Stelter: Trying to Crush Fox News Isn't 'Censorship,' It's 'Harm Reduction'

February 1st, 2021 6:35 AM

CNN’s Brian Stelter declared Fox News was an information polluter in his show-starting “Murrow” editorial on Sunday’s Reliable Sources. Fox needs to have its “freedom of reach” reduced, in the interests of “harm reduction.” Yet somehow it’s “dishonest” to complain that’s an attempt at censorship, silencing, or suppression.

How stupid does he think CNN's viewers are?

“Dishonest cries of censorship are filling Fox's airwaves, with charges that these guys right here are being suppressed. The word censorship has been invoked almost 400 times on Fox this month alone, and more than 300 times on Newsmax,” he proclaimed.

On YouTube, CNN's silly headline was "Stelter: Reducing a liar's reach is not the same as censorship."

“Tucker Carlson is telling viewers that this network, CNN, is trying to force Fox News off the air, which is patently false,” Stelter claimed. “It is predictable as the sunrise. Democrats win elections and Republicans say they are being silenced.”

Then, in the very next sentence, he says “But while some cry cancel culture, let me suggest a different way to think about this, a harm reduction model.” And “reducing a liar’s reach is not the same as censoring freedom of speech.”

What CNN and other liberal media outlets have been pushing is for cable companies to cancel Fox News from their cable package. 

Stelter's colleague Oliver Darcy argued that after the riot at the Capitol, “it is time TV carriers face questions for lending their platforms to dishonest companies that profit off of disinformation and conspiracy theories.” New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof said that “cable providers should be asked why they distribute channels that peddle lies.” Washington Post columnist and CNN analyst Max Boot wrote that cable providers should “step in and kick Fox News off.” 

Bizarrely, Stelter claimed “most of the criticism of Fox News is not aimed at shutting it down, which will never happen anyway. It's about making Fox better, putting the news back in Fox News. They keep going the other way. If Fox is going to keep transitions into the 24/7 Tucker channel, then maybe it belongs next to SYFY on your channel lineup, not MSNBC. These need to be nuanced conversations, not edicts, not orders."

It's "nuanced" and not "orders" to call up cable providers like Darcy did, and pressure them to drop Fox? 

In a remarkable brain spasm, Stelter claimed he was only trying to help Fox put more news in its menu, because "Harm reduction is possible by adding more news and less opinion to the content." He's suggesting Fox has too much opinion in its news, unlike CNN. 

At the very least, Stelter is telling the public that Fox News is a "polluter" causing "harm," a poison, a cancer. CNN is telling people not to watch their competitor -- the one who has been besting them in the ratings for decades -- in short, that it's Fake News. 

When Donald Trump called CNN and the other liberal outlets "Fake News," they all implied it was an attack on democracy itself. But since they are the dominant media, they are democracy. Trashing Fox News as info-pollution is freedom of speech. CNN calling for a reduction of Fox's reach is an argument for healthy "democracy," not censorship. 

A few years ago, messing with cable providers was an offense. Let's go back to Stelter's story on the Trump Justice Department holding up AT&T's merger (acquiring CNN, among other assets). "So now there are two competing narratives about what's going on. The first point of view is that the Justice Department is intervening to protect consumers. The countervailing point of view is that political games are being played."

Stelter claims he and his leftist friends are "protecting consumers," when everyone should understand "political games are being played."