On Wednesday’s edition of New Day, host Alisyn Camerota invited CNN Senior Media Correspondent Brian Stelter and CNN Media Analyst Bill Carter to discuss examples of media bias and hypocrisy. She used various examples from Fox News, as well as one example from MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, showing hypocrisy over how they felt about Obama meeting with foreign despotic leaders versus Trump doing the same.
The panel correctly pointed out that there was inconsistency coming from the right and left wing on this issue. However, it is interesting to note that while CNN managed to find plenty of examples of hypocrisy from its cable competitors, it journalists never turned that scrutiny on themselves.
The more stunning statement came from Brian Stelter when he said:
I feel like the most valuable thing in America today is consistency because it's so hard to find. It's so hard to find. All people are looking for is a little consistency but you don't see that in right wing media.
Stelter is correct that today’s media is lacking in consistency. Yet, it was laughable to see the lack of self-awareness from the Reliable Sources host. It’s time to give Stelter a refresher on some of his shining examples of media inconsistency.
Last December, Stelter said that Trump was acting like an authoritarian and a strong man and went on to say that “I think we need to start using those words on TV, at least, to discuss the possibilities before us." He then had the audacity to say “I'm not on a side of an aisle. That's an offensive remark" in an interview last month with Kellyanne Conway.
In March, he teed up a guest to call Trump administration leakers “true patriots” that were protecting the American people from Trump. However, when it came to exposing corruption from Hillary Clinton, Stelter sang a different tune. In August, 2016 he attacked the Associated Press for posting a story that exposed Clinton Foundation donor access to the State Department.
Despite those obvious examples, Stelter seems unresponsive to being called out for his bias. Just this past March, Daily Wire Editor in Chief, Ben Shapiro confronted Stelter about it on his own show.
The supposed media critic should really consider looking in the mirror before calling others out for inconsistency.
A transcript of this segment is below.
New Day with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman
7:52:41 – 7:59:01
ALISYN CAMEROTA: So conservative media outlets, many of them, are praising president trump's meeting with Kim Jong-Un, but that position was remarkably different than the one those same commentators took when president Obama dared to even suggest doing it. Listen.
STEVE DOOCY: Would you as president meet with the leaders of a country like North Korea? Obama extraordinarily said, I'd meet with him.
FOX ANCHOR:Senator Obama made his intentions crystal clear on the campaign trail.
BARACK OBAMA: I will meet, not just with our friends but with our enemies.
MIKE HUCKABEE: President Obama likes talking to dictators.
SARAH PALIN: He would meet with some of these mad men without any preconditions.
STEVE DOOCY: I'm going to reach out to these crazy people around the world and try to get things done.
FOX GUEST: Obama is bowing and scraping before dictators.
CAMEROTA: To be clear there is hypocrisy on both sides of the isle and we will get to that. So joining us now to talk about all of this, we have CNN Senior Media Correspondent, Brian Stelter and CNN media analyst Bill Carter. Great to have both of you. That was then, when Obama suggested he might even possibly ever meet with North Korea with no preconditions. So let's listen to how some of these same commentators now feel today after Donald Trump did it. Listen to this.
ANDREW NAPALOTANO: Donald Trump looked more presidential this morning than I've ever seen him look. This may very well be transformative for him as a person and for the office that he occupies.
SEAN HANNITY: By all accounts this summit went very well, exceeding expectations.
LAURA INGRAHM: This is a great time to be an American. Who else could have gotten us to this point. This is an amazing first step that he will never, ever, ever get an ounce of credit for.
CAMEROTA: Brian, I'm just curious, do they think that video tape doesn't exist.
BRIAN STELTER: I feel like the most valuable thing in America today is consistency because it's so hard to find. It's so hard to find. All people are looking for is a little consistency but you don't see that in right wing media.
BILL CARTER: And also, it's always dangerous to make sweeping statements. If you make a really sweeping statement about, well, this is an awful thing and your team comes along and you have to go all the way back, it's always going to be embarrassing -- maybe not embarrassing if you just think this is what I'm supposed to say and I'm going to say it.
CAMEROTA: Isn't that what it is? Isn't it Stockholm syndrome, or just being such a part of your own echo chamber that you don't know you're being hypocritical or you're so on the winning team and suddenly it feels so good to be on the winning team.
CARTER: They say in sports; you actually root for laundry. Whatever jersey is on, that’s who you root for. It’s not really the content, you're rooting for the Jersey. And that’s sort of what it’s like. The content here is less important than it's our guys doing it.
CAMEROTA: It's not just fox that has just done this shape shifting and completely changed their position. MSNBC commentators also have had examples of this. So here is Rachel Maddow applauding President Trump [sic] for meeting with Raul Castro and then how she feels today about president Trump meeting with a dictator.
RACHEL MADDOW: In American history we know that President Barack Obama will be forever the American leader who got done what every other Democrat since jack Kennedy tried and failed to do. No matter what they do with nuclear weapons. They have forced or manipulated the rest of the world to see this dictatorship as essentially legitimate and to see Kim Jong-Un as a legitimate head of state and that is serious as a heart attack. As weird as this and almost as incredible it is as a spectacle this is a very very serious line that the president just crossed.
CAMEROTA: Donald Trump legitimized the dictator but not President Obama.
STELTER: And I think it’s important to recognize that this happens on the left as well because the right gets a lot of flak for these flip-flops and it's not exclusive to the right.
CARTER: No it isn't. Again, if you're going to stake out positions like this. I think you to have to be consistent. It's okay -- it's okay to provide context. It's important to provide context because what's going on here is -- there’s reason for skepticism about what's happening with Trump and North Korea and but you should provide a little context and say when it happened with Obama, it worked out because of this. I think it's fair --
CAMEROTA: Sure and there was a reason I think for those fox commentators to be skeptical when president Obama suggested it. It was eyebrow raising.
CARTER: Skeptical is okay.
CAMEROTA: Skeptical in fact is what we're supposed to be as journalists of both sides.
STELTER: But I thought it was telling that even before the summit started, commentators on Fox were saying that Trump wasn't going to get any credit and they were saying the media was out to get him and the media was un-American wanting this to fail. The bar was even being set before the summit started. And now, after the fact what we see this alternative universe that both President Trump and his supporters play into. When the President is saying this morning, the nuclear threat has been resolved and it’s over. He's doing the same thing that Fox commentators do by trying to create this alternative narrative where he's already the hero and he’s already achieved victory.
CAMEROTA: Speaking of bar, I was about to suggest the limbo bar for how limber some people have to be and the contortionism that they're shifting in to here. Here is Mercedes Schlapp who is part of the communications office. This is what she said in 2016 about President Trump going to meet with -- sorry, President Obama going to meet with Raul Castro. “Obama shakes hands with dictator Raul Castro, next shakes hands with Kim Jong-un?” she suggested hypothetically, outrageously and then yesterday, “feeling great”, she said, “Obama failed in his diplomacy in dealing with Cuba. Gave it all to Raul and expected nothing in return. President Trump is the real deal maker and is successful moving North Korea in the right direction with maximum pressure campaign and working towards denuclearization.”
CARTER Well this really -- that sounds like a propaganda arm, absolutely. When you're basically saying our guys can do everything, but the other guys everything they do is wrong but our guy can do exactly the opposite of what I criticized for and I’ll praise him for it.
CAMEROTA: All right. Bill Carter, Brian, thank you very much for explaining all of this to us today, it never ends.