CNN’s Stelter Asserts Memo Just a Fox News Created ‘Alternate Reality’

CNN media reporter Brian Stelter was up in arms during Sunday’s Reliable Sources as he ranted about how the release of Nunes memo was a win for Fox News, more specifically Sean Hannity, and all the people in conservative media trying to create what he called an “alternative reality.”

Stelter began the show with a twist on his usual lead-in loaded with hollow catchphrases: "This is Reliable Sources, our weekly look at the story behind the story, of how the media really works, how the news gets made. And this week, how misinformation gets made. The right unleashed its version of Fire and Fury this week." It was rather odd that he would try to discredit the bombshell memo with Michael Wolff’s book since his network welcomed it with great fanfare and glorification for days on end.

Let's be honest. This week, Sean Hannity won. And the rest of America lost,” Stelter ridiculously declared as he suggested that Hannity was in charge of all of conservative media. “They've distracted people about the truth involving Trump's Russia ties and they've done everything possible to destroy faith in Robert Mueller's probe.

The CNN mouthpiece congratulated Hannity for his hard work in deceiving the American people. “Hannity gave a megaphone to the GOP congressman who said they had a smoking gun memo, proving a deep state conspiracy against Trump,” Stelter whined. “Hannity hyped it night after night after night in January, like a human countdown clock.

Now the current in vogue talking point is there is an important investigation going on, but it's not the investigation into Russian interference and election, it's the investigation into the FBI. That's that alternative reality,” Stelter continued to ramble. But he was on his own campaign of confusion by failing to mention that the FBI was actually under investigation for misconduct by their Inspector General’s office.

 

 

And it wasn’t just Stelter trying to discredit the Nunes memo as a right-wing fabrication. Baltimore Sun media critic David Zurawik lamented to his host about how he was “shocked at the traction this Hannity narrative has gotten. And here's what's shocking to me this week,” and tried to write off other serious concerns:

When you see Ron Johnson, the [Republican] senator from Wisconsin, out there talking about, “We have an informant, there's a secret meeting being held off-site.” That's a loop. It goes from Hannity to someone like Johnson and the President and that is gaining real traction in this country.

So according to Zurawik, Senator Johnson invented a non-existent informant on Fox News Chanel’s Special Report because Hannity had talked about the memo on his own show. Now, who’s creating an alternate reality?

The panel’s ire, led by CNN Business reporter Hadas Gold, then turned to Trump’s voters as they chastised them for wanting to create a constitutional crisis while stripping people of their rights:

 

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GOLD: They voted to get these people out of office. So to some people, this might seem horrible–

STELTER: You mean the concerns about a constitutional crisis, the concerns about our institutions eroding, it's actually a good thing to his voters?

GOLD: To some voters, they wanted him to literally drain the swamp.

Later on in the show, Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy slammed Stelter and CNN for acting like a Trump indictment was imminent for over a year without “one piece of evidence of collusion or a crime involving the President or his associates involving their campaign.”

I think you're painting with a really broad brush when you say all of CNN has been doing something,” Stelter said, effectively generating his own alternate reality.

The relevant portions of the transcript are below, click expand to read:

CNN
Reliable Sources
February 4, 2018
11:00:08 AM Eastern

BRIAN STELTER: This is Reliable Sources, our weekly look at the story behind the story, of how the media really works, how the news gets made. And this week, how misinformation gets made. The right unleashed its version of Fire and Fury this week. The GOP memo.

(…)

Let's be honest. This week, Sean Hannity won. And the rest of America lost. The pro-Trump media led by Hannity has circled the wagons around President Trump. They've distracted people about the truth involving Trump's Russia ties and they've done everything possible to destroy faith in Robert Mueller's probe. And look, Hannity won, it worked. You've got to give him credit where it's due. Hannity gave a megaphone to the GOP congressman who said they had a smoking gun memo, proving a deep state conspiracy against Trump. Hannity hyped it night after night after night in January, like a human countdown clock.

(…)

And on Friday, we all saw the coverage. It was never going to live up to the hype when you've got Hannity talking about this being Watergate times a thousand. But the noise around the memo doesn't make much sense anyway. Devin Nunes alleges surveillance abuses have been though he recently voted to grant greater surveillance powers. And the timeline doesn't make much sense, either. But come on, when you're trying to confuse people, that doesn't matter. All the questions, all the headlines, all the doubt, all the curiosity, all the concern that was the point. To get I auto on the front page, to sow doubt and division, that was the point. And look at cable news. The nation's deep divide was visible in prime-time.

(…)

But, you know, the memo, this entire memo thing, I know it's confusing, but it gives the Hannities of the world an alternative reality to live in. It gives Trump a way to say he's vindicated, even though he's not. It lets Trump allies say Mueller's probe is tainted and needs to be shut down. It allows them to turn every claim around on its head. Collusion? Yeah, there was collusion by the Democrats. Obstruction? Yeah, the Dems obstructed. It's like that old childhood schoolyard taunt. I'm rubber, you're glue. Whatever you say bounces off of me and sticks to you.

Now the current in vogue talking point is there is an important investigation going on, but it's not the investigation into Russian interference and election, it's the investigation into the FBI. That's that alternative reality.

(…)

David, what happened this week? Do you look at what happened here and agree with me that Hannity won or am I giving him too much credit?

DAVID ZURAWIK: You know Brian, I don't know about Hannity won sounds strong. But I agree with the premise, totally. I am shocked at the traction this Hannity narrative has gotten. And here's what's shocking to me this week. When I saw -- when you see Ron Johnson, the senator from Wisconsin, out there talking about, “we have an informant, there's a secret meetings being held off-site.” That's a loop. It goes from Hannity to someone like Johnson and the President and that is gaining real traction in this country.

(…)

HADAS GOLD: This whole memo, though, has reminded me of sometimes when you go to museums and other countries and they portray a war that we've learned about from the other side and you just see these two alternate realities. And you have to remember in all of this, that for the people who support Trump, who voted for him, they voted him into office to drain the swamp. To get rid of what they like to call the “deep state.” So for them, this memo is a great thing. Because if it leads to this house cleansing of the FBI, that is what they voted for. They voted to get these people out of office. So to some people this might seem horrible–

STELTER: You mean the concerns about a constitutional crisis, the concerns about our institutions eroding, it's actually a good thing to his voters?

GOLD: To some voters, they wanted him to literally drain the swamp. And if that means getting rid of these people who politicians might praise as being long-serving members of the intelligence community who have dedicated their lives to this, to some Trump voters, that's the “deep state” and that's who we need to be getting rid of.

(…)

CHRISTOPHER RUDDY: Brian, you at CNN and CNN and all the other networks have been covering this for 18 months. Give me one piece of evidence of collusion or a crime involving the President or his associates involving their campaign.

STELTER: It hasn't been 18 months and I think you're painting with a really broad brush when you say all of CNN has been doing something.

(…)


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