Director Rob Reiner Slams Media For Not Holding Trump Accountable

Reiner: “The American Public ... Deserve The Answer”

From the May 5 edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe:

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JOE SCARBOROUGH (CO-HOST): What's your message to Democrats, progressives that need to unify behind Hillary?

ROB REINER: My message to Democrats is very simple. First of all, number one, Hillary is the most qualified person to be president in my lifetime, and I'm pretty damn old. And secondly, Donald Trump. Those are the two things you have to think about. And I just ran into [MSNBC political correspondent] Kasie Hunt in the hallway, and she's done a great job.


REINER: And all the MSNBC reporters that have been covering, yourself included, have done a great job. But we know, and we all know, and you're not quite as old as me, but you're pretty damn old.

SCARBOROUGH: I’m really old. I’m getting there.

REINER: We know that since the late '60s when 60 Minutes became a hit, all of the sudden networks realized that there was a profit center in news. And we all know that. And slowly, slowly, slowly, now, this is a talk show, and we're having conversation, it's not hard news, it’s not claiming to be hard news, and yet hard news is presented. But the show of it --

SCARBOROUGH: I've got to say it's a lot harder news than almost anything else.

REINER: It probably is. It probably is.

SCARBOROUGH: Walter Cronkite is no longer with us, but --

REINER: No, but the show part of it is getting bigger and bigger, where show business and news have blurred. Now --

SCARBOROUGH: Let me tell you something. Hold on, no, no --

REINER: No, I gotta get to the point though. Because you're going to do what Donald Trump does to everyone else, which is talk over them.

SCARBOROUGH: No, I'm not. I just gotta say. When I was tap dancing, and I had the Gary Glitter outfit on, that was not show business. I was making a point.

REINER: Oh, I didn't see that one.

SCARBOROUGH: No, good. I never did it. Go ahead.

REINER: No, but what I'm saying is, we have to start, and you had Bob Woodward on your show at one point.

SCARBOROUGH: Yeah, that’s fascinating.

REINER: Well, I remember him saying we have to hold these people accountable. We have to ask those tough second, third, fourth, and fifth tier questions. Chris Matthews --

SCARBOROUGH: Did you see what happened when we let Woodward ask the second, third, fourth, and fifth questions? Same exact thing that happens to everybody else.

REINER: Doesn't matter, doesn’t matter. It doesn't matter.


REINER: It doesn’t matter. Chris Matthews held Trump accountable on his position on abortion, he didn't let him up. He kept going at him and was the most revealing thing that happened during this entire campaign season. The words that have been flung out from his mouth are insane. If he was not a celebrity, if Donald Trump was not a celebrity, the words that come out of his mouth would, you'd see a guy in a park, a lunatic in a park on a soapbox, and you'd walk right by him. But the fact he is a celebrity, all of the sudden we're all interested. And, I love Steve Kornaki, I love the guys that work on your show, but when Steve Kornaki says, “can you imagine the ratings there are gonna be when Trump and Hillary in the first debate?” Well, yeah, of course there's gonna be ratings, but who cares? What we have to care about is what does this man say? What does he say?

SCARBOROUGH: Which, of course, we do.

REINER: He's not pinned down. I want to hear how he's going to deport 12 million people. I want to hear how --

SCARBOROUGH: Wait, you're being Donald Trump now because you're just talking, and you're not letting anybody else talk. We have asked those questions. I could, I would bet you your proceeds from your next 20 films that I could find you any question that you bring up now, about the wall which Mika tried to nail him down, the Muslim ban --

BRZEZINSKI: Bob Woodward went on for 20 minutes.

SCARBOROUGH: We gave Bob Woodward 20 minutes.

BRZEZINSKI: We said go for it.

SCARBOROUGH: And what he does is he talks around in circles. So the questions are asked, and they're repeated, and we've asked repeatedly.

REINER: OK so then the next question is, “why are you talking around in circles? Why are you not answering my question?”

SCARBOROUGH: Right, which we do.

BRZEZINSKI: Yes, we've asked that question, too.

REINER: And what does he say?

BRZEZINSKI: He says “I am, believe me.”

REINER: Well, that's not an answer.


REINER: I understand it is a frustration. Then, at the end of it, all you can say is --

BRZEZINSKI: The voters are deciding.

REINER: No, no, no “clearly, you have no interest in answering these questions, and it's unfortunate for the American public because they deserve the answer.” And then end it like that.

BRZEZINSKI: Well, Joe hung up on him.

SCARBOROUGH: You know what I should do? I should hang up on him. Oh wait I did.


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