Brian Stelter attends the 11th annual CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute at the American Museum of Natural History on Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Naturally, there were a lot of varied reactions to President Trump’s speech to the nation on the Wuhan virus issue Wednesday night.
But among the most illuminating – and not in a good way – was that of CNN’s self-styled media firefighter Brian Stelter.
Keep in mind that when it comes to reporting on the Wuhan virus, for weeks CNN has been a non-stop “bash Trump” machine. It literally has not mattered to CNN what the Trump administration has said and done to date. Their default response on social media, on their website, and on-air has been, in a nutshell, “Orange Man Bad. Panic panic!”
This was evidenced by the contentious exchange between CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta and Trump yesterday during a press briefing that focused on the Wuhan virus and the administration’s response.
Fast forward a few hours later to Trump’s speech. In the immediate aftermath of his address to the nation last night, Brian Stelter’s first reaction was not to focus on the substance of what Trump said. It was to note … what it meant for Trump’s so-called “Fox wingmen” including Sean Hannity:
Trump's Oval Office address was exactly what his Fox wingmen needed – now Sean Hannity et al can celebrate the new travel ban – while evading the real scourge of community spread within the US
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) March 12, 2020
And right on cue just a few minutes later, Stelter’s own wingman Oliver Darcy swooped in for the assist to let us know Hannity’s reaction to Trump’s speech:
Sean Hannity is *STILL* citing seasonal flu numbers on his show in an apparent effort to suggest it is perhaps a greater cause for concern than the coronavirus. pic.twitter.com/u332Zhr3kr
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) March 12, 2020
Stelter made sure to retweet it.
My mouth dropped open when I read Stelter’s tweet. Here’s how I responded:
Prez gives major address to the nation on coronavirus and this clown focuses on Hannity and Fox. https://t.co/lulzhjTkBx
— Sister Toldjah 😁 (@sistertoldjah) March 12, 2020
Others were quick to react to Stelter’s strange priorities, too:
We did it. We found maybe the most hacktastic tweet in the history of Twitter. "Trump isn't doing enough." straight to seriously saying "He got his travel ban." pic.twitter.com/UFcH8eRS9t
— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) March 12, 2020
For your sake, and for the country's sake, it would be amazing if you could take even a few short days off of this schtick.
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) March 12, 2020
I say this with all due respect (none), you’re a colossal hack, a transparent political activist disguised as a news guy and you’re divorced from reality. Folks like you won’t ever be in touch with the average American. If you have any integrity, you’ll delete this tweet.
— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) March 12, 2020
No one can hear you now because the airports are empty.
— Emerald Robinson ✝️ (@EmeraldRobinson) March 12, 2020
You are obsessed with @Fox. Let it go. You deny the homeless in Dem states, cities, a real issue, while transfixed on a news show. Get serious for once!
— Terry (@IrishTea1) March 12, 2020
Unfortunately, Stelter and Darcy weren’t the only CNN personalities whose priorities were skewed last night after Trump’s speech. Anchor Don Lemon went ballistic when former Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) refused to criticize Trump’s remarks. And while talking with anchor Chris Cuomo, Acosta alleged, without evidence, that Trump’s speech was “going to come across to a lot of Americans as smacking of xenophobia.”
The absurd hot takes that came from CNN “journalists” last night might as well have been written by the DNC. Then again, the network has existed for decades as little more than a propaganda arm for Democrats, so their reactions to Trump should really not be a surprise to anyone. They’re still worth documenting for the record, though.