From The “Res Ipsa Loquitur” Files: Brian Stelter’s Response To A Question About CNN’s Bias And Dishonest Journalism

There is a lot to mock regarding University of Chicago’s “Conference on Disinformation and Erosion of Democracy,” dominated by Democrats, who are determined to continue eroding democracy in ways that will increase and guarantee the party’s power, and their allies in the mainstream media, or “the mainstream media” for short. The Federalist has one of many deft take-downs here, though it is a bit like shooting genetically-altered fish born with targets on their sides in a barrel.

To the event’s credit however, it has permitted University of Chicago students to ask questions that exposed the hypocrisy of the partisan exercise, as in the Anne Applebaum video clip I embedded here. This exchange was even better, as another student took aim at CNN’s fake media watchdog, the revolting and incompetent Brian Stelter.

Stelter has as much business as a featured authority in a conference on fighting “disinformation” as China has on the U.N. Human Rights Committee, The setting was a panel on “How Media Platforms Shape Consumer Realities,” , featuring moderator Jim Rutenberg of the New York Times (This tells you all you need to know about his perspective), The Dispatch’s Stephen Hayes, Lauren Williams of Capital B, and Stelter. His perambulations to avoid dealing with the substance of the question were the stuff of “Monty Python” satire:

U of C FRESHMAN CHRISTOPHER PHILLIPS: Hi, thank you for coming. My name is Christopher Phillips, I’m a first-year at the college. My question is for Mr. Stelter.

You’ve all spoken extensively about Fox News being a purveyor of disinformation. But CNN is right up there with them. They pushed the Russian collusion hoax, they pushed the Jussie Smollett hoax, they smeared Justice Kavanaugh as a rapist, and they also smeared Nick Sandmann as a white supremacist, and yes, they dismissed the Hunter Biden laptop affair as pure Russian disinformation.

With mainstream corporate journalists becoming little more than apologists and cheerleaders for the regime, is it time to finally declare that the canon of journalistic ethics is dead or no longer operative?

All of the mistakes of the mainstream media, and CNN in particular, seem to magically all go in one direction. Are we expected to believe that this is all just some sort of random coincidence or is there something else behind it?

BRIAN STELTER: Too bad, it’s time for lunch.

JIM RUTENBERG: You have 30 seconds, Brian.

STELTER: There’s a clock that says 30 seconds.

But I think my honest answer to you – and I’ll come over and talk in more detail after this – is that I think you’re describing a different channel than the one that I watch. But I understand that is a popular right-wing narrative about CNN.

I think it’s important when we talk about shared reality and democracy – all these networks, all these news outlets have to defend democracy and when they screw up, admit it.

But, when Benjamin Hall, the Fox News correspondent, was wounded in Ukraine, the news crews at CNN and The New York Times stopped what they were doing and they tried to help. They tried to help him get out of the country, they tried to find the dead crew members. That’s what news outlets do. That’s how they actually do work together – to your question about sharing those kind of connections and trust.

We don’t talk about it enough though. We don’t share that reality about how that happens. And with regard to “the regime,” I think you mean the President Biden. The last time I spoke with a Biden aide, we yelled at each other. So, that’s the reality of the news business that people don’t see, that people don’t hear. They imagine that it’s a situation that simply is not.

But I think your question, it speaks to the failure of journalism to show our works and show the reality of how of profession operates. We have a lot of work to do, I think.

RUTENBERG: Okay, well, I’ve got a blinking red light.

STELTER: I know, we can keep going but there’s lunch right out in the hallway!

RUTENBERG: It’s lunchtime.

Isn’t that perfect?

Stelter began by joking about ducking the question using lunch as an excuse, and then he ducked the question using lunch as an excuse! His subsequent evasions and deflections in sequence:

  • He said that he’d respond to the question in private.
  • He denied the student’s accurate claims without providing any facts that rebutted them.
  • He played the cheap and insulting “right-wing narrative” card.
  • He implies that CNN admits when it “screws up” (meaning “gets caught in fake news in biased reporting”) when he refuses to admit the examples the student cited.
  • He ran out the clock with a 100% irrelevant account of how CNN helped a wounded Fox News correspondent, as if that had anything to do with the network’s reporting.
  • He insulted the intelligence of the audience by claiming that an argument with a Biden official (about an unrevealed topic) disproved CNN’s partisan bias.
  • He concluded with the absurd lie that the public gets the wrong impression about how objective, honest and fair journalists like him are because they don’t do a good enough job explaining to the ignorant public how they do their jobs.

Then he allowed the moderator to cut off the discussion before the student could follow-up or get a genuine answer. “Oops! Lunchtime! Too bad we don’t have more time! Well, gotta chow down!”

I run participatory seminars as a profession. When an important issue is raised before a scheduled break, I delay the break. That’s what you do when you care about honest and open discourse instead of being afraid of what it will reveal.

________________

Pointer: Newsbusters

5 thoughts on “From The “Res Ipsa Loquitur” Files: Brian Stelter’s Response To A Question About CNN’s Bias And Dishonest Journalism

  1. He said that he’d respond to the question in private

    Haha, fat chance. .

    He denied the student’s accurate claims without providing any facts that rebutted them.

    Surprise, surprise.

    He played the cheap and insulting “right-wing narrative” card.

    Again, surprise, surprise.
    He implies that CNN admits when it “screws up” (meaning “gets caught in fake news in biased reporting”) when he refuses to admit the examples the student cited.

    Bob and weave, baby, bob and weave.

    He ran out the clock with a 100% irrelevant account of how CNN helped a wounded Fox News
    correspondent, as if that had anything to do with the network’s reporting.

    But you see, that shows they’re GOOD people. How could they do anything wrong?

    He insulted the intelligence of the audience by claiming that an argument with a Biden official (about an unrevealed topic) disproved CNN’s partisan bias.
    It’s enough for his fanbase.

    He concluded with the absurd lie that the public gets the wrong impression about how objective, honest and fair journalists like him are because they don’t do a good enough job explaining to the ignorant public how they do their jobs.

    Could be worse, he could have said the public just doesn’t listen.

    Of course he allowed the moderator to cut off the debate,using any excuse needed.

  2. I only hope that by some cosmic coincidence that the reason Stelter and the Biden aide were yelling at each other is that the media-bias-panel’s lunch was provided by the Biden administration and Stelter didn’t like the menu.

  3. What do Brian Stelter and Jen Psaki have in common?

    They are both paid liars, only Stelter banks considerably more because he traffics in the private sector. I am confident the oily little gnome (TCarkson’label) is unfamiliar with the concept of ethics alarms along with CNN who rewards him for it.

  4. Every major network pushed the Jussie Smollett hoax because none of them wanted to question the narrative of a semi high profile black man. The Nick Sandmann story was awful because the media refused to apologize for taking a small clip and assuming it told the whole story. For Russia, CNN’s headlines night and day were all about Trump. And the Biden laptop was dismissed as misinformation.

    There is something about a certain type of educated person in the United States that makes them downright stupid sometimes.

  5. I think, if I’m allowing myself to be gullible, the true problem with news is the 24-hour news networks. The networks that have a live person sitting there spouting whatever thought comes to mind because they have to have “something”. Like, fine, have a 24 hour news network, but put something on loop that is obviously not “live” and then work to verify what you’ve reported and pull something the instant it’s proven incorrect and then work to build a new segment with corrected information. When you put a live person on air for ever and ever, they have to repeat the lies that they tell themselves over and over and it’s this sick kind of prisoner hypnosis syndrome that’s nearly impossible to break. Trust me, if it’s impossible to get Fox News viewers to break away, and to get CNN & MSNBC viewers to break away…WTF are the chances that the person who is spewing it and incessantly watching their colleagues spew it have at being objective?

    If you want to have a mouthpiece and a director go for 24 hour on end, fine. But don’t give them any journalistic or editorial duties.

    That said, I’m sure they have 24+ teams dedicated to each hour of the day which should afford each of them an opportunity to gain objectivity and they refuse. Ergo, I don’t watch any of the channels and attempt to curate my reading and viewing from first hand sources and skimming what bubbles to the top with a heavy dose of skepticism.

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