A Show Of Hands, Now: Who Thinks Brian Stelter Is Telling The Truth This Time?

CNN’s laughable “media critic,” Brian Stelter, who has distinguished himself and embarrassed his field—supposedly media ethics—by devolving into a mere shill for CNN and a dependable scourge of Fox News, may have hit a new low yesterday. I say “may” because  its hard to make qualitative distinctions in the murk at the bottom of the barrel.

Stelter brought on the former chairman of the Psychiatry Department at Duke University, Dr. Alan Frances, apparently because he has a raging, Level 5 case of Trump Derangement. This is sufficient qualification  for a national news media platform now. No enlightenment necessary, no reasoned analysis, just good, old fashioned, bat-shit Trump hate, with plenty of spittle and that wonderful “Is he going run off on all fours biting people?” suspense. On Stelter’s show with the doctor was Bandy Lee, who defied her profession’s rule against diagnosing political figures from afar throughout the 2016 campaign, saying that she was  “obligated to break [the rules] in times of emergency,” thus evoking eleven rationalizations by my count. That’s right, Lee and Francis were the representatives of the psychiatric profession CNN’s “media ethics” authority decided would give a balanced assessment of the practice of psychoanalyzing the President.


Dr.  Frances pretended to criticize his professionally irresponsible colleagues like Lee for assisting in the resistance’s Plan E, trying to illegitimately apply the 25th Amendment allowing a disabled President to be removed from office.   Oh no, he said: doing this was just plain wrong:

“Well, I think ‘medicalizing’ politics has three very dire consequences. The first is that it stigmatizes the mentally ill. I’ve known thousands of patients, almost all of them are well-behaved, well-mannered good people. Trump is none of these. Lumping that is a terrible insult to the mentally ill and they have enough problems and stigma as it is. Second, calling Trump crazy hides the fact that we’re crazy for having elected him and even crazier for allowing his crazy policies to persist… Now, it’s absolutely impossible, you can bet the house that the Congress, that Pence, that the cabinet will never ever remove Trump on grounds of mental unfitness. That will never happen. Discussing the issue in psychological name-calling terms distracts us from getting out to vote. The important thing is to get Trump out of office.”

Is that your expert opinion, doctor? Simply wanting to defeat the President is all it takes to get on CNN, apparently.

Ah, but it was within those ellipses that the doctor really came through, saying,

“Trump is as destructive a person in this century as Hitler, Stalin, Mao in the last century. He may be responsible for many more million deaths than they were.”

Now there’s the kind of off-the-charts hate and hyperbole you don’t get every day, even on CNN, or in Trump’s wacky tweets. Is telling the public that the President is a mass murderer, and not just that, but a worse mass murderer than Hitler, Stalin and Mao combined a catalyst for violence? Oh, I know its not as dangerous as referring to people who barge over our borders to take advantage of our nation’s wealth and benefits as “invaders–that’s like putting guns in maniacs’ hands!—but still: a wee bit inflammatory, you think? Even a bit unfair, mayhap? Unsubstantiated, even?

Here’s Stelter’s next question: “But I’m not talking about name-calling. I’m talking about asking questions that are really uncomfortable. Not saying we have the answers, I’m saying we need to bring it up.” Yes, he focused on Dr. Frances’s rant-closing remark about how psychological name-calling won’t beat Trump. That stuff about the President of the United States being a mass murderer like the world has never seen?


After getting criticized on social media for his incompetence, partisan bias and hackery for permitting a guest to make a fact-free accusation like that, Stelter said,

“I agree that I should have interrupted after that line. I wish I had heard him say it, but I was distracted by tech difficulties (that’s why the show open didn’t look the way it normally does, I had two computers at the table, etc). Not hearing the comment is my fault.”

How convenient that the most outrageous statement in the doctor’s rant just happened to be the one Stelter didn’t hear! Do you believe that? Stelter is a serial liar, hack, weasel and ethics dunce, and that’s not name-calling, that’s a certifiable  diagnosis, as these links prove. Allowing such vicious fantasy to go on the air unchallenged would merit a reprimand, an official apology and a suspension on a real news network, which some of you older readers may remember, like you remember passenger pigeons.  (I also find it interesting that after this fiasco lit up the conservative blogs and websites, CNN transcript service broke down . Now I get this message:

“The page isn’t redirecting properly. Firefox has detected that the server is redirecting the request for this address in a way that will never complete.”

Boy, CNN is having a lot of convenient technical issues…

Just imagine how these people will be behaving once the Presidential campaign starts in earnest. It’s certainly a relief to know  that a media watchdog like Brian Stelter will be refereeing it all, fairly, competently, honestly.

You can sleep soundly.


Sources: Washington Examiner; NewsBusters; CNN

36 thoughts on “A Show Of Hands, Now: Who Thinks Brian Stelter Is Telling The Truth This Time?

  1. I dunno if it’s a new low. I think it’s just CNN becoming more and more like MSNBC. I also think it’s just the mask coming off of the left. That statement that Trump is as bad as the worst tyrants and mass murderers of the last century is something you see in lefty memes on social media all the time. A lot of the left, from the scrawny kids living in their parents’ basement all the way up to the doctors and lawyers and uber-wealthy George Soros, loathes Trump and prefers not to follow its thoughts beyond that. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that, now that the next election is not much more than a year away, they are cutting loose with all the hate in their arsenal.

    Otherwise rational people I know still say they can’t wait for the day when Trump is frog-marched out of the Oval Office in handcuffs, same as they used to say that George W. Bush should be tried in the Hague and sent to prison for life, same as they said his dad should be jailed for his work with the CIA and so forth, same as they said Reagan was senile in office and should have been locked up in a secure mental ward for heating up the Cold War with the Pershing and cruise missile deployments and fighting a brutal brush war in Central America. Of course these same rational people praise Jimmy Carter as a wonderful man who the country just wouldn’t listen to or have a little patience with, and the most successful ex-president ever. They still say Bill Clinton was treated unfairly by voyeurs who wanted to lift blankets. And they spent 2008-2016 with their noses firmly up Obama’s anus, breathing in his every fart and asking for more.

    The fact is that those who lean left never met anyone on their side who wasn’t a heroic mix of Robin Hood, Caesar Chavez, and Gandhi, and they never met anyone on the other side who wasn’t an evil genius and a complete incompetent at the same time. They said those on the right couldn’t stand to see a black man succeed. They themselves can’t stand to see a conservative white man succeed, especially not in this era when white, heterosexual men are supposed to be becoming a thing of the past, which is a good thing, by the way, because they’re all racists and rapists.

  2. Anyone watching and nodding along as this hate monger plies his trade are beyond civic redemption. My only hope is that number is small.

  3. In other “Is it the ‘real news or The Onion”, try this headline “History professor goes on profanity-laden tirade to claiming that Monopoly: Socialism isn’t ‘Real Socialism™'”.

    • A board game isn’t an accurate depiction of a complex human social structure? That professor’s students sure are getting their money’s worth…

      What;s next?

      “Zoologist claims hippos don’t eat glass marbles, no matter how hungry they are.”

      “Naval strategist complains that ‘Battleship’ is unrealistic: ‘Real ships can go on diagonals'”

      “Top surgeon blasts ‘Operation’, says there is no bread-shaped organ in human body; writer’s cramp not caused by pencil lodged in wrist”

  4. Stelter seeks to be excused for a forgivable error. [“I was distracted by tech difficulties.”]
    But, we should not allow forgivable error when ignorance applies, for example, when an important point is missed. [“I wish I had heard him say it.”]
    Further, we should not allow ignorance when stupidity applies. It obviously is stupid not to prepare for what your guest on a talk show might say, and it is stupid further to present a laughable excuse in the face of criticism.
    Finally, we should not allow stupidity when malice applies. Stelter apparently has no expertise in psychiatry, yet he repeatedly spouts off on Trump’s mental state. A brief perusal of those comments – well, Res ipsa loquitur.

  5. Psychological diagnosis of the President of the United States whom they’ve never met or conducted an in-person professional evaluation; that’s just one of their continuing tactics to unseat President Trump.

    I’m waiting to see how the new tactic to unseat President Trump is going to take shape in the media propaganda machine, the economy. This one is actually destructive to the United States of America.

    I’m sure we’ve all heard it; prominent lefties are actively hoping for a recession so the President can’t run on a good economy. They are saying that a recession won’t really hurt us and we’ll survive it just fine. They have been projection their intent, is anyone paying attention to their actions?

    Since those statements from prominent lefties have emerged, I’ve been noticing some developing trends from the political left trying to say the economy is already in a down turn heading towards a recession. Based on the morally bankrupt behavior of the political left since November 2016, I think it’s a fair prediction that the political left is going to be ramping this up to a fever pitch causing actual fear in people, causing people to stop or greatly slow their spending which will cause the stock market to start declining and all of this will put of people out of work which will drag things down even quicker thus actually creating the recession they desire and all in less than a year.

  6. Wait. Did the doctor make a mistake? He criticized Stalin and Mao? He likened them to … Trump! He’s willing to stigmatize Commie icons by likening them to Trump? What’s going on here. Next he’ll be smearing Che and Fidel or Raul’s buddy Maduro. Stelter is letting this sort of thing go over the air from his show? What will Michael Moore think?

    • Another show of hands: Who wants to let their children or grandchildren go to Duke or Yale? What kind of people are running and teaching at these places? What is wrong with them?

    • OB,
      I my opinion; they aren’t trying to convince those that already hate President Trump, they are trying to convince those that are fence sitters to come over tho their anti-Trump side and some of those are moderate Republican’s and independents that dislike the evils of people like Stalin and Mao et al. They are trying to get an emotional reaction to override logical and critical thinking from those moderate Republicans and independents.

      • Not sure, Steve. They really seem to have gone over the edge. It’s as if the hive has gone crazy and lost touch with reality. I’m guessing (hoping?) reasonable people, of whom I think there are a great many in the country, who see this sort of behavior will say to themselves, “Yikes! These people are nuts. I’d better vote for Trump and other Republicans to make sure these nut jobs don’t get anywhere near the presidency or a majority in the senate.”

        By the way, I suspect this asshole from Duke thinks Trump will murder more than Stalin and Mao by pulling the U.S. out of the absurd Paris Climate thingy, etc.

      • If you’re right, Steve, then there’s a silver lining: anyone who is enough of an imbecile to be convinced by a fact-free assertion that Trump has killed more people than Stalin, Hitler, and Mao is probably too stupid to figure out how, when, and where to vote.

        • Sorry, they have volunteers to lead them to the right polls and give them handouts on how to vote. And get them registered, if they can’t be bothered to do that either.

          Well, of course, both parties have these organizations.

  7. The best way to determine if Brian Stelter is lying or dishonestly skewing the news is by looking to see if he is speaking.

    If he is speaking, he’s lying or skewing the news.

    If he isn’t speaking, he’s just thinking about his next lie.

  8. Stelter is delivering consistent lies, hackery, and ethical cluelessness. We have no reason to fear a random act of journalism from him anytime soon.

    I’m pretty sure that’s really not a silver lining, though. Being consistently abhorrent at anything is a good reason to stop doing it. A network not afraid of a social backlash would fire this guy and then sue him for gross incompetence and negligence.

    This is CNN.

    • See? I don’t think Stetler is a hack. I think he believes the stupid things he says and allows his guests on his show to say. This isn’t derangement but outright propaganda at this best.

      I had to look that up what “hack” mean. A hack, according to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary is used here as an adjective meaning “working for hire especially with mediocre professional standards.” I agree that Stetler wishes he were mediocre – that would be a step up for him.

      But, check out the full video. Frances declares Trump to be the greatest mass murderer of all time – probably because of some stupid idea of cataclysmic extinction derived from global climate change. The entire conversation was set up to allow Frances to make that point and no one challenged him. The other guest just sits there acknowledging Frances and his lunacy. Stetler, however, said that the Frances’ comments escaped him because of technical issues but, if you watch the video, there is absolutely no pause between Frances’ crazy pronouncements and Stetler’s follow up question/comment. That is an odd coincidence, no? Stetler doesn’t ask him to repeat his statement because he couldn’t hear them or was having technical issues. How would it be possible for a show host to let a guest say dumb/crazy/horrendous things and not somehow tell the public that they have technical issues so he didn’t her the guest’s remarks?

      This is why CNN ranked No. 27th in ratings, after Fox dominated the ratings and MSNBC’s Chris Hayes and Rachel Maddow both came in higher than anything CNN has to offer. Maybe the silver lining is that CNN’s shtick is wearing thin and viewers are turning elsewhere for news and commentary.


      • Just watched the video. https://preview.msn.com/en-us/news/us/two-psychiatrists-discuss-coverage-of-trump/vi-AAGjq37

        That Doctor Frances makes Rachel Maddow sound like a deplorable. He sounds wilder than Paul Begala or Robert Reich. He’s absolutely rabid with TDS. If I may be so bold as to make a diagnosis. Clearly, anyone who doesn’t agree with him needs to be re-educated in a camp.

        And Brian Stelter didn’t appear to be having any trouble hearing anything.

        • That guy and guys like him are the ones will be making decisions about Red Alerts and your right to keep and bear arms. Just think about it: you think climate change is debatable, not settled science. Guess what? You don’t get to keep your guns and you don’t get them back when you are declared “unfit.” Or how about this: you think gender science is settled science? Same result? Do those laws sound reasonable now?


      • See? I don’t think Stetler is a hack. I think he believes the stupid things he says and allows his guests on his show to say. This isn’t derangement but outright propaganda at this best.

        Well, if he actually believes it, as you say, does that qualify as propaganda? My reading of the definition of propaganda is that it is an intentional effort to influence an audience with selected facts and language designed not to inform, but to convince. A propagandist is by definition a hack, since he doesn’t even adhere to mediocre journalistic standards.

        I’m not saying you’re necessarily wrong — you may well be exactly right about what he believes. But if he believes it, it would seem to remove any mens rea from his pronouncements or lack of control of guests, rendering him merely… I don’t know, an idiot perhaps? Incapable of rational thought and evaluation?

        So if he is essentially incompetent, doesn’t that make him even more of a hack? Assuming, that is, that the standard CNN professes to use are broadly understood competencies in analytical thinking. If all that CNN requires is an emo talking head, well, then I’d say he’s fully competent and your point is right.

  9. I think another more serious problem is raised by this interaction. These people, Drs. Francis and Lee are given the quasi-judicial power to strip Constitutional rights and freedoms from people. Let’s say the national Red Flag law passes or you are unfortunate enough to live in a state with such a law. Let’s say your child has an ear infection and you take them to a doctor. The doctor (per American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines) takes your child into another room and asks them if there are guns at home. The doctor then files a Red Flag order. A SWAT team will descend without warning on your home where they will kill your pets, take your guns, and maybe remove your children. You will then have to hire an attorney to plead your case to get your rights, your property, and maybe your children back. Dr. Francis and Lee are examples of people the court will rely on to guide them in the decision. This is a profession with a 14:1 Democrat/Republican ratio. What is going to happen to you if you have a Trump sticker on your car or they found a MAGA hat in your house?

    Psychologists aren’t any better. Almost 40% of social psychologists ADMIT that they discriminate against conservatives in hiring and about 25% would deny a publication or grant to someone because they were a conservative.

    • Wait. They will kill my pets? Remington? That’s a bridge too far. They can take my children and my firearms but I draw the line at pets. A pox on them and their kind down to the second generation.


      • When the police kick in your door, they tend to kill any pets they see. They usually target dogs, but I have seen plenty of reports of them killing cats, too.

  10. Wow.

    Trump is directly responsible for exactly zero deaths so far, so he’ll really have to get cracking to catch up with Hitler and Stalin. I think he’s going to need a second turn, if only so as not to make a liar out of this guy.

  11. “Trump is as destructive a person in this century as Hitler, Stalin, Mao in the last century. He may be responsible for many more million deaths than they were.”

    Did this person ever even take a history course that covered anything but factoids? Those last-century tyrants were leading single party systems where everything(guns) was regulated, planned(training and opportunity), and being different than the leaders or speaking out in the controlled media was punishable. Doesn’t this sound familiar yet?

    Trump was an SOB businessman before he got elected. At worst someone might have worked into an early heart attack or believed Trump University was a good bet, But that isn’t tens of millions of deaths. Where are they? Who are they? that many dead anywhere in the world would leave a helluva forensic footieprint. [I can’t help but think they are imagining all the illegal immigrants turned away are being treated as deaths, despite the fact that every country has turned away people at times. (Even the Vatican) I cannot imagine ANY other area could inflate numbers as deaths. I think he would be happy to make the economy stronger as a lot of his businesses depend on prosperity. Enlightened self-interest, if everyone does better, so will he. Reparations and open borders won’t help a majority.

    Now if this person is frightened by boorish and fiesty words, that Trump ‘may’ happily press the red button? Foolish hyperbole I’ve heard about just about every GOP president, even while registered democrat I knew better. So should this talking head. Pushing the button would be bad for his businesses and probably destroy his fortune. Unless he has a secret yen to live through some nuclear winter or in some Logan’s Run or Hunger Games where his bennies are gone, he won’t want to push the button either.

    Again where or how can he be responsible when the future is always in motion? Something plausible causing 25megadeaths if they are serious. And don’t say some weird Typhoid Mary idea, she infected about 50, with three deaths. I’m tired of people trying to spread more panic. Is there something in the DSM for chicken littles?

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