Ex-CNN host Brian Stelter is ubiquitous on liberal TV networks and podcasts right now, selling his latest Fox-frying book Network of Lies, but one TV interview really stands out. He appeared on Tuesday night's Dan Abrams Live, and instead of delighting in the Fox hatred, Abrams pressed him on a raft of challenging media questions. Stelter stumbled throughout, but the most embarrassing part was claiming no host at CNN was partisan.
Stelter could have pointed at himself. But he thinks he and Jim Acosta were just "truth telling."
Up first? Abrams asked about the petition of Israel-hating journalists insisting news accounts must smear Israel as guilty of "genocide," "apartheid," and "ethnic cleansing." Stelter said these are "progressive writers" who might not be in news rooms, but they should push their "standards and practices" squad to explore it. Abrams shot back that "genocide" is not reality, but Stelter wouldn't commit. I wouldn't sign it, he said, but he wouldn't condemn it as not factual.
"That's a cop-out answer," Abrams said.
On NewsNation, Dan Abrams presses Brian Stelter on a journalists' petition demanding use of Fake News words like Israeli "genocide" and "ethnic cleansing." Facts First Stelter would NOT criticize the smear-word petition, saying only that he wouldn't sign it! pic.twitter.com/1ZuoBKYSq0— Tim Graham (@TimJGraham) November 15, 2023
The hardballs continued. Next Abrams asked isn't Karine Jean-Pierre in over her head as White House press secretary? Stelter said the briefing room was "combative" -- compared to what? -- then tried to argue Sarah Huckabee Sanders didn't fare much better under Trump.
Dan Abrams asks Brian Stelter if Karinge Jean-Pierre is in "over her head." Stelter claims "clip culture" on X only shows her worst moments, not the whole thing. Then he claims Sarah Sanders fared no better in that room!— Tim Graham (@TimJGraham) November 15, 2023
The difference in media hostility is yoooge! pic.twitter.com/lDCaTJVhFk
Abrams put on his legal-analyst hat to suggest the House January 6 Committee's work -- especially its recommendations to the Biden Justice Department -- were overhyped.Stelter claimed their "fact-finding mission" was important, like it was nonpartisan? then he added "I don't think there is such a thing as too much coverage of January 6."
Dan Abrams asked Brian Stelter if the Pelosi-Picked Panel on January 6 received media overkill, super-hype over its referrals to the Biden Justice Department. Stelter says there's No Such Thing as too much January 6 coverage! pic.twitter.com/r3WzhiiHn9— Tim Graham (@TimJGraham) November 16, 2023
Then came the one that drew the most attention. Who is the most partisan host on Fox? He said Maria Bartiromo, and Abrams said she's become a "fringe player." What about MSNBC? Stelter noted he was on Joy Reid's show, and she said Trump has an "authoritarian streak," which Stelter agreed on. But he tried to say she has a "point of view," a "perspective," not a bias. What about CNN? Abrams said CNN is the most dishonest network in denying it's biased. "Do you think there are any people on CNN who are overtly biased, whatever word you want to use that isn't offensive?"
"I really truly don't," he said, "and they fired me!" He said feel free to send him comments at his email (firstname.lastname@example.org). What about Jim Acosta? Stelter said "I think Jim is telling the truth, I really do!"
Brian Stelter is disingenuous when asked who's the most partisan host on MSNBC and CNN. He volunteered Joy Reid, but said "partisan" was the wrong word, it's a "perspective," not a bias. What's the difference? And then he denied there's an opinion host on CNN.— Tim Graham (@TimJGraham) November 16, 2023
Come. On. pic.twitter.com/lqqGXxKaJH
Then Stelter said there are different kinds of journalism, there's "down the middle, you know, vanilla Associated Press style" (This vanilla??) and then other kinds.
The weirdest question was pressing Stelter about how Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is scoring in the polls with younger voters (according to Quinnipiac), and Stelter poured cold water all over that, suggesting it's way too premature to consult polls on it.