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)
Under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s “leadership”, New York City committed a number of serious blunders when it came to their early handling of the Wuhan coronavirus crisis. But according to CNN media firefighter Brian Stelter, the primary focus for the media should be on the Trump administration’s alleged failures because Orange Man Bad.
In a newsletter published late Saturday night, Stelter took serious issue with Fox News’ coverage of what NYC officials including de Blasio were saying in the days and weeks leading up to the massive outbreak of the virus in city:
Fox's shows are bashing NYC's Health Commissioner for saying, in early February, that the city was safe. (The first Covid-19 case was reported in NYC on March 1.) They're blasting local officials without acknowledging Trump's much more egregious failures… pic.twitter.com/JUNUs78buc
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) March 29, 2020
Note that in the newsletter Stelter makes sure to state that “As a New Yorker, I have my fair share of Q’s about the local and state response effort.”
The problem with that is that Stelter and his network did not raise a stink about the “local and state response effort” … until after Stelter published his newsletter complaining about Fox’s coverage.
CNN’s Jake Tapper interviewed Mayor de Blasio on Sunday morning about statements he and other local officials made in the run-up to the outbreak of the virus:
The mayor on CNN’s “State of the Union” was confronted with a series of clips of him calmly insisting Big Apple residents should carry on with their regular lives, with the last just two weeks ago on March 13.
Interviewer Jake Tapper asked bluntly, “In retrospect, is that message at least in part to blame for how rapidly the virus has spread across the city?”
“Jake, we should not be focusing, in my view, on anything looking back,” Hizzoner insisted, saying he was “just working with the information” at the moment and trying to avoid panic.
“This is just about how we save lives going forward,” he said. “This was a very different world just a short time ago.”
After Tapper continued to press him on the matter, de Blasio stated the time for recriminations would come later, that we needed to focus on winning this war now.
For weeks, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio urged New Yorkers to "go about their lives." About his past comments, de Blasio now says "we should not be focusing, in my view, on anything looking back on any level of government right now" #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/7fZZOHoPBS
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) March 29, 2020
And now that CNN has devoted a whole 5 minutes to criticizing NYC’s response, they’ll go back to ignoring it and focusing on bashing the Trump administration for allegedly not doing enough.
As a side note, Fox News host Harris Faulkner tried to shut down counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway after she began to criticize de Blasio during a recent segment.
Tucker Carlson, who Stelter specifically called out in his newsletter criticizing Fox’s focus on NYC’s issues, was critical early on of the Trump administration’s initial handling of the Wuhan coronavirus crisis.
These didn’t fit with Stelter’s narratives, however, so of course they weren’t included in his newsletter.