Stelter to Surgeon General: Shut Up About Media 'Bickering' and 'Partisanship'

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In his latest newsletter, CNN Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter echoed Trump-bashing Los Angeles Times reporter Chris Megerian in being upset at Surgeon General Jerome Adams for daring to call out partisan bickering from reporters.

"We really need you all to lean into and prioritize the health and safety of the American people," Surgeon General Jerome Adams said at Saturday's White House briefing. "No more bickering, no more partisanship, no more criticism or finger pointing. There'll be plenty of time for that. But we all need to hit the reset button and lean into moving forward the health and safety of the American people..."

Adams is being unrealistic. He's noticing that liberal newspapers and news networks are making the coronavirus all about Trump, and how he’s a dangerous menace. You can't stop them. Naturally, Stelter and the “objective” press persistently and disingenuously confuse their journalistic impeachment attempts of the president as just “accountability.”

What Adams called "bickering" and "criticism" is what most of us call accountability. Is there value in focusing on the future? Yes, but when Adams said he wants "less stories looking at what happened in the past," I hear him saying "stop exposing the Trump administration's failures." There is value in all of the coverage. And government officials don't get to decide that -- readers and reporters and whistleblowers and editors do.

There’s one gaping problem with Stelter’s sermon. Nothing that went wrong under Obama was Obama’s fault. There was no need for “accountability” on anything that happened when Obama was president – starting with, in today’s discussion, the H1N1 virus. But you can list almost anything – terrible health-care failures at VA hospitals, Benghazi, Secret Service scandals – time and again, Stelter’s “Accountability Force” at the papers and networks carefully separated Obama from whatever problem bubbled up.

Here’s Stelter criticizing CBS News in 2014 on Benghazi, for "overcompensating" with Obama aide Ben Rhodes having a brother, David Rhodes, who was president at CBS News:

CBS has at times been so aggressive covering Benghazi that I've had sources describe it to me as overcompensating. In other words, the network perceived to have gone out of its way to pursue the story to inoculate itself against charges of a brotherly conflict of interest, and perhaps to appeal to conservatives and CBS sometimes gets tagged as liberal. But it may be that very zeal that led to disaster.

“Disaster” was an erroneous Lara Logan report on 60 Minutes. CBS makes mistakes…but Stelter routinely honors Dan Rather on his show, so he’s usually not that concerned -- maybe only when the “zeal” questions a Democrat president or "appeals to conservatives."

Stelter also lectured the Surgeon General to shut up on Twitter: 

Adams used the word "need," talking to the press corps. So I will too. He needs to spend his time educating the public about how to protect each other, not lecturing the press about what's newsworthy.

He also quoted Washington Post columnist Karen Tumulty's tweet in his newsletter: 

–> Karen Tumulty summed it up perfectly: "Surgeon General admonishes reporters that they should not be holding government officials accountable for their actions. The real danger to the nation's health is not to."

The arrogance of these people, constantly suggesting that their liberal bias, their "overcompensating zeal" is what protects America....

 

Brian Stelter
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