CNN's Brian Stelter Spins Network's Attempt at Censoring Fox News, but Here Is What It's Really About

Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

As we’ve previously reported, CNN’s chief media hall monitor Brian Stelter and his equally obnoxious sidekick Oliver Darcy are on a two-man mission to have Fox News punished based on allegations that the network is full of “bad-faith actors who lie, mislead, and promote conspiracy theories.”


The form of punishment they see fit for Public Enemy Number One is to have Big Tech companies and TV providers like AT&T stop providing the network a platform from which to both operate and promote their reporting.

“I asked all of these companies for comment on Thursday. I asked them if they have any guidelines governing the content that they carry on their platforms. I asked them if they have any regret over carrying right-wing channels that were in many ways partly responsible for what took place in our nation’s capital this week,” Darcy wrote last month.

Stelter and Darcy both at times have whined about what they call Fox News’ “portion control problem” whereby Fox News spends considerable amounts of time on stories CNN doesn’t like – like the Hunter Biden investigation story and pretty much any story that portrays Democrats and/or their media pals like CNN in an unflattering light.

Because Tucker Carlson has ripped CNN and their allies a new one over the last few weeks for their attempts at canceling the network, Stelter went on a rant on his Sunday “Reliable Sources” program alongside Darcy and liberal New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof about how what he was proposing was not censorship at all. Instead, Stelter proclaimed what he was suggesting should be viewed as more of a “harm reduction model“, likening it to people wanting “clean air and blue skies”:


And Tucker Carlson is telling viewers that this network, CNN, is trying to force Fox News off the air, which is patently false.

It is predictable as the sunrise. Democrats win elections and Republicans say they are being silenced. But while some cry cancel culture, let me suggest a different way to think about this, a harm reduction model.

Most people want clean air and blue skies and accurate news and rational news. In that healthy environment that looks beautiful, then we can have fights about taxes and regulation and health care and all the rest. The vast majority of people can agree that disinformation about, let’s say, the pandemic is unhealthy. It’s harmful.

So, how can that harm be reduced? Well, big tech platforms say they are removing lies about vaccines and stamping out “stop the steal” BS and QAnon content. Now, do these private companies have too much power? Sure, and many people would say, yes, of course, they do.

But reducing a liar’s reach is not the same as censoring freedom of speech. Freedom of speech is different than freedom of reach, and algorithmic reach is part of the problem.



It doesn’t matter how many word games Stelter and those who agree with him (like Darcy, Kristof, Max Boot, and others) play on this subject, the real goals are not in “protecting the public” from supposedly harmful information, as Stelter bizarrely suggested last year. The real goal for other media outlets in suggesting Fox News be taken off the air is twofold:

1) Information Control: Stelter sees the media’s role as one of controlling the message and left-wing narratives. What better way to do that than by pushing out the one network that – in spite of its faults – does more than any of the rest to air both sides of an argument? Stelter sure as hell doesn’t.

2) Bye Bye, Competition: It’d be an easy way to get rid of their chief competitor, and at a time when Fox News’ ratings are rising again.

If Stelter truly was concerned about the flow of misinformation, he’d quit his own network in protest, because their list of “bombshell” stories that weren’t is a long one. But this isn’t about misinformation and lies. This is about controlling what the people hear and see and about eliminating a competitor. In other words, Brian Stelter’s self-serving motivations fall right in line with those of the other cast of characters at Planet Zuckerville. Do not be fooled.


Related/Flashback: Adam Housley Schooled Brian Stelter on What Journalism Is and Isn’t During Rudy Presser, and It Was Glorious


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