CNN's Stelter Cries Conservative Media's 'Entertainment Wing' Has Too Much Influence

December 23rd, 2018 7:43 AM

On Saturday's CNN Newsroom, host Ana Cabrera was joined by CNN's Brian Stelter and Breitbart-writer-turned-Democrat  Kurt Bardella to bemoan the fact that President Donald Trump reacted to criticism from conservatives by holding firm on border wall funding and rejecting a plan to delay a shutdown of the government.

At 4:16 p.m. Eastern, Cabrera began the segment:

ANA CABRERA: It looked like this would be a calm Christmas, calm by this administration's standards, any way. President Trump was preparing to head to Mar-a-Lago for a 17-day break. The White House indicated he would sign a continuing resolution that would keep the government funded.

And then Republican Senator Bob Corker believes Trump reportedly turned his ear to these two people -- conservatives Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh -- both warning Trump against caving on his wall, essentially saying that backing down would ruin his presidency.

After showing clips of Coulter and Limbaugh urging Trump to stand firm on the border wall, then came a quote of Senator Corker declaring that it was "tyranny" for such commentators to successfully lobby a President.

Stelter made a distinction between "principled, responsible reporters" in the conservative media and the "entertainment wing, that's the Sean Hannitys of the world, who do have an enormous amount of influence." Limbaugh, Coulter, and Hannity aren't principled or responsible, apparently.

After conceding that it makes sense for a President to stay in touch with his base, he then lamented that Trump has followed his base so much:

STELTER: So I think there is this sense that cable news, Fox in particular, shapes the president's worldview. To some extent that's understandable, right? Every president wants to keep in touch with their base, with their voters,  know what their voters care about. But leadership means knowing when to break from that or when to lead your base in the right direction -- when to lead your base away from a dangerous idea, Instead, what the President often does is he follows the script laid out by his supporters in talk radio and TV.

So merely building a wall on the border is a "dangerous idea"? And "abolish ICE" isn't?

Cabrera then worried that right-leaning media have more influence on President Trump than his advisors as she turned to Bardella and posed: "I wonder if Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter have more influence over President Trump than his own advisors in his administration?" Stelter nodded and Bardella said "clearly."