CNN's Brian Stelter said Fox News' influence must be reduced. But fear not. The fast-talking host of "Reliable Sources" said during his Sunday broadcast that it's not censorship he's talking about.
"Reducing a liar's reach is not the same as censoring freedom of speech," he said. "Freedom of speech is different than freedom of reach — and algorithmic reach is part of the problem."
Stelter's monologue was all about "reducing information pollution" — and he said it can be accomplished through a 'harm reduction model."
Fox News uttered the word "censorship" 400 times in January, Stelter claimed, adding that it's "patently false" that CNN is trying to force Fox News off the air. (Even though CNN personalities last month said cable companies should face questions as to why they carry Fox News — and even "step in and kick Fox News off.")
Rather Stelter insisted that Fox News simply needs to change its tune.
"News consumers are both overfed and malnourished at the same time, gorging on empty informational calories, indulging their sugar fixes of self-affirming half-truths and even outright lies," he said. "It's impossible to make those lies go away, but they can be reduced. All right? Harm reduction."
Stelter then called out Fox News' Tucker Carlson for "declaring that unity for Dems means locking up their opponents, and quote, 'You can now be arrested for saying the wrong thing.' What?"
The apparently shocked Stelter failed to mention that Carlson's primary issue was the FBI's jaw-dropping arrest and indictment of a man for — checking notes, hang on — tweeting election memes.
Anyway, Stelter continued his dramatic speech, accusing Fox News of being part of a "radicalization pipeline that pits neighbor against neighbor and lets fear overpower courage. And it poisons American politics."
But again, don't worry. Stelter said he doesn't want to cancel his rival cable news channel.
"Most of the criticism of Fox News is not aimed at shutting it down, which will never happen anyway," he said before adding an unbelievable declaration. "It's about making Fox better. Putting the news back in Fox News. They keep going the other way. If Fox is gonna keep transitioning into the '24/7 Tucker Channel,' then maybe it belongs next to SciFi on your channel lineup, not MSNBC."
Then Stelter uttered his coup de grace of self-awareness starvation: "These need to be nuanced conversations — not edicts, not orders ... but harm reduction is possible ... by adding more news and less opinion to the content."
Apparently there's a shortage of mirrors in the CNN newsroom.
Journalist Glenn Greenwald seems to think so, ripping Stelter on Twitter: "Beyond all the creepy aspects of *journalists* again taking the lead in demanding media voices be repressed, @brianstelter's claim that 'freedom of speech is different than freedom of reach' is totally false and has been rejected by courts for decades."
Greenwald added, "Also, CNN lies and spreads conspiracy theories constantly. They're a pro-Democratic Party outlet that barely airs any dissent from the DNC line. If @brianstelter's standards for banishing Fox were applied equally, it'd affect all cable news outlets, not just one."
Stelter: Reducing a liar's reach is not the same as censorship youtu.be