CNN Media Panel Frets America Will ‘Pay a Heavy Price’ for Trump's Madness

After starting Sunday’s Reliable Sources by shredding ABC and Brian Ross for their disastrous reporting regarding Michael Flynn’s plea deal, host Brian Stelter retreated to more familiar grounds: Claiming President Trump was insane and was a threat to everyone. His inspiration for the segment was the recent diatribes published in the New York Daily News, The Washington Post, and on MSNBC, places known for their even keel attitudes towards the President (please note the sarcasm).

Jeff, let's have what I always say is this uncomfortable conversation. I think it is deeply uncomfortable to talk about this. But I think we have to,” Stelter proclaimed to veteran journalist Jeff Greenfield. “Look at the New York Daily News this morning. A column calling the President a madman. Saying that he is truly unhinged.

Seemingly unaware of the ridiculousness of his sources, Stelter recalled how “I've been noticing a new theme I the coverage of the President this week, among Trump skeptics in the press, liberal columnists, places like that.” He then read from a column written by known Trump critic Eugene Robinson and Published in The Washington Post:

Let’s show, for example, Eugene Robinson's column in The Washington Post. People are saying we have to talk about his health now before it's too late. Eugene Robinson saying: “How long are we going to pretend that President Trump is fully rational? How long are we going to ignore the signs he's dangerously out of control?”

 

 

And without mentioning his previous support for Trump, Stelter played a clip of MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough angrily yelling: “When are we supposed to say this? After the first nuclear missile goes? When is this the right time? To talk about a mentally unstable President in the White House, and a nuclear showdown with another unstable madman in North Korea?” “That's the question,” the CNN host responded in a serious tone.

Stelter eagerly read from a vicious piece by the New York Daily News editorial board that suggested Trump’s supporters were under a “spell” and smeared him as “profoundly unstable. He is mad. He is by any honest layman's definition, mentally unwell, and viciously lashing out.” “It’s been less than a year since he took office and this is what newspaper editorial boards are saying,” he lamented.

But Stelter was being disingenuous. Two times in just a couple minutes he suggested that it was a new development that people were questioning the President mental stability, when in fact it had been happening since before election day. During the election, the Clinton campaign had been running ads warning that Trump was so unhinged he could start a nuclear war. The liberal media got the hit and had been running with it ever since.

Stelter had even brought the subject up back in August. “Is the President of the United States a racist? Is he suffering from some kind of illness? Is he fit for office? And if he's unfit, then what,” he wondered at the time. He even admitted those questions were being asked in newsrooms across the country.

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If Stelter was really going to discuss the topic of derangement, he really shouldn’t have used the New York Daily News to deliver that message. They’re the same people who claimed that Al Qaeda was a better group than the NRA. And touting editorial pieces on sanity from The Washington Post is silly when they have repentant “conservative” Jennifer Rubin who has made her own questionable claims.

But Stelter found agreement in Playboy writer, Brian Karem, who argued that “method or madness, it's a legitimate question to ask. I don't know if I would take it to those extremes. But it is -- it is a question that has to be addressed with each additional tweet and as we march down this hall, where are we going?” “And if you don't examine what's going on, if you don't take the time to legitimately and logically look at it, we may well pay a heavy price,” he added.

And he's going to say the media is just out to get him,” Stelter lamented. There were no questions from Stelter to his guest about how he could write for a sexual harassment tool.

Transcript below:

CNN
Reliable Sources
December 3, 2017
11:22:27 AM Eastern

(…)

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BRIAN STELTER: So for our viewers at home, you can rent Gas Light on Amazon Video, the movie that Jeff just mentioned. Jeff, let's have what I always say is this uncomfortable conversation. I think it is deeply uncomfortable to talk about this. But I think we have to. Look at the New York Daily News this morning. A column calling the President a madman. Saying that he is truly unhinged. I've been noticing a new theme I the coverage of the President this week, among Trump skeptics in the press, liberal columnists, places like that. Let’s show, for example, Eugene Robinson's column in The Washington Post. People are saying we have to talk about his health now before it's too late. Eugene Robinson saying: “How long are we going to pretend that President Trump is fully rational? How long are we going to ignore the signs he's dangerously out of control?” And here is MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough raising the same point.

JOE SCARBOROUGH: When are we supposed to say this? After the first nuclear missile goes? When is this the right time? To talk about a mentally unstable President in the white house, and a nuclear showdown with another unstable madman in North Korea?

STELTER: That's the question. I'm going to ask you, Jeff Greenfield. Is now the time?

JEFF GREENFIELD: Let me just make this point. What Eugene Robinson says, what Michelle Goldberg says, what the New York Daily News says, what Joe Scarborough says, in terms of people still with Trump, it will have no impact at all. And the question is, is there going to come a time when people who that base might listen to begin to raise this? And if they did that, would that base say oh, you've just gone over to the other side.

I think Trump's biggest success has been to tell his people that when you hear stuff from any of those people, including, by the way, highly conservative columnists, who have never been with Trump, don't believe it, it's fake, believe me. And as long as Donald Trump can convince -- what looks like a shrinking number of people, but still a third of the country. And as long as the Republican leaders in Congress find him the right person with which to get their policies done, I don't think that's going to matter. It's -- I don't know what it will take to move that group away from their position that Trump right, these guys wrong.

STELTER: Brian, let me hear you react to that Daily News piece I mentioned. This is morning's New York Daily News, an editorial from the editorial board that says, quote: “After his latest spasm of deranged tweets, only those completely under his spell can deny what growing numbers of Americans have long suspected: The President of the United States is profoundly unstable. He is mad. He is by any honest layman's definition, mentally unwell, and viciously lashing out.” It’s been less than a year since he took office and this is what newspaper editorial boards are saying.

BRIAN KAREM: Well, to Jeff's point, I think there's two things you have to look at. The appearance versus the reality. He would like his -- it goes further than what Jeff was saying. He's not saying everything you hear is fake. He's saying, look, I'm doing this on purpose, relax. There's a method to my madness. At least that's what the sources that I have inside the White House tell me. It's an actual method. But at some point in time, method or madness, it's a legitimate question to ask. I don't know if I would take it to those extremes. But it is -- it is a question that has to be addressed with each additional tweet and as we march down this hall, where are we going? I mean, it's -- the tweet about anti Muslim, that -- those three tweets particularly are very troublesome. And if you don't examine what's going on, if you don't take the time to legitimately and logically look at it, we may well pay a heavy price.

STELTER: And he's going to say the media is just out to get him.


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