tv Reliable Sources CNN February 7, 2016 8:00am-9:01am PST
united arab emirates is born in another country, and 100% of the vatican's population is foreign born, even the chief resident of the vatican is a migrant, of course, born in argentina 80 yearsing on this december. -- years ago this december. thanks for being part of my program this week. i will see you next week. good morning, i'm brian stelzer, it's time for "reliable sources." our look at the story behind the story of how news and pop culture get made. and this this morning, we're talking about television's power to influence the presidential election. last night, a remarkable moment on two different channels. on the one side, a fiery gop debate on abc. on the other side, a warm and fuzzy "snl" cameo by bernie sanders. later today, of course, it will all be eclipsed by an even bigger tv event. america's 50th super bowl. cbs has been planning its coverage since the day after the last super bowl. and coming up later this hour, i'll show you my exclusive interview with cbs chief les
moonves from super bowl city in san francisco. the ratings just came in for the two events, the debate and snl, and tying for night. we'll start with something you rarely see, one of the country's leading news outlets calling b.s. literally when a candidate deeps saying something that's false. the news outlet in this case is cnn, and the story is about ted cruz. cruz's rivals are accusing him of dirty tricks for telling iowa caucus-goers that ben carson was dropping out of the race. this story starts at 7:41 p.m. monday with a scoop from cnn reporter chris moody that carson wasn't going straight from iowa to new hampshire like all the other candidates, but instead was going home to florida. he tweeted that news andnent said this -- he said, ben carson's campaign tells me he plans to stay in the race beyond iowa no matter what the results are tonight. clearly, carson was not dropping out, according to moody's reporting. he'll join me in a moment from
new hampshire. let's look at how jake tapper and dana bash analyzed his scoop on the air that day. here it is. >> ben carson is going to go back to florida, to his home, regardless of how he does tonight here in iowa. he's going to go there for several days, and then afterwards, he's not going to go to south carolina. he's not going to go to new hampshire. he's going to come to washington, d.c., and he's going to do that because the national prayer breakfast is on thursday. >> very unusual. >> very unusual. >> to be announcing that you're going home to rest for a few days, not going on to the next site. >> very unusual, they said. it certainly was. but they didn't say he was dropping out of the race. now the story gets a little murky at this point. cruz campaign aides spread word to their supporters in iowa that carson might be or actually was dropping out. maybe planning a big announcement even though cnn never said that. carson accused cruz of dirting campaigning. cruz -- dirty campaigning. cruz apologized but blamed cnn
causing brooke baldwin to call b.s. >> when senator cruz tries to throw my network and journalists under the bed, let me stand up for them. i'm going to call out b.s. if i hear b.s., and that's b. s. >> under pressure, cruz admit that "cnn got it correct." last night at the debate, he reverted to his previous position. he said this -- >> my political team saw cnn's report breaking news, and they forwarded that news to our volunteers. it was being covered on live television. i regret that subsequently cnn reported on that -- they didn't correct the story until 9:15 that night. from 6:30 p.m. to 9:15, that's what cnn was reporting. subsequent to that initial report, ben's campaign put out a statement saying that he was not suspending his campaign. i wish that our campaign staff had forwarded that statement. they were unaware of it. i wish that they had. that's why i apologized.
>> senator cruz, thank you. >> in fact, the timeline indicates that that initial tweet from cnn was followed by another within one minute that clarified that i was not dropping out. >> cnn tweets, now the subject of a presidential debate. that comment from cruz spurred this response from cnn. "what senator cruz said tonight in the debate is categorically false. cnn never corrected its reporting because cnn never had anything to correct. the cruz campaign's actions the night of the iowa caucuses had nothing to too with cnn's reporting. the fact that senator cruz continues to knowingly mislead the voters about this is astonishing." joining me in new hampshire this morning is chris moody, along with dylan buyer, for media and politics. in washington, strategist doug high, former rnc communications director, and in charlottesville, director of the uva center for politics. larry, let me ask you, you're an
independent voice, not a cnn person. what do you think happened here? do you think cruz is to blame, or is cnn to blame? >> there's no question about it. this isn't a close call. cruz is to blame. cruz and his staff. now look, everybody knows what he was doing. he was shifting the blame to cnn for a dirty trick. what was the reason for the dirty trick? to get some of those carson voters in the iowa caucuses to switch to cruz. he was the second choice of many of the carson voters. it's perfectly obvious. so why did cruz revert to the explanation that he himself had admit was false last night in the debate? because he was at a republican debate. if there's one thing we know from a whole series of republican debates over three, four cycles, it's that if you want to get out of a tight spot, blame the media. the republicans watching will almost always agree with you. >> dylan, do you agree that's the cruz campaign strategy here? and if so, is it going to be effective in new hampshire?
>> yeah. no, that's absolutely the cruz campaign strategy here. i think what's so baffling is how much they've sort of gone back and forth over this issue. they've also seen that it's an issue that cnn is not sort of going to take sitting down. i mean, when the cruz campaign first tried to throw cnn under the bus, there was a very aggressive response from the network pointing out the facts saying, no, that's just factually not true. of course uultimately ted cruz relent and says cnn got it right. now he's on the debate stage and says it again. the calculation is that the majority of viewers watching abc news at home, republican voters, are not going to be going to cnn to see the fact check and see whether or not that's true. now this is becoming such a story in its own right that it -- that it -- it feeds into this perception, you know, the one that donald trump has tried to pin on ted cruz for a long time that he's not a likeable guy, that he doesn't tell the truth. and why he would want to feed into that perception when the
facts aren't on your side is a campaign strategy that i can't understand. >> doug, do you think this hurts cruz? >> yeah, i do. if the battle was truly just between ted cruz and the media, cruz would win. but it's really between ted cruz and ben carson. i was in des moines -- >> interesting. >> -- on monday night. i saw chris moody's tweet. the conversation initially was what is ben carson doing? by the end of the night and the morning, the conversation was, what is ted cruz and his campaign doing? it hurts him because it knocks him off message. it knocks him with ben carson supporters, but it also says anybody who's worked on campaigns can talk about the volunteer who knocks over opponents' signs. that's not serious. this is serious. and it looks to be with so many iterations of it to be coordinated. and for ted cruz, his real challenge is he's past the point of where they can get out in front of this. they've got to get this behind them, and that won't be easy. >> chris, let me ask you because you haven't actually talked about your reporting from that night before now.
this information you reported exclusively, this actually came from the carson campaign, didn't it? >> yeah, brian. let me give you a tick-tock about what happened that night. i was assigned to cover carson's victory party in west des moines, in iowa. his campaign, two sources told me on the record instead of going straight to new hampshire or to south carolina as most candidates do, he was going to take a short, brief rest. they described it as a deep breath, by going home to florida, get his affairs in order, and head to washington, d.c., for the national prayer breakfast. then, after that, head to new hampshire for the debate. so i reported all of those things in order. he's going to florida. he's -- then i said, he's not dropping out. ted cruz's campaign cher cherry picked part of that information and sent messages to precinct captain on e-mail but called and said he's suspending campaigning, something i or no one else at cnn ever said. we also had a story on
cnnpolitics.com that had all of that information. so either ted cruz's campaign just stopped reading, or -- as others have said, it was something that was misleading intentionally. >> i'm curious what it's been like for you, chris, to see your reporting twisted in this way. it must be a strange experience to be talked about on a presidential campaign stage. >> well, certainly is. but the reporting stands on its own. i don't have to necessarily comment or extrapolate on it. it is what it is, and it's truth. there's nothing more i really have to necessarily say to really defend it. now, here's the problem -- that the facts were true, but as you know in politics, many times people can extrapolate from that and draw wrong conclusions. ted cruz's campaign drew that wrong conclusion, ignored the other half of the sentence basically, and then blamed me for their wrong conclusion, saying that i had reported what they were telling everyone else. it all got lost in the speed that is an election night.
obviously, that's unfortunate for everyone involved. again, it was never reported on cnn television, digital, o or social media that ben carson was dropping out. in fact, almost in the same breath it was reported that he was staying in the race, the exact opposite. >> what's intriguing to me about the story, chris, and let me go to you on this, it does to me feel like carson's only sort of half running. you know, i grew up in maryland, i'm a marylander like carson is. very fond of him over the years. it doesn't seem to me like he is campaigning as aggressively as some of the others. there was a kernel of truth to the idea that he was going to go home and take a deep breath. and as chris was saying, it was markup lated, maybe 2015ed by -- manipulated, maybe twisted by the campaign. isn't there something to the idea that carson is not campaigning as aggressively as the others? >> carson's never campaigned in the way that everybody else has. it's still a big mistake by a campaign that's made very few of them. i've been impressed by the cruz campaign. this is something they should have tamped down on day one, maybe day two. we're now almost a week into
this, and it's pretty clear we'll be talking about this for several more days. in part because of what ted cruz said last night. it's a big mistake by a campaign that's made very view. >> i want to show a couple of other fact-checkers. you shouldn't take cnn's word, you should do your own research. here's what the "new york times" and woeshtd and president clinton fact said, "the new york times," don't blame cnn. president clinton fact, we'll show you the others, as well. i wonder, larry, if the bottom line about there is about fact checking. about whether fact checking is taken seriously by voters and news organizations and how you feel that's going in this presidential election cycle. >> brian, i think one of the most disturbing things about a very disturbing election cycle for me has been the growth of this idea that somehow we're in a post-factual era. god help us if we're in a post-factual era. it is incumbent. media organizations like cnn, all the other networks, newspapers, blogs, to go after the candidates hard when they
misrepresent the facts. not just to print a box with politifact fact, i love them, but you have to be repetitious, repetitious, repetitious. bring it up, make them deal with it until they either take it back or admit they were wrong. >> real quickly, do you think it's possible we'll see news outlets be more forceful in the way that cnn's statement was last night? could we see more muscular fact checking in the next few months? i know a lot of viewers would like to see news outlets make clear, strong statements whether there are misstatements made by candidates. >> well, that's a great question. and the sort of fact checking industry i would say has never been so strong. so look, the point is exactly right. it almost doesn't matter if a candidate doesn't pick up the ball and run with it. cnn, "the new york times," politi fact can do the work, and
believe me, they are doing diligent worveg work. at a certain point, the campaigns come down to a contest between candidates. what you saw last night was ted cruz go after not a candidate but a news network, much the way that donald trump has been engaged in a war with fox news of a little. and when the news network gets sort of dragged into this and the mudslinging is going toward news network, you see the robust response. whether it comes to bigger -- when it comes to bigger issues, the things that candidates might be misleading viewers about, the economy, foreign policy, past records, at a person point there's only so much news organizations can do. candidates have to step up and run with that ball and challenge their rivals on that if we want to see those things play out in the national media. >> thank you all for being here. we should mention to the viewers at home, we have invited a cruz spokesperson on to cnn, and they have declined to comment. coming up next, talking more about last night's debate and the big, weird mistake at the
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so stop dreaming and start eating. welcome back. i'm looking at the rating from the break after the debates. they were huge, the highest debate of the year so far. i'll have more on cnn.com later this hour. first, we have to talk about that intro. let's pull back the curtain on how tv usually works. debates are among the most rehearsed events in the news business. the networks practiced this
stuff for days ahead of time. last night when abc flubbed the introw of the candidates, it was a pretty awkward moment for the network. matt lewis, cnn commentator and contributor of "the daily caller," author of "too dumb to fail." also, ana marie cox, senior political correspondent with mtv news, and rick wilson, republican strategist and president of intrepid media. guys, i want to talk about the substance of the debate. we have to play the intro first. let's put it up in boxes. we'll do it like a football play and see what went wrong. it started out okay. you see chris christie taking the stage. he heard the cue. matt, apparently ben carson did not hear the cue over the roar of the audience. what were you thinking when you saw this? >> it was bizarre. i was wondering, is there a protest? is ben carson doing something to make a point about i don't know -- in other words -- >> i thought it might be about carly fiorina not being on the stage. >> yeah. >> fiorina made a big deal out of how she wasn't invited. she didn't meet the abc criteria. when carson was standing there
awkwardly, i wondered -- >> there's a guy in the background telling him, go, go. that should have been the "snl" cold open. >> we'll show how "snl" handled this in a minute. anna, when you were watching in new hampshire, who did you feel sorry for? >> what i was thinking about the intro? i mean, too me it was par for the course -- to me it was par for the course for the race i feel like. >> metaphor? >> i do. as a mission accomplished woman of the race, it's something we'll look back on and say, yeah, that was the race where everyone forgot to enter. everyone was screwed occupy the entries. four, it was carson who i maut -- of course, it was carson who i thought maybe hadn't woke friend his nap. still groggy. i think we should note it was the roar of the crowd, you know, that made this happen. it was a very enthusiastic crowd. i mean, we can make fun of it, and it certainly looked awkward. but to be fair, it had to do with how enthusiastic the crowd was and not any actual mixup on anyone's part. >> right.
right. and i felt somewhat bad for the moderator because there was only so much they could do to get the candidates' attention. i think it was about the floor manager, stage director, who could have walked to ben carson, give him a gentle push to get him on the stage. >> a tap or something. >> let's play how "snl" handled this. they turned around quickly and three hours later made fun of the whole thing. >> the republicans held a presidential debate in new hampshire, and things got off to a real rocky start. here's actual footage of ben carson's entrance where the one thing he forgot to do was enter. >> jersey governor choiftd chri christie. [ applause ] >> ben carson -- [ wild cheering ] [ laughter ] >> oh, man. of all people you'd never expect ben carson to fall asleep at the wheel. >> that was how the intro was
handled. let's talk about the substance of the debate and start with the presence of donald trump because, rick, we all know trump skipped the fox news debate a week earlier. the ratings were lower for that debate. higher for this debate. it indicates to me that trump did have an impact on the debate last night. i know that you're not a trump man. in fact, you're probably his biggest critic i've ever seen. don't you think he had a good night on that stage? >> well, donald trump had other people doing his work. what donald trump needs is for the mainstream conservative vote to be divided by three or four, five serious candidates. and so he's able to sit there and basically stick with his stock answers which, of course, are nonsense on things like trade and everything else. and single-payer health care and everything else. he was able to stay out of the line of fire for the most part. he had one or two little testy exchanges with jeb bush. but you know -- the crowd chemistry for donald last night in the room i think is what actually exists out there in the rest of the republican field outside of the trump supporter demo which, you know, he was
roundly booed a number of times last night for a good reason. the guy comes across, you know, in these things as somebody who is both -- unable to talk about substance of policy matters beyond his stock sort of trump-isms and who, you know -- celebrity candidacy of donald trump is worn down, and folks are starting to look at do you need a serious person who can go out and post up in the field and know things and be able to articulate the conservative vision? >> lease lehe's leading in the - >> by the way -- >> i'm sorry, let me go to matt -- that's fair. let me go to matt. i sent an anti-trump bias in the coverage after iowa, his strong second-place finish. did you think some were so excited to call him a loser there was bias in the coverage? >> i don't think so. i think the bias is based not on an anti-trump bias but a bias toward expectations. political commentators and pundits, fair or not, don't judge who won or lost as much as who exceeded or failed to meet
expectations. and the truth is, donald trump was expected to win iowa. he comes in second place. therefore, that becomes a loss. compare that to marco rubio who finished third place but was declared a winner. >> speaking of the expectation game, anna, do you think there's an expectation as a narrative being set up by the press, rubio was built up for a few days. now he's being torn down for a performance. don't we have to have a reality check about how the narrative is constructed by the media and be sensitive to the reality of what's happening on the ground where you are in new hampshire? >> i think that what happened on the stage is definitely something that the media was ready for some of what -- what happened with rubio. he's already been portrayed by a lot of us as a fairly robotic candidate. i am not sure how that's going to play out here. i think the people who like rubio aren't phased by what his -- by his stiffness. i think they see it as disciplined, and it certainly is in a way disciplined.
i think what the real weakness is is not the fact that he kept repeating himself or played into that narrative, it's that what he kept repeating, this line about obama and how -- it revealed his campaign to be a campaign against obama. and that in his last ditch-effort is what he keeps defaulting to. and it shows the weakness of his general appeal. >> anna -- rick, go ahead. >> i don't know if you've seen barack obama's numbers with republicans lately. the message marco rubio was given the chance to deliver four times is something that republican-based voters absolutely believe in. they believe the guy is not -- they believe this guy is not incompetent but malicious. marco rubio was hitting a home run on that every time with republican voters. that's why his donations flooded in three times more than any other debate. that's why this morning his crowds are standing room only. crowds rally out the door at 8:30. this guy delivered a message four time. the acela media may love chris
christie, but just patting him on the head for being the sweaty bully against marco last night doesn't change the fact that the message marco was delivering was dead on for republican voters. >> rick, i'm more of -- [ all talking at once ] >> i hurt. i'm out of time, unfortunately. i appreciate you being here. next, as we talk about expectations, we have to talk about polls. are we relying far too much on polling, and how much can we trust the data? the woman called the gold standard of pollsters who didn't get it right in iowa this week will join me next. i like to this more of a control... enthusiast. mmm, a perfect 177-degrees. and that's why this road warrior rents from national. i can bypass the counter and go straight to my car. and i don't have to talk to any humans, unless i want to. and i don't. and national lets me choose any car in the aisle. control. it's so, what's the word?... sexy. go national. go like a pro.
polls, polls, polls, polls, polls, polls. sometimes it feels like all we talk about is poll. the media is addicted to the horse race. we're probably going to talk about new poll numbers in a few minutes. first, we have to look to last week when we were all so sure about these numbers. according to the highly
respected "des moines registe / register"/bloomberg poll, voters didn't care. the numbers show trump leading senator ted cruz with 28% support among long islaikely caucus-goers. time for self-assessment. clearly the numbers i shared were the actual results in iowa. i want to talk about how we cover polls and how polls are conducted with the legendary anne selzer. i hear you laughing when i say "legendary." i know you sometimes don't like the type for your work. >> that's exactly right. i keep trying to say we need to pierce the veil of infallibility. and i -- >> you want me to take the word "legendary" out of my script, ann? i'll fix it. >> being called the gold standard -- i'm happy at silver standard. >> silver standard. i wanted to play the clip from last week. i want to ask you, how should i have introduced those numbers? what caveat should i have included, and then, of course, by extension, when other
channels, other shows cover the numbers, how should we cover them? >> well, the caucus in iowa is the hardest polling job that there is. in fact, i went back to look up the etymology of the word caucus which i think comes from the algonquin meaning impossible to poll. the way at that caucus is designed, it is -- it introduces and encourage changes made at the very last moment including in the caucus room, on caucus night. we finished our polling in the field on friday. things happened over the weekend. things happen on monday. things happen in the room on monday night. so i'm always talking about, you know, we released the numbers and then start trying to figure out, well, what if. what could happen that would change these numbers. we're all too aware that things happen that change what things looked like friday night. >> so the numbers you were showing last weekend were from that moment. and they changed by monday. let's take a quick look at the latest cnn/wmur poll in new hampshire looking ahead to
tuesday's primary. 33% of likely republican voters would choose donald trump as their choice for nominee. a wide lead between trump and marco rubio, 16%. when we're covering the numbers, what should we be mentioning other than the margin of air on, what context should we be bringing around the numbers? >> well, it would look like similar to our poll which is this is donald trump's to lose. and the decision that's his campaign made about how they were going to work iowa were not the way iowa likes to be worked. they don't just want to fly in with an event. they want personal contact. they wanted repeated contact. they want people calling on the phone to see if they're going to show up at caucus. all of those things that the cruz campaign did, making tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of contacts, up to and including working the room on caucus night. i've heard of caucuses where no representative was there from the trump campaign to make a pitch, which is normal caucus procedure. so it was his to lose and lose it he did. i'll just mention one other
thing. i don't know how much more detail there is to the poll you're citing. we said as we looked at the poll numbers that if you didn't know the horse race, you would swear ted cruz was leading. there was so much strength in every other way that we measure candidates' strength below the horse race numbers. if you have opportunity to take a look at that, that sometimes can give you a little bit of an indication. >> bottom line, the screens that our political poll's reliable, is it getting harder and harder to get a reliable result from voters because of cell phones and things? >> for many reasons. i used to say from cycle to cycle it's getting harder and harter. i started saying from year to year it gets harder and harder. now i would say day to day, it gets harder. and in iowa in particular, new hampshire probably, too, it's an overpolled population. there are dozens and dozens of polling operations that have decided they -- they want to be part of the game. and so that means the small group of people in iowa -- you know, enough is enough
sometimes. and they're done talking. >> so you think for the viewers at home, we should take all the polls of maybe more grains of salt. >> yes. yes. polls are not made of gold. >> that's good to hear because we'll hear a lot of them in the next ten months. thank you for being here. good to see you. >> my pleasure. next on "reliable sources," you are not seeing double. bernie sanders appearing with his comedic doppleganger, larry david on, "saturday night live." will it have any impact on his campaign? we'll discuss that after a quick break. we rise above our differences. the right amount of garlic reigns supreme, and what separates us is mostly whether we're chopping or frying.
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getting this preferential treatment. [ laughter ] >> enough is enough. we need to unite and work together if we're all going to get through this. >> sounds like socialism to me. >> democratic socialism. >> ah, what's the difference? >> yuge difference. >> will bernie's big media moment matter, and how's his rival, hillary clinton, being treated by the press? joining me to talk about that, rebecca trastor, writer for "new york" magazine and author of "all the single ladies." and harry jaffe, a washingtonian editor at large, author of "why bernie sanders matters." i have both your books here. i appreciate that for later in the day today. i want to start with the bernie sanders "snl" moment. harry, like i said in the intro, who could have imagined that a year ago? sander has received a national stage that for decades he never had the opportunity to be on. >> i think he's shocked. i think he was shocked when he
was elected mayor of burlington, vermont, in 1980. he's thinking what a great moment, and he gets to create his movement which is what bernie sanders is all about. >> does appearing on "snl" matter? >> i think to his audience it does. i think every time that he is getting any attention at all it makes the entire media establishment think, wow, he's still here, you know. >> and of course we see the original appearance by larry david here from the fall. such brilliant casting. we saw hillary clinton on "snl" a few months ago. this has become a required part of the show, going on late-night shows. >> it shows your sense of humor, that you're relatable. important for hillary clinton and bernie sanders given their reputations. >> i'm curious to hear from you how feel the press is treating these candidates. both of you are experts on this topic, and rebecca, what noticed in the coverage of clinton on monday night and tuesday morning when she won the iowa caucus, just barely but she won, was that it didn't seem to be treated with historical significance. this was a woman winning the iowa caucuses for the first
time. never gets covered that way with hillary clinton. >> yeah. this was deeply unsurprising to me, in part because in 2008 a much bigger story which is when she won new hampshire. in the surprise sort of upset of obama in january of 2008. it was actually the first time in history -- shirley chisle honorable had won a nonbinding primary in new jersey, that's a non-asterisk. hillary clinton in 2008 was the first time in american history that a woman had won a contested presidential primary. and in the day after coverage, the like clinton upsets obama coverage that detailed her reporting crying and everything, in "the new york times" and cnn, lots of the major coverage did not mention the fact that it was the first time an n
american history this a woman had won the primary. >> you're saying if the press is slanted against hillary, it's been a long time. >> yeah. it's symptomatic of a larger media social, cultural difficulty we have with throwing our arms around women's progress with any sort of enthusiasm. it's something that the country's had a problem with for a long time.
so it didn't surprise me. there was a horse race story in iowa, right? it was an incredibly close photo finish. yeah, i wished that there had been more attention paid, she's the first woman to win iowa. but it -- compared to what happened in 2008, it was a lesser infraction. >> i think one of the other interesting -- i don't know if i would call it bias or not, but one of the elements on the democratic side is that sanders was, i think it's fair to say, undercovered for a while in the summer and the fall. not sure if that's true, but there was not a lot of press attention for his campaign. that's something you've written about, harry. >> it doesn't fit the narrative of the coronation -- >> the narrative supposed to be hillary clinton being -- >> who is this guy? when i started writing the book, all of my friends in the media said, why are you wasting your time, it's got a two-week shelf life. you better get it done and published. and it -- i think that a lot of the media and a lot of the political pun dmits washington just kind of want to -- pundits in washington just kind of want to get on with hillary clinton against whomever. >> i would also argue that the coronation and inevitable story lines are a set up to make for a good story when she falls. there's no way -- in the united
states, there is no coronation. no coronation. there's not inevitability if -- >> you're saying the press likes a roller coaster ride. >> of course they do. of course they do, they need stories to tell. >> even the recent coverage in "the new york times," bernie sanders was an upstart candidate. i mean, is -- is trump not an upstart candidate? ted cruz isn't an upstate candidate? where did they come from? >> i find it interesting that sanders, by being on the stages, being on "snl," the debates, he's giving voice to a population that didn't feel the message was being necessarily reported in the media. what bernie would call the corporate media. by doing so, you see more of his surrogates on tv, more supporters writing columns, you're seeing more attention for issues because he's doing so well. let's talk about the ratings for a moment. even though there's a really interesting race on the democratic side, the ratings for msnbc's debate were really underwhelming. there was a debate earlier this week, and you see only 4.5 million viewers tuned in for the most recent debate. now, clearly this was a late addition to the schedule. more than did not have a lot of time to promote this. that can't be the only thing
going on here. i do wonder if there's for some reason less. that on the democratic side -- less enthusiam on the democratic side. >> donald trump is a draw. you don't know what he's going to say. and when you have the democrats, they're actually talking about policy. that's not all that will exciting all the time. >> how dare you say that it's not as something as the horserace. >> well, i loved all the democratic debates. they've been so substantive. they've been between such serious politicians. and the thing about the ratings being bad last week, it is really confusing because the very legitimate critique of debbie wasserman schulz in the d dnc is they hid the debates during holiday season. and here's one that the race is at one of the tightest points, the tightest so far, on a weeknight. i don't know what happened with the ratings. >> some some people will wonder if msnbc tilted away from liberal news at precisely the wrong time. such an interesting moment for progressive politics. and it's been downplaying that except in primetime. great to see you today.
thank you for being here. >> thanks. breaking news this morning about debate. cnn announcing a brand-new debate between clinton and sander, march 6th in flint, michigan on, cnn. and there's one before that. actually later this week, a pbs debate simulcast on cnn on thursday night. coming up, quite a week for cbs chairman les moonves. tonight his network airs the super bowl. i went out to san francisco to interview him and will show you what he told me after this. kind of like social media equals anti-social. hey guys, i want you to meet my fiancée, denise. hey. good to meet you dennis.
%-p. also known as the beyonce bowl. the network that brought you janet jackson's wardrobe malfunction is ready for the super bowl this time. i sat down with him for this week's headliners. let me ask you about what i think is an eye-popping number. 5ds million for a super bowl ad. is that really the right number? >> certain spots we're getting $5 million or more. it's worth it. >> wow! >> the biggest advertisers. there's no bigger event in the america or in the world than the super bowl. not only do the ads get seen by well over 100 million people on the air at cbs, but they're on the air for weeks and months at a time. and people look at them. and there's a certain prestige to being a super bowl advertiser. we have the best of them with us
this year. we're very excited about it. >> this year for the first time you're streaming ads online at the same time you're showing them on tv. >> we're in the middle of a revolution. lot more people watching television, being it sports, football, entertainment, news, online. i would argue that the super bowl is probably, you know, the number one digital event as well as the number one over the air event. so, getting the ads on digital, online at the same time makes perfect sense. and it's sort of where the business is going. >> i think some people look at the game and they wonder, why haven't the controversies about concussions affected ratings or attendance in a way at all? i was going to say in a significant way but there really hasn't been an impact at all. do you have any idea why the concern about the players' health haven't affected the ratings? >> i think people are genuinely concerned and the sish on the table and people are paying a
lot more attention to it. i think the nfl is trying to do new things to make the game safer and better. it's still the greatest show in town. it's still the greatest show in town and the fact that there are these controversies have not affected the ratings. >> do you find it's ever difficult for your news division to cover the nfl given these conversations of concussions and other things? >> we have a separation of church and state literally. the difficulties with ray rice a year ago and the concussion thing, our news division has been first rate. they've covered it. they've done very forthright stories including a "60 minutes" piece this year that included roger goodell and dealt with the discussion of concussion. >> has he ever tried to call you up and weaken that story? >> not once. not ever. >> if he did, what would you say? >> i don't know because it would never happen. i trust the integrity of roger. it's nothing that would ever
happen. >> do you think football, given all the questions about health and concussions, will be around in 50 years? >> i can almost guarantee it. >> yeah? >> as i said, as our world is changing rapidly, the numbers for football continue to go up. the number of packages continue to go up. i think 50 years from now, there's going to be somebody else sitting in these two chairs talking about the 100th super bowl. you may still be here. i almost -- i won't be. you know, it is the greatest game in town. and it is america's sport. >> why colbert? why stephen colbert as the post game show? it's the fers time a late-night cmic has been in the post-game show. >> late night is something we invest in, that we think is going to last for two decades. we thought the idea of promoting stephen colbert and james corden will work out well. >> there's been worries about stephen colbert's ratings. >> there's been inaccuracy by
the other networks about his rating. >> they would never do that. >> some of those guys should take a lie detector test. we're pleased with his ratings and corden's ratings. >> so-called peak tv. too many shows to watch burdened by this problem. >> that's like saying there's too many good restaurants. i would never say that. >> no? >> no. there's a lot of great tv. i would say today there's more great television shows in the history of television. there's obviously a lot more great shows. there's a lot more garbage, too. but having this variety, from all these different networks, is terrific. >> someone that's been in the industry for decades what excites you most and what scares you most about tv? >> it's both the same zblaens is it? >> every day there's something new going on. it's scary but it's also the most exciting thing that our business is changing rapidly. and i think that we are going to be a major part that have change. >> les, thanks so much. >> brian, pleasure.
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when i was in san francisco this week ahead of the super bowl, the city was crawling with reporters. i sought out one of my favorites, espn nfl insider. 114.4 million viewers last year. could it possibly become bigger this year? >> i think it will set a ratings record every single year. it seems to get bigger and bigger every year. i don't think this matchup is more compelling than the patriots and seahawks or seahawks and broncos. it's another year. it's more exposure. it becomes more and more part of the national consciousness to the point where it's what everybody in our country does on that sunday. everything shuts down.
>> it's true. and we'll have an update on the ratings this time tomorrow on cnnmoney.com/media. make sure you sign up for our reliable sources newsletter. stay tuned for a special "state of the union with jake tapper." this sunday, there's only one place to be. right here, commercial-free for the whole hour, and live in new hampshire with five of the top candidates, all vying for victory in the first in the nation primary. >> number one in new hampshire. will you please keep me there? this is ridiculous. >> donald trump. can he still dominate the field, or will his first-place status in the polls disappear here like it did in iowa? he joins us fresh off the latest debate. plus, the governors have to go big or go home. ohio's john kasich says new hampshire is make or break for