CNN host Brian Stelter was mercilessly trashed on his own CNN show on Sunday by his guest, author Michael Wolff. The author was on the cable TV show "Reliable Sources" to promote his latest book about former President Donald Trump, but ended up slamming the corporate media and Stelter for being in "its own bubble."
"I think you yourself... while you're a nice guy... you're full of sanctimony. You've become one of the parts of the problem of the media," Wolff said of Stelter. "You come on here and have a monopoly on truth. You know exactly how things are supposed to be done. You are one of the reasons why people can't stand the media."
Stelter attempted to laugh off the criticisms, "You're cracking me up."
The CNN host asked what he should do differently, to which the author responded, "Don't talk so much. Listen more."
"You know people have genuine problems with the media," Wolff replied. "The media doesn't get the story right, the media exists in its own bubble."
Wolff said Stelter is "incredibly repetitive," saying the "same old stuff week after week."
"You're the flip side of Donald Trump," Wolff stated. "Fake news, and you say, 'Virtuous news.'"
Stelter attempted to defend his cable TV news show by saying, "We just figure out what is real."
"Well figuring out what is real is not so easy," Wolff said before blasting Stelter yet again, "Most people don't want to turn to Brian Stelter to tell us what's real."
Stelter tried to laugh off the insult, and asked Wolff, "Why'd ya bother coming on CNN a couple times this week?"
Wolff delivered an honest and stinging rebuttal, "You know, I'm a book salesman."
Wolff's assessment of the media is correct, according to a recent Gallup poll that shows the media is one of the American institutions with the least amount of cofidence. The poll shows that a mere 21% of respondents said they had "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in newspapers, while just 16% of Americans said they had the same of television news. The only institution that had lower scores was Congress, which only 12% of Americans had confidence in.
The lack of confidence and lack of Donald Trump has hurt cable TV news networks, especially CNN.
Deadline reported on the cable TV ratings for June:
In primetime, Fox News topped with an average of 2.13 million viewers, compared to 1.31 million for MSNBC and 798,000 for CNN. Compared to the same month a year earlier, Fox News was off 42%, MSNBC was down 36% and CNN dropped 57%. In the 25-54 demo, Fox News drew an average of 329,000, down 50%; compared to 179,000 for CNN, falling 68%; and 166,000 for MSNBC, off by 48%.
The ratings for May were equally as disappointing:
Fox News averaged 2.2 million primetime viewers in May to finish as the only basic cable channel to average more than two million viewers from 8-11 p.m. ET. MSNBC finished second with an average of 1.5 million and TNT, ESPN and HGTV rounded out the top five while CNN failed to crack the one-million viewer benchmark, according to Nielsen Media Research.
Stelter's "Reliable Sources" averaged only 810,000 total viewers for the May 2 episode, which was the lowest-rated episode of the year at the time. But viewership tanked even more in June, when "Reliable Sources" averaged a mere 786,000 viewers, which is down 56% from its January totals.