Earlier this week, Newsmax conducted a live interview with “My Pillow” founder and CEO Mike Lindell that went off the rails rather quickly.
As my RedState colleague Bonchie reported, Lindell – a prominent Trump supporter – started talking about allegations of election fraud. And that’s when the hosts tried to steer the conversation in a different direction:
Lindell starts talking about voting machines and election fraud during a segment he was likely warned not to. Newsmax, who is being targeted by Dominion for defamation, and the hosts of the show weren’t very happy about the detour. That’s certainly understandable. Libel laws are libel laws, and given the litigious nature of the current political scene, Newsmax has to make moves to protect itself.
Sellers, one of the hosts, tried to get the conversation back on track. That didn’t go well, resulting in Sellers getting up and leaving.
Because supposedly “respectable” media analysts at mainstream media news outlets like to dogpile on Newsmax every chance they get, CNN’s Brian Stelter didn’t hesitate to give his .02 on the matter.
Stelter provided his “expert opinion” in response to a clip that was tweeted out from the left-wing website Media Matters of a Newsmax segment where anchor Bob Sellers talked about what the discussion with Lindell was supposed to be about and what he would have done differently during the interview:
— HeadlinerClip Caption (@HeadlinerClip) February 4, 2021
Sellers’ remarks seemed both forthright and sincere, a refreshing change from the usual “digging in of the heels” we see at “news” outlets like CNN, especially in situations where their anchors behave very badly.
But Stelter’s hot take was to scold Newsmax and lecture them on how to both book and conduct interviews with public figures who Stelter believes have discredited themselves:
Newsmax's producers could have handled the interview differently by cutting it off, or not booking it in the first place. Instead… https://t.co/yz7EmDYMq7
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) February 3, 2021
It goes without saying that Brian Stelter is the last person – and I do mean the very last person – who should be chiming in with lessons on how to be a better journalist. I let him know it, as did several others:
You could have done the same thing with serial fraudster Michael Avenatti, Brian, and yet you and your network propped him up as a possible 2020 presidential contender. He has a criminal record now. Go figure… #FactsFirst 🍎 https://t.co/Beg1gkjv7D
— Sister Toldjah, VP of BS Detection 😁 (@sistertoldjah) February 3, 2021
— Homer (@Spoken_Easy) February 3, 2021
— David Henry (I have zero interest in Parler) (@imau2fan) February 3, 2021
I’m not sure how many times Stelter has had Rather on his program, but once is too much. One thing we do know, though, is that for a three month period back in 2018, Stelter and CNN had Avenatti on 65 times according to analyses done by Free Beacon and Newsbusters at the time:
The Washington Free Beacon analyzed 108 appearances by Avenatti on MSNBC and CNN over a 64-day period from March 7 to May 10. To calculate his earned media time, the Free Beacon multiplied the length of his appearances on a program by its “National Publicity Value” determination from media monitoring site TVEyes.com.
The total came out to $174,631,598.07 from at least 65 CNN appearances and 43 MSNBC appearances. Avenatti’s favorite shows include CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” (at least 20 interviews), MSNBC’s “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” (14), CNN’s “New Day” (12), CNN’s “Tonight with Don Lemon” (eight), and MSNBC’s “Deadline White House” (seven).
As previously reported by conservative media watchdog NewsBusters, Avenatti has appeared on CNN an average of more than once per day during the period under analysis.
Does Newsmax need to do some fine-tuning here and there in how they file reports and conduct interviews? Sure they do. Every network does, to be quite honest. But any CNN figure – Brian Stelter especially – who thinks they have any standing to try and lecture their competition about how to do their jobs the right way might want to sit the next round out. And every round after that, too.
CNN lost their journalistic credibility (what little they had) a long, long time ago, and continues to demonstrate on a daily basis that they still don’t know much about how actual journalism works.