CNN Segment Insinuates Russian Facebook Ads Tipped the Election; Compares Them to a Disease

On the Tuesday edition of CNN’s At This Hour, Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter questioned the intelligence of the American people, insinuating that the Russian Facebook ads brainwashed people into voting for Donald Trump and propel him into the White House. 

Stelter was speaking to host Kate Bolduan when he argued that “most people may not have actually paid attention to this Russian propaganda and it didn't take most people, it only took a couple million or you could argue a couple hundred thousand given how close the election was in key states.”

 

 

If one reads that and doesn’t conclude that Stelter is making the suggestion that Russian Facebook ads (which he hasn’t seen) tipped the election against Hillary Clinton, I don’t know what to tell you.

Stelter continued:

We talked a lot in the last 12 months about fake news, not President Trump's definition but actually fake stories that are made up to design and deceive you. A lot of that was done for financial gain but some of it was done by these foreign governments trying to affect elections and the question for the Congress — for Facebook and Twitter and Google today and tomorrow is what are you doing now to make sure this never happens again? Because I don't see enough action being taken to stop it in the future.

Here’s the thing. The liberal media are always hell-bent on influencing elections to help fellow leftists, so the new reality on the horizon seems to be they’ll question the legitimacy of elections if they don’t pan out the way that they want. 

Because, just like Hillary Clinton, they still refuse to admit she lost and are trying to undermine the White House’s legitimacy.

Later in the segment, Bolduan, Stelter, and Obama-era Defense Department lawyer Ryan Goodman noted that we haven’t seen the Russian-backed Facebook ads/pages yet. That’s true and the American people should see them. 

However, Stelter’s claims moments earlier skipped ahead to create a conclusion without evidence in the middle. When trying to prove guilt in a court of law, you start with the notion of innocent until proven guilty, not guilty until proven innocent.

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

Anyhow, Goodman compared these voters that Stelter insulted to people affected by a disease or someone who’s fallen victim to a credit hack:

If you go into a medical facility, you’re exposed to communicable disease. The medical facility has to notify you that happened. If you have a data breach and your private information was compromised, they have to notify you. Why wouldn't they have to notify the public in this instance? So what Facebook says and they say this explicitly on their site, they will share it with Congress and share it with Mueller but they won't share it with the American public.

“And this all gets to a key question which I think lawmakers would say we're no closer to. Are they any closer to protecting and making sure. this doesn't happen in 2018 — one year from now for the 2018 election than they were clearly not prepared to deal with in this in 2016. I think the answer is no,” Bolduan concluded.

This attack on the intelligence of voters was brought to you by At This Hour advertisers Consumer Cellular, T-Mobile, and liberal billionaire Tom Steyer’s NeedToImpeach.com.

 

Here’s the relevant transcript from October 31's CNN’s At This Hour with Kate Bolduan:

CNN’s At This Hour with Kate Bolduan
October 31, 2017
11:45 a.m. Eastern

KATE BOLDUAN: Brian, the number is huge and it’s just Facebook. What do you think it really means? 

BRIAN STELTER: Well, you know, I think everyone has the experience of scrolling through the news feed, just scrolling by items not paying attention. 

BOLDUAN: Right. 

STELTER: So most people may not have actually paid attention to this Russian propaganda and it didn't take most people, it only took a couple million or you could argue a couple hundred thousand given how close the election —

BOLDUAN: In certain states for sure.

STELTER: — was in key states. We talked a lot in the last 12 months about fake news, not President Trump's definition but actually fake stories that are made up to design and deceive you. A lot of that was done for financial gain but some of it was done by these foreign governments trying to affect elections and the question for the Congress — for Facebook and Twitter and Google today and tomorrow is what are you doing now to make sure this never happens again? Because I don't see enough action being taken to stop it in the future. 

BOLDUAN: On today, Ryan, it made me remember an interview that was done with Sheryl Sandberrg of Facebook recently and there had a lot of criticism, obviously, leading up to this — the big names that haven't been forthcoming about what they know. Like Facebook knows more as Drew is getting to more than what they've been saying.

[LONG CLIP OF AXIOS’s MIKE ALLEN INTERVIEW SANDBERG]

BOLDUAN: And wasn't fully transparent, obviously, in that answer. I mean, is Facebook going to have to have a better answer today? 

RYAN GOODMAN: Yeah. They know. It's just that she wouldn't tell. He asked her three times. The best, most charitable read is that they're giving that information behind the scenes to the congressional investigators and to Mueller, but today they're going to have to at least address that question pretty squarely under a lot of pressure. 

BOLDUAN: Do you think we will see the ads ourselves, the public. 

GOODMAN: That's a huge question. I think we should. 

BOLDUAN: Why not? 

STELTER: I think we will tomorrow. There's a lot we don't know but I have a feeling we're going to see some of the congressmen go ahead and make these available. These are ads, you know, that were bought by these Russian troll farms with divisive messages. Sometimes anti-Clinton messages.

BOLDUAN: I don't understand the argument why not. Especially if it's labeled these are the bad ads. 

GOODMAN: The public has a right to know. If you go into a medical facility, you’re exposed to communicable disease. The medical facility has to notify you that happened. If you have a data breach and your private information was compromised, they have to notify you. Why wouldn't they have to notify the public in this instance? So what Facebook says and they say this explicitly on their site, they will share it with Congress and share it with Mueller but they won't share it with the American public. They cite a 1986 law, but that law really is about truly private communications. It would not be a private communication, especially if you’re talking about something like an ad. 

BOLDUAN: And this all gets to a key question which I think lawmakers would say we're no closer to. Are they any closer to protecting and making sure. this doesn't happen in 2018 — one year from now for the 2018 election than they were clearly not prepared to deal with in this in 2016. I think the answer is no.

STELTER: They would say yes and I think we all should be incredibly skeptical because I don't see that proof yet.


Please support NewsBusters today! (a 501c3 non-profit production of the Media Research Center)

DONATE
CyberAlerts 2016 Presidential Russia Liberals & Democrats Trump-Russia probe CNN Other CNN Video Brian Stelter Kate Bolduan Hillary Clinton Donald Trump
Curtis Houck's picture