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tv   Reliable Sources With Brian Stelter  CNN  January 30, 2022 8:00am-9:00am PST

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in new york and this is ross ross where we examine the story behind the story and try to figure out what is reliable. that's the question about these tom brady retirement reports this weekend. we will break down the anonymous source in play. plus, we will head to moscow to figure out why tucker carlson is a nightly fixture. later the amazing amy schneider is here talking about
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her buzzer strategy, troll handle and her pick for permanent host. first, is there a way out? is there a way out of the cataclysmic conflicts that seem to consume everything? divisions over covid, vaccines, teaching, policing, feel like they're making the united states less and less so. and media outlets are very much a part of this entangled in conflict, us versus them, less versus right, the middle versus extremes, heroes versus villains, alt-right versus mainstream and so on. healthy conflict can be good, but we are in a state of ohio conflict, defined in a recent book as a good versus evil kind of feud. when people lose their minds and ideological disputes, political feuds or gang vendettas. high conduct is a force that causes people to lie awake at night and fear for the future. i can see this kind of conflict right now with a looming supreme court confirmation battle. i guess i could call it a
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confirmation process, maybe i should, but i default to the word battle because that's the way it's portrayed in the press. maybe it won't really be a battle, some conservative activists are saying they are not planning to go scorched earth against president biden's nominee to replace justin stephen breyer. since whoever the nominee is will not change the balance of the court. but let's be honest, fox wants a fight. right wing radio and tv wants a fight. they need a fight over the supreme court. they are already starting a fight that's rooted in white identity politics. all of fox's prime time shows are outraged that biden has committed to nominating a justice who is black and female. >> what matters, joe biden explained, is sex and skin color. >> it is beyond extremely divisive, it may even be illegal. >> rubber stamp justice. >> it's a state of permanent political warfare, but does it have to be?
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high conflict is a term coined by amanda ripley the author of a book "high conflict, why we get trapped and how we get out." she's also an investigative journalist and host of the podcast how to and she is with me now. thanks for coming on the program. >> thanks for having me, brian. >> you've been using your investigative reporting skills to better understand conflict, everything from messy marriages and divorces to decades-long civil wars. so tell us first about how you applied reporting to understand what high conflict is. >> about five years ago i just started to feel like traditional journalism wasn't functioning in this kind of conflict and i wasn't sure how to be useful, right? it seemed like anything i might do as a journalist would either make the conflict worse or have no impact at all, right? so i started following people who understand conflict in intimately but differently than journalists and people who have been stuck in really awful
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conflict, really dysfunctional high conflict and shifted into healthy or good conflict to try to understand is that even possible, good news, yes, it is, and then how did they do it and how can we learn from that and how can we be more useful in conflict as journalists? so i covered environmental activists who made that shift, a politician in california, a gang leader in chicago, former guerrilla member and regular voters in michigan and new york city. it is possible to make that shift but the big take away is that any intuitive thing you might do in high conflict to get out of the conflict will make it worse. so you have to do counterintuitive things and you have to do them with great care. >> wait. so let's say you are the bottom of a hole, you're trying to climb out of it, every time you climb up a step it actually gets deeper? you're situation you have to do the opposite of what you're thinking? >> exactly.
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that's exactly right. and it's not natural, right? it's hard. but it's not impossible. and it is way, way more effective and in whatever fight you're fighting and just better for the soul as well. so just as an example, for journalists, right, your intuition in high conflict is to do what we've always done, right, and the worse the conflict gets the more your intuition is to simplify and amplify. to simplify the conflict and the different groups so that you're generalizing all the time about 70 or 80 million people, say all republicans, all democrats when in fact that's madness, right? and another thing is that the impulse is to amplify the voices of conflict entrepreneurs who are having a golden era right now. >> hold on. conflict entrepreneurs. that sounds like something we have to unpack. that sounds -- i think i know who you are talking about. who are you talking about? >> yeah, so conflict entrepreneurs are people or companies who exploit and inflame conflict for their own
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ends. these are people who seem to delight in every twist and turn the conflict takes. sometimes they do this for profit, but just as often they do it for a sense of importance, for a way to explain the world and to feel like they are powerful and to get attention. we have now designed a bunch of our institutions from social media to many news outlets to politics to incentivize and raise up conflict entrepreneurs. so this is really important to start to realize who these people are in your own world, in your -- among your source and your social media feed and your news diet. >> so tucker carlsons of the world are conflict entrepreneurs but there's certainly some on the left or in the middle as well, is that fair to say? >> absolutely, yeah. i mean, it is -- it is the -- it is the default impulse of many, many journalists because we are rewarding it right now, okay? so it is not -- it is not the
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kind of thing that i think only bad people do. i mean, every day i wake up and try not to be a conflict entrepreneur. i think that is rule number one for journalists right now. we are all capable of being conflict entrepreneurs, especially at a time like this. >> i think everybody is wondering, you know, the last two weeks cnn prime time, democracy in peril, cnn has been shining a light on these assaults that are happening mostly at the state level against american democracy. i think what i wonder for the purposes of this show is what should journalists be doing with this -- in this moment in time? covering it, shining a light, but what else can journalists do when democracy sunday assault? >> yeah, so i was just talking to kneelen parker who runs common ground u.s.a. and has experience in conflict zones. what she said is right now we are in the best window we are going to get to interrupt this vicious cycle we are in. so one thing about political violence is it is highly
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predictable. we know that violence will increase before and after each election cycle and journalists it's very, very important that they prepare for that. in other countries that have dealt with endemic political violence that's what they do. just to take an example i said earlier any intuitive thing you do will backfire, so simplifying and amplifying doesn't help, it makes things worse. what's the opposite of that? one thing is to complicate the narratives of your audience, go out and do the reporting, find the stories that confuse your buy a sees and your audience's buy a sees that are also true because they are all around us and there is a phenomenon in high conflict, psychologists call it splitting where you start to break the world into two camps, right, and it is a way to protect yourself, to feel like there's certainty when there is not, when there is a lot of anxiety and fear. so you want to resist that urge. then of course you want to stop amplifying conflict entrepreneurs and find ways to amplify the voices of other people, positive deviants we
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might call them, people who are intentionally trying to do something different. so when you talk about democracy in peril, we have to be very careful that we are not exaggerating, right? you really want to be specific, extra specific, which places? how many? out of how many? that is something i'm constantly yelling at my phone when i'm reading the news. out of how many? how many school boards are imploding in conflict? how many districts are -- electoral districts are restricting voting rights? >> that's a good point. >> you have to report it, absolutely, but you have to put it in perspective. >> when you hear about crazy cases like in tennessee, those are real stories and yet when we look around in our own lives and the conflict is not nearly as heightened as it looks on tv that's something we need to remember to help try to deescalate. amanda, thank you so much for your insights on this. >> thanks for having me. and the book again, very important, it's called "high conflict." up next, what justice brie
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remember and tom brady have in common. plus, what's the real deal with president biden and peter doocy? oh, we can help with that. okay, imagine this. your mover, rob, he's on the scene with president biden and peter doocy? we cut to downtown, your sales rep lisa has to send some files, like asap! so basically i can pick the right plan for each employee. yeah i should've just led with that. with at&t business. you can pick the best plan for each employee and get the best deals on every smart phone. wondering what actually goes into your multi-vitamin? at new chapter its innovation organic ingredients and fermentation. fermentation? yes, formulated to help your body really truly absorb the natural goodness. new chapter. wellness well done
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on this nfl championship weekend the biggest story is about a qb who is not playing, yes, tom brady retiring apparently, but maybe not quite yet. the brady case shows the pleasures and the perils of anonymous sourcing. espn broke the news saturday afternoon and didn't hedge it one bit. they said brady is retiring from football, period, citing multiple sources. others scrambled to confirm it and some did, the nfl network found multiple sources saying brady planned to retire and "the boston globe" found a league source who said it was true, but no one confirmed it on the record. brady's dad said it wasn't true and the buccaneers said they hadn't heard anything final from him and his agent said, quote, tom will be the only person to express his plans with complete accuracy. so what are we supposed to
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believe? these espn sources -- reporters are incredibly well-sourced, they knew what they were doing. i believe brady wants to share the news on his own terms so his team is stalling trying to deflate the story until he's rad to say it out loud. let's talk more about anonymous sourcing with phillip bump, senior white house correspondent shelby tall cot and oliver darcy. oliver, you and i deal with anonymous sourcing all the time, not at this level necessarily but we have both had anonymously sourced stories in the past few days. let's break down how we do that. you were writing about brian williams turning down cbs news, not wanting to join cbs. it was an entirely anonymously sourced story. in a story like that or a story like tom brady where nobody is going to confirm it on the record what do you do? >> i think it's interesting. first i think what's important for viewers to understand is when a major outlet like espn is reporting big news like this, the sources are good.
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they're very credible sources. they would not risk their reputations just running with a rumor. so that's number one. but number two is it's very common for reporters then to take the reporting to the spokes people for the subjects. in this case they would have probably taken it to tom brady's spokespeople, they would have taken it to the buccaneers and if they did not get -- they may have had off the record conversations not received comments, but it's not uncommon for a spokesperson to basically say we are not going to dispute the reporting. >> right. >> i think that's almost -- it's not in the story but it's almost another element of verification knowing that the official authorities in the case are not going to come out and say your reporting is wrong. >> yeah. you're looking for a head nod. sometimes i will say to a source, look, are you going to embarrass me, contradict me, make me look bad tomorrow? it's that back and with sources that i think happened in the tom brady story. i will give the viewers one example. i did a story saying gayle king
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has planning to renew her deal at cbs but i didn't think she had signed the deal so i didn't want to say she had renewed yet. friday she announced she signed that morning. she had decided to renew, she hadn't signed it yet so there's wiggle room. it seems like with brady, huge story, phillip bump, there's wiggle room, yeah, he is retiring but until it comes out of his mouth his camp not going to confirm t does that feel like the situation to you? >> yeah, i mean, we should remember that tom brady is probably among all american athletes very, very savvy about managing his own brand and identity. we've seen multiple instances of that, the guy has been in the game together, been a champion forever. he understands how to do this. i think it's very much the case one should assume that when and if he announces his retirement there's going to be a very, very calculated which in which he chooses to do so which may not comport with the news urgencies of espn and other outlets. the reason we're treating it seriously is we trust espn, we know they have these sources,
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they are reliable. this isn't just @patriots902 on twitter saying i hear tom brady going to retire. these are real credible sources talking to anonymous people. >> the sources are anonymous to us but known to the reporters. same deal with justice breyer the other day when pete williams broke the news about breyer and wolf blitzer matched it within minutes. that was coming from trusted reporters so you had reason to trust the information. let's turn to the political arena. president biden, does he know how to handle partisan media? this weak his dead panned insult directed at peter doocy generated days and days of content for fox's shows. i thought biden was out of line. the white house does call on doocy a lot, much to the chagrin of liberals. convertly as "politico" reported the white house rarely engages left wing media, shooting down requests for meetings. having on the part of the white
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house. let's bring in daily caller. conservative website, you cover the white house for the daily caller. what did you make of doocy and the biden and that spat? it wasn't a spat because it was just biden insulting him. >> yeah, brian, thanks for having me on. i think that the big thing is how peter doocy reacted. he reacted like a professional. he did really well, he did exactly what he was supposed to do and he was interesting, you know, a question about inflation and that's perhaps a question that president biden didn't want to answer in that moment and we saw that snappy response. we've seen it before, his sort of off-handed remarks from the president about typically when reporters ask good tough questions, and, you know, the relationship between a president and the press is a contentious sort of working relationship and it's to be expected almost when you are a journalist covering any white house that sometimes there's going to be questions the president doesn't want answered and, you know, it comes
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with the job. >> somebody we've covered has probably called out of us an s.o.b. off mic, it's a president, he said it on camera. phillip, doesn't the white house be talking to progressive media more? i thought the "politico" point was interesting. outlets at the young turks and positive america don't get access. trump basically had a fox news white house. biden doesn't want that. shouldn't he pay more attention to progressive media? >> well, i think that the president biden recognizes that his core strength, his core political asset is not his relationship with the left. and he knows if he sits down with them in the same way that he's probably not going a lot of events with alexandria ocasio-cortez. he recognizes it's not going to do good with his base folks who push him from the left. i don't think he wants to engage themt. when he engages in peter doocy
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it provides him an opportunity to short-circuit the right wing narrative. peter doocy asks him something on the minds of fox news viewers and right then the white house can respond to it which is a smart tactic because it means fox news isn't brewing for days and days why won't biden answer it. they answer it. on the left when he doesn't necessarily want to be engaged on those same things and doesn't see it as something which will strengthen his relationship with his base, i think he should answer those questions, absolutely, but i understand why politically they may not see that as much of an asset. >> interesting. stand by for me. up next, significant news out of trump's rally last night. plus musicians versus misinformation, school boards versus story tellers. what's going on? we're dissecting the power struggles in old and new media. ! >> vo: ...i searched for someone who really knew my car. i found the experts at safelite autoglass.
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so sean spicer called me the other day he didn't like something i said on this program, i think it was the first time he called me since the day he cursed at me over inauguration crowd size gate in 2017. he is the host on news max and objected to the way i characterized their ratings so here is the reality, news max is usually low rated, a lot lower than fox, but when donald trump is on news max is high rated. on a normal saturday night they might have 50,000 viewers, when trump held a rally more than 1.5 million found the channel, beating fox, because fox ignored the rally. trump was back on stage in texas and probably brought a big audience for news max again. there's a base that is seeking out trump's speeches, a base taking him seriously.
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here is what they heard last night. in one rally speech he daeng ld pardons for people charged with invading the capitol while encouraging mass protests if prosecutors investigating him do something he doesn't like. so it's january 5th all over again. back with us phillip, shelby and oliver. phillip, you raised a question on twitter, is the new gop policy position that rioters should be let out of jail? >> right. yeah, i mean, obviously donald trump is a leader if not the leader in the republican party. i have not seen polling or anything to suggest that republicans broadly feel as though these people who conducted these acts of violence in particular who are the ones primarily who are the ones being incarcerated or detained that they should be set free. when you are complaining about the conditions in confinement for people the natural response is let's improve these conditions not let's set them free and release them from jail. donald trump is saying let's pardon them. i don't know that that's a
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position that most republicans have held to this point. what will be fascinating to see is will they adopt this position moving forward? does this change the baseline position of the republican party to be, yes, let's have these people walk free because donald trump has raised this as an issue and shifted the overton window. that's the way in which this actually changes how the mainstream responds to this day. >> on fox and friends i heard about trump's rallies but nothing about the pardon and nothing about trump saying if the prosecutors do me wrong i want you all to protest, you better protest in new york or d.c. or georgia, calling for mass protests if he's prosecuted. that's huge news here on cnn, it's not huge news on fox. what do you make of that divide and is it just a matter that trump fans don't care about what he's saying at the rally about pardons and protests? >> i think a lot of what we heard president trump say we've heard before, right? we've heard the --
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>> not the pardons, not the protests. right. that's why it's so shocking. he's like go pro test, the last time he said that we had a mass act of, you know, violence at our capitol. >> but protests are -- peaceful protests are a huge pillar of american society. >> sure. >> so it's newsworthy, but also peaceful protesting is allowed. you might not like what the protests are protesting, you might not agree with it and that's okay, but if calling for peaceful protests of course is a huge part of america. i think the divide comes from, you know, liberal-leaning outlets tend to sort of take what trump says and, you know, make it into this huge deal and i think a lot of trump supporters are more -- more neutral than liberal-leaning outlets believe, you know? why do people support trump? that differs. i think that's something that the media is missing a little
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bit. >> so when i hear on fox and friends it's all about border you're making the point for fox viewers they do care more about the border than about trump dangling pardons for rioters. you're saying to the fox audience it is about other issues. >> yes. >> that's an important point. >> and i think that it's -- you know, it's not a bad thing, you know. the border issue is important for millions of americans and so it's just a matter of who your audience is and what they're interested in and it's a difference of opinion. >> shelby and phillip, thank you both. we have amy schneider coming up, the "jeopardy" champion. we will hear about her experience with that amazing streak. plus spotify, joe rogan and neil young. it's just one of several stories, a tug of war over content. we will get into that right after the break.
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of war, some on the left want right wing distorters blocked from sites like youtube and twitter, some on the right want objectionable lessons blocked from schools. there are way more than two sides here and each case is unique, but think about the headlines this week about that tennessee district banning this holocaust-themed series of books. it happened a couple weeks ago, it wasn't until reporters in tennessee noticed that it became national news. look at this divide, look at this tug of war between ms and fox. the banner says book banning fever heats up in red states, the fox banner asks if lefties are the new book burners. we see this story on the digital -- in the digital space as well. all the news this week about spotify, neil young, joanie mitchell, other artists saying they're taking their music off of spotify because joe rogan is on spotify. joe rogan has a history of bringing on guests who promote anti-vaccine narratives and covid disinformation.
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we're seeing these battles all around, just on any given week we hear news about someone being banned from twitter. now you a days people are getting banned from tiktok. mostly right wing figures for violating various social media policies. all of this a massive tug of war over what content is heard and seen and where and why. let's bring back oliver darcy and bring in kat rosen field a culture writer and author who is with me now. kat, you wrote on twitter about spotify, went viral for a comment about it yesterday. tell us your point of view first about this spotify mess because it's really dominated the week. >> yeah, you know, what i think is interesting about the backlash against spotify vis-a-vis joe rogan is that people are fundamentally angry about not being able to stop his audience from wanting news that is bad for them, you know, wanting something that's bad for them. so, you know, we are all haunted
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by the spectre of this guy who is listening to joe rogan and internalizing this bad information and making bad choices as a result, but rogen is like a weed that's sprouting up outside the ecosystem and has thrived there and has this huge audience. that's what's scary that spotify could kick him off tomorrow and it wouldn't make a dent. it wouldn't make a dent in his audience, people would listen to him and still wouldn't trust more mainstream media sources. i think that's what's really frightening to people. >> oliver, do you agree? >> i think the key thing to keep in mind is that, you know, people who are listening to joe rogan's podcasts don't believe it to be bad information. there was an analogy drawn between doritos and his podcast. people know that doritos are not neg i will good for them, you are not going to find an expert who says you should eat a lot of doritos but there are a lot of people who listen to joe rogan's
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podcast who believe that he is the truth teller. they believe that joe rogan is good for an informational diet. the people who are listening to him don't believe it to be bad information so it's difficult, i guess, for them to make that choice, that good choice of consuming information when they think that the podcast hosting people with anti-vaccine rhetoric is really the truth telling podcast. >> kat, you made the doritos reference. i rather liked it. what do you say to oliver? >> i think it ultimately comes down to the question of how do you want to solve this and that's sort of where the analogy comes in. here is people who they like something that we -- who consider ourselves more enlightened don't think is good for them, we think that they're internalizing this misinformation and using it to make bad decisions but if you took away joe rogan by deplatforming him, just as if you took away doritos would they
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seek out better information, a podcast like "new york times" the daily and would they start reading the "wall street journal"? i don't know. i think that that's the fundamental question here. >> it does seem like there is this completely alternative media ecosystem that has to be understood and it is the rogan media ecosystem. you're saying the listeners are not going to go over to one -- they're not going to read the associated prets if rogan disappears. i feel like you're saying take a more realistic approach to this whack-a-mole of bans. >> yeah, you know, i just think that providing as much information as possible is -- in the hopes that it will eventually get to the people who need t providing as much good information as possible is probably a better bet than trying to, you know, shut down somebody who has already got a massive popular platform from reaching the people who are going to seek him out no matter what. >> in the case of somebody like malice, you have this tennessee school district quietly doing something, two weeks later it becomes national news, now the
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books are topping the amazon charts. so that content now getting to more people and maybe that's the answer. all right. oliver, kat, thank you both. for more we will keep covering it in our "reliable sources" newsletter. sign up for twee reliablesources.com. ahead, we're heading to moscow for a report on how russian state media is covering the tensions with ukraine and why they keep quoting tucker carlson. hey lily, i need a new wireless plan for my business, but all my employees need something different. oh, we can help with that. okay, imagine this. your mover, rob, he's on the scene and needs a plan with a mobile hotspot. we cut to downtown, your sales rep lisa has to send some files, like asap! so basically i can pick the right plan for each employee. yeah i should've just led with that. with at&t business. you can pick the best plan for each employee
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amid widespread fears of a potential russian invasion of ukraine tucker carlson has become a nightly presence on russian state tv. we wanted to know why so we asked nic robertson to take a look. >> reporter: on russian state tv western media are getting ridiculed, like it or not, they think independent journalists are propagandists for the u.s. government, creating a provocation for war. >> you have no idea what's happening in our mind. you have no idea about history, you have no idea what russia is about, you have no idea what y ukraine i can't is about. >> reporter: vladimir hosts his own show, proudly pushes the cripple len's views and tucker carlson. >> he is a nice guy, he is
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funny. he hates biden, he likes trump. so what? >> reporter: no irony that in russia, unlike america, criticizing the president is off limits, and never more so than now. in the past year independent media here have been almost completely crushed. >> it's a feeling of tense and it's all the time. you can never be -- you can never be sure that tomorrow you will be -- you will be all right. you can never be sure that tomorrow your tv station will still be alive. >> reporter: an anchor at tv rain, one of russia's last independent stations. it is designated a foreign agent. kremlin law that can snuff it out. she is all too familiar with state tvs manipulations, how they use western media and play karlsson against his broadcast
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colleagues. >> they just like that there is a person who says are we going to fight russia because of this corrupted eastern european country that we even cannot find on the map? as soon as he says something that is not in this, you know, direction that they need, he's not going to be a friend anymore. >> reporter: in russia's propaganda war truth doesn't matter. what counts is stopping a war they are convinced america is fomenting. >> at this point nato exists primarily to torment vladimir putin. >> reporter: at home facing accusations of being a pro-putin stooge, karlsson has defended some of his pro-russia comments and said he is not a russian agent. so will he lose his war stopping value in russia? >> come on. this poor guy from fox news -- well, i like that if he had been
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russian spy, colonel of russia -- >> reporter: it's not the way any respectable journalist would want to be portrayed, but once inside the kremlin's spin cycle here there's no knowing how the machine will spit you out. nic robertson, cabrernn, moscow let me bring in "daily beast" columnist and russia media analyst julia davis. julia, welcome. kremlin tv is worrying that karlsson's pro-putin bias has gone too far. what do you mean? >> he has become a little bit too obvious. it seems like the kremlin has its biggest troll now piping pro-kremlin propaganda to millions of his viewers and they went so far as to describe tucker as one of their co-hosts essentially because he's receiving such a coverage in russia, and also he is inviting experts or so-called russia
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experts who don't even hide their affiliation with russia's foreign ministry. so tucker's propaganda is very convenient for russia, but it's been so blatant they've been worried that he might lose his relevance and be silenced or marginalized because heis pro-russian slant has become too obvious to ignore. >> let me push back a little bit. many americans are terrified to see the u.s. drawn into a new foreign conflict. tucker carlson is channeling their views. why >> because it seems to go the other way. tucker is actually encouraging his viewers to vote out any republicans that want to support ukraine in defending it from russia's aggression, and he's also spreading russia's position that's baselessly claiming that it's the united states that
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wants to invade ukraine and that it's nato that is threatening russia and not the other way around. so it seems like tucker is trying to change our foreign policy and is obviously trying to change it in russia's favor. also russian experts have discussed the strategy of trying to scare americans with the possibility of a nuclear war between the united states and russia as a consequence of the u.s. stepping up to defend ukraine, when in reality, they know that they're not crazy enough to ever think about using nuclear weapons against the united states, but tucker carlson has also been pushing that on his show, claiming that if the united states helps our ukraine to defend itself, we are risking nuclear war with russia. there are just too many parallels to ignore. >> i think it was really interesting tucker said to the
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"new york times," that he kind of admitted he made mistakes with the rock and didn't want to make them again. julia, thank you for coming on the show. nice having you on. >> thanks for having me. amy snyder. hear who she would pick as a permanent host of "jeopardy." in boston, where biotech innovates daily and our doctors teach at harvard medical school, and where the physicians doing the world-changing research are the ones providing care. there's only one mass general brigham. one of the worst things about a cold sore is how it can make you feel. but, when used at the first sign, abreva can get you back to being you in just 2 and half days. be kinder to youelf and tougher on your cold sores. are yoone of the millions of americans who experience occasiol bloating,
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amy snyder is a "jeopardy" hero. with a four-game winning streak she is executive in "jeopardy" history of the show. she is here to talk about being
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in "jeopardy" history. amy, welcome to "reliable sources." >> thank you. >> looking at this streak, i wonder if the first episode was the hardest and it was relatively smooth sailing from there. >> i wouldn't call it smooth sailing from there, but yes, the first one was definitely the hardest. i had to rethink my buzzer strategy in the middle of it, and beyond that, andrew he, one of the returning champions, was one of the strongest players i played in my entire run. yeah, i would say that was the hardest one. >> when did you start to sense that there was something special happening? >> i would say, you know, the first day i was taping, i won three episodes, and you know, it was like, great, this is really good. that was about, like -- i wasn't expecting to do too much better than that. and then i went back the next week and we taped ten episodes and it was sometime during that
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that i started to realize this is already becoming something kind of impressive. >> right. they had all these theories among the "jeopardy" web, maybe there are streaks because once you learn the buzzer strategy, you have more of an edge over other contestants. did you feel that? >> i definitely did feel as i went on, why haven't there been more streaks, because i definitely did feel that it was almost unfair to people coming in in the last game of the day, and i've been essentially practicing the buzzer all day and they're coming in cold. >> as the streak was getting longer and longer, did you feel like you were bringing some positive energy back to "jeopardy," a program that lost alex trebek and then went through all those guest hosts and all the turmoil about the executive producer, all the scandal. did you feel like you were bringing positive attention back to the show? >> it's funny, because as a viewer myself, i don't generally enjoy it when somebody is on a long streak. i want to see some new faces.
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but it was just clear from everybody, all the crew and everything, that they thought it was a good thing for "jeopardy." i thought, they're the experts, i'll take their word for it. then when it came out, yeah, i think it's just been -- i love the show and i watched all the kind of negative headlines about it the last year or so, so to see somebody talking positive about it was really nice. >> and it proved what alex trebek always said, it's about the contestants, it's about the winners. when you were there, did you come away with a sense of what the show should become, or do you have a pick for who the host should be? >> i think ken jennings should be the host. i can't say enough about him. as i said, i didn't necessarily think that before going into this, you know, because, yes, he was a great champion but this is a different skill set. but you could see the work he put into it and i just thought he did a really great job.
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as far as i'm concerned, that's my endorsement. >> that's the endorsement, yeah. i was going to ask you about what it's been like to be targeted for being transgender, for having trolls against you on social media, but then you said a almost all the attention has been positive. we focus on the negativity, we notice the hateful trolls, but actually we should notice the majority and not the hateful minority, right? >> yeah, i would agree with that. i didn't want to overstate it. that was definitely out there, especially like the first week or so, like when it was first happening, it was hard not to take it seriously or take it personally. but there was so much positivity out there and so many people expressing their support and so many people, you know, that you wouldn't necessarily think of, the kind of "jeopardy"
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demographic -- i like to say i'm huge with moms. when people take a picture with me, half of them say, i'm going to send this to my mom. yeah, it was eye-opening for me, and i think it's a great sign about the progress we've made as a society. >> what an inspiration. thanks for joining us this hour. "state of the union" starts now. ♪ united front? as the u.s. warns russia is ready to invade ukraine -- >> it's a little like reading tea leaves. >> -- a bipartisan group of senators is trying to prevent war. i'll speak exclusively to the two top members of the foreign relations committee, democratic chairman bob menendez and republican ranking member jim rich, next. are we done yet? omicron shows signs of retreating in the u.

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