CBS' Major Garrett on the Media's Credibility Problem: 'That's Our Problem of Our Creation and We've Got to Own Up to That'
- The White House fightwith CNN highlights
the growing dissatisfactionwith the media in America.
CBS White House reporter Major Garrett
tells CBN News the mainstream media
has a credibility problemand needs to fix it.
Our David Brody spoke to Garrett
about the state of the media
and his new book aboutthe Trump Administration.
- [David] It would be an understatement
to say that PresidentTrump's first two years
has been a rollercoaster, and that's why
Major Garrett's new book pretty much
sums it up with the title,Mr. Trump's Wild Ride,
the thrills, chills, screams, and
occasional blackouts of anextraordinary Presidency.
- And if you did it well, yourratings would be much better.
- A major driver of this ride has been
the love/hate relationshipbetween the White House
and the mainstream media.
Or as President Trumpcalls them, Fake News.
Garrett says it's not just the President
who has a problem with the media.
- When the public is asking those of us
who are front line reporters,who can they believe
they're essentially saying we're not sure
we can believe you, that's our problem,
of our creation, and we'vegot to own up to that
and we have got to reverse that trendline.
- [David] That's one reasonthe battle between CNN's
Jim Acosta and the Trump Administration
over press passes and decorumhas Garrett's attention.
- I am as, what they sayin the legal community,
an interested party (laughs).
'Cause I work there.
I'm on the same front row Jim Acosta is
and that CNN is.
- [David] Garrett says it's a fight
that Trump and CNNPresident Jeff Zucker wants.
- I do think Jeff Zucker and Donald Trump
wanna have this fight, on behalf of
not just these serious andunderlying legal questions,
but on their own reputationalrelationship to one another.
- [David] This week,the White House laid out
certain ground rules for reportersduring press conferences.
While Garrett sees himselfas a neutral observer,
he does believe the Trump Administration
has a good point.
- The CNN position is also,to a certain degree, absolute.
That there's no limits on thedecorum in the White House.
I don't believe that, as a reporter.
- So there are limits.
- I've exercised them.
- Garrett explains an encounterduring a Rose Garden event
he had the microphone in his hand,
ready to ask a question, and then,
Trump said no, and calledon the reporter behind him.
- Was I giving up myFirst Amendment rights?
No, the President said no, not you.
It's his press conference.
- [David] That example is just one of many
that keeps Garrett covering this wild ride
as a passenger, whether as a correspondent
or author, he felt it was also his job
to cover the ups and downs responsibly.
- I've covered three Presidents before
and it felt to me as if the country
was getting the impression that
because this is sodifferent and comes at us
so differently, maybe the typical powers
of the Presidency don't still exist.
Well they do.
Maybe things aren'tgetting done, they are.
- [David] Garrett's reporting style
follows the, just the facts trademark.
And his book follows that example.
Recounting the issues, withno dreaded anonymous sources.
- Everyone's quoted byname, everyone is quoted
by their title and by what they saw
and what they saw happening.
- Purposeful.- Purposeful.
- There are books about Trump written
for the pro-Trump crowd, there are books
written for the anti-Trump crowd.
This book is writtenfor fill in the blank.
- I told my best friendsas I was writing the book,
my greatest fear is that it will not love
the President enough and it will not hate
the President enough.
- [David] And as Trump runs the country,
Garrett will continue to report
on one of the most important times
in political history.
- We had 113 million Americans participate
in the midterms, 42.9% participation rate.
Higher than any year since 1966.
This country cares aboutthis time, politically
and we're sorting it out.
- [David] Garrett hopes voters will look
to his book, that tries to do just that.
Sort it all out in a fair and honest way.
David Brody, CBN News, Washington.