Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Anderson Cooper Talks To Brian Stelter About Brian Williams

Anderson Cooper had CNN's own Brian Stelter on AC360 to discuss the Brian Williams suspension tonight.   Here's a clip from the segment.

The ATA Team was disappointed that Brian Stelter was a guest on AC360 tonight and also surprised that Anderson brought up Brian Williams reporting from Katrina about the dead body floating outside the Ritz-Carlton again.  Cooper added that he spoke with a NOLA cop today that denied that was possible.  As we posted here last night, Stelter posted the following on Saturday on CNN.com, yet sat at the AC360 desk tonight and never mentioned it.

CNN's own Brian Stelter wrote on cnnmoney.com on Saturday:

Photos turned up Friday showing that there was indeed water surrounding the Ritz-Carlton, where Williams stayed. Individuals who were also in the area at the time have confirmed the flooding. 

Dr. Gregory Henderson, a pathologist who stayed at the Ritz during the storm, told CNNMoney that he recalled waking up the morning after the levees were breached to see floodwaters that were "waist-high." 

"If the question is was there enough water around the Ritz-Carlton for a dead person to float, the answer is yes," Henderson said.

AC360 viewers will remember that Dr. Gregory Henderson was a guest on AC360 during Anderson's Katrina reporting.

The New Orleans Advocate that published the story questioning Williams' claims, updated their site with this report today (Monday):
Katrina photos show water did surround Ritz-Carlton, where Brian Williams stayed

Apparently we aren't the only ones that aren't fans of Stelter's reporting on this topic.  FTVLive posted the following on their website today:  (please click on link to visit their site)

Interesting.... (Updated)February 10, 2015/ Scott Jones

Very interesting....

At last count, CNN Media Critic Brian Stelter had posted 25 stories on CNN's website about the Brian Williams saga.

His appearances across shows talking about Williams are too many to count.

Yet when CNN Anchor Fareed Zakaria was being called out for numerous instances of plagiarism. Stelter wrote nothing about it and gave it about 45 seconds total on air.

Must just be an oversight.

Updated: Brian Stelter seems to have gotten his panties in a bunch over our story and reached out to FTVLive on Twitter.

Stelter said that we made 3 mistakes with the above story. First he says that he is a "Correspondent" and not a "media critic." Now, you must remember, this is CNN we are talking about. The place where a simple car is a "Blizzard Mobile."

Second. Stelter says that he gave Zakaria plagiarism story 3 minutes and 39 seconds and not 45 seconds like we reported. We have not added up all the time he has talked about Brian Williams on the air, but his Sunday show, spent more than a half hour on the story. He has been on the air numerous (we're sure Steleter could tell you exactly how many) times talking about Brian Williams.

He also says that he has written just 10 (although it might be 11 or 12 by now) stories for CNN's website on the BriWi saga and not 25 like we said. Although a search of CNN's websites shows at least 25 entries when you type in Stelter's name.

Stelter tweets:

News for Brian, nobody looks at the bylines except you and your Mom (and maybe some old farts still working in the newspaper industry).

As for the "team of reporters" (by the way, are they not called "Correspondents" as well?) How many of that team including yourself Brian wrote about Zakaria's plagiarism on the CNN website? We asked Brian this on Twitter, he did not answer.

By the way, we would still argue that Zakaria's plagiarism is way worse than Brian Williams puffing up his chest on Letterman.

It certainly deserved more than a couple of minutes....errrrr...3 minutes and 39 secords from Jeff Zucker's water boy.....errrrrrr......I mean "CNN Media Correspondent."

Just saying....

AC360 Transcript
AC360 Podcast

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aries moon said...

Can't imagine why Stelter has chosen to ignore his OWN CNNMoney report or why those producers/staff who supposedly call Anderson out when he's factually incorrect haven't sprung into action on this Ritz Carlton flooding info--they seem determined to hang onto the narrative that Brian Williams lied about the flooding and the possibility of seeing a body floating past the hotel.

FTV Live has a point about Stelter being a little too cozy at CNN to be able to report on it objectively.

OT: Jon Stewart leaving the Daily Show is a big surprise and a big disappointment--who could ever replace him? John Oliver came the closet but he's all tied up at HBO now.

Anonymous said...

Brian Williams lied about several news stories (Iraq, Katrina, Gaza), so he has to pay the price for his actions. I feel sorry for the guy, but I cannot argue that his wounds were self-inflicted, and the punishment has been fair.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 3:05pm - Brian Williams embellished story about the Iraq helicopter. The other news story embellishments/lies are merely alleged at this point. If you read the link in this post, you will see that NOLA media (and CNN's own Brian Stelter) are saying the NOLA flooding/dead body floating near his hotel and the dysentery claim are entirely possible.

I do think Anderson should learn from this event as he's been known to embellish stories from time to time. His current speaking tour with Andy Cohen, appearances on WWHL, etc. could also be seen as crossing the celebrity line and creating credibility issues for a news anchor. Then again CNN isn't really a news network so much anymore.

I think those comparing the situation to Murrow and Cronkite are living in an alternate universe. The times have changed as has the news business. Hard to say how they would fair in today's environment with so much partisan divide and the hate on social media.

I don't know what will happen to Brian 6 months from now. I didn't think Lara Logan would be back at CBS, but she is. I guess the media critics and mostly The Right went after Brian Williams with such aggression because he had the #1 newscast.

Anonymous said...

@aries moon. I'm not really that surprised by Stelter. I think he's just so invested in this story to try to raise his own profile. His Twitter account is very telling. As for the producers/staff who supposedly call Anderson out when he's factually incorrect, they don't exist. His current EP is a "yes" man, despite what Anderson may claim.

AC360 was a poorly produced program last night. Not sure why we needed to see a repeat of Randi Kaye's report from Monday night with all the "breaking news." Also the segment on false memories should never have paired the panelist with a book on the subject with a journalist that was all about Brian Williams being fired. That pairing made no sense unless AC360 was just looking to try to discredit the man's research without Anderson doing it. It all seemed odd to me.

Also, I find it interesting that Anderson/AC360 hasn't had John Klein (Time) on to discuss this matter. He used to use Klein in these situations. Could it be Klein has a different perspective? Unfortunately, AC360 isn't using their fair and balanced reporting model any more and the show is a shell of it's former self.

Anonymous said...

@4:53, where is your proof that Anderson's current EP Charlie Moore is a "yes" man? I don't see how you could state this as if it were a fact without evidence.

I don't think it's so hard to believe that Anderson would get called out by his co-workers if he were to tell tall tales like Brian Williams did. From the articles I've read, it looks like people at NBC (including Tom Brokaw) did warn Williams to stop embellishing his stories, but unfortunately he didn't heed those warnings.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 4:42pm - Brian's account of what he allegedly witnessed in NOLA is still widely disputed by many, including the manager of the Ritz-Carlton during Katrina who denied that "roving gangs had invaded that hotel", so he's not off the hook on that front. I read an article on Mediaite stating that the only way for Brian Williams to regain the trust of NBC and the general public was if he could demonstrate that he only distorted the truth once (when he lied about his Iraq story, which he has already admitted), but that if other instances of distortions surfaced, like his claim that he contracted dysentery in NOLA, then he would lose all credibility. The author of the article argued that Brian needed to provide medical records proving that he was indeed treated for dysentery before he could get back to the anchor desk in 6 months.

Furthermore, Brian has been shown to tell different versions of the same incident, such as the one about witnessing somebody committing suicide at the SuperDome: at first he said that he had heard about it, but then he claimed that he had actually seen it with his own eyes.

Finally, his recollection of looking down at rockets while he was flying over Gaza has also evolved over time. So there's still plenty out there that suggests that Brian embellished or exaggerated many other stories besides the one about the Iraq helicopter. It will be for NBC's fact-finding investigation to determine if those stories hold up to scrutiny.

Anonymous said...

Brian Williams embellished his actions.
He didn't lie and he's the scapegoat for the media honchos at NBC who wanted to capitalize on his popularity and plug his show as entertainment on late nite.
Did he cross the line, yes, but he was forced to do so in the name of ratings and entertainment.
His biggest mistake was thinking he was more like his friend, Jon Stewart, and less like himself, a journalist.
Williams does not deserve to lose his job because of embellishment.

aries moon said...

@anon 4:53, I think I'm going to have to check out Stelter's Twitter account now! He does strike me as a little fame-hungry, but I suppose that's typical of most people in his business.