CNN’s Stelter Attacks Conservative Media for Comey ‘Counter-Narrative’

After a whirlwind week in Washington, D.C. with the liberal media pouncing on every Trump news development as if it was the final nail in his presidency, CNN’s ‘ridiculous figure’ Brian Stelter and Anderson Cooper attacked Conservative media for not sharing their excitement. “Downplay, deflect and deny. Conservative media types are at it again, whipping up alternative theories to explain away the threat that James Comey poses to President Trump,” Stelter chastised on Anderson Cooper 360 Thursday night.

Cooper led into the segment by taking a swipe at Fox News, saying: “If you turn on the President’s favorite TV channel lately you’d think it was based a Salem, Massachusetts instead of Midtown Manhattan.” He then bitterly argued that “And it’s not just Fox News the right-wing media, in general, has adopted a strategy to try to convince its customers, including the President, that there is no ‘there’ there.

Stelter wasted no time in tearing down numerous Fox hosts and other conservative personalities. “The theories are all over the place from ‘Comey broke the law,’” he said as he played a clip of Ainsley Earhardt exclaiming that “It is illegal if James Comey felt like the President was asking him to end an investigation and he thought it was obstruction of justice and he didn't report it immediately.”

But Stelter never explained how Earhardt’s statement was false. This is a common thing he does on his show “Reliable Sources.” He doesn’t address how or why Fox hosts are wrong about what they say or report, but it seems to be the fact that they’re conservatives and saying things he doesn’t like that makes them wrong.

And what Earhardt said was 100 percent correct. If Comey felt Trump was interfering with the investigation he was required to report it. But Stelter doesn’t like it because it calls into question the liberal media’s narrative that Comey’s infamous memo proves Trump is guilty of obstruction of justice.

Another tactic, just downplay it, say the story's not a big deal,” Stelter chided, as he slammed Brian Kilmeade for saying that he wished the Russia story wasn’t in the news because he was tired of hearing about it. That’s a sentiment many share with him. It’s the same kind of sentiment the liberal media had with reporting about Benghazi, the Clinton Foundation, and any number of President Obama’s scandals.

Sometimes you can actually see the feedback loop between these commentators … And the commander and chief,” he complained. “On Thursday, Trump tweeted that ‘this is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history.’ He was echoing these voices on Fox.” But this kind of thing is what the mainstream media has been doing with Democrats for decades and the Media Research Center has exposed.

Coming out of his report, Stelter accused conservative media of creating their own side of the news:

It's all about providing a counter-narrative. The Trump White House helps do this. But really it's pro-Trump media that helped do this, provide a counter-narrative for people to share on their Facebook pages, to share on Twitter, and to discuss with their friends.

<<< Please support MRC's NewsBusters team with a tax-deductible contribution today. >>>

And un-ironically, he smeared conservatives for being in a thought bubble. “I think we all feel more and more we're in these echo chambers, in these filter bubbles where people are sharing views that they agree with. Not everybody but many people,” he claimed.

But the whining of Stelter and Cooper demonstrates how they and the rest of their liberal media colleagues are in their own echo chamber, one where they already ruled President Trump guilty and needs to be impeached. They’ve worked themselves up into such a frenzy that it doesn’t occur to them that they could possibly be wrong. 

Transcript below:

CNN
Anderson Cooper 360
May 18, 2017
9:51:03 PM Eastern

ANDERSON COOPER: President Trump isn’t the only one calling the Russian investigation a witch-hunt. If you turn on the President’s favorite TV channel lately you’d think it was based a Salem, Massachusetts instead of Midtown Manhattan. And it’s not just Fox News the right-wing media in general has adopted a strategy to try to convince its customers, including the President, that there is no ‘there’ there. Brian Stelter has more.

[Cuts to video]

SEAN HANNITY: Welcome back to Hannity. Time for tonight’s fake news round up.

BRIAN STELTER: Downplay, deflect and deny. Conservative media types are at it again, whipping up alternative theories to explain away the threat that James Comey poses to President Trump. The theories are all over the place from "Comey broke the law" –

AINSLEY EARHARDT: It is illegal if James Comey felt like the President was asking him to end an investigation and he thought it was obstruction of justice and he didn't report it immediately.​

STELTER: Another tactic, just downplay it, say the story's not a big deal.

BRIAN KILMEADE: I would love to hear-- not have Russia in the news for a while.

STELTER: Sometimes you can actually see the feedback loop between these commentators—

KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE: It’s like a witch hunt.

STELTER: And the commander and chief.  On Thursday, Trump tweeted that “this is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history.” He was echoing these voices on Fox.

Trump's reelection campaign is now raising money off the controversies, claiming “sabotage.” And it's believable to some of his fans because of what they're being told in this echo chamber.

ALEX JONES: There is a cultural war. They want to bully you into submission.

[Cuts back to live]

COOPER: And Brian joins me now. I mean, as you say, it's deny, deflect, downplay. That’s basically what the coverage is these days.

STELTER: It's all about providing a counter-narrative. The Trump White House helps do this. But really it's pro-Trump media that helped do this, provide a counter-narrative for people to share on their Facebook pages, to share on Twitter, and to discuss with their friends. I think we all feel more and more we're in these echo chambers, in these filter bubbles where people are sharing views that they agree with. Not everybody but many people.

And this week’s coverage of what is, decidedly an awful week for the President, shows that again.   

COOPER: They just ignored it on some nights. And it was interesting; on some of the programs that chose on Fox to actually report on it their ratings went down.

STELTER: Indeed. Fox is in an unusual situation right now. The ratings are quite soft by Fox standards. Fox’s audience doesn’t really want to hear this news. You used a really smart word, I thought, in the intro, customers. This is about providing the customers what they want. That might not be the best thing though in a democracy to so focus on what the customers want as opposed to news consumers or more importantly voters, viewers.

Nicholas Fondacaro
Nicholas Fondacaro
Nicholas C. Fondacaro