RNC Official Schools CNN’s Brian Stelter on Liberal Media Bias

Liberal media bias has become painfully obvious during the 2016 election cycle. Between the severely lopsided coverage of political scandals and WikiLeaks exposing just how cozy the media is to the Clinton campaign, it’s nearly impossible to deny its existence. But that didn’t stop CNN’s Brian Stelter from trying on Reliable Sources Sunday. “But how is this anything more than the team that thinks it's losing and trying to work the refs,” he started off his show by asking, but Stelter may have bitten off more than he could chew with an RNC official who gave him an ear full.

The CNN host directed his dismissive questions towards Sean Spicer the Commutations Director and Chief Strategist for the Republican National Committee. Spicer took exception to Stelter’s assertions that pointing out liberal media bias was simply a losing party complaining about the race. “No, I think there is a difference between complaining and explaining,” he stated, “I think for viewers at home, it's what goes on and what has been going on in the media is frankly a disservice and in many cases just frankly appalling.” But Stelter claimed he just couldn’t see it, even though he himself is guilty of it.

Spicer directed Stelter to the public twitter accounts of many of the journalists out there and noted how WikiLeaks exposed journalists turning over their stories to the Clinton campaign for approval. “And some of these reporters were they are cheering on Hillary Clinton or they’re providing them copies of their story to edit or to review,” he explained, “It is unbelievable. And then the idea that folks in the media go, “You're just playing the refs.” That's not playing the refs. That's calling out fouls. That's calling strikes and balls.

The RNC official even noted that the media’s idea of a balanced panel was having both Democrats and Republicans that hated Trump. Stelter’s only defense was to claim there was more party unity on the Democratic side, with few who oppose Clinton.

Stelter also tried to down play the e-mails clearly showing collusion between journalists and the Clinton campaign, claiming that he send “friendly e-mails” Spicer. But Spicer shot him down quick, “You’ve sent me some friendly e-mails like “happy birthday,” “how are you,” “good job” but I don't get debate questions. I haven't got to edit stories for folks.

Spicer let loose on the heavily bias CNN host and demanded to know why every Republican had to answer for Trump, while Democrats never had to answer for Clinton:

Every time Donald Trump makes a comment, every Republican up and down the ballot including here at the RNC is asked to comment on Donald Trump’s thing. When was the last time someone was asked on the record to comment about Hillary Clinton's disclosures? Whether it’s how she handled classified information, whether or not they believe she's fit to serve because of how she handled classified information. When was the question about how risky she is as a candidate, whether it’s her failed Russian reset, how she handled Libya, how she handled Syria? There’s questions about Hillary Clinton's fitness for office that never get asked of any other Democrat.

And Spicer is correct, talking about liberal media bias is not complaining about losing, but a chance to educate the public and make sure they “understand that they are getting a very bias one-sided activist journalist view of this race.

Transcript below:

CNN
Reliable Sources
October 23, 2016
11:03:37 AM Eastern

BRIAN STELTER: Let me ask you about what you believe is media bias. We were talking earlier this morning and you say there is evidence of this all over the place. Isn't this just working the refs and complaining about the coverage sort of a way to work the refs in fact final weeks of the campaign?

SEAN SPICER: No, I think there is a difference between complaining and explaining. I think for viewers at home, it's what goes on and what has been going on in the media is frankly a disservice and in many cases just frankly appalling. How’s been covered--

STELTER: In what ways?

SPICER: As you pointed—hold on. Because I think at the beginning you pointed out most of the reporters, if you look at the Twitter feeds, they’ve become unbelievable activists against Trump. They may not like him but the degree to which they are helping Hillary is unbelievable. Look at the Twitter feeds of these journalists, whether it’s The New York Times or Politico. Look at some of the revelations that have come out over the last couple weeks that come through the leaked e-mails, in terms of the collusion that has gone on.

And some of these reporters were they are cheering on Hillary Clinton or they’re providing them copies of their story to edit or to review. It is unbelievable. And then the idea that folks in the media go, “You're just playing the refs.” That's not playing the refs. That's calling out fouls. That's calling strikes and balls. When people in the media who are supposed to be reporting the facts start becoming activists for a particular candidate that deserves to be called out. You look at panels that get put on different networks, it’s one anti-Trump person after another, you know, and put on a Republican but against Trump and so they call it a balanced panel. When was the last time a panel had a Democrat that wasn't for Hillary on it. I haven't seen it this cycle.

STELTER: There is more unity in the Democratic Party than Republican Party there are a lot of anti-Trump Republicans.

SPICER: There’s a lot of-- But I’ve bumped into plenty of Bernie Sanders supporters, millennials, minorities who are lifelong Democrats that aren’t going to vote for Hillary Clinton. Yet, we never hear or see them about. Every story –

STELTER [Cutting Spicer off]: That's a false equivalent though.

Tell the Truth 2016

STELTER: Don't you think if there was a hack by a foreign government or by anybody into the Trump campaign or into the RNC you would find a lot of e-mails from very friendly reporters. I mean, Sean, I've sent you some pretty friendly e-mails over the years.

SPICER: You’ve sent me some friendly e-mails like “happy birthday,” “how are you,” “good job” but I don't get debate questions. I haven't got to edit stories for folks. Again, you look at-- There is a different between a friendly e-mailing collusion –

STELTER [Over Spicer]: But, people are saying collusion by citing a few examples. They’re picking and choosing a few examples of stupid journalistic behavior and claiming it’s a conspiracy.

SPICER: No, but I think—Look, there are several things. Look at the amount of time you guys give Evan McMullian and Gary Johnson versus Jill Stein. [Stelter nods inquisitively] Jill Stein has been nonexistent and she’s still at five and six percent. You guys don't want to cover people on the left the way you do on the right you want to make sure more people are given time—

STELTER [Talking over Spicer]: I see Jill Stein at closer to two percent, but that's an interesting point especially about Evan McMullen. Right? He's competitive in one state right now, in Utah. So you’re saying the media is tilting the playing field by boosting up Trump's opponents.

SPICER: Every time Donald Trump makes a comment, every Republican up and down the ballot including here at the RNC is asked to comment on Donald Trump’s thing. When was the last time someone was asked on the record to comment about Hillary Clinton's disclosures? Whether it’s how she handled classified information,

STELTER [To himself]: interesting.

SPICER: --whether or not they believe she's fit to serve because of how she handled classified information. When was the question about how risky she is as a candidate, whether it’s her failed Russian reset, how she handled Libya, how she handled Syria? There’s questions about Hillary Clinton's fitness for office that never get asked of any other Democrat. And I think it’s a very tilted thing. That's not complaining. That’s not working the refs. That's making sure people understand when they tune into television or go online to a main stream media source, whether The New York Times or Politico, that they need to understand that they are getting a very bias one-sided activist journalist view of this race.

Nicholas Fondacaro
Nicholas Fondacaro
Nicholas C. Fondacaro