Brian Stelter talks Trump, media and his new book

The chief media correspondent for CNN and author of "Hoax" on why he believes the president's relationship with Fox News impacts the news cycle.
6:46 | 09/16/20

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Transcript for Brian Stelter talks Trump, media and his new book
I watch Liz Mcdonnell. She's fantastic. I watched "Fox business." I watched Lou Dobbs last night, Sean hannity last night, tucker last night, Laura. I watched "Fox & friends" in the morning. You watch these shows, you don't have to go too far into the it covers -- it's an amazing thing. That's you-know-who telling us how he spends his times instead of dealing with the many problems we're facing right now. Brian Stelter explored his relationship between Fox News in his best-selling book "Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News, and the dangerous distortion of truth." Please welcome Brian Stelter. Hey, Brian. Thanks for coming. Good morning. Thank you. So he did this town hall on ABC last night. I just wanted to ask you. What do you think he was doing? Why do you think he did it? He went outside the Fox News bubble, and I'm glad he did. It was incredible to hear these voters. I spoke with three of the voters afterward, and they were all mad because they feel trump didn't answer their questions. At least they had a chance to try. This is trump trying to appeal to outside the fox base. This is about America. He believes he needs fox to win, and he started the day by calling into "Fox & friends." Joy. Brian. Yeah, Brian. They love to criticize stories that have, like, anonymous sources even though it's exactly what happened to Richard Nixon. I like this part of your book. You say you know hannity's number one anonymous source. Is he slipping him the information and not recording it? I had to write this book because these guys are hypocrites. Sean hannity is a hypocrite. He's using anonymous sources and saying it's dead, and using an anonymous source. Donald Trump has convinced one-third of the country to believe not anything but Sean hannity, and it's just sad, I think, joy. Dangerous. Well, Brian, you interviewed -- yeah, it is. Brian, you interviewed over 250 current and former Fox News staffers and were shocked at how many of them miss Roger Ailes despite the toxic work environment and sexual harassment. Why do you think that is? Yeah. Because they said they missed having a really strong leader. Yes, he was a disturbing boss. He was a sexual predator. Ailes abused his staff and abused the company, but everybody knew who they were working for. They knew what the boss wanted and when Ailes was thankfully forced out, you know what happened? Trump filled the vacuum. Even "View" watchers who don't watch fox, they're affected by what they hear on fox because the rest of us are talking about it. It's incredible how much power fox has, and it's being used in the wrong ways. If the president was being informed carefully with the highest quality information from the best journalists in the world, then I wouldn't have written written a book, but fox is misinforming the president about everything from north Korea, you know, to the weather, and that's fundamentally the problem. Brian, we know each other, and I echo what you just said. I used to work under Roger Ailes, and he was a maniacal tyrant. I guess I'm one of those you work for CNN obviously. You have a big show on Sunday. There are some ethical questions that are being thrown around by CNN lately. There's a 2016 audio of your president Jeff Zucker with him. I have serious problems with the way Chris Cuomo had a re-occurring primetime comedy routine with his brother instead of asking about policies that were sending my friend's relatives to die in nursing homes. With CNN, do you believe this is acceptable, and don't you think there's enough fair criticism to go all the way around right now in just how news networks are run? First of all, I think you should run. You listed off all of these story lines. A lot of them are cherry picked. I have a question about this that relates to my book. Michael Cohen says these audiotapes were held by trump, the trump organization and the now they're airing on Fox News. Is this an example of this feedback loop? I'm not a spokesperson for CNN or fox. It's not for me to comment on these tapes. Here's what I think is sad though. It's sad that private conversations get leaked out and get distorted and become polarized and weaponized. If our text messages or my phone calls with friends were distorted, I feel like that's -- let me put it this way. I think the trump age has ruined a lot of friendships. I think that's really sad, and I hope we can start to rebuild. I hope we can start to rebuild those friendships rather than, you know, all feel like we're at war with each other. I agree with that. You write about the struggle between the journalism side of Fox News and the opinion side. Something that bothered me is the blurred line between what's news and what's opinion. We are an opinion panel here at "The view." Do you think that contributes to the misinformation and extreme divisiveness we're seeing in politics today? I do. I talk about it with my staff at "Reliable sources," and I want to make sure I'm not part of that problem. There are a lot of people at CNN that has a lot of point of view. Including yours truly. I'll start with a monologue talking through the president's lies and trying to debunk them. There are more points of views, though we'll never top "The view" I think. The reason we have these monologues is it's the best way to cut through all the noise and get to the news. To say, for example, the media is not the enemy of the American people or the enemy of Republicans. It's the enemy of liars, and we can debunk lies through these essays. It's an issue, and it sometimes all sounds like opinion even though I think what we're doing is trying to get perspective on the news, trying to defend truth and decency and democracy which frankly wasn't as necessary five years ago as it is today. True that. Our thanks to you, Brian Stelter. Your book, "Hoax" is out right now. Thanks. It's quite wonderful. I'd pick it up if I were y'all.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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