March 7th, 2010
03:00 PM ET
10 years ago

Reliable Sources: Walters speaks out on celebrities, scandals

(CNN) – Barbara Walters takes her final bow tonight hosting ABC's Oscar's Special, a program she anchored for 29 years. Howard Kurtz sat down with Walters for a wide-ranging interview which aired this morning on CNN's Reliable Sources.

Kurtz asked Walters why she decided to pull the plug on this long-standing tradition.

"I'm sick of it," Walters said. "I've been thinking about this for a few years now. And I feel it's time. And sometimes you can't explain that. I will still do interviews. It's still like having a wonderful dessert for me."

Sunday night's Oscar special features interviews with best actress and best supporting actress nominees Sandra Bullock and Mo'Nique, as well as a look back at previous interviews with icons such as Audrey Hepburn and Arnold Schwarzenegger, and oddball moments such as the lap dance Walters received courtesy of Hugh Jackman. Walters said she will continue to do her annual "10 Most Fascinating People" special.

Kurtz asked Walters about her high-profile political interviews in the past year with Fox News' Glenn Beck and former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

"Glenn Beck is a very intelligent man. This may disturb a lot of people. I'm not so sure I'm supposed to know that he is, but he is," Walters said.

In her interview with Palin, Walters asked the former Alaska Governor whether or not she knew her daughter Bristol was sexually active, and Palin candidly answered that she and her husband "were devastated.”

"To talk to her about her daughter's sexual activity didn't insult her intelligence. And so that's why she answered," Walters said.

So how has Walters been able to get honest answers to tough questions all these years?

Filed under: Reliable Sources
February 14th, 2010
04:23 PM ET
10 years ago

Paterson slams the press over reporting on salacious rumors

Washington (CNN) – Rumors of personal and professional misconduct surrounding Gov. David Paterson (D-NY) swirled throughout the blogosphere and the New York media establishment this week to the point where the Governor himself was compelled to deny reports that he would resign. The Governor also addressed an illusory New York Times profile, for which the Governor was interviewed but has not been published as of Sunday.

Howard Kurtz criticized the media's behavior on Reliable Sources Sunday morning and asked: "How on earth do media organizations justify reporting what's essentially damaging gossip?" Two top New York reporters joined Kurtz to answer that question.

Filed under: David Paterson • Reliable Sources
January 24th, 2010
10:59 AM ET
9 years ago

Reliable Sources: National Enquirer editor on the Pulitzer

Washington (CNN) – Former Presidential Candidate John Edwards went to Haiti this week, leaving his own personal earthquake for another day. Edwards told NBC News on Thursday that he is the father of his former mistress' two year old daughter, a story that the National Enquirer first reported more than a year and a half ago. Barry Levine, the executive editor of The Enquirer, which has scooped the mainstream media on virtually every twist and turn of the Edwards saga, told Reliable Sources host Howard Kurtz Sunday that The Enquirer should be considered for a Pulitzer Prize, the highest honor in journalism.

"This wasn't just paying for a tip and getting some information. This was two years of exhaustive reporting, reviewing financial documents, cultivating sources, doing in-the-field stakeout work," Levine said. "This was the type of reporting that we learned about back in journalism school. Every aspect of journalism came into reporting this story, and I think our reporters, photographers and researchers deserve this moment to be acknowledged by the Pulitzer committee."

Kurtz reported that National Enquirer is not eligible for a Pulitzer Prize because it classifies itself as a magazine.

The timing of Edwards' admission is widely perceived as intriguing given that his former campaign aide, Andrew Young, who once claimed to be the child's father, has taped an interview with ABC News correspondent Bob Woodruff which will air on ABC News next Friday to promote his upcoming book release. Edwards denied paternity in an interview with Woodruff in August of 2008.

Filed under: John Edwards • State of the Union
November 15th, 2009
10:59 AM ET
11 years ago

Reliable Sources: Palin, Prejean pursue different media strategies

Washington (CNN) – As anticipation builds ahead of former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's book release Tuesday, attention is also focusing on how Palin, who will appear Monday on The Oprah Winfrey Show, will handle the very same media outlets that she railed against endlessly during and after her vice presidential campaign. Palin's book, "Going Rogue: An American Life," has stirred controversy even before its release, with an aide to her former running mate, presidential candidate John McCain, calling the account "fiction." A war of words has also erupted between Palin and the Associated Press, which obtained and reported on the book Friday, prompting Palin to say the AP’s account was “erroneously reported.”

CNN's Howard Kurtz discussed the irony of Palin's media strategy and the sparks she is likely to ignite, during a discussion with cultural experts on Reliable Sources Sunday morning.

Filed under: Sarah Palin • State of the Union
November 1st, 2009
11:05 AM ET
11 years ago

Reliable Sources: The forgotten war takes the spotlight

Washington (CNN) – One day after the end of the deadliest month for U.S. troops in Afghanistan, news from the once under-reported region continued to appear on the front pages of American newspapers and as lead stories on television, as the opposition candidate to the current Afghan President Hamid Karzai announced today he will not participate in a run-off presidential election. With stories this week ranging from whether President Obama will send 40,000 additional forces to Afghanistan, to reports that the C.I.A. is paying off Karzai's brother, the question begs: after eight years of this war, where has all the media coverage been?

Reliable Sources host Howard Kurtz asked this question to a panel of top reporters who answered unanimously the media coverage has been in Iraq, not Afghanistan.

Filed under: Afghanistan • State of the Union
October 18th, 2009
02:00 PM ET
11 years ago

Reliable Sources: WH vs. Fox News … the saga continues

WASHINGTON (CNN) – The Obama administration's feud with Fox News continued on the Sunday morning talk shows, with White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel saying on CNN's State of the Union that Fox News "is not a news organization" and Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace venting on his program that "the White House refused to make any administration officials available to Fox News Sunday."

Fox News Senior Vice President Michael Clemente said in a statement after both shows aired, "Surprisingly the White House continues to declare war on a news organization instead of focusing on the critical issues that Americans are concerned about like jobs, health care and two wars. The door remains open and we welcome a discussion about the facts behind the issues."

Emanuel told CNN's John King that the issue with Fox News is not a priority for the administration.

Much of this tension stems from an interview Howard Kurtz did with White House Communications Director Anita Dunn on CNN's Reliable Sources last week, in which Dunn refered to Fox News as "opinion journalism masquerading as news." Fox News's high profile anchors harshly criticized Dunn, and one contributer called her comments "an abuse of power."

Kurtz addressed the accusations of both parties on Reliable Sources with a panel of top of journalists.

September 6th, 2009
01:30 PM ET
11 years ago

Reliable Sources: The media's role in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON (CNN) - At least two U.S. troops died in combat in Afghanistan this weekend, but the war was mostly below the radar of the talk show circuit this weekend, the focus being instead on Obama's upcoming speeches: Tuesday to American schoolchildren on education and Wednesday to Congress about health care.

Howard Kurtz bucked that trend on Reliable Sources with an interview with CBS News Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent Lara Logan, taped just before she left for the region. CNN's Anderson Cooper will also report from Afghanistan beginning Monday.

Logan said that since the beginning of the war after the terrorist strikes of September 11th 2001 both journalists and the public have been misled about the real situation in Afghanistan

Filed under: Afghanistan • State of the Union
August 30th, 2009
03:21 PM ET
11 years ago

Reliable Sources: Journos reflect on Kennedy and the press

WASHINGTON (CNN) - As politicians and pundits paid tribute to Sen. Ted Kennedy's legacy Sunday morning, CNN's Reliable Sources host Howard Kurtz and a panel of four top journalists examined whether the media coverage of the "liberal lion" provided an accurate portrait of Kennedy's personal and professional life.

"He was justifiably lionized," Joe Klein, columnist for TIME Magazine, said. "And he just died for God sakes. I think, you know, the bad stuff was mentioned, it wasn't dwelt upon, although there were some conservative commentators who did."

Watch: More on covering Kennedy


Filed under: State of the Union • Ted Kennedy
August 9th, 2009
02:48 PM ET
11 years ago

Reliable Sources: War of health care YouTube Videos

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Health care occupied much of the airwaves on the Sunday morning talk shows, and conservatives criticized the Obama administration and Linda Douglass, Communications Director for the White House Office of Health Reform, for wading into a YouTube video war with a 42-year-old woman who posted a video on her Web site portraying Obama as a proponent of state sponsored health care.

"We have the right to correct the information," Douglass told Howard Kurtz Sunday on CNN's Reliable Sources. "There's a lot of effort to scare people, and what we've asked people do is, if they're worried about something they've heard, send in the information."

Related: White House counteroffensive over Drudge link

Some, including Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said it was not appropriate for Douglass to appear in a video asking the public to tip off the administration to information in the blogosphere that may not be in Obama's best interests.


Filed under: State of the Union
July 26th, 2009
02:20 PM ET
11 years ago

Reliable Sources: Gates comments overshadow health care

WASHINGTON (CNN) – The controversy surrounding the arrest of Professor Henry Louis Gates Junior dominated the Sunday morning talk shows, with Obama administration officials re-explaining the president's comments during Wednesday’s primetime news conference. Obama's primetime news conference was supposed to push his health care agenda to the forefront of the news cycle, but his comments about the Cambridge police department took center stage on nearly all media outlets.

Obama, who said the police officer who arrested Gates "acted stupidly," later back-tracked: first in an interview with ABC's Terry Moran and then making a surprise appearance at the White House briefing on Friday to make additional statements about the matter.

On Reliable Sources, Howard Kurtz sorted through with several top journalists what Obama himself described as "the media frenzy." Should Obama have known that commenting on a racially charged story would add fuel to the media's fire?

Filed under: President Obama • State of the Union
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