Analysis: CNN's Brian Stelter Strangely Quiet on NYT Stealth Edits, Which Tells Us Much About Brian Stelter

Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

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)

On any given day of the week you’ll find CNN chief media correspondent Brian Stelter firing off numerous tweets about Fox News, and how some of their hosts seem to have the ear of President Trump and vice versa. It’s an example of journalistic malpractice, he says often in so many words, a violation of the media’s responsibility to report objectively on the news and without undue influence from the powerful public figures on whom they report.

But over the last several days, Stelter has confirmed, quite by accident but it is a confirmation nevertheless, that when the shoe is on the other foot that he will look the other way.

There is simply no other conclusion to be drawn from his strange silence on the story about how the New York Times stealth-edited a report on Joe Biden accuser Tara Reade to make it look more favorable to the 2020 Democratic candidate, admittedly because the Biden campaign complained about the original story.

The stealth-edit story was blockbuster enough, but their executive editor Dean Banquet confirming on the record that they softened the story due to the political considerations of the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee was perhaps an even bigger deal.

But Stelter’s only comment that I could find was a little blurb in his Monday night newsletter noting that Baquet had addressed the issue. Here’s the extent of what Stelter wrote:

— Ben Smith asked NYT exec editor Dean Baquet “about why the Times waited to publish Tara Reade’s allegations about Joe Biden, and why it published.” Revealing answers here… (NYT)

That’s it. 48 hours after the story broke to begin with, and that is literally all he’s had to say about it. I’ve not seen one word about the story on his Twitter feed, outside of a brief mention that it was included in his newsletter.

He has not offered even the bare minimum commentary on the controversy, which is arguably the biggest story of deliberate media malfeasance so far this year. On the other hand, any time President Trump calls into Fox News, Stelter is on standby to cover, analyze, and denounce in real time.

Why is there such a difference in how he treats the New York Times story of them actually changing a supposedly objective news article to make a presidential candidate happy versus a news network whose opinion hosts Trump probably keeps on speed dial?

The answer is clear: Brian Stelter roots for a political side – the left side, and everything he writes and says is framed from that perspective. This isn’t anything we didn’t already know, of course. He’s just been a little more obvious about it recently.

Keep in mind that the Times’ admission here is one of their few public admissions to date on doing things like this. I think there’s ample evidence to show they’ve done this before, even when they haven’t admitted it. It’s an ongoing thing.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) called out Stelter perfectly on Monday for blatantly picking a side, not related to the NYT story, but in how Stelter chose to criticize Cruz for sharing an erroneous photo on his Twitter feed instead of the news outlet that it came from (an ABC affiliate out of Detroit) to begin with.

I’m going to share his tweets on this again because it, like Stelter’s willful ignorance of the NYT story, just proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that he picks favorites – which is not what supposedly objective journalists are supposed to do:


Any questions?

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