Soledad O'Brien rebuked CNN host Brian Stelter on Sunday for being concerned with the entertainment value of the public impeachment inquiry hearings.
Speaking on CNN, Stelter advised that "Democrats have to come out strong in that first episode" of the impeachment hearings, which will air on TV, in order to keep the interest of the American public.
“From a television perspective, Democrats have to come out strong in that first episode. For the same reason when w… https://t.co/mXTMIT7XZf— Ana Cabrera (@Ana Cabrera) 1573424551.0
In response, O'Brien said Stelter "should be ashamed of himself" for being "so stupid about important s**t."
Stelter replied that he was just responding to sentiment by a White House aide who had spoken to CNN.
"Thank you Soledad. your tweets are always so uplifting. This segment was informed by what a House leadership aide told CNN: 'The first hour of a hearing and the first hearing has got to be a blockbuster.' I think that person is right. If you disagree, say so!" he told O'Brien.
In response, O'Brien, herself a former CNN host, told Stelter that "good reporting" — not entertainment value — should drive public interest in the proceedings.
"My tweets aren't intended to be uplifting—they're intended to be accurate. A house leadership aide might be —um—wrong. Maybe good reporting on the issue will drive people to watch. Because it's important. It's not a game show and you should stop treating it as such," she said.
@brianstelter My tweets aren’t intended to be uplifting—they’re intended to be accurate. A house leadership aide mi… https://t.co/RRyu4MTeh9— Soledad O'Brien (@Soledad O'Brien) 1573425658.0
Stelter, however, did not relent, telling O'Brien in response that impeachment "is happening on multiple levels": democracy and television.
Stelter, CNN's chief media reporter, has faced an onslaught of criticism in recent days for almost completely ignoring one of the biggest media news stories of 2019: the leaked hot mic video of ABC News anchor Amy Robach admitting that she had the Jeffrey Epstein story three years ago, but ABC executives killed the story.