The Ethics Vacuum That Is CNN’s Brian Stelter

Brain Stelter probably finishes no higher than third in CNN’s “Unprofessional and unethical broadcast journalists who any trustworthy news organization would fire but since CNN isn’t trustworthy it won’t” sweepstakes. Nonetheless, he is shockingly and consistently ethics free, which is particularly grotesque for an alleged media ethics critic. You can read the ugly  Ethics Alarms Stelter dossier here.

He’s also, in addition to being a 24-7 ethics dunce, not very bright.

D.C. attorney Mark Zaid (who also has an Ethics Alarms file!) tweeted this regarding the Washington Post’s settlement of the $250 million defamation suit filed against it by Nick Sandmann:

Being a dolt, Stelter probably thought it would be cute to retweet it, so he did.

But there’s a problem. While Zaid is free to speculate, however obnoxiously, about what the Post’s settlement was—the fact that Zaid has litigated other defamation cases does not qualify him to say what a settlement in a case he did not litigate “undoubtedly” was—Stelter is in a different position. His employer also settled Sandmann’s suit against it, and by re-tweeting Zaid’s speculation, it could be argued that he violated CNN’s confidentiality agreement that was part of whatever agreement they made with the teen.

Lin Wood, Sandmann’s lead attorney, tweeted a screenshot of the retweet from CNN’s media correspondent from his own account today, and wrote,

“This retweet by @brianstelter may have cost him his job at @CNN. It is called breach of confidentiality agreement.”

CNN has no standards, so I doubt even this idiocy, which could be interpreted as another gratuitous smear of Sandmann as well as a legal breach, will cost Stelter his job, and send him to the bait shop proprietorship this shameless hack so richly deserves.

But we can hope!

5 thoughts on “The Ethics Vacuum That Is CNN’s Brian Stelter

  1. Mark is a smart guy and I’ve worked with him in the past. But nuisance value in a case like this could encompass a very wide range. Once you determine that the case is not going to be dismissed, you can figure discovery costing you at least $200000 before you get to a place in the litigation process where you can try to dismiss the claim again. Your insurer, and I assume the Post has insurance for this, will be looking at paying anything less than that estimated discovery figure as a win. So nuisance value here could easily be 6 figures.

    • I was going to say the same. “Nuisance value” is an amazingly versatile scale.

      When I read the breaking story, I had two immediate thoughts:

      First, I wanted the Post to slanderlibel me, because I also want to get paid. (I kid)

      Second, The settlement was obviously less than $250,000… But I was thinking it was still north of six figures. And it will be interesting to see how the rest of these go now that Sandmann has settled twice.

  2. What has Jack got against bait shop owners? Like any retail business it can be complicated on the inside despite how simple it looks from the street. Add in the perishability of the product and it gets worse….

    Disclaimer: I don’t watch CNN.One of the benefits of the Cheapskate level of my satellite service is that I cannot even stumble across it; I would have to pay extra to suffer from the likes of Stelter and Madcow.

    • I stole that from Ken White, who used running a bait shop as his go-to insult for someone in a job he or she couldn’t handle, and in need of a new career. Made me laugh every time.

      • Stelter is not only unqualified to run a bait shop, I wouldn’t trust him to watch a lemonade stand while the ten-year-old runs to the bathroom. He could find a way to fuck up any job more complicated than “hot air balloon ballast”.

        I hold this fellow in very low esteem, as you might guess. Calling him a dipshit would be insulting to dipshits everywhere.

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