Rarely does one guest on the Sunday morning program “Reliable Sources” hosted by Brian Stelter generate as much viral interest as a guest on a recent segment with former New York Times editor and current Substack newsletter sensation Bari Weiss.
In the viral clip, Stelter asks Weiss about a recent column where she wrote that hundreds of millions of Americans who are neither far left nor far right think the world has ‘gone mad’. He challenges to explain how.
Her response is breathtaking in its honesty and courage to challenge woke societal guardrails.
She cites several examples:
- That the top New York Times reporter on COVID called pursuit of the Chinese lab leak as ‘racist’
- That Americans are not able to say out loud and in public that there are differences between men and women
- That Americans cannot acknowledge that rioting is bad
- That woke Americans claim that ‘silence is violence’, when indeed violence is violence
- That the details about Hunter Biden’s laptop is a story worth pursuing
- That young children are being separated because of their race in schools
Stelter then challenges Weiss to identify “the people who are stopping the conversation”, a common tactic when a cable news guest cites specific examples that go against the established narrative. This often puts courageous guest in the difficult position of calling people out, rather than behavior.
Weiss doesn’t flinch.
She says “people that work at networks like CNN”.
The record on CNN silencing and ignoring many of these stories over years is well documented.
Last year Stelter criticized since verified reporting, and argued to his audience that the story likely was Russian misinformation, a conspiracy theory, and didn’t pass the smell test.
He said: "There's a lot about the story that does not add up."
“Authorities are seeing if those emails are connected to an ongoing Russian disinformation effort."
"I mean, for all we know, these emails are made up or maybe some are real, and others are fakes."
Not only did Stelter himself argue against covering legitimate reports, his show DIRECTLY silenced a voice for believing Biden’s emails should be covered.
After Piers Morgan criticized CNN for not covering the emails story, Stelter’s own show canceled an already scheduled appearance with Morgan.
On the ‘lab leak’ story, CNN reported in July that COVID ‘almost certainly’ originated from an animal, not from a laboratory:
"The coronavirus pandemic almost certainly originated from an animal, probably at a wildlife market in China, and not from a laboratory leak, a group of virus experts said Wednesday.
"Theories about a lab leak are almost all based on coincidence, not hard evidence, the group of 20 top experts from the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere said.
"They had been following discussions -- going all the way to the White House -- about the possibility of a laboratory origin of the virus, and worked together to analyze the evidence."
Stelter’s weekly show advances legacy media narratives and regularly attacks Republicans, conservatives and Fox News.
Weiss somehow slipped through the cracks and she used the opportunity to express views that never make it to air on CNN.
In March, Stelter acknowledged cancel culture exists and that it is bad.
At the time, he expressed this view related to an editor of Teen Vogue being fired over old tweets.
Will Stelter take a stand today on issues of far greater importance?
Stelter knows who is silencing voices. He’s been a major part of the problem in recent years.
He could use his platform to offer differing views, but he chooses not to do so.
Matt Mackowiak is president of Austin, Texas, and Washington, D.C.-based Potomac Strategy Group. He’s a Republican consultant, a Bush administration and Bush-Cheney reelection campaign veteran and former press secretary to two U.S. senators.