CNN's "Reliable Sources" host Brian Stelter appeared Tuesday on C-SPAN's "Washington Journal," and people took the opportunity to call in to the live broadcast and issue searing condemnations of Stelter and his network's reporting.
What are the details?
One man called in to comment, starting off with a criticism of CNN, lambasting the outlet for a chyron from last week that read, "Fiery but mostly peaceful protests after police shooting," while buildings burned in the background behind a correspondent reporting from Kenosha, Wisconsin.
The caller went on to refer to Stelter as "Humpty Dumpty" and "a stooge," adding, "We all know you're not reliable."
According to Fox News, Stelter admitted the chyron was a "mistake."
"I don't know who wrote it, probably a young producer who's trying their best under deadline in a breaking news situation," he said. "That kind of thing becomes easily criticized and probably not the right banner to put on the screen."
Another man called in to confront Stelter, saying, "You guys always talk about how many times Trump has lied. I've calculated that, I think with your chyrons ...Yeah, I don't know if there's any journalists left at CNN, but I know that if I were to estimate, about 300 different distortions or misinformation that we get out of CNN — and you have to watch them in the airport, which is harsh — but if you added all that up to 46 months, it comes out to be 300,000-plus distortions of truth."
"So, my thing is, you guys — this is how low you'll go," the caller continued. "You went out, and you made lies, and you defamed a child," referring to Covington (Kentucky) Catholic High School student Nick Sandmann, with whom the network settled a multimillion-dollar lawsuit.
The caller added, "And I don't believe in dividing our nation, it hurts our great nation, and so CNN is really the enemy of the truth. That's my opinion, thank you."
How did Stelter respond?
I'm grateful for the call, and I know that you're not the only person that feels this way. There has been a process of radicalization that's happened in this country, with media bashing that is absolutely unprecedented. Ya know, 20, 30 years ago, conservatives talked about media bias and there were some really valid points to the critique. It is absolutely true that lots of journalists are based in New York and Washington [D.C.], they're based in big cities, they have liberal leanings, and mainstream newsrooms are built to make sure that that bias doesn't seep into the news coverage. And yet, sometimes it does. I absolutely acknowledge that.
He added, "I think it's different to talk about things as if they're enemies. No American is an enemy of another American. No news outlet is an enemy of America."
Oh @brianstelter did not have a pile of fans calling in to C-SPAN today. This man really brought the pain, saying "… https://t.co/mrKK9NQYS5— Tim Graham (@Tim Graham)1598970384.0