In the minutes leading up to their live coverage of the White House Correspondents Dinner, CNN turned to media reporter Brian Stelter, who caused unintentional laughter when he claimed that the journalists inside the dinner had no political interests in their Trump coverage. They're "just trying to do their best work." He slammed the president's speech Saturday night as "insidious" and "poisonous," even as he admitted it was nothing new. He's perpetually outraged.
STELTER: [Jeffrey] Lord and I were just debating how effective the presdient’s anti-media attacks are, and we’re in agreement, they are effective. But let’s recognize how poisonous they are as well. Every single president disputes some news coverage of their presidency, but no president until now gets up at a rally and calls news outlets fake. No president gets up at a podium and says the things we’ve heard from this president tonight.
It’s nothing new from him, this was really a copy-and-paste speech, as you all were just talking about. But it is insidious, it is poisonous, and I think for the journalists in this room – just trying to do their best work – it is disappointing to continue to hear the president taking this tone.
Trump told his rally crowd in Harrisburg that CNN and MSNBC are fake news. Stelter suggested Trump was insincere: "Even if he doesn’t believe CNN is fake news, and I don’t think he does, some of his audience does, and that’s a problem."
Sen. Rick Santorum then said he would agree with Stelter that Trump doesn’t believe that all of CNN’s news is fake news, “but he does believe, and I know his base believes, that what you choose to cover, and the tone with with you cover it, is not representing the reality of the situation. In that sense, it’s fake, in their eyes."
Santorum said in his political career, “I’ve always felt I had to fight tooth and nail to get any kind of honest coverage out of the national media.”
Stelter began the interview: "Everybody in the audience here [at the Correspondents Dinner] has this pin this First Amendment pin, that’s been handed out, and President Trump needs to wear one as well."
Isn't that ironic? From the people who refuse to ever wear a U.S. flag pin on camera, even if that might represent a free press? We also can't imagine reporters like Stelter wearing a pin honoring the Second Amendment. They cherry-pick the Bill of Rights for honors.