Hillary e-mails spark media furor; Rand Paul vs. the press

This is a rush transcript from "MediaBuzz," March 8, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

HOWARD KURTZ, HOST: On the Buzz Meter this Sunday that New York Times bombshell on Hillary Clinton using only a private email account as secretary of state triggers a media uproar, with even liberal commentators and straight news anchors whipping the undeclared Democratic candidate.


LAWRENCE O'DONNELL, MSNBC: If it's true that she never used a State Department e-mail address, we have something that at first read has no conceivable rational explanation to it that is legitimate.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN: It just seems kind of a dumb move on Hillary Clinton's part because surely she knew that this would come out at some point in time.


KURTZ: Why has this story struck such a nerve? Is Hillary in as much political and legal trouble as news organizations are saying, and is the press building a narrative that the former first lady doesn't play by the rules?

Time calls him the most interesting man in politics, but Rand Paul gets plenty of bad press, as well and sometimes loses his cool with journalists.


SEN. RAND PAUL, R-KY.: I'm human I mean I get mad sometimes and I try to be as even keeled as I can, but sometimes like everybody else, there are interviews that I would have done differently.


KURTZ: A conversation with a likely presidential contender but whether he's liberal provocative and why the media keep trying to link him to his father.

The media go nuclear over Bibi Netanyahu's Capitol Hill speech delivered over President Obama's objection. Why is the coverage as polarizing as the political debate? Plus, the 50th anniversary of the bloody March on Selma, how vital was the media's role then and in the wake of Ferguson, how is civil rights coverage different today? I'm Howard Kurtz and this is "MediaBuzz."

From the moment the New York Times broke the news that Hillary Clinton did her state department business from private e-mail account, media coverage has exploded, filled with questions and criticism, including the network newscasts.


DAVID MUIR, 'ABC WORLD NEWS TONIGHT' ANCHOR: Tonight though she is under fire for using only her private e-mail account in that very public role as secretary of state. Critic say it was flat-out wrong.

GREG GUTFELD, 'THE FIVE' CO-HOST: The e-mails reveal the height of carelessness only the arrogant few can reach. A leader using private e-mail protects herself, but not her country.


KURTZ: A few liberal pundits played defense noting that the disclosure of the former secretary's failure to establish a government email account stems from requests from the House committee investigating the attack on the consulate in Libya.


ED SCHULTZ, 'THE ED SHOW' HOST: How do we turn back a Benghazi witch hunt part two? I mean, this plays right into the Clinton haters' hands.


KURTZ: The House committee has now subpoenaed those e-mails which Clinton says she wants released. Joining us now to examine the coverage: Ed Henry, Fox News' chief White House correspondent; Mercedes Schlapp, a columnist for US News, political consultant and a former Bush White House official, and Michael Tomasky, columnist for the Daily Beast.

Ed, you and other reporters have been pressing the White House about the e-mails all week and CBS' Bill Plante had a chance to ask the president about this, let's take a quick look.


BILL PLANTE, CBS NEWS: Mr. President when did you first learn that Hillary Clinton used an e-mail system outside the US government for official business while she was secretary of state?

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: The same time everybody else learned it through news reports.


KURTZ: So do you sophisticated radar, do you see White House distancing going on?

ED HENRY, FOX NEWS CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Somewhat. It's interesting because earlier in the week they were sort of defending her by saying they didn't initially see anything wrong here.

KURTZ: Sort of.

HENRY: Sort of. And we can get into that. But I find it interesting the president's response is saying I learned about it from news reports, or like the lowest learner emails, other stories that have popped up, that's interesting. But I think the bottom line question, we go through this whole thing, Major Garrett of CBS asked a very good question this week of Josh Earnest which was, were there two sets of rules, one for the Clintons and one for everyone else.

And that is sort of the bottom line here in why I think the media coverage has been pretty intense because other cabinet secretaries, sure, they have personal e-mail accounts, but they have official e-mail accounts, as well. She had personal only that she used for four years. No one in the White House who e-mailed with the secretary ever said, hey, wait a second, the rest of us have to comply with the law.

KURTZ: Yeah, that's a head scratcher; we're saying as the media, left, right and center I would say are treating this as a big scandal. Does this deserve the magnitude of coverage it's getting?

MERCEDES SCHLAPP, FORMER BUSH WHITE HOUSE SPOKESPERSON: It started off as the inside the belt way story with the New York Times and Washington post and even for us working at the White House, you knew better than to use personal e-mails to conduct government business. With that being said, the story has legs. Why? Because the media is hungry for answers, they want to know were the e-mails deleted. Why did she violate what is said in the state department's manual about making sure you don't use personal e-mail for conducting government business? So again, I think that this can definitely keep exploding especially if Hillary Clinton continues to keep her head under the pillow and decide not to respond to this.

KURTZ: Unanswered questions always drive any journalistic story. Michael Tomasky, you wrote a piece raising some questions about the original New York Times story, calling it a little fishy, explain.

MICHAEL TOMASKY, THE DAILY BEAST SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: Well the original Times story was sloppy. It left out key dates and facts about what exact rules and regulations and laws she might have potentially been in violation of. And I think the Times kind of acknowledged that actually because they did a day two story that clarified all those points after me and other people I think politico also wrote an article that questioned that first...


KURTZ: There is no dispute when Hillary took office in 2009; you were supposed to at least preserve all your e-mail records, she said she did but on the other hand, who knows because it's all on the private home server.

TOMASKY: That's correct. There was a 2009 it turns out national archives records administration rule that did call for preserving. So that's the question. And then I think another fair question is whether any classified information was put out over a private e-mail account and what implications that might have.

HENRY: And by the way there are two different e-mail systems in the White House. I call more classified one, and when Josh Earnest got that question, he said didn't know how much e-mail she use, whether she had an official account on that classified system -- much more sensitive information there. But even on the open system, was she using this private account.

And not just Benghazi, was she talking about Syria policy, was she talking about the Russian reset. Important information that putting aside any possible scandal, because I agree with Michael on the point of -- doesn't rush to judgment on this, let's get some facts. But the reason why we don't have a lot of facts is because Hillary Clinton kept this to herself for over four years.

SCHLAPP: And we may never know the fact, that's the problem. She's in complete control of this server and the mere fact we go back to the question, going by separate rules and that she was not following the national...

KURTZ: Let me just follow up on one point, because you say in the same Daily Beast story, that the Times has never loved the Clintons you go back to the white water story in 1992, of course the paper was run by completely different people. Are you saying that the news room of the New York Times often accused of being unfair to Republicans, is biased on this story?

TOMASKY: There is not some conspiracy. Not like Hal Raines all the former executive editors are on the phone with Dean Beckett, the current executive editor and cooking something up, no of course not, they're just playing to a pattern, and it's a pattern that does exist. I'm not telling you why it exists, but it has I think reasonably been documented to most people's satisfaction that that original white water story in 1992 didn't really hold up in a lot of its particularly.

HENRY: Nonetheless, Hillary Clinton gave the New York Times and everyone else a lot of fodder here also because I think we should note the fact that regardless of the fact that rules were clarified after she left office and all of that, she helped push out one of her ambassadors, US Ambassador to Kenya, various not just e-mail, but in part because he was using personal e-mail for official business, that's a double standard.

KURTZ: If the Times story was sloppy and in the words of Michael Tomasky a little bit -- let's just say not giving Hillary Clinton the benefit of the doubt, why did all the network newscasts cover this three straight nights, why has it been all over MSNBC and CNN, not just Fox, why is the Washington Post editorial page accusing her of poor judgment.

SCHLAPP: Because Hillary Clinton is stone walling the media. She is not giving answers. And that's why they're pushing forward. Margaret Sullivan did come out to public editor for the New York Times, acknowledging a story that you had written and basically saying that they were a bit sloppy in not the providing the regulations and really clarifying why she might have possibly broken the rules.

KURTZ: As much coverage as this has gotten, the question is there still going easy on her. Very interesting set of comments on MSNBC morning Joe by co-host Mika Braginsky about what if it wasn't Hillary Clinton Lets takes a look.


MIKA BRZEZINSKI, MSNBC: Can you imagine table, if this was Dick Cheney and he had a server in McClain, Virginia? I'd go crazy. I'd be completely off the hook. And I'm trying to be because I do think sometimes there is a little bit of bias that sneaks in to this. But this is wrong.


HENRY: A little bit of bias? She's being honest there and I credit her for saying that that directly. I covered the Bush White House. If at the height of the bush energy task force scandal where there wasn't a lot of transparency, and there's a lot of secrecy around Dick Cheney to be fair. We should point that out, if we had learned during that that there was this other e-mail account, Dick Cheney at oil man.com and he was communicating with oil executives about energy policy, you know, every media outlet would be going crazy and rightly so.

KURTZ: But on that point, it's not purely hypothetical because everyone's been replaying this clip of Hillary Clinton talking about secrecy at the Bush White House...

HENRY: And there is hypocrisy there, as well.


HENRY: And Karl Rove and whether or not there were separate RNC accounts, as I remember, RNC email account or Republican national committee, and GW Bush accounts that were allegedly used for political and fund raising rightly so, to keep it separate from but there were allegations never fully proven that Bush officials were using these other accounts to do official business. So that has been there before in fairness to Hillary that Republicans were doing this as well.

KURTZ: You brought up whitewater. And I think a lot of people forgotten or barely even knew when Hillary Clinton was first lady, there were so many questions swirling around her that she once held a press conference called the pink press conference because she wore a pink outfit and answered questions for 70 minutes about whitewater, the land deal in Arkansas that the Clintons lost money on, about travel gate, missing records from her rose law firm, about cattle futures, she made a hundred thousand dollars on a thousand dollar investment. Do you think the press, forget the New York Times, the press from those days still has a narrative that Hillary Clinton that it is pushing that she is somebody who is enamored with secrecy and not playing by the usual rules?

TOMASKY: Yes. And to some extent, justified, I don't think it's justified to the complete extent because a lot of those things didn't turn out to be much. But I think it is justified to some extent. And I do -- I wrote also Howard Friday in a follow-up piece that her judgment on these smells test things just isn't right.

SCHLAPP: And we were talking about those people around her, those aides advising her telling her it's okay to have a private e-mail.

KURTZ: You used the word stonewall. So far, Hillary Clinton herself has issued exactly one tweet saying I want to receive my email. And Bloomberg is quoting sources saying she's not giving any interviews and her team is betting that the media will get bored and simply move on. How likely is that?

SCHLAPP: I don't think so. I think that the media again, they want the answers. There are so many of these questions. You've seen several of these articles that have come out; they have the list of 20 questions that they want Hillary...


HENRY: And it's not just the e-mail too, think about the Clinton Foundation. These were ethics rules set up by the Obama White House with incoming secretary of state Hillary Clinton about foreign governments can't give money to Clinton foundation. Last night, in an event in Miami, Bill Clinton said, my view is getting it all out there. And it wasn't all out there. So they can talk about transparency now, but that is another problem lurking, so it's not just the email.

KURTZ: Back to back nature of the story harmful. It's not true that nobody has asked Hillary Clinton about it, there was one news organization that managed to throw a question at her. TMZ, Take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How are you doing Hillary? Hillary with the emails was that just a generalization gap or can it be corrected, any chance of correcting it Secretary Clinton? Have a great day.


KURTZ: Nice try there at Reagan national airport, but generalization gap, what a lamo question. All right I need to get a break, but remember to send me a tweet @howardkurtz what do you think about the media's handling of the Hillary story. And you can always e-mail us Mediabuzz@foxnews.com, ahead, my sit down with Rand Paul on his battles with the media as he gears up for a presidential run, but when we come back, the polarizing coverage that swirled around Bibi Netanyahu and barrack Obama over the prime minister's speech to congress.


KURTZ: It was covered like a state of the union address and the pundits that's polarized as the politician when Netanyahu addressed the joint session of congress, challenging President Obama's nuclear negotiations with Iran, some conservative commentators questioning Obama's motives while liberals beat up on Bibi.


BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: We've been told that no deal is better than a bad deal. Well, this is a bad deal. It's a very bad deal.

CHRIS MATTHEWS, 'HARDBALL' HOST: We begin with Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu and his attempt to derail Obama's foreign policy.

LT. COL. RALPH PETERS, FOX NEWS MILITARY ANALYST: Obama is so desperate for this deal, for his legacy that he is willing to give real up, if Israel disappeared from the face of the earth tomorrow, Obama would not shed a tear.

ANDREA TANTAROS, 'OUTNUMBERED' CO-HOST: This is not happening in a vacuum and I do think it's time to ask the question is this White House anti-Semitic.


KURTZ: What was it like dealing with the White House that was aggressively pushing back against the Netanyahu speech day after day and did that push back make it a bigger story?

TOMASKY: Sure. And there was a lot of noise on all sides and as a reporter; I won't get in the middle of that. But what I will say is that not enough attention by the media at large was focused on the actual deal that is emerging. The substance of this is ultimately what matters. And from my reporting behind the scenes, this president and prime minister actually have a better relationship than we see publicly and Prime Minister Netanyahu acknowledged that at the top of his speech that they are on the phone all the time and beyond the support of iron dome...

KURTZ: All the coverage you think that we've covered more of the political...

HENRY: Because it was a fight. And it was legitimate to cover it. Speaker Boehner went around the White House. There was politics there. No doubt about it. That was all worth covering.

KURTZ: At the heart of this is what we're gonna do with Iran.

HENRY: Right. And there is a dispute there. And I'm not trying to sweep under the carpet that there's some bad blood between the White House and the prime minister, no doubt about it. But we should be focusing more on are we about to give the store away here and Iran getting closer to getting nuclear weapons. And the White House pushes back hard on that and says they're gonna get a good deal. We'll see obviously.

KURTZ: Mike, are some pundits going too far in questioning whether president Obama cares about Israel or whether the White House is biased against Jews?

TOMASKY: I think that's one step too far. But in it general Howard, I think that the coverage of this was so polarized because the response to it among the politicians was so polarized. I was genuinely shocked to hear some of the Democrats have some of the reactions that they had, Dianne Feinstein most notably who said essentially that Netanyahu wants war.

KURTZ: You're saying that media people were taking their queue from the overheated rhetoric, don't we get to make up our own minds that had our tone that we take on these kinds of stories.

TOMASKY: But I think people do kind of take cues, psychological cues, there politicians sometimes especially on an issue this divisive. And with the cable nets divided in the spectrum that they are.

KURTZ: Well, flip the script. If this had been Nancy Pelosi as House speaker and she had invited Ariel Sharon to give a speech, what would the objections of George W. Bush, President that you worked for, your side would be going ballistic?

SCHLAPP: It would be difficult for the president again not to be included in the process of inviting the prime minister to come in. So again I think the media actually enjoyed telling the story of the food fight that was happening in congress at the time and following the triangle between Speaker Boehner, Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Obama.

KURTZ: Was the news coverage fair in airing all sides?

SCHLAPP: I think they did a very fair job at basically giving the Netanyahu speech, airing the dirty laundry, the Democrats boycotting Nancy Pelosi's comments, they did do a fair job and president Obama gave his remarks right after so I believe they gave both sides of the story and I think it was very unfortunate that they went a bit too far on President Obama.

KURTZ: And that last point is important for Mercedes because the White House originally said there's nothing to see here, the president has got this other important teleconference going on about Ukraine the same hour.


KURTZ: Didn't Susan call the speech destructive?

HENRY: It could be destructive to the relationship and there is nothing to see here. And then after the speech and they realize Netanyahu had really scored some points in terms of-of -- in the sense that he ripped up this potential deal, it's not even a deal yet. And the president came out after saying he's not paying attention really, nothing new here, and then he came out and point by point had a counterpoint. That shows there was substance here and they had to respond.

KURTZ: Let me recover from your spin change. Mercedes Schlapp, Michael Tomasky thanks very much for joining us this Sunday. Ahead, I ask Rand Paul about that incident where he got ticked off and tried to shush a CNBC anchor. But up next, with Barrack Obama and George w. Bush marking the 50th anniversary of the March on Selma, how has the media's coverage of civil rights changed since then.


KURTZ: President Obama along with George W. Bush was in Selma yesterday for the 50th anniversary of the bloody Sunday march, that violent turning point in which journalists played such a critical role.


OBAMA: Americans who crossed this bridge, they were not physically imposing. But they gave courage to millions.


KURTZ: The commemoration happened in the same week that the justice department decided not to bring civil rights charges against Darren Wilson in the killing of Michael Brown but issued a scathing report about racial prejudice in the Ferguson police department. So how has the coverage evolved since 1965, joining us now from Seattle, Crystal Wright, a communications consultant who runs the blog Conservative Black Chick, and in New York, Julie Roginsky, a Democratic strategist and Fox News contributor? Crystal, it was journalists covering Selma and other civil rights battles of that era who pricked the country's conscience, even some of them were getting roughed up. Does that story loom large for you?

CRYSTAL WRIGHT, COMMUNICATIONS CONSULTANT AND BLOGGER: Absolutely Howard. My parents grew up in the segregated south in Richmond, Virginia. And they experienced a lot of what we know happened in Selma. But what strikes me about what happened 50 years ago, the role the media played then, was really critical. The march on Selma was one of the few times in the civil rights fight, if you will, that a news program interrupted one of its TV networks interrupted and Americans of all colors watched in horror as black people were treated like animals, they were killed, they were whipped, chased by police on horses. It was just awful. But today when I reflect back on that and then I fast forward to today, I think the role of the media is to stoke racial divide. It's not to highlight as much -- right now --


KURTZ: Let me come back to today. I just want to get Julie in on what happened at Selma in that era. So the national press now is viewed as having played a courageous role in covering those protests which were often more violent. But at the time, much segregation in the south railed against the liberal media and they thought they were stirring up trouble.

JULIE ROGINSKY, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Nothing much has changed. You have people using the media as their whipping boy to advance their own political view points. You certainly saw that consistently over the big news events over the last week, not just the Selma march but Netanyahu's speech and so on and so forth. I think that continues to be the case, the difference today of course is that we have many more media outlets with many more diverse viewpoints. Back then, you had the big three and that's pretty much it and certainly big news papers. Today you have the Fox news channel, MSNBC, CNN, blogs, everybody has an opinion.

KURTZ: And not only that but most news outlets in 1965 had no black reporters, a lot more diversity in the business today. So Crystal, you were comparing going from Selma this week we have our Ferguson, Eric Holder announcing that there would be no charges against Officer Darren Wilson in Michael Brown's death. A case that many in the press turned into a cause celeb, hands up don't shoot according to Obama administration was not true. So you're contrasting the unity of the press and role it played in 1965 with what you see as the divisiveness today?

WRIGHT: Well, I think as you and Julie pointed out, in 1965, we had zero diversity in the press and it was really the black journalists were the only ones putting a spotlight on civil rights. That's where people were able black Americans specifically were able to get news with the civil rights movement. Whereas today, you know, I think we have a diverse press corps. We have Julie pointed that out, everybody's gonna have an opinion about what is the civil rights movement today. What is it really? But to me, I think what happened in Ferguson became a narrative for President Obama and Democrats particularly to distort really what is causing more black Americans to be engaged in violent crime.

Now, I'm not saying that -- I think we all knew Darren Wilson wasn't going to be charged with violating Michael Brown's civil rights because the same thing happened in the Trayvon Martin case. What is a problem are you going to have racist police like you have racist journalists like racist people, of course. I think that the report on Ferguson was mixed; I would argue Howard if you had an all black police force, a lot of the things that Eric Holder found in that report would still occur because young black men in America the reality is are committing more violent crime. And I think that's...


KURTZ: But some of those racist emails from Ferguson police officers were really blood curling. What do think Julie about Crystal's contention that the media play a racially divisive role today when it comes to these kinds of stories?

ROGINSKY: I think the media plays a divisive role not just in race but in a lot of different things. The goal is obviously to stoke debate and the goal is obviously to stoke a potential view point. Ferguson is a very good example. You had all the major channels covering Ferguson. It was saturated wall to wall. But certainly some people had one you viewpoint on it, other people were pushing a different viewpoint and I think that's the difference. You do have that diversity of opinion and diversity of viewpoint, although you still do cover civil rights incredibly extensively across the spectrum, but again the spectrum has many different as to what constitutes a violation of those civil rights.

KURTZ: I love that we have a diversity of viewpoints. I'd also like journalists to stick to the facts. As it turned out, some of the facts that were originally reported in the Michael Brown shooting as we learn more, turned out not to be the case, Crystal Wright and Julie Roginsky, thanks very much for joining us today. Ahead we'll look at the controversy over Ben Carson telling CNN that being gay is a choice. Did it the network treat him fairly, but straight ahead, Senator Rand Paul and the coverage of his attacks on other Republican contenders and why he spends time talking to openly liberal media outlets.


KURTZ: Rand Paul isn't shy about mixing it up with the media. He has the scars to show it. As the Kentucky Senator gears up for a presidential campaign, I sat down with him at the CPAC conference in Maryland.


KURTZ: Senator Paul, welcome.

PAUL: Thanks for having me.

KURTZ: Senator, Time magazine calls you the most interesting man in politics. You've also gotten a lot of bad press, is the media fair to you?

PAUL: I think in order to be the most interesting, you sometimes have to be provocative, and so you get it from all barrels. And you're not really over the target unless you're receiving flack, getting something back. I tend to say what I think. I tend not to...

KURTZ: Sugarcoat it?

PAUL: I don't sugarcoat it too much. Sometimes I try, but it doesn't work. A lot of people rise up in politics from never offending anyone either in the public or anywhere and their skill is in being bland. And I was in a position for 20 years, I just sort of look at the problem and try to figure out a solution and sometimes not everybody agrees with me on it.

KURTZ: Speaking of being provocative, you've been aggressive against some of the potential 2016 candidates. Chris Christie has a bully demeanor, talked about Jeb Bush being a hypocrite on Marijuana laws...

PAUL: Did I say all of that?

KURTZ: I could go on. Is there the lure of the guaranteed headline Rand Paul attacks fellow Republican?

PAUL: I don't know. I think that the reason I do collect headline and we've been very successful at getting attention, really from the moment I ran, I don't know if that is luck or skill, I don't tend to be provocative just to be provocative. In the Jeb Bush hypocrisy I truly think it is hypocritical for someone who used marijuana when they were a kid is for harsh penalties for people who do it. Particularly when you look at the drug laws, and you say, who's getting snatched up here? Rich white kids aren't getting snatched up, it's poor black kids, poor Hispanic kids, and poor white kids, basically people who live in poverty, are all the ones serving the prison sentence.

KURTZ: You were trying to make a point. Let's talk about some of the coverage, Washington Post had a big piece, daddy issues are Rand Paul's hardcore stance, a problem for his son's presidential bid, New York Times article, Katie Couric has asked you about it. Does the press make what he says your problem?

PAUL: Sometimes but I think a lot of other people have to deal with this too. And there could be a bush problem. There could be a Clinton problem. And so there are several people who could possibly run who are associated with other famous people who have had their issues. But I think ultimately people aren't voting for a family or against a family, they're voting for the individual. And in my senate race, we were successful at uniting all parts of the Republican Party to beat an establishment candidate so we had to do...


KURTZ: And the question is about Rand Paul fair to the point that you share a well-known last name, you have access to a fundraising network.

PAUL: It's always fair to ask about an issue and if people want to emphasize how the issue either agrees or disagrees with a member of your family, so be it. But frankly if I have to go 20 minutes and you ask me to go through every issue I agree or disagree with my dad, I don't think it's that entertaining and I'll probably just answer what I'm for. And people can make their judgment. But not everybody agrees with their parents on every issue and everybody is a distinct individual. You probably don't agree with your parents.

KURTZ: I will not argue with you on that one. Do you need to develop a thicker skin? You had a testy interview with CNBC's Kelly Evans. I found her tone to be condescending, but you got a lot of flack for shushing her.


PAUL: Let me finish that, Hey, Kelly, ssshh. Calm down a bit here Kelly.


PAUL: Yeah, I did learn you're not supposed to shush people. And a lot of people don't realize about interviews, you and I are doing this in the same room which makes for a better interview. But 95 percent of my interviews, I don't see the interviewer; we're staring to a camera. It's hard sometimes. I can see when you're getting ready to talk, you can see when I'm getting ready to talk and we try to be polite enough to let each other talk. But on TV when you're looking at a camera, it gets frustrating not to butt in.

KURTZ: You also betray impatience with the questions that you think either is rooted in something inaccurate or that you just think are unfair.

PAUL: And I think questioners can be objective, and there are some people are very good on all the channels. There are people on television channels who I have no idea what their political bias or background is. They're objective, good, and hardcore. But they don't ask questions that really are simply you can tell are targeted from your political opponents and I'm going to ask him something just to make him mad. But I'm human. I get mad sometimes. And I try to be as even keeled as I can, but sometimes like everybody else, there are interviews that I would have done differently.

KURTZ: I think people to like human candidates as opposed to the alternative. You wrote shall pundits are surprised that I support destroying ISIS. You've expressed reservations about the magnitude of US military involved in the Middle East; does the press kind of pigeon hold you as an isolationist?

PAUL: I think people who are competing with me for being national leader of a national party in many ways -- whether that's running for office or what that is, they will try to characterize your position, you will have to present it and then can it be mischaracterized. I think it is mischaracterized because the way I look at foreign policy there, is a spectrum from being nowhere any of the time which would be isolationism, to being everywhere all the time. I've been mainly complaining that we're everywhere all the time, every civil war, sometimes with unintended consequences. So Hillary's war in Libya I think led to chaos and more radical Islam and made us less safe.

KURTZ: Hillary's war, when she was secretary of state.

PAUL: Yes. She was a big advocate of it; she's also been advocate of the Syrian war.

KURTZ: All right my time is short so let me get to this. After state of the union, you spoke in interviews about income and inequality, and lagging wages, and black unemployment, you've been to Ferguson. Are the media surprised that a Republican has taken on these kinds of issues?

PAUL: Yeah, and I think it's been long overdue. In my speech, before CPAC, I'll talk about there being two Americas that Martin Luther King talked about, one that is treated fairly and another that is not treated fairly. I think criminal justice is not racist. I don't think it's done purposely. But the outcome of our criminal justice has had a proportionate impact on minorities and so...


KURTZ: A little bit unusual for most Republicans.

PAUL: I was at the White House yesterday and we had half Republicans, half Democrats and there are quite a few younger Republicans that are out there saying the same thing I am.

KURTZ: Politicians like to limit themselves to friendly interviews, but you've Selan, you've gone on got on Bill Maher, you've been on MSNBC, what do you get out of that?

PAUL: I think you want to try to get to new people. If you want your party to be bigger, Bill Maher has 4 million listeners who maybe a few of them aren't watching Fox news so you get to reach brand new people. MSNBC has a smaller audience that isn't watching Fox either.

KURTZ: Do you think you'll be talking to Rachel Madmaddow?

PAUL: There are certain rules that we have to develop over time and that might be one of them.

KURTZ: Which is?

PAUL: Not to do that again. Our hope is when we go on, they are independent minded, they might be progressive. I'm fine if they're very progressive. But if it's just simply partisanship just to be partisan, the problem in Washington is empty partisanship.

KURTZ: Finally, you were on Fox news quite a bit as a guest. How helpful is that raising your profile potentially for 2016?

PAUL: I think extraordinarily helpful and I think also the emergence of Fox news has allowed there to be a conservative viewpoint. When I was a kid, they were three networks and they were all identical and they were all liberal. And now with Fox, and also with the internet, there really is much more of a balance. I still get the same question from a lot of people in audiences, the liberal media, the liberal media and I say it's so much better than it ever was about before. You look at Fox's numbers compared to the other cable news networks and they sort of dwarf the other networks. So I think there is an opportunity for conservatives a variety of opinions. All of these are out there. And I think it's been very helpful.

KURTZ: Senator Paul thanks very much for sitting down with me.

PAUL: Thank you.


KURTZ: Next on MEDIA BUZZ, Ben Carson complains that CNN edited an interview in which he made highly controversial comments about why people are gay. We'll take a look in our video verdict.


KURTZ: There's been a lot of chatter about the media's gotcha question. Let's look at two case studies; Ben Carson was on CNN saying under the Constitution, same-sex marriage should be left to the states. When anchor Chris Cuomo asked whether the presidential candidate felt the same argument applied to slavery, Dr. Carson disagreed.


BEN CARSON, AUTHOR: It's not the same situation because people have no control over their race, for instance.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN: You think they have control over their sexuality?

CARSON: Absolutely.

CUOMO: You think being gay is a choice?

CARSON: Absolutely.

CUOMO: Why do you say that?

CARSON: Because a lot of people who go into prison go into prison straight and when they come out, they're gay. Did something happen while they were in there?


CUOMO: You know there is a whole theory of dominance...

CARSON: I said a lot of people who go in come out. Are you denying that that's true?

CUOMO: I'm not denying that's true, but I'm denying that that is a basis of understanding homosexuality.


KURTZ: Cuomo wasn't badgering him, he wasn't showing off. It was Carson who took the question about same-sex marriage and the constitution and states rights and went to the question of choice on homosexuality, very controversial. American psychological association doesn't agree and the question of what happens in jail. Carson wasn't happy and he called into Sean Hannity's radio show.


CARSON: It was a 25 minute interview that they chopped and you see what part they emphasized. I did learn something very important for certain networks, never do a pre-taped interview, always do it live.


KURTZ: But there was zero editing on that whole part you just saw about the gay discussion. Cuomo told me about seven minutes of the 25 minute interview were used, including other topics, ISIS and Iran and health care. The rest was posted online. Carson knew it was pre-taped and all of it wouldn't be used. Cuomo's taken some heat for the ride but it's interesting that Carson felt the need to apologize. Let's put on the screen. I did not pretend to know how every individual came to their sexual orientation. I regret that my words to express that context were hurtful and divisive, for that I apologize to all that were offended. I think Ben Carson got into trouble here, he did to himself.

After the break, we'll continue this, more on anchors and presidential candidates going toe to toe with Scott Walker admitting to Chris Wallace that he flip-flopped on immigration. Plus, Chris Matthews has another thrill up his leg for a candidate he knows, extremely well.


KURTZ: Now for more on questions about gotcha journalism. When Chris Wallace sat down with Scott Walker on Fox News Sunday he showed the Wisconsin governor a video from 2013 in which Walker said he could envision allowing illegal immigrants to become citizens if they paid penalties and meet the right requirements. When Walker tried to deflect, Wallace kept pressing.


CHRIS WALLACE, 'FOX NEWS SUNDAY' ANCHOR: The question was can you envision a world where if these people paid a penalty that they would have a path to citizenship and you said sure, that makes sense.

SCOTT WALKER, WISCONSIN GOVERNOR: I envision a way you can do that. First and foremost you've got to secure that border. Not any of these plans make any sense.

WALLACE: It's a little bit slippery here. Back when you were the Milwaukee county executive, you actually supported the Kennedy-McCain comprehensive immigration plan. Are you basically saying as part of a comprehensive plan, tough enforcement, and the 11 million people already here pay penalty, they get citizenship.

WALKER: No. I'm not talking about amnesty and it mean I said the reason for that is over time...

WALLACE: You said you supported it.

WALKER: And my view has changed. I'm flat out saying it.


KURTZ: Chris Wallace came armed with the facts. Scott Walker had said this, he had the video tape, and he got the governor to admit that he had in fact changed his position. Research is the key here and a willingness to have a long enough interview to get a politician off the talking points. That's not gotcha journalism that is accountability journalism. Finally Chris Matthews said on his MSNBC show that he had a disclosure to make.


MATTHEWS: It's important in my position to be as transparent as possible with you our loyal viewers.


KURTZ: His wife Kathleen, a long time local anchor here in Washington is planning to run for a House seat in Maryland as a Democrat.


MATTHEWS: I know she's been involved with public issues her entire career from anchoring the news to serving as a top executive with Marriot. I know her commitment runs truly deep and our nearly four decades together, Kathleen and I. I've always had the strongest belief many her judgment and values. I am proud of her and support her.


KURTZ: Okay. That wasn't a disclosure. It was a campaign ad. Of course Chris is going to support his wife. No problem with that but he can do his campaigning off camera I think. Still to come, your top tweets, what Martin Luther King once said about the media coverage of Selma, and a big time shakeup at NBC news.


KURTZ: A major shakeup at NBC in the wake of the Brian Williams suspension. In an obvious vote of no confidence in the networks management, the company is bringing back Andrew Lack who ran NBC in the '90s as chairman. Lack will run NBC's news division which has lost its first place status for the today's show and meet the press and MSNBC which have been dropping hosts as its ratings nosedive. Lack will have to rebuild NBC nightly news whether Brian Williams returns from his banishment or not.

Time now for your top tweets, is the media being too hard or too soft on Hillary over the media mess. Meredith I think the mainstream media and other outlets beside Fox will be pushing harder if it was a Republican.

Chris Murphy, my little media asked her stats, state department acts of Hillary deleted any emails or if we would ever be able to know. Anthony Bruno, I doubt you can find same question ever being asked when media reported on Bush administration. Lizard gizzard, don't think it's a big deal; it is hard to find any significant wrongdoing by Hillary so necessary to nitpick.

When journalists covered the civil rights movement, many southerners viewed them as liberal crusaders siding with the black demonstrators, several journalists were badly beaten as we mentioned earlier. One news man, who was at the bloody Selma march back in 1965, was CBS' Bill Plante.


BILL PLANTE: Negro leaders know that the ballot is one of their most effective weapons in the war against discrimination.

I still have all of the scripts that I wrote in those days. On that afternoon, the standup I did said they want their freedom.

And that they want it now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One night in February Plan and his cameraman tried to film a small demonstration.

PLANTE: White bystanders harassed us with homemade clubs, cursing us and blaming the press as the cause of the demonstration.


KURTZ: The media didn't cause the protests but Martin Luther King recognized their crucial role. According to the book, "The Race Beat," King had words with a LIFE Magazine photographer who stopped taking pictures and tried to intervene when a gang of men shoved some children to the ground. King later told him, "the world doesn't know this happened because you didn't photograph it. I'm not being cold blooded about it, but it is so much important for you to take a picture of us getting beaten up than for you to be another person joining in the fray." Interesting echo of what happened 50 years ago in Selma, Alabama.

That's it for this edition of "MediaBuzz." I'm Howard Kurtz, we hope you like our Facebook page. We post a lot of original content there. We have your buzz. I respond on video to your questions. You can also e-mail us any time. Media buzz at FoxNews.com. We are back here next Sunday morning 11 and 5 Eastern, with more on the media probably more on Hillary's emails, more on your questions, and more of the latest buzz.

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