Stelter Screeches at 'Explosion of False Claims' from John Durham Filing

February 17th, 2022 7:56 AM

When the liberal media aren't ignoring the John Durham probe, they're "reporting" on it by suggesting it's the newest pile of overwrought MAGA propaganda. CNN's covering it by letting Brian Stelter cry "HOAX" at Fox News and other conservative outlets.

His headline was "Right-wing media said it was exposing a scandal. What it really revealed is how bad information spreads in MAGA world".

Stelter summarized his own dismissive analysis in his "Reliable Sources" newsletter. The use of bold type below is Stelter's, not mine. 

I felt compelled to write about it, too, because the actual court filing at issue is much less newsworthy than the explosion of false claims that have ricocheted from it. Here are the takeaways from a media phenomenon POV:

Translation: Pay no attention to the Special Counsel behind the curtain! CNN spent years promoting every tissue of gossip around the Robert Mueller investigation. They willed a scandal into existence -- collusion between Trump and the Russians -- that Mueller ultimately couldn't prove. But:

 >> It seemed like Donald Trump's media allies tried to "will" a scandal into existence. The talk had a snake-eating-its-own-tail quality. But it worked.

Yes, CNN is lecturing about cable coverage having a "snake eating its own tail quality. This, from the network with 77 stories gossiping about  nonexistent "pee tapes." Stelter still insisted "journalistic analysis" isn't what conservatives are doing. 

 >> The ideological outlets that blew the filing way out of proportion weren't incentivized to apply journalistic analysis to the filing. They were incentivized to do the opposite.

Here is the usual CNN bluster about how Fox News is an ideological outlet....and CNN is not. Fox is a "hyperbolic talk" channel....and CNN is not: 

 >> Hyperbolic talk, not news, is what drives right-wing outlets like Fox. Almost all of Fox's coverage has been political talk driven by hosts and guests, not news reporting by correspondents.

How do we think CNN covered Russia, Russia, Russia? CNN gave us three years of hyperbolic talk! Now they use January 6 probes for hyperbolic talk. They doom-scroll daily on "Democracy In Peril"! 

 >> Before reporters from normal news outlets could even dig into the filing, Fox's abnormal operation screamed "MEDIA IGNORES DURHAM BOMBSHELL." Later fact-checks were cast as part of a media coverup.

We're still waiting for ABC, CBS, and NBC to touch the Durham filing on television. The minute count on CNN and MSNBC is...minute. And yes, "fact checks" and "explainers" are actually "explain away-ers."

Just four months ago, Stelter interviewed Marc Elias, the Hillary Clinton lawyer who bought and paid for the Steele Dossier full of junk, and could only express his sympathy and ask "how do you handle that, you know, intense scrutiny, that coverage, that criticism from right-wing media?" Elias answered by praising Stelter's show. That should tell you precisely where Stelter and his "HOAX" blather is always based.