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As #BoycottCNN Trends Brian Stelter Defends Democracy On Last Reliable Sources

It wasn’t a coincidence that #BoycottCNN was trending as Brian Stelter used the final episode of Reliable Sources to defend standing up to demagogues.


Stelter said:

I know it’s not partisan to stand up for decency and democracy and dialogue. It’s not partisan to stand up to demagogues. It’s required. It’s patriotic. We must make sure we don’t give platforms to those who are lying to our faces. But we also much make sure we are representing the full spectrum of debate and representing what is going on in this country and this world.

That’s why CNN needs to be strong. That’s why I believe CNN will be strong. You viewers at home — it’s on you. CNN must remain strong. I know the 4,500 staffers are going to do their part to make it stronger than ever. But it’s going to be on you to hold CNN accountable, and not just CNN. You got to hold your local paper accountable. You got to hold your local digital outlet accountable. It’s on us. We are all members of the media, all helping to make it better.

Stelter has been openly questioning of demagogues like Trump and how they are covered. He was targeted by conservatives regularly and the move by new CNN boss Chris Licht to meet with congressional leaders in a bid to woo them to come on the network.

CNN has zero chance of getting Republican leaders on the network after Trump smeared the network for years, but the tone softening of CNN toward Republicans has already been visible to viewers.

It likely wasn’t a coincidence that Stelter is gone as CNN wants to look more Republican-friendly. Stelter’s final hour was an open plea for CNN to stay strong and adhere to journalistic principles in the face of the Republican delegitimization of facts and journalism.

Stelter will likely end up writing about media somewhere else, but the end of Reliable Sources means that there are zero shows focused on covering how the news is covered in an objective manner. Fox’s MediaBuzz with Howard Kurtz is propaganda that is never critical of Fox, so the nation has lost its only source on television of reporting on reporters, and Brian Stelter’s final comments were both a defense of his approach and a reminder of the vitality of journalism.


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