Cortney O'Brien at Fox News reported CNN's Brian Stelter was slammed for tweeting out a piece from the Associated Press media reporter David Bauder claiming network TV anchors were "the closest thing that America had to national leaders on 9/11."
"Most Americans were guided through the unimaginable by one of three anchors: Tom Brokaw of NBC News, Peter Jennings of ABC and Dan Rather of CBS," Bauder wrote. He also called them "legendary anchors," as the Old Media applauds each other.
Stelter added his own two cents that "political leaders were in bunkers or otherwise out of sight" during the terror attacks, which occurred 20 years ago on Saturday.
Network TV anchors were "the closest thing that America had to national leaders on 9/11. They were the moral authority for the country on that first day," especially with political leaders in bunkers or otherwise out of sight... https://t.co/j12NRPr2BM— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) September 11, 2021
Or he was copying from an ex-Howard Dean speechwriter who was quoted by Bauder:
“They were the closest thing that America had to national leaders on 9/11,” says Garrett Graff, author of The Only Plane in the Sky, an oral history of the attack. “They were the moral authority for the country on that first day, fulfilling a very historical role of basically counseling the country through this tragedy at a moment its political leadership was largely silent and largely absent from the conversation.”
This is simply not true. President Bush spoke throughout the day, and spoke to the nation that night. Other leaders also spoke. Obviously, everyone turned to network news for updates, and we praised them for somberly recounting what was going on. But it's not like they were bigger heroes than everyone else, the preeminent "moral authority" in America.
Meghan McCain faulted Stelter for the timing, not just the argument.
I don't know what this is even designed to mean other than to be incendiary on a dark anniversary.— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) September 11, 2021
First responders led & ran into danger and died. Mayor Giuliani, Hillary Clinton, George Pataki, President Bush, Chuck Schumer.... there were many real leaders leading us. https://t.co/60eBxqdvmL
Stelter's lame response to critics was to say "take it up with the AP, not me!"
I remember. Please send your objections to the author of the story or the person he quoted.— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) September 11, 2021
Stelter has told us he was already a news junkie in 2001, but he had just turned 16.
Fox News quoted our Nick Fondacaro's blazing response: "You added your take outside the quotes! Also, you shared it. So at some level you liked it and agreed with it. You didn’t offer criticism, so what other deduction is there? Stop playing these stupid games Brian. We all know what you’re doing."