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!