For years former outgoing CNN host Brian Stelter relentlessly attacked former President Donald Trump, going so far at one point to frame him as a “destructive cult leader.”
But on Friday, a day after news of Stelter’s termination from CNN broke, Trump got the last laugh.
In a post published to his social media network, Truth Social, the former president ruthlessly mocked Stelter’s firing.
“Brian Stelter of Fake News CNN got fired because he lied, and lied, and lied – ABOUT ME. May he REST IN PEACE!” he wrote.
But he wasn’t finished.
In a tweet posted about five minutes later, the former president doubled down by blasting Stelter again but also throwing outgoing Rep. Liz Cheney into the mix as well.
“Trivia question: Who’s got less charisma, Brian Stelter or Liz Cheney. I say Liz Cheney, because Stelter could have gotten more votes than she did the other night in Wyoming – She lost by 40!” he wrote.
The irony to all this is that Stelter had earned his bread and butter at CNN in part by accusing Trump of being a liar.
“President Trump is the leader of the United States. He is also a liar. This has been well-documented. Lying [was] a big part of his business strategy. He called it ‘truthful hyperbole.’ Well now, as commander in chief, he misleads the public constantly,” he said during a segment back in 2018.
As an example, Stelter pointed to Trump’s criticism of Chicago.
“Take Friday’s tweet, claiming that murders in Chicago were happening at a ‘record pace.’ Thankfully, they’re not. Thankfully, homicides are down 22%. The number is still very high, but the number’s on the way down. So either Trump has the wrong information, which makes this a falsehood, or he’s lying,” he said.
“President Trump is the leader of the United States. He is also a liar. This has been well-documented. Lying was a big part of his business strategy … Now, as commander in chief, he misleads the public constantly”: @brianstelter discusses the media calling a lie a lie pic.twitter.com/KEgbPLywx8
— Reliable Sources (@ReliableSources) May 27, 2018
Was the former president really lying, though? Or was he just making the valid point that crime in Chicago was out of control? Indeed, guess what happened three short years later after Stelter’s criticism of the former president.
“The year of 2021 ended as one of the most violent on record in Chicago, as a rise in the number of shootings left more people dead than in any single year in a quarter century, according to statistics released by the police department on Saturday,” according to the Associated Press.
“According to the department, 2021 ended with 797 homicides. That is 25 more than were recorded 2020, 299 more than in 2019 and the most since 1996. And there were 3,561 shooting incidents in 2021, which is just over 300 more than were recorded in 2020 and a staggering 1,415 more shooting incidents than were recorded in the city in 2019.”
The point is Trump had a habit of speaking figuratively instead of literally. And the media likewise had a habit of twisting his remarks using dubious “fact-checks” that missed the greater point of his words.
But what if the same standard was applied to the media’s so-called “journalists?”
For instance, during an appearance at the 2018 Aspen Ideas Festival, Stelter figuratively accused Trump of “poisoning the American people.”
“President Trump is poisoning the American people, a subset of the American people that have been infected by the poison. It is getting worse every day, and we’re going to reckon with the consequences for decades,” he said.
Viewed literally, that obviously wasn’t the truth, was it?
Returning to the present, what remains unclear is why Stelter has been ousted from CNN. The assumption among his critics is it’s because of his partisanship.
His job was supposed to have been that of a media critic who held the media accountable. But instead he more often than not served as the media’s janitor, jumping through hoops to clean up the press’ many mistakes and errors.
For instance, when it emerged in late 2019 that ABC News had turned down a bombshell story about deceased pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, Stelter rushed to ABC News’ defense:
Annnd here’s Stelter defending ABC. The media janitor again suggested WE the people are the problem -> “Tuesday’s video clip caused widespread outrage, particularly on the right, with many commenters [sic] using it to stoke hatred of the media writ large.” https://t.co/3jQKVwubJi pic.twitter.com/LgGreL7Ucw
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) November 6, 2019
Instead of holding the media accountable, Stelter spent the bulk of his time defending the Democrat Party, attacking the Republican Party, and, more importantly, attacking any media outlet that dared to defy the wishes of the establishment left.
Suffice it to say, he didn’t act like a real media critic, let alone a journalist. That’s why Trump chose to mock his firing — not because Trump’s a mean guy. In fact, the evidence suggests the exact opposite.
The New York Times reported on Saturday that during President Joe Biden’s first day in office, he found an extremely “gracious” letter from Trump.
“It was two large pages, with Mr. Trump’s distinctive handwriting visible to an aide watching Mr. Biden read it. The new president remarked that Mr. Trump had been more gracious in the letter than he had anticipated,” according to the Times.
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