On April 25, New York Times media reporter Brian Stelter gave new CNN boss Jeff Zucker a “C” for his performance turning the ailing network around.
On August 9, two days before he is hosting CNN’s Reliable Sources, Stelter raised Zucker’s grade:
BRIAN STELTER: I think "C" is a copout. "C" is a way of saying it’s too soon to judge. Frankly, that’s what I want to say now – it’s too soon to judge. But the reason why you’d probably want to inch up his grade a little bit is because the ratings have been really strong the last few months. Now, always, CNN benefits when there’s bad breaking news somewhere in the world. There’s been a lot of that. And CNN’s benefited from that. But CNN is pushing the notion that this time it’s different, that they’re making real progress. And the numbers the last few months have suggested that.
Hmmm. You think the fact that Stelter is hosting Reliable Sources Sunday in what is an on-going audition for the permanent role as host might be impacting his view of Zucker's performance?
Isn't there a conflict of interest here for Stelter even to be commenting about CNN at this time?
Come to think of it, Stelter himself said that was a conflict of interest on Twitter less than three weeks ago:
@gretawire my job is not to critique, it's to report. I'm not hosting this weekend, I'm hosting Aug. 11. My last name is not spelled Stetler— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) July 23, 2013
@gretawire Due to the inherent conflict, I'm not reporting on CNN, Fox, MSNBC, etc for the time being. I take these conflicts seriously.— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) July 23, 2013
So on April 25, Stelter gave Zucker a "C" for his performance at CNN.
On July 23, after being asked to host an installment of Reliable Sources, Stelter told Fox News's Greta Van Susteren, "Due to the inherent conflict, I'm not reporting on CNN, Fox, MSNBC, etc for the time being. I take these conflicts seriously."
Apparently he doesn't "take these conflicts seriously," for two days before his appearance on Reliable Sources, Stelter gave an interview with Business Insider specifically reporting on CNN while raising Zucker's grade for the recent increase in ratings.
Funny how "inherent conflicts" can be ignored when it's convenient.