CNN host Brian Stelter tackled the issue of public trust in the media during Sunday’s episode of “Reliable Sources,” arguing that it’s a complex issue that will take time to rectify. But he has an idea where to start: changing the language used by the media to cover major political news.
Stelter noted that it’s not just the way things during Donald Trump’s presidency were covered, but how they continue to be covered under President Biden’s tenure.
“One of the battle cries of the Trump era was ‘this is not normal,'” Stelter said. “Well, it’s still true right now. In the Biden era. But the media is guilty of ‘normalizing’ some of the abhorrent, abnormal, sometimes destructive behavior happening on Capitol Hill and beyond.”
You can watch the segment in the two tweets at the bottom.
Stelter called the recent coverage of the country’s debt ceiling as an example, as well as the riot that happened at the Capitol on Jan. 6.
“This week we saw even more evidence that riot denialism is practically a GOP requirement,” Stelter said. “An entire media apparatus is committed to minimizing and memory-holing the attack at the Capitol building. You don’t see this video on Fox or Newsmax.”
Elsewhere in the segment, Stelter called on Fox News and Newsmax once more, along with One America News Network saying that those networks perpetuate news from “repeaters” instead of “reporters.”
“Repeaters are the talk radio shouters who tell listeners to hate the other side,” Stelter explained. “They’re on TV and radio telling the same story every day. Repeaters are outlets like One America News, which replays Donald Trump’s lies on a loop and runs random news packages made by other companies.”
Stelter added that “so much of what they’re repeating, so much of the raw material… is from reporters!”
All that said, the CNN host offered one potential fix:
“If there’s a solution to this — and I don’t know if there is, because we live in one America and two media worlds. But if there is a solution, it’s through reporting, it’s through reporting, not repeating.”
One of the battle cries of the Trump era was "this is not normal." It's still true. But the media is guilty of "normalizing" destructive political behavior. Here is the top of today's @ReliableSources, with key comments from @JamesFallows and @BrittanyS pic.twitter.com/KHTDqZbVBh
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) October 10, 2021
CNN's @brianstelter on how to restore trust in the mass media: "If there's a solution to this — and I don't know if there is, because we live in one America and two media worlds. But if there is a solution, it's through reporting, it's through reporting, not repeating." pic.twitter.com/H35re8uVZb
— Reliable Sources (@ReliableSources) October 10, 2021
“It’s disingenuous for a network that spent the better part of three years pushing a false Russian conspiracy hoax to say that we minimized the events of January 6,” Newsmax said in a statement to TheWrap. “We condemned it from almost the moment it happened and have significantly covered Congressional hearings.”
For the record, Fox News has on more than one occasion come down hard on those who have whitewashed the attack on the U.S. Capitol – and that would include former vice president Mike Pence.
On Oct. 4, Pence appeared on Sean Hannity’s show and referred to the Jan. 6 insurrection as “one day in January.” Fox News host Howard Kurtz called him out just today. “Saying ‘one day in January’ is kind of like calling 9/11 one day in September,” Kurtz said. “It was a pretty tragic day!”
Friday, the network’s Bret Baier asked reporter Peter Doocy how the White House responded to a request by Trump to shield certain documents relating to the Jan. 6 riot.
“Officials here are saying, no, they’re not going to do it,” Doocy said. “This January 6th committee up on Capitol Hill requested about 50 documents President Trump and his lawyers claimed that they were subject to executive privilege. But officials here looked at it and they said no, those documents are not subject to executive privilege anymore. You’re not the president, so this is likely going to wind up in court soon.”
Reps for OAN did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.