> hopefully very, very soon. we're working to implement our own process here with bringing staff back to work full time, in the eob and in the west wing, certainly opening up the briefing room to 100% capacity. we're working with our covid team on that. but very soon is certainly my hope. >> do you feel like there is other moments like that, where you'll feel like we're working under more normal conditions and not in the midst of the a crisis. >> i hope so. but you're always in the midst of some version of a crisis. that is what we do here. that is what the president knows he was elected to do and know that in any white house you're dealing with a number of competing challenges and crisis on any given day. that is what we do and that is
what we know we're walking into when we took these jobs. >> so just part of it. i saw annie leibowitz was taken your photo for a magazine for a feature. has it gone to your head a little bit. do you feel there is a moment where you feel like it has. >> i certainly hope not. my mother and my husband and my children and my friends from my college life would smack me back down if that did. look at the end of the day, i'm hugely honored to be here and i know being the white house press secretary means your front and center in an administration. it is not about me. it is about this administration, about repairing a lot of the challenges that we are built up over the last four years and when guy home from work brian and you'll get this too, i get on the floor with my kidded and play trains or princess or whatever it may be and that is who we all are when we're not on camera. >> so about that. this is when i wanted to ask you. you mentioned your kids, you have a daughter going into kindergarten, and i have a daughter going into pre-k and i think to myself what kind of country is this going to be --
[ no audio ] >> i think a lot about a lot of big issues that we're making decisions on now. i guess don't think about it through a bole prism. but i think about what we're going to do on the climate crisis, and how we're addressing that on whether we're going to have what kind of jobs and industries we are investing in now and what that means for my kids. ip also think about it as it related to things like lgbtq rights and what kind ever message we're sending to the next generation about who they could grow up to be and they should grow up to be whoever they want to be and whoever they're meant to be and that is something that i hope we could keep projecting from here. so that is how i think about it not less from the political lense. >> when i hear the former president talking about
reinstated thinking he's back in the white house, i think to myself, what kind of country are we creating? >> i think about it, that is a circus over here and we are in a different circus here and we are working toward addressing the crisis the american people are facing and that is what we're going to keep our eyes focused on with blinders. >> so you have a reality-based circus. >> that is right. i don't know if there is reality based circus, but we keep our blinders on to what our job is here every day. >> jen, thank you very much for being here. >> thank you. great to talk to you. >> up next, we go from the white house to the home of the opposition party. just listen to the level of hate and vitriol that is being pointed at biden every night. >> president is just too incompetent and too weak, i don't know if he knows what day it is. >> dripping with hate, so what is going on inside. i'll have new reporting from the book coming up.
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the infrastructure bill. outlets are all over the story covering the many layers, the congressional wrestling match over the offers and counteroffers, what might be left out. what should be included? what about money for the ailing local news industry? report for america co-founder and president steve waldman is pushing for congress to fold local news funding into the bill, explaining local news should be viewed as civic infrastructure. steve joins me now to talk about why. great to see you. >> great to see you. thank you. let's lay out the 30-second argument. local news, how is that infrastructure? >> well, it's the infrastructure for democracy and it's crumbling, also. we've had a 60% drop in the number of reporters in the last two decades which means thousands of communities have no local newspaper or website to provide basic information, meaning families don't have information about whether their schools are improving or whether
their drinking water is safe or who to vote for. as a result, we know in communities like this, corruption goes up, waste goes up and voter participation goes down. it makes it very hard for communities to solve their own problems. >> these are some of the papers on screen that have either closed or begged for help. in some cases being taken over by hedge funds, in some cases losing saffirs for a variety of rfrs. there's a venture called the rebuild local news coalition, this group you founded, calling on congress to try to take action here. who is on board now? how many people are on board in this coalition? >> well, it represents now almost 4,000 local newsrooms, especially smaller ones, that includes non-profit newsrooms, weeklies, black newspapers, hispanic newspapers. it's a very broad range politically and types of different "newsroom"s because everyone is seeing the crisis is
hardly -- it's accelerating. the fact that hedge funds known half the daily news circulation in america and lobbying groups are creating local news websites, there's a real urgency for why this needs to be addressed quickly. >> you are hearing from some democratic lawmakers on board, senator maria cantwell saying local news is a critical frsks. let's give $2.4 billion to the industry. what are the odds it will be included? >> that's a big deal. she's the chair of the senate commerce committee. her advocacy is very important. you're seeing this broad coalition of different organizations supporting it, and you're seeing republican support for the idea of helping local news. there's a real distinction, i think, between local news and national news. there's a bill in the house that has 30 republican co-sponsors, and what it would do is give
money to consumers to buy local news subscriptions. it's a way of helping local news without having the federal government be making decisions about which newsrooms ought to get aid. >> the bottom line, government subsidies in lots of different ways, going back to postal service rates, ad spending in local news. i know it can sound like a
foreign, crazy concept. this has been going on for many, many centuries. what's the digital age version of local news. your piece is on pointer.org for people to read. wh on the other side of the break, a confession from inside fox news. quote, we turned so far right, we went crazy.
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the lies are virtual, but the pain is physical. that's what i concluded as i wrote the last chapter of this new book "hoax." it's all about televised propaganda provoking physical pain. let me share some of the new reporting about fox news with all of you first before i go off on a book tour this week and try to sell "hoax" to everyone else. paperback editions usually have quickie updates to the hard cover. with "hoax," i decided to crack the whole thing open. it came out last summer when donald trump was still president. would fox be able to help him win election, would the murdochs help keep trump in power? fox lost. it wasn't able to get trump across the finish line. some fox fans fled to news max where they didn't have to face the truth of trump's loss. fox lost its monopoly on right
wing tv. what did it do? it followed the trump base further to the right. there were lay-offs at fox, lawsuits pending. so much happened that i ended up adding 12 new chapters to this edition. these are some of the comments i heard on screen that i heard from insiders as this was all going down. we turned so far right, we went crazy, one fox commentator said to me. the pressure from the audience was debilitating. we are bleeding eyeballs, a producer said. we are scared. that was the tone, the tenor inside fox. some employees were embarrassed as the covid-19 case count exploded. a dissenting fox staffer said, we denied the pandemic and now we're denying the election outcome. i know some staffers who couldn't take it anymore and left the network. there are lots of true believers still there, lots of folks who believe in the conservative mission. the result is there's less dissent in and off fox now than
there was a couple years ago. the news side keeps losing. denial of the news keeps winning. the fox bosses keep crowing about quality journalism while squeezing out the journalists who are left. here is the thing, it's working. news max ratings have come back down. fox had been radicalized and the trump base is rewarding them. that's why i think this story, this subject matters to everyone. i opened the new edition of "hoax" with a scene from january 6th showing how people internalized fox's 24/7 talk of taking or country back and actually tried to do it. this is history. i tried to write it for history. it's still unfolding every day. if you're interested in learning more buyhoax.com is the website. if you ordered the ebook, it will be automatically updated on your device with all the new chapters. if you're interested in hearing the story, a new audio edition will be out on tuesday as well.
if you have questions about the fox/trump merger or ideas to share, i'd love to hear them. i'm at bstelter.com. thanks for joining us on this televised edition of "reliable sources." later, a big interview, anderson cooper sitting down with barack obama, and i hear obama has a lot to say about the state of the media. that's monday 8:00 p.m. eastern time on cnn. we'll see you right back here this time next week. ♪ trillion-dollar question, president biden and republicans set to talk again on infrastructure after the president rejected the republicans' latest offer. >> does anyone down this whole nation will be better off with these investments? >> how much longer will a deal take? we'll speak with energy