Brian Stelter, who hosts CNN’s “Reliable Sources” on Sundays, admitted Monday that he let David Hogg, the outspoken pro-gun control Parkland, Florida, student, get away with making false claims about firearms on his show last month.
Ironically, Stelter’s admission came a little more than a week after conservative commentator Ben Shapiro confronted Stelter over such an epidemic in the mainstream media.
What did Stelter say?
Stelter’s admission came during a “passion versus policy” discussion, where show host S.E. Cupp questioned if TV networks are doing the students a “disservice” by airing their passions knowing policy is what actually moves the needle and accomplishes change.
“There were a few times I wanted to jump in and say, ‘Let's correct that fact.’ And at one of the times I did and other times I did not. There's always that balance, how many times you’re going to interrupt,” Stelter said.
Stelter explained that he only corrected Hogg when the student claimed that Dana Loesch is the CEO of the National Rifle Association. Stelter did not mention which falsehoods he let slide.
The CNN host, however, was quick to emphasize his empathy with the student-led movement.
"I think we have to recognize where David Hogg and Emma Gonzalez are coming from. There has been an increase in the lethality of mass shootings in recent years in this country," Stelter said. "And so I can see where these students are coming from saying, 'This is getting worse.'"
What did Shapiro say?
During an interview with Stelter on his CNN show earlier in March, Shapiro explained he believed the mainstream media coverage of the tragic Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting has been "absolutely egregious," mostly because they have given the students nearly an unlimited platform with minor pushback when the students make erroneous claims.
The comments were just part of Shapiro's larger criticism of the media, he said, noting that when the media let untrue statements slide, they sow distrust with Americans.
"This sort of thing makes a lot of people on the right feel that the media are really using this as an opportunity to push gun control, rather than objectively covering the legislative efforts that are going on in Washington, D.C,” Shapiro said.
“It’s not a pleasant thing when people in the media pretend their political views are not influencing their coverage, when it’s so obvious that those political views clearly are influencing their coverage," he added.