Brian Stelter, CNN's chief media correspondent, told a college journalism class that former President Donald Trump is a "demagogue" and a "propagandist" — and that it was because of Trump's "anti-democracy" stances that the left-wing network's anchors began to editorialize news coverage in 2015, Fox News reported.
What are the details?
Stelter was interviewed earlier this month by former "Good Morning America" host Joan Lunden who is a guest lecturer at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, Fox News said, adding that Lunden asked Stelter about CNN journalists injecting opinion into news coverage.
"Now that there are all these attacks on free press, and quite honestly attacks many times on the actual truth, have you had to change your stance in that now you kind of need to take a stance and give an opinion? … That maybe three, four years ago, you would have said, 'I'm not going there,'" Lunden posed to Stelter, according to Fox News.
In response, the CNN media correspondent told her that his network began to venture into opinion land several years ago, Fox News said.
"Certainly pre-2015, there were times where anchors would speak directly to the camera and take a point of view on certain subjects," he noted, according to the cable network. "What you see a lot more of since 2015 are these analysis segments, these perspective segments where we are looking straight into the camera, we're talking directly to the viewer, and we are assessing the information out there, trying to tell you what we see is true, what we know to be true, and now also sometimes what we stand for."
Stelter did not shy away from demonizing Trump as the reason for CNN's shift toward more direct editorialization of the news, Fox News said.
"When you've got a propagandist, a demagogue running for president, then becoming president, and taking pretty clear anti-democracy positions, I think the idea was understandable that anchors … talked about democracy, talked about truth, talked about decency," Stelter told the students, according to the cable network. "I don't think it's partisan to be pro-democracy, pro-decency, pro-truth. I do think there are topics that are essential to America and journalism that must be defended, and I think that's how CNN's evolved where you have anchors like Anderson [Cooper] or Jake Tapper or in my little way, myself, who do take those stands."
Stelter also said there are "two medias" in American journalism today — and, in fact, two Americas.
"We have two medias. We have two countries, two medias," he said, according to Fox News. "We have a mainstream media — you know all the brands. We're flawed, but we're trying. And we have this alternative media structure in the country. ... We have these two medias in one, and it creates a very, I think, confusing environment for the public."
Stelter himself is well-known for mixing news with left-wing stances on air — and has been taken to task for it numerous times, including by an author he interviewed in July who ripped Stelter as "one of the reasons why people can't stand the media."
(H/T: The College Fix)