Fired CNN chief media correspondent Brian Stelter was as insufferable as ever during his final appearance on Sunday, defending his record and patting himself on the back for his role as a media hall monitor, puffing himself up as having been a patriotic figure despite his dismal ratings and far-left political bias.
At the end of this week’s edition of “Reliable Sources,” Stelter kicked off with a self-righteous opening monologue in which he proclaimed that his show was “small but mighty.” And after he and his guests including Watergate has-been Carl Bernstein sang his praises, the time came to bid farewell and, after thank yous to those whom he credited for his CNN career including disgraced ex-president Jeff Zucker, the outgoing pundit got up upon his soapbox.
Stelter took a swipe at Zucker’s replacement, new CNN boss Chris Licht, thanking him for “letting us say goodbye,” then he laid it on thick for viewers.
“Some of you know I’ve been a media junkie for a long time, I was the kid who spent his days building a school website and producing the school TV show, and deep down inside, I think I’m still that kid,” he said. “I never thought I’d actually be on TV, I might have dreamed about it, I never thought it would happen.”
“I just liked writing about TV, I know this is going to sound like B.S. but I actually thought I didn’t have enough hair to be on TV,” he continued. “I am just that kid who loves television and loves the internet,” going into a spiel about how television and the internet are incredibly powerful forces in society that must be used to “interrogate and face it head on and figure out how to make these tools work for us, not against us, that’s what it’s all about right?”
He then defended his show, defended the media in general as not being the enemy of the people, and proclaimed that in an era when people have “supercomputers” in their pockets, “we are all members of the media now.”
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) August 21, 2022
“So this show is going away, but there will be so many more. We need to have room for media criticism and debate and discussion, and we will. So much of the media ecosystem in 2022 is garbage, but so much of it is spectacular. The hard part is sorting out the treasure from the trash,” the closest thing to an admission that “Reliable Sources” was far too often that very trash during his tenure.
“Here’s what I do know. I know it’s not partisan to stand up for decency, and democracy and dialogue. It’s not partisan to stand up to demagogues, it is patriotic,” Stelter said as he wrapped himself in the flag. “We must not give platforms to those who are lying to our faces,” he continued without a hint of irony.
“But we also must make sure that we are representing the full spectrum of debate and representing what’s going on in this country and in this world,” he added. “That’s why CNN needs to be strong.”
Even as Stelter delivered his sanctimonious lecture and said his goodbyes, rumors swirled that his head won’t be the last one to roll at the self-proclaimed “most trusted name in news,” and that other big names could also be on the chopping block.
According to Jon Nicosia, who as the former managing editor at Mediaite has his finger on the pulse of the media and news industry, several big names could soon be following Stelter and Zoom masturbator Jeffrey Toobin through the exit door.
Source: Once the coming shakeup at @CNN is done, don't expect John Berman, Alisyn Camerota, Jim Acosta, Brianna Keilar, Jake Tapper, John King, and Don Lemon to still be at the network OR have their current show assignments."
— Jon Nicosia (@NewsPolitics) August 19, 2022
“Source: Once the coming shakeup at @CNN is done, don’t expect John Berman, Alisyn Camerota, Jim Acosta, Brianna Keilar, Jake Tapper, John King, and Don Lemon to still be at the network OR have their current show assignments,” he tweeted on Friday.
It remains to be seen whether the CNN brand will be able to recover from the Trump years, but to many, dumping Stelter is a step in the right direction.
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