CNN Panelist Calls Out ‘Opposition Party’ Media, Stelter Plays Dumb

Things got a little heated during CNN’s Reliable Sources on Sunday when former Editor for The New York Observer Ken Kurson called out the media for acting as the opposition party to President Donald Trump. “So, the idea here is that the media have become the opposition to Trump … I mean, just listening to the intro to this show,” he told his host, CNN’s ridiculous figure Brian Stelter. As would be expected, that didn’t sit well with Stelter who pretended the media don’t have a disdain for the President.

Kurson started off by giving his view of the political landscape in America:

It’s no longer that the Republican point of view hold forth and the Democrats hold them accountable and the media covers it. It’s that the President and the White House put forth their point of view the media argues with them and the Democrats have become totally irrelevant to that discussion.

He then pointed out how the liberal media had “assigned itself the chore of undoing this election which they simply don't accept.

Stelter tried to shoot down Kurson by discrediting his critique, associating it with claims of a secret society of journalists pulling the strings. “Who do you think assigned themselves that? There’s not some secret cabal of people in the journalism world,” he spat.

“Did you read The New York Times editorial page at all this week,” Kurson asked Stelter as he pointed out pathetic columns that shamed average Joes and ranked “how bad all of the President’s children are.” Stelter wrote it off as “These are people paid to have opinions, just like Eric Bolling himself on Fox.”

The hypocrisy was staggering according to Kurson, who noted that “we’re talking about a newspaper that holds itself out as the most dignified place for American thought and journalism today, and this is what they put forth.” It’s a common narrative among media elitists like Stelter to pretend that news organizations have no editorial control over what it is they print or say.

Of course, Stelter translated all of Kurson’s criticism of journalism to mean that there should be no reporting at all. “The New York Times reporting staff have been breaking stories left and right, hold Trump accountable. You think that's the opposition,” he asked Kurson.

Kurson then called out Stelter for personally helping to create the climate where bad journalism was allowed to fester:

You know, during these breaks when I watch you go on Twitter, the way journalists reward each other for stabbing and needling; there's a new system of a reward that is out there for journalists that has very little to do with policy and very little to do with at advancing this country.

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

I think a lot of journalists are against lying, against deceit. That’s where we are right now,” Stelter shot back at one point. Kurson made it clear that he stood against those things too, but warned that “when you have a system where the outrageous attack is what’s rewarded with likes on Facebook and followings on Twitter you are setting yourself up.

And despite that fact, Stelter kept insisting it was only columnists to blame. “It’s not just opinion columns, they’re reporters. They audition for each other and they audition for popularity,” Kurson urged. Kurson was 100 percent correct.

As much he wanted to paint himself as the pope of journalism in his Sunday sermons, Stelter was guilty of it himself. Just recently, the CNN host ranted about how Trump was threatening the lives of network employees with a WWE tweet. And earlier in the show, CNN reporter (NOT a columnist) Carl Bernstein claimed Fox News was responsible for a “cold civil war in this country. Political and cultural civil war and all of our reporting is taking place in the context of that cold civil war.” All with no push back from Stelter.

There was also plenty of evidence of Kurson’s claim that journalists promote each other’s attacks against the President. Just take CBS’s former Evening News Anchor Scott Pelley for example. He was lauded by The Washington Post’s Margaret Sullivan for being biased against Trump. And CNN’s own Jim Acosta was championed by the network when he fought with the White House and argued, on-air, that Trump was eroding our freedoms.

Clearly, they hold themselves as the opposition party.

Transcript below:

Sign Up for MRC Newsletters!

CNN
Reliable Sources
July 16, 2017
11:34:54 AM Eastern

(…)

BRIAN STELTER: Ken, do you agree or disagree: the White House briefings, are they a waste of time?

KEN KURSON: I think they are a waste of time because they’re so canned. I think that it’s—you know, reporters come—I really believe—

STELTER: But isn’t that the fault of the Trump White House? If they’re not answering questions, that’s not the reporter’s fault.

KURSON: All right. So, the idea here is that the media have become the opposition to Trump. They’re—I mean, just listening to the intro to this show, listening to Fareed’s show before it. It’s no longer that the Republican point of view hold forth and the Democrats hold them accountable and the media covers it. It’s that the President and the White House put forth their point of view the media argues with them and the Democrats have become totally irrelevant to that discussion. It’s a stunning thing to watch unfold during this presidency. And I—

STELTER: But the irrelevancy of the Democratic Party?

KURSON: Totally. And the way the press has assigned itself the chore of undoing this election which they simply don't accept.

STELTER: Who do you think assigned themselves that? There’s not some secret cabal of people in the journalism world.

KURSON: Did you read The New York Times editorial page at all this week? Do you see even David Brooks, the faux conservative they’ve got in there, says: “I brought somebody with only a high school diploma to work and insensitively she couldn’t pronounce the sandwiches.”

STELTER: Okay, it was a stupid column, what does that have to do with the President’s lies and misstatements?

KURSON: Gail Collins says, lets rate how bad all of the President’s children are. I mean, one of the President’s children is 11. These are the people we’re rating for how bad they are?

STELTER: These are people paid to have opinions, just like Eric Bolling himself on Fox.

KURSON: We’re talking about a newspaper that holds itself out as the most dignified place for American thought and journalism today, and this is what they put forth. It’s unprecedented. Whether you agree with it or disagree with the point of view, I’m saying there's something in the air right now that makes these personal attacks, these relentless ongoing attacks palatable to the American people. And I think the shame of it is we no longer have even a two-party system, which many people think are too few. We have a one-party system and the media is the other party.

STELTER: You’re talking about editorial people though. People that write opinion columns for a living. The New York Times reporting staff have been breaking stories left and right, hold Trump accountable. You think that's the opposition?

KURSON: (…) I think it's a critical function of journalism. But, I think that the way-- You know, during these breaks when I watch you go on Twitter, the way journalists reward each other for stabbing and needling; there's a new system of a reward that is out there for journalists that has very little to do with policy and very little to do with at advancing this country.

STELTER: When the president says things that are untrue, should we sit here and ignore it?

KURSON: No, you should report it. You should hold him accountable.

STELTER: When—where do you go from that to the media is the opposition?

KURSON: When I look at the tone and the way these attacks are launched, and I cited a couple of examples for you. Or the way that whenever there’s a need for the appearance of balance NPR will hire some conservative who hates the President or The New York Times will go get Bret Stevens, who’s main contribution is that he hates the President. Whenever there’s a need for the appearance of fairness here's no real effort to -- you know, where are the pro-Trump journalists in the mainstream media? They don’t exist, because the entire mainstream media is against Trump and that I think is not just bad for American policy, I think it’s bad for journalism.

STELTER: I think a lot of journalists are against lying, against deceit. That’s where we are right now.

KURSON: I’m against lying and deceit. I think that the function of journalists to hold the administration accountable is a critical function enshrined in our Bill of Rights. But when you have a system where the outrageous attack is what’s rewarded with likes on Facebook and followings on Twitter you are setting yourself up.

STELTER: Those are opinion columns! They’re opinion columns!

KURSON: It’s not just opinion columns, they’re reporters. They audition for each other and they audition for popularity.

(…)

CyberAlerts Media Bias Debate Political Groups Liberals & Democrats CNN Reliable Sources Video Ken Kurson Brian Stelter Donald Trump