We won’t have Brian Stelter to kick around anymore because Sunday’s Reliable Sources on CNN is officially no more. This last episode of Reliable Sources did have plenty of cringeworthy moments and leftist chest pounding over the media’s failure to go after “anti-democratic” Republicans enough.
After the announcement late last week that Reliable Sources would be canceled and Stelter would be out the door, Stelter opened his last show addressing the elephant in the room.
On the verge of tears, Stelter bemoaned: “CNN has a new owner Warner Brothers Discovery is making big changes across the company. And there's going to be more change all across the company, including here at CNN. And I'm sad that I won't be here to cover it.”
Stelter sent shockwaves throughout the nation with the horrifying admission that his show is “a part of journalism school curriculum” and that “teachers use segments from this show all the time in classrooms, in lessons, guiding and teaching the next generation.”
Unless teachers use Stelter’s show as an example of what not to do as a journalist, the journalism profession is in more trouble than originally thought.
Perhaps proving why the show was canceled in the first place, Stelter brought on disgraced Watergate-era journalist Carl Bernstein who wailed that the media needs to cover how “the pendulum [is] swinging against democracy all over the world.”
Of course, he had to tie it to former President Donald Trump, but he also proclaimed that there is “authoritarianism” in the state legislatures as well.
Later on in the show, CNN media analyst David Zurawik said with a straight face that CNN “is the most important cable channel,” and it should continue “to set a standard for journalism.”
Stelter closed with a pompous and emotional goodbye: “I know it is not partisan to stand up for decency and democracy and dialogue. It’s not partisan to stand up to demagogues. It's required! It’s patriotic.”
If there was any doubt that Stelter believes his show is more important than it is, he showed it in his closing remarks where he claimed “I believe America needs CNN to be strong. I believe the free world needs CNN to be strong. And it will continue to be. Because all of us are going to help make that happen. The free world needs a reliable source.”
Apparently, CNN doesn’t think the free world needs a reliable source because they canceled his show. Or perhaps CNN knows there was nothing reliable about Stelter’s “Reliable Sources.”
Goodbye Stelter! You won’t be missed.
To read the relevant transcript click “expand”:
CNN’s Reliable Sources
August 21, 2022
11:00:59 a.m. Eastern
BRIAN STELTER: As most of you know, CNN has a new owner Warner Brothers Discovery is making big changes across the company. And there's going to be more change all across the company, including here at CNN. And I'm sad that I won't be here to cover it. But since this is our final episode, we're going to do something a little bit differently today. This entire hour, it’s a special hour and it's about change. It's about change all across the media world. What's changing? What might change? And what must never change about the accountability function of journalism. You know, I love this show. This small but mighty show punched above its weight for so many years.
11:02:32 a.m. Eastern
STELTER: You know the thing about TV is it's ephemeral, it’s fleeting. It evaporates up into the air, and a lot of it is not even meant to be remembered. But this program transcended that. It's a part of journalism school curriculum. Teachers across the country, and in other countries outside the U.S., teachers use segments from this show all the time in classrooms, in lessons, guiding and teaching the next generation.
11:07:59 a.m. Eastern
CARL BERNSTEIN: All news organizations, especially this one need to be covering in great detail. And that is the pendulum swinging against democracy all over the world. In western Europe, in the former communist east, in this country where more and more we see authoritarianism. Not just in the presidency of Donald Trump, but in the state legislatures, in the campaigns that we're watching now.
But the decline of democracy, and it's metrically possible to measure it. The number of countries in the past ten years that have gone from democracy to authoritarianism is increasingly rampant. And we need to cover it, even if it's not sexy. It goes to everything you mentioned. Climate change all the priorities.
STELTER: What if it’s uncomfortable?
11:40:52 a.m. Eastern
DAVID ZURAWIK: So my hope for CNN, more than ever, this is the most important cable channel, I think, right now, to set a standard for journalism, Brian. I pray to God they do it. They keep doing it.
11:59:14 a.m. Eastern
STELTER: Here’s what I do know. I know it is not partisan to stand up for decency and democracy and dialogue. It’s not partisan to stand up to demagogues. It's required! It’s patriotic. We must make sure we don't give platforms to those who are lying to our faces. But we also must make sure we are representing the full spectrum of debate and representing what’s going on in this country and in this world.
12:00:05 p.m. Eastern
STELTER: I can't wait to be watching CNN seeing what happens to it in the future. I'm going to be rooting for it. I want CNN to be strong. I believe America needs CNN to be strong. I believe the free world needs CNN to be strong. And it will continue to be. Because all of us are going to help make that happen. The free world needs a reliable source.
So for Reliable Sources, for the last time, I'm Brian Stelter, thanks for being with us.