So it is just fine when HE is digging into the sex lives of others…huh.
CNN’s Brian Stelter has a book coming out, much like his co-worker Jim Acosta. And much like Acosta, his release is a combination of focus on himself as well as a favorite right-wing demon. For Acosta that was Donald Trump, and for CNN’s media analyst that devilish entity is Fox News. One other aspect Stelter seems to share with his co-worker; he looks to be invalidating his own work.
Acosta’s widely ignored release, ‘’Enemy Of The People’’ (based on a quote from Trump) was concerning the press fighting for truth and the dangers faced by journalists in the Trump era. For a person proven repeatedly to be manufacturing news, like Acosta, to claim to be fighting for truth is itself laughable, but his release had a built-in failure. It is impossible to sell the concept of media under attack and journalists being silenced in a book from a major publishing house that was promoted heavily with blanket appearances across numerous media outlets.
Stelter also looks intent on discrediting himself ahead of his book release. In a tweet thread, Brian was addressing a ‘’story’’ he was tracking down concerning Sean Hannity and a supposed affair he may or may not be having.
A TV host’s personal life is not automatically newsworthy. But a relationship between two of Fox’s biggest stars? That’s newsworthy. Whispers about Hannity and Ainsley Earhardt have been widespread inside Fox for years, but never reported publicly.
That Stelter would be expressing an interest in the machinations at FoxNews is hardly surprising. The self-anointed media analyst has shown over the years to excuse and ignore many significant events concerning the press while concerning himself with quibbling over minor grievances found at his rival. He has said very little about the media complex spending the better part of three years on the Russian collusion non-story, but he had been tabulating every time there are typos found on FoxNews chyrons. Brian also diligently tabulates the typos of the President — what he laughably called ”misspelling errors’’ on his own graphic.
This is the kind of intrepid work @BrianStelter occupies himself with, the man who described these digital malaprops as "Misspelling Errors". Cannot make this up…
Keep up the banal work, Tater! https://t.co/CHe3k3vakR pic.twitter.com/W71SEoWpgi
— Brad Slager: aka Wuhan Solo (@MartiniShark) December 16, 2019
What makes Stelter’s attention on the Hannity affair story revealing is that he is acknowledging the story is a rumor, while he is doggedly tracking it down. This departs greatly from another story of an affair that was deposited onto his lap last year. When RedState’s own Jennifer Van Laar broke the story about Katie Hill last fall, the media reaction was not one of curiosity, but of disdain. Our site, and Jennifer, became accused of engaging in ‘’revenge porn’’ in order to bring down a politician.
For this charge to be made, the press had to ignore verified details such as Hill having an affair with a subordinate staffer, and engaging in the very practice of superior leverage that the #MeToo movement was seeking to eliminate. This was also a clear House ethics violation, one for which she was reprimanded and that Nancy Pelosi cited when she instructed Hill to step down. These were all valid and provable details, but Stelter did not pursue her story with the same enthusiasm he is applying to the Hannity affair rumors. Instead, when he had the disgraced Congress member on his Reliable Sources program, Brian was in full excusal mode
Brian opened his November 24 episode with Hill in this fashion: ”So, what happens after you resign from your congressional seat amid a revenge porn scandal? Well, former California Congresswoman Katie Hill is remaining very visible and she’s speaking out against what she calls right-wing media smears.’’
The disconnect made by Stelter here is amazing to behold. He perpetuated Hill’s version of events as ‘’a smear’’, despite there being both numerous pieces of proof and her admission to the affair. Van Laar had a solid story, supported by facts and evidence. But Stelter does not applaud the journalistic work, he demeans it as ‘’revenge porn’’ because of where his party sympathies rest. And the story of his avoidance only got better.
As the Hill story was swirling, Playboy’s Washington D.C. correspondent Alex Thomas came out with dispatches and a story that was both in defense of Katie Hill and accusing various GOP operatives as being behind the release of her details. It was later revealed that Thomas was involved in an affair with Hill all during the upheaval. These would be the kind of media specifics CNN’s media analyst would be expected to be concerning himself with on his show — but Stelter has never addressed this aspect. Instead, he bypassed all of the provable specifics in order to turn his forum over to a politician for spin control purposes.
Months later, there is a book to sell. The barest of whispers is enough to justify the effort to chase a story. Now, today, Stelter is perfectly content to doggedly chase down rumors like an enraged corgi — not about a political leader but a broadcast personality. As Brian himself declares, ‘’That’s newsworthy.’’