It’s well known that CNN senior media reporter Brian Stelter is no fan of President Trump. He even goes as far as to question’s the President’s mental stability and was overjoyed when the rest of the media were pushing their hot takes too. During Sunday’s Reliable Sources, he opined about how the White House was in day 470 of what he called a “credibility crisis.” And despite how the show is supposed to be about the media, Stelter dismissed the notion media was having their own crisis after their “no good, very bad week.”
After highlighting what would be discussed to the show, Stelter transitioned from talking about the 10 journalists killed in Afghanistan last week to slam the administration. “But first, back here in the U.S., enough is enough. The lies, the deceit, the fear mongering. Journalists increasingly are feeling empowered to call out the Trump White House’s lies,” he boasted.
“The Trump presidency, this is what a crisis of leadership looks and feels like. Every week another scandal. Every week another cover-up,” Stelter declared as he started talking about the embarrassing situation with Rudy Giuliani. “This week I have to admit I chuckled at some of the banners on screen—some of the headlines calling this a White House credibility crisis. I mean, that is true. That’s objectively true. It is a crisis, but it’s been true since day one.”
Stelter then turned to Trump’s former doctor, Harold Bornstein who wrote the rather flattering letter about the President’s health during the campaign. The CNN reporter pointed to claims by Bornstein that his office was “raided” by the Trump team after the election and that Trump wrote the letter himself. “Trump dictated that whole letter. I didn’t write that letter. I just made it up as I went along,” Stelter read from the statement, failing to point out that that statement contradicts itself or how the doctor ridiculously said he felt like he was “raped.”
A short time later, and after he brought on Carl Bernstein to hyperventilate about a “cold civil war,” Stelter accused Fox News of helping to defend the President from his lack of credibility but turning it on the media. “Later in the week, all week long, coverage of the President’s lack of credibility, calling it a crisis, and then on Saturday where did Fox go? You guessed it. The media has a credibility crisis.” In order for Stelter to make that case, he had to pretend that Fox’s point was made in a vacuum with only the White House applying a force. But in reality, last week was a miserable one for the media and its credibility.
The week began with the fallout from the horrendous White House Correspondents Dinner that epitomized the media’s hostile relationship with the administration. On Monday, the media didn’t let facts get in the way of their narrative when falsely claiming the NRA made their convention a gun free zone. With Tuesday came revelations that NBC was allegedly pressuring 115 female reporters to sign a letter last week backing Tom Brokaw, who was accused of sexual misconduct. Stelter himself aided in hurting the media’s credibility in this instance because of his blatant double standard.
And back to back media embarrassments on Thursday didn’t help either. Between journalists disrupting the National Day of Prayer service at the White House (including shouting questions about a pornstar and loudly talking about the pornstar during TV spots) and NBC’s major correction about a false report they put out claiming Trump lawyer Michael Cohen had his phones wiretapped, it was a terrible week for the press.
So, obviously, the media was going through their own credibility crisis, something Stelter didn’t seem to recognize or didn’t care to. But as Stelter himself declared, unironically, “this shouldn’t be about feelings. This should be about facts.”