The call for silencing news outlets has an unwanted backlash on his own network.
Brian Stelter, the media maven over at CNN, will not be overly thrilled with the news of The Washington Post and his own network correcting a major news story they had reported on two months ago. The amazing change of position regarding the long wailed-over phone call between President Trump and Georgia election officials is going to stand as one of the biggest examples of media malpractice this year. And Stelter, if he were to get his way, would actually see his job eliminated due to his own call to correct misinformation in the press.
This is not some hyperbolic response to an emerging event; Stelter has gone on the record stipulating this must be the result. One of the very disturbing trends we have been seeing lately is the growing tide of those in the journalism industry calling for the silencing of voices on various forms of media. One of the more outlandish examples of this behavior has been at CNN, where their resident cancel-Karen has been Oliver Darcy.
In recent months Darcy — who previously pushed for InfoWars to be deplatformed and cheered when President Trump was stripped of his social media — has been making the overtures to the broadcast providers that they should be taking down entire news networks. This is third-world despotic behavior but there is Darcy, oblivious to his self-immolation, calling to have broadcast outlets shut down.
Two factors drove him to hit the accelerator on this mission — the attack on the Capitol, and President Trump becoming deplatformed on social media. The former energized Oliver to what was considered a just cause, and the latter showed what was possible. After all, if the leader of the country can be silenced then any target could be made vulnerable.
Newly invigorated, Darcy has decided that the cable providers and the satellite TV companies should all remove FoxNews, Newsmax, and OANN from their channel packages. He has been actively commanding that these news outlets be taken down in a bold call for censorship. After he introduced the subject some time back, Ollie the Boy Wonder has seen his custodian Brian Stelter also taking up the cause. This is where the self-created problem develops.
The root of this effort rests in the charge of dissemination of false information. Stelter justifies his call to see these news networks blocked on the basis of his euphemism that Fox, and the others, were trafficking in what he deems to be ‘’information pollution’’. Lies, disinformation, and conspiracy theories are used as evidence of what is muddling the public discourse, and this is the reason those outlets need to be targeted and silenced.
This very dangerous position has spread to Congress, where Democrat lawmakers have undertaken this very issue. A formal letter was drafted to the cable and satellite companies addressing their responsibility for what was broadcast on their packages. Later, a House subcommittee held a hearing about ‘’Disinformation And Extremism In The Media’’, with these same targets in mind. This is chilling stuff to consider. I do not think the censoring Stelters in the media have considered things, however.
Right now, we have the Georgia election phone call story falling apart as a result of what, Brian? Lies and disinformation. WaPo based their initial reports on an anonymous source, and when CNN followed with its report on the same story they alluded to having independent sourcing of its own to allegedly corroborate the claims. Now, both outlets have had to come forward and issue major retractions on this story. Both outlets have been caught delivering disinformation, the very charge Stelter uses to justify silencing outlets.
This example is not a light oversight in journalism. It was a major news story, picked up and expanded upon by many major news outlets. It accused the President of serious legal entanglements, and these reports were not just hyped traffic-producing reports — they were used as part of the failed impeachment effort. Once CNN and others took on the story it was considered to be corroborated, and thus entered into evidence for the trial. The impeachment relied upon false information; that is a serious example of Brian’s ‘’information pollution’’.
This also is hardly considered to be an isolated incident. CNN recently was caught fabricating the story of President Trump not leaving a vaccine distribution plan for Joe Biden. WaPo meanwhile lied in fact-checking Biden on his fracking position, it defended Neera Tanden as telling the truth when she was exposed backing fake news stories in her recent past, and it posted a false story that a radio network was silencing conservative hosts who did not work for the network.
And when the Hunter Biden laptop scandal was brewing last Fall, both WaPo and CNN justified not covering the story by claiming it sounded like Russian disinformation. No news outlet ever provided one piece of evidence to back up this claim. As for conspiracy theories, as much as they demonize them, the mainstream press loves floating their own crackpot theories. This makes CNN among the worst of the so-called polluters that Stelter wants to clean up.
So here we have CNN’s primary media watchdog wanting to take down news networks for engaging in exactly the same type of actions as his own home base of operations. If disinformation, false stories, and conspiracies are all cause for a network to be removed from the airwaves then CNN should go dark any day now, according to Brian Stelter’s own standard.