#Journalism: Brian Stelter Flip Flops on Comparing "Handmaid's Tale" to State and Federal Policies, Looks Ridiculous

Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter. Screen grab via CNN.
Brian Stelter
Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter. Screen grab via CNN.

Just when you thought you’d seen it all, “Reliable Sources” host Brian Stelter went all in Sunday on the abortion debate. The CNN media firefighter essentially equated “The Handmaid’s Tale” – of which he is fan – to the fetal heartbeat bills that have been signed into law in several states like Alabama and Georgia.


Kristine Marsh at Newsbusters sets the scene:

On Sunday’s Reliable Sources, CNN host Brian Stelter welcomed Hollywood liberals from the fictional Hulu show, The Handmaid’s Tale on to fearmonger about how America was turning into their dystopian show. His guests were executive producer Warren Littlefield, and Ann Dowd, who plays a prominent character in the streaming television series.

Stelter offered high praise before letting them speak. “Now of all the TV shows, of all the movies that explore issues involving women’s rights, The Handmaid’s Tale is number one,” he gushed adding he was a fan. Turning to Dowd, he immediately drew a comparison to the abortion bans in some states, which Dowd bashed as classist and sexist.

Here’s a partial transcript:

When Stelter asked how close or how far the United States is from Gilead, Dowd and Littlefield said they believed the country is growing closer to that reality.

“We’re a heck of a lot closer than we were in season one, which is terrible,” Dowd said. The cast and crew filmed the first season during the 2016 US presidential election. “It was scary in season one, and it got more and more serious as we were shooting the pilot that ‘this is happening.'”

As an example, Dowd pointed to a series of laws restricting abortion that state legislatures have passed in recent weeks. “When I saw what was going on in Georgia, I thought, ‘This can’t be real,'” she said. “It stunned me.”

Littlefield said “The Handmaid’s Tale” isn’t scheduled to film in any of the states that passed the abortion laws. If it were, he said “I would not go near there.”


Dowd also insinuated, as so many fanatical, hysterical abortion supporters do, that pro-lifers only cared about babies up until birth, not once they are born. As I wrote this morning, that is simply not true.

Watch video of the bizarre Handmaid’s Tale segment below:

It’s so odd that Stelter would seek out comment from Dowd on this issue, considering he said this last year (h/t Doug Powers):

Also, I reached out to Stelter to ask him why he doesn’t have guests on to counter the claims made by the pro-choice community:


At the time this article was published, Stelter had not responded.

—Based in North Carolina, Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 15+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter.–


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