If there is a more odious “media critic” that CNN’s Brian “Mister Potato Head” Stelter, I’d really like to know who it is. Rather than acting as something of an ombudsman and an observer of what is happening in the media world, Stelter has joined the band of #Resistance groupies who pass propaganda for CNN. For instance, when he was interviewing David Hogg, he admits he knew Hogg was wrong (or just making stuff up) several times but he decided to not interrupt the conversation and correct it.
Now Stelter is on a tear against Sinclair Broadcasting. Apparently, it is completely legitimate for CNN to have an editorial policy (like running with anything Adam Schiff says and generally lying) but Sinclair’s policy against using unsourced news is really, really bad. To that end, Stelter has been flogging the story of some rando Sinclair producer who quit in protest.
Justin Simmons gave notice at KHGI TV on March 26. This was after Sinclair’s corporate headquarters mandated that local anchors read the controversial promos warning of “fake” and biased news, but before the promos went viral and became a national topic of discussion.
Simmons told CNNMoney that he had been concerned about Sinclair’s corporate mandates for the past year and a half, and that the promos were just the final straw.
“This is almost forcing local news anchors to lie to their viewers,” he said.
He said his feelings are shared by others at his station, but didn’t want to say anything that would imperil his colleagues.
“Making the local anchors do this was a big concern for me,” he said. “I didn’t go into news to give people biased information.”
“Resigning seemed like the least I could do,” he added. “I wish there was more.”
At some of Sinclair’s stations, some local anchors resisted recording the promos, while others went along with the initiative. The backlash has been fierce on social media ever since Deadspin published a compilation of the promos last weekend.
The problem? Justin Simmons isn’t all that random.
This shows a couple of things. Simmons is a pretty typical journalist, i.e. a progressive activist. And Sinclair doesn’t monitor the social media of their employees even when they are identifying themselves as employees.
Did Stetler tell his audience, at any point, that the guy he was interviewing was a prototypical anti-Trump stooge? Of course not. Stetler portrays the guy as a professional journalist who is just so offended by the idea that he can be told what to do by the guy who signs his paycheck that he just couldn’t stomach the humiliation.
In short, this is exactly the kind of crap that Stelter produces. It is disingenuous, at best, and patently dishonest by any fair interpretation. What he’s trying to do here is create the illusion that there is a groundswell of a mutiny about to happen at Sinclair. Not only is this doubtful, but it is difficult to see how such a thing would even work given today’s media marketplace and the glut of unemployed and under-employed television journalists.