tv Reliable Sources CNN February 14, 2016 8:00am-9:01am PST
of what they call the largest structural change in the history of our federal government which includes the event actual outsourcing of government sources to the private sector. thanks to all of you for being part of my program this week. i'll see you next week. >> hey, good morning. happy valentines day. it's time for reliable sources. our weekly look at the time the story behind the story of how news and pop culture get made. this morning the voice of the leading conservative on the supreme court silenced. he passed away at age 79. we all learned the news yesterday afternoon and now the flags at supreme court are half mass. cbs rewrote the questions for the g.o.p. debate last night and we're going to analyze the debate and new hampshire primary
results with bob later this hour. let's begin with the press's sudden pivot to supreme court politics. of course, before justice has been laid to rest, the battle over his replacement is well underway. joining me now in new york, cnn legal analyst jeffrey and constitutional law floyd abe rams. i want today ask you first about your relationship with justice because you recommended him for the post. >> i did. when he was nominated, i remember that was a different time in american history. he was confirmed unanimously. at the time he was nominated, he needed support from democrats and people viewed as liberals. he and i were friendly. he called me up and said you know me. they're saying i'm an idea log.
could you do a letter and i remember smiles to myself because i thought he was supremely qualified but had very strong views. >> yeah. >> but i was very glad to write the letter and as many other people did and as i said, he was confirmed unanimously. unthink able today. >> do you regret the fact that's unthink able today this all has become so polarized? >> i do. the idea the president can't send in a name now of a successor without being told they won't even consider it is only one charm. we've moved to a point now where every nomination, not because they're unimportant, every nam nation becomes a fewer of charge.
>> is this an example of how things become uncontroversialized? they have controversialized idea that wasn't. >> i have more mixed feelings than he does. the stakes of these supreme court nominations are immense. is abortion going to be legal in the united states? may a university consider race in admissions? are we going to regulate campaign finances? that's really important. that's idea logical decisions. we should care about the people in those positions and sure, everybody's smart. but maybe it's appropriate to weigh the ideology of the people up for these jobs. >> i have to wonder in some ways if this battle is a combination of seven or eight years of
battles in washington between president obama and republicans. i think about mitch o colonel and others saying we must oppose this president in order to regain power and the presidency. there was a choice to be an abinstructionist position and this all comes to a head now, pin cal of some sort with the supreme court. all republicans are saying the opposite. >> the presidents are elected for four years. he's got about a quarter of his term left. that's a big chunk of time. >> i've heard people say he only has a few months. >> keep in mind this is not a retirement. this is a vacancy. the supreme court is not designed to function with an even number of justices. this is a time where in most of american history there would be a consensus that you can't leave the supreme court vacant for a
year or two. >> should cable news be creating their constitutional graphics and getting music ready? >> i'm always for breaking news. sure. it's not going to bring the country or supreme court to a halt. it's going to be another constitution that doesn't fiction as intended. >> you have to wonder what democrats, what progressives would be saying today if there were a republican president in power for 11 months. >> i think it's a combination of two things. one, what you raise right now which is bipartisan and so some extent began with the nomination, with the intense si of the opposition and i was in it. i'm just saying that did change things. the combination of that and what jeff is talking about which is the level of antipathy to president obama and the unwillingness to sometimes treat
him as president come together at a moment like this. it's depressing, i think. >> let me add another. steven brill. founder of court tv and american lawyer magazine is joining me now on the phone. i want today get your assessment of the situation. and why you feel the media should be covering something like this. do you feel the court has to do supreme court 101 talking people through the basics? >> well, i think it's, this has been a problem were a long time and probably an inevitable problem. the supreme court is the only important oreggan of our
government. they're able to keep the decision making secret and we don't know much about them. the way that ends up, yesterday i heard chris matthews on msnbc trying to explain that he was a catholic irishman gruing up in philadelphia in his mid-60s and therefore, he understands people who retail appreciated efforts growing up in queens. at first, i thought i was tuning into saturday night live but that's the way the press really struggles to understand the court. it was just comic. i think a lot of the decisions, the analysis and the decisions other than the scholarly announces gets written really doesn't reach the level of how we analyze how government makes decisions in the executive branch and certainly in the legislative branch. we're going to see that play out as we analyze what's going to
happen with the court, what are the justices thinking when in fact we don't know. maybe that's good. maybe that's bad. as a journalist, i wondered about that. >> certainly, no one in american life has done more for the understanding of life. let's remember, the united states supreme court for the most outrageous inappropriate reasons refuses to allow its arguments to be broadcast on television. that contributes in a significant way to the mystification about what they do. i acknowledge that a lot of what the supreme court does is hard to explain. but they make it harder because they effectively keep their proceedings in secret. >> do you think that will ever change? is it possible cameras will be allowed in supreme court in our
lifetimes? >> it's one of my issues. now that i have no economic dog in that hunt, if you think about it, i'm pretty sure everybody whose on this program has been in the court. it is the most impressive display of government inaction anywhere. no matter what you think about it, how decisions get decided, it is majestic, the nine justices care about what they do. they're honest people. we watch them think through issues. the idea there is no camera there, the impression americans have of the injustice system, the o.j. simpson trial is just a terrible thing for the rule of law. i talked about it in the 80s and 90s including justice scalia.
there were some who said we're never going to have cameras. as one of the justices said to me, i said you read this quote elsewhere. i couldn't go to the super market without people knowing who i am. well, you know what, you're a public official in the united states. >> i remember the one time i was there with david carr of the new york times and all i wanted to do is take videos and take pictures and show people what it's like in the room. >> one of the things it's hard to ferorget, many of the justic, when they testify for hearings and the answer is generally, look, i've had a good experience. i was on the first circuit and we have sell vision. soon as they get on the court, impossible. off the table. not worthy of discussion.
it doesn't speak well for the court. >> he would tell me he would only do it if there was a 9-0 vote in fair. i thought gee, i thought the court decided things with majority rules. he said not this one. >> steven, you mentioned -- i want to go to npr's famed legal correspondent with me as well. i'm curious about your experience a little bit behind the scenes here. i think people are interested in how the journal is made sometimes. when this news broke yesterday afternoon and you first heard scalia had died, what was your reaction? this was out of nowhere. >> i'm talking to you where i was spending valentines weekend
with my husband. >> i'm sorry you're working now. >> i was exceptionally surprised about this. fortunately, in our business we do a lot of prep in advance and there was an obituary and news spots prepared and i did a live hit in the second hour for all things considered and my morning today has been spent dealing with what our next steps are going to be. this is one of the times when you're glad you do a lot of homework you can call into your brain when you absolutely have to and the minute i heard this, i should have knew this was going to be a horrible political storm because it came at an extremely inopper tune time probably more for the republicans than the democrats. the democrats will make hay out of this and the republicans will try to block it. if they don't win the presidential election it won't
have made any difference. >> i know your view in washington still works. do you believe this will cause the court to stop working? >> oh no, this court will not stop working. they take mini steps instead of bigger steps they had been thinking about. there are many, many important cases on the docket for this term and probably the next term as well. they will probably be very cautious about what they accept now for the next term. for all the cases potentially five to four cases, they may be four to four cases, tie cases or they may be five to three cases or rather yeah, five to three and maybe won by the liberals or conservativ conservatives, whoever gets justice kennedy's vote but the place will be very different. in 2005 and early 06 when chief justice roberts became chief justice and justice leader was
not confirmed until late february there was quiet a period of time where they didn't have an eight person court, they had a nine person court because justice o'conor agreed to stay. they weren't doing anything major. they took mini steps. there were ways they could get out of some of these cases. i don't know what you do about cases that have been decided or where he had the opinion to write but they will figure it out. earlier, when you said we don't know what they're thinking, guess what, i bet you they don't know what they're thinking. this is a break period for the cou court. they're not all there. they will now be talking on the phone and coming back to washington and trying to figure this out themselves. what's best for them as an institution. >> it's a good reminder to have. i'll let you get back to valentines day. who better to talk to about this
news and about last night's debate than bob shafer, the legendary cbs anchor and moderator of several debates. he'll join me after a quick break. [ music ] defiance is in our bones. citracal pearls. delicious berries and cream. soft, chewable, calcium plus vitamin d. only from citracal. is it keeps the food out. for me
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shafer. he has been covering washington for more than 40 years. he also moderated three presidential election debates and now a cbs news contributor. before we talk about the presidential race, let me ask you about the stunning and tragic news about justice scalia. i think it's known for you in washington sometimes you see the justices even though there's a vail of secrecy over the court. did you ever interact with him and what are your experiences with him? >> i met him once at a party. that's the extent of my personal contact. he was truly an intellectual giant. no getting around that. one could disagree or agree with him. he made his mark but i got to tell you, brian. i woke up this morning and looked at my iphone and there was the headline on the washington post story that says scalia's death spurs partisan
sclash. i thought my god they haven't dug the poor man's grave yet and we're talking about a partisan brought on by his death. it's where we are in american politics today. >> we can talk about whether it's good or bad but it's certainly changed. do you feel it's a positive or negative change? >> i think it's negative. i think there's a wider divide than there has ever been. think about this. gallop just had a poll out that says there's fewer people who now call themselves democrats than any time in history they're at a low point. on the other side people call themselves republicans. this divide is wider than ever and i think it's too early to say this. we might be seeing the end of political parties.
you can see the republican party right now tearing itself apart over who it is and what it wants to be. that's on one side of the aisle. on the other side you have a democratic party so weak it managed to come up with only one leg legitimate democratic candidate, hillary clinton, whose given an arousing challenge by someone who never before saw office as a democrat. that tells me these parties are weaker than ever. something's changing here. it may not sort itself out this time but we may be on the verge of seeing a break up of these parties. >> how much, about the polarization point, how much blame do you put at the feet of the news media? justice said to the new york magazine a couple of years ago he use to sub krieb to the washington post and couldn't take it anymore.
e he did read the wall street journal. >> the problem here, look, if justice didn't want to read the washington post he had plenty of other things he could read but i think that's one of the problems we have now. people are basing their opinion now on different sets of facts, on different data. we're not all basing our opinions anymore on the same data. when i was growing up you had three networks and they wouldn't put something on a front page if it wasn't factual or true. what's changed now as we have all this information bombarding us, some of which is totally, totally false. recently, barack obama is going to settle 200,000 syrian
refugees in the united states. totally made up. totally without foundation. a story not so long ago, a couple of weeks ago donald trump in 1996 told people magazine if i decide to get into politics i'll run as a republican because they're the dumbest people in the world and hear everything they believe on fox news. totally false. there was never such interview and he never said anything like that. that's what's different this time. all the false information you have to sort your way through to figure out what the truth really is. >> yesterday i got a tip about justice scalia's death but when i heard it, i thought it was a prank. i passed it along to cnbcdc and they confirmed it. the first to break the news was a texas newspaper.
it goes to show the value of on the ground local journalism. i want today ask you something about something we talked about in may. when you were retiring from face the nation. >> i wanted to leave while i thought i could still do the job. i see too many people in washington who have to be led by the hand of the stage as it were and i didn't want to be one of those guys. i feel like i can still do it. cbs is doing very well these days and face to nation is doing well and i thought this was a good time to do it. it had to come sometime. it did. >> that was before bernie sanders and donald trump entered the race. i wonder given this incredible primary season, do you have any regrets about stepping down from the chair? >> no, i really don't. when i saw john last night who i'm bias but i thought he did a
terrific job in the way he kept control on that but still gave all those people a chance and us a chance to get a feel on who these people are. debates aren't about answers. they're about getting a better sense of who these candidates are and i think last night's debate was very, very telling. i think we learned a lot about those candidates whether what we learn second degree going to prove good for the candidates is another question but i thought that debate and the way it was handled was just terrific. >> to your point, go ahead. >> the question that dickerson asked about impeachment, should president george w. bush should have been impeached? what a provocative question. what's been the biggest surprise for you since may? >> i guess donald trump you
would have to say is the biggest surprise. i from the very beginning. i've been doing a fellowship up in harvard and one of the things i said early on is you better take donald trump seriously. his result of the frustration and anger and the disasolutionment with government people on both sides feel. i got a lot of eyes rolling and people saying how can you believe that? i think i was right about that. what i have been wrong about is every time he said one of these things, john mccain is a loser, what he said about megan kelly and the handicapped person that worked at the new york times, every time he said something like that, i thought well, that's it. he's done himself in on that. somehow, the people who are hard core trump supporters, i'm not sure they hear what he's saying. i think they're just happy that he's saying it. he's someone willing to speak out in language they can
understand. in some kind of ways it's, they wish they had to nerve to say to their boss what he's saying out loud and i think that may be part of his appeal. it was very different debate last night. he was booed time after time last night. he was also booed in new hampshire but it's hard for me to evaluate whether he's helped or hurt by that. we have a cbs news poll that's out this morning that shows him with a 2-1 lead over cruz but that was taken before last night's debate. i'm kind of anxious to see what the result of this debate is going to be. as i say, every time i think trump has done something wrong it turns out it either helps him or doesn't hurt him at all. >> bob shafer, you said it perfectly. thank you for being here. glaet to see you. >> thank you. >> you mention fact checking. we're going to do that after the break, plus the ratings are in
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welcome back. it's being called a demolition derby, a wwe match. i saw comparisons to jerry springer. it's rated higher than last week's abcg.o.p. debate on a saturday night. well before donald trump and bernie sanders won the new hampshire primaries, this race has been profounding journalist that's been covering politics for decades. this is an election where none of the old rules seem to apply. what are political reporters missing and how can our coverage before inform and reflect the elector rate. i have the perfect guest to talk
about that. james fowler the national correspond nt and history professor at rice university. thank you both for being here. i wanted historical context. what is the take away from a bernie sanders and donald trump winning new hampshire? what can we learn from history what about happened on tuesday? >> well, i think new hampshire tells us that this is the year of the outsiders. the question is, is bernie sanders going to be seen more as somebody who stirs up a lot of trouble and makes a name for himself in history and fades away? i think hillary clinton is looking strong. donald trump is the phenomena of 2015 and continues in 2016. he gets up the angry language all the time. he has a 2-1 sedge going on in
south carolina right now. >> six candidates, much higher rated. probably 12-13 million viewers last night verses 8 million for the broadcast the other day. let me ask you your atlanta cover story. it's about your trip across the country. you say can america put itself back together? with that in mind, when you watch the debates, does it sound like an entirely different america than the one you travel to? >> it does. what impresses me as we travel around is the disconnect between era and national politics where there's no room for compromise and one party is saying they had rather the supreme court not function for the next year and they lose influence there. we know the polarization and the anger with the rhetoric and the way it seems just sort of state and local regional level in the united states where people are practical minded and innovative. i think recognize that the
federal government is not going to work the way we would like it to work for the foreseeable future has made people more inventive. reporting on a country in relatively good shape while its national level politics has been in bad shape has been the main point we're trying to get across. >> i know you were frustrated last night watching the debate. donald trump said he had hundreds of freentds die in 9/11 and he was against the iraq war from the start. there's no evident, no public record trump was against the iraq invasion in 2003. do you feel the press is doing an efficient job trying to hold trump and other candidates accountable for their comments on these stages? >> i guess the press is trying. some of other candidates are trying to. you're seeing with trump there's a honey badger effect here where it seems to not matter. i know for certain having coffer
the iraq story and writing against it, there's no evidence donald trump was against the war before it started. i can feel, you can say it, i can say it and it doesn't matter. presumably, at some point this will shake out. this is a truth immune phase of politics in my depressingly long career of watching these things. >> do you think it's uniquely truth free? >> all campaigns make p stories that track. there were fake kind of stories that come in. i agree with james completely with the honey badger i did nothing donald trump said he can make up stories but ronald reagan use to fab ri kalt
stories. it never stuck to ronald reagan and not sticking to donald trump right now. >> let's talk more in detail about the debate. there was an exchange between dicker son and ted cruz. trayi trying to get the facts straight, it was an assertive moment for the moderator. >> it was. it's a daiicey thing to do but u better come off on top. >> let me play one more moment from the debate. this is sound we put together earlier this morning. of all the comments from the audience, the booing and cheering, let's take a look real kwek. >> jeb is absolutely -- the
world trade center came down during the reign. he kept us safe. that's not safe. that is not safe. i only tell the truth will lobb. >> a lot of comments online will people saying there shouldn't be audiences. where do you stand on this? >> yes, the audience adds to the world wrestling entertainment effect of all this. trump again, who knows how this will effect him. you mention earlier john dickerson, he was pressing on facts as opposed to other moderators pressing to stir things up. it's remarkable to have donald trump call out the bizarre line from jeb bush he kept us safe. he kept us safe except for that one time. it's strange how jeb bush made a reclaim and trump went right into it.
we'll see how it plays out in the g.o.p. >> it was almost disorienting to hear 9/11 reiterated in that way. thank you both for bringing your incite. with six days to go until the next votes are cast in south carolina, all six remaining republican candidates will be back here for back to back town halls. wednesday and thursday night anderson cooper hosting at 8:00 p.m. each night here on cnn. coming up, his campaign has been called anything from a stunt to a side show. now trump is moving to prime time with the new hampshire win under his belt and he's forever changing the way we cover presidential politics. we'll talk about that when we come back. but she's a dentist so...i kind of have to listen. she said "jen, go pro with crest pro-health advanced." advance to healthier gums... ...and stronger teeth from day one. using crest toothpaste and mouthwash makes my... ...whole mouth feel awesome. and my teeth are stronger too.
we rise above our differences. the right amount of garlic reigns supreme, and what separates us is mostly whether we're chopping or frying. food is a language we all speak. when we cook together, we find harmony in the kitchen. we make more than a meal. enjoy fresh ingredients and healthy recipes, delivered to your door each week. subscribe today, at hellofresh.com welcome back. when donald trump announced his candidacy for president op june 16th last year some wrote it off as a side show. now he has won the new hampshire primary and he as a commanding
lead in south carolina. it continues to dominate the news cycles. let's talk about that with david, the media critic for the baltimore sun who joins me now from washington. daiftd, i wanted to start with the cursing. we know trump said he's not going to curse anymore. let's take a look at how television handled his vulgar language in the past. >> i've called him up and said donald, listen, you need to speak in complete sentences in debates. he goes i'm up 30 points. i'm like good point donald. after the second debate. i hope we don't have reporters here. after the second debate i walked down to his office and said donald, do you know how to read? he stared at me and said what do you mean? mika got very nervous. she said what do you mean? i said can you actually read?
he said yes. why? i said you should read before a debate. read. he goes i don't have to. >> that was my mistake. i think we played the wrong thing for you. morning trump. that's joe scarborough speaking there at 92 y. actually many months ago. our colleague wrote about it earlier this week. he's been all over this important story. donald trump joe scarborough relationship. what we see on air is a cozy we rationship between the two men. i seen the name morning trump being used to describe morning joe recently. i want to get your take on whether this is appropriate or inappropriate. certainly others at fox news have close relationships with trump. what do you think of the relationship? >> inappropriate, brian. if i had any hair, it would be on fire as i said it. even somebody like a morning
show host plays a roll in setting the parameters of the national conversation around these candidates. you shouldn't be so involved with them that you're going down and giving them tips. i love the video you just showed. i'm so happy it got played because it shows how unashamed scarborough is and how proud he is he's in the tank. back in august i wrote about that reslalationship and it was unbelievable. it was just before the alabama open air rally that trump was going to hold. scarborough was talking about trump letting his brother who i guess lives in florida on his plane when it landed in mobile and the next day he was on facebook saying how great it was trump let him on the plane and then he started talking about what great candidate this is and
the future of american politics. he doesn't even know how damming that is to the credibility of msnbc that almost every morning this guy gets out and behaves that way. hey, what about the executives at msnbc that don't call him in and say stop it. what's going on with it? this is outrageous. >> i did ask for a comment from msnbc this morning and didn't hear back. what's interesting to me when dylan story came on line scarborough attacks cnn and pointed out morning joe's ratings which is very trumpian. there's others in media giving advice to trump like bill o'riley. it's going to keep getting attention. let me ask you about the bleeping. we heard trump say i'm not going to curse on stage anymore. do you think it's worse in some ways to bleep him because it hides what he's saying or makes
it worse than what it is. >> bleeping is problematic because i think often times people think he's saying something worse than it is. there's a couple of other cut tos to that, brian that i think are important. when trump does that, i think to a lot of people, certainly to his supporters, it says this is not a guy lying to us. this is not a guy talking to us in high sounding rhetoric talking to us about listening to our better angels who is behind the scenes dancing with the devils and getting rich while we send our sons and daughters to war. this is a guy who talks the way we talk. it's also the language of social media, especially twitter that he has mastered. you and i have talked to him about a tv candidate, indeed, he is. he's the tv candidate if you start in 1960 with john kennedy, this is as high as it gets.
this is a tv creature running for office. what's missing and you covered this as well as anyone is the social media aspect. this just as our dominate moving. trump is the only candidate using twitter brilliantly in this campaign. when cnbc called the debate a cartoon or campaign, they couldn't been more wrong. it's a brilliant campaign. he doesn't have to pay for tv yet and he uses twitter. what's so fascinating about it is he has an authentic voice for twitter. you know what it is. it's hektoring, nasty and profane. all the things people on twitter talk about. by the way, this is what we use to keep from the american people in the immediate yachlt lbg talked this way, harry truman talked this way, john kennedy, all of them talked. god, once we heard the nixon tapes our heads exploded.
so he's just doing it out there for the folks in a way and i think it doesn't hurt him. >> thank you so much for being here this morning. one more note on trump, he settled his lawsuit with univision this week. coming up after the break, a valentine for all of you. stay tuned. get in between my denturesuld and my gum and it was uncomfortable. just a few dabs is clinically proven to seal out more food particles. super poligrip is part of my life now.
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we're out of time here, but i'll see you next week. "state of the union" starts right now. hello. i'm dana bash in washington, where the state of our union is steeling for a fight. the sudden death of supreme court justice antonin scalia sent an already tense presidential race into overdrive. and the political drama played out live on television last