Although hosting a program which supposedly examines media coverage, Reliable sourcesBrian Stelter, host of the show is very sensitive to criticisms not directed at Fox News. So naturally, he couldn’t understand why his guest, Bari Weiss, claimed the media self-censored stories that didn’t fit a certain political framework.
Weiss was a writer and former editor for the opinion section. New York Times famously left behind her career at the prestigious outlet in 2020 because of the paper’s intolerance to any view but the far left’s. She now publishes a popular newsletter on Substack called “Common Sense.” On Stelter’s Sunday show, Weiss argued the world had “gone mad” and the media was complicit:
STELTER – You wrote that there are many millions of Americans not on the hard right or left who feel the world is mad. In what other ways is it possible that the world has gone mad?
BARI WEISS – AUTHOR AND FOUNDER, THE COMMONSENSEThe world is going mad when the chief COVID reporter from “The New York Times,” talks about the racism of pursuing or questioning lab leak questions.
She was talking about New York Times’ lead COVID-19 beat reporter, Apoorva Mandavilli who last May demanded people to stop discussing the lab leak theory because it was “racist.”) Weiss continued revealing the truth the media doesn’t want to admit:
The world is going mad when you can’t say loudly and publicly that there are differences among men and women.
The world is going mad when we don’t allow ourselves to recognize that rioting happens, it is terrible, and that violence is violence.
The world is mad when we can’t say Hunter Biden’s laptop was a worthwhile story. The world is mad when young schoolchildren, even as young as kindergarten age, are separated from their peers in schools due to race. This is progress.
CNN certainly felt this sentiment. The “fiery, but mostly peaceful” riot defenders were too cowardly to even defend their own crew when they were attacked by left-wing mobs. Hunter Biden? That story was not touched by any media, except CNN. Stelter enjoyed Hunter’s book and begged the media not to focus on President Biden’s monumental failures, but more on his agenda. He’s pro-truth, not partisan.
Stelter feigned confusion. “Who’s the people stopping the conversation?” he asked, puzzled. Weiss suggested, “Folks let their networks work, honestly, such as the one I am speaking about right now. They try to claim that it was — and it was racist, in order to investigate the theory of the lab leak. It was, I mean, let’s just pick an example.”
CNN’s host claimed that he didn’t know what Weiss was talking to. “[Y]ou say — you say we’re not allowed to talk about these things. But they’re all over the internet.” He added, “I can Google them and I can find them everywhere. I’ve heard about every story you mentioned.”
Ironically, Stelter just made Weiss’s case for her. CNN knows about Hunter Biden’s laptop, for instance, they just don’t want to report on it. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand why. He confirmed that with his next sentence:
“So, I’m just suggesting, of course, people are allowed to cover whatever they want to cover.”
But Weiss pushed back, saying that the media didn’t cover stories that have been “deemed the third rail by the mainstream institutions,” fearing retaliation from a left-wing mob. “And so what happens is a kind of internal self-censorship,” she analyzed. So they instead went along with what the rest of the MSM and left-leaning institutions deemed acceptable:
This is something that I saw over and over again when I was at the New York Times. People saying to themselves, you know what, why should I die on that hill? Why should I take the three or four weeks that it takes to smuggle through an op-ed that doesn’t suit the conventional narrative?
I might, as well, commission the 5,000th op-ed saying that Donald Trump is a moral monster. What’s going on is the transformation of these sense-making institutions of American life. It’s the news media, it’s the publishing house, it is the Hollywood studios, it’s our universities, and they are narrowing in a radical way, what’s acceptable to say, and what isn’t.
Not wanting to dwell on the media criticism, Stelter shifted the remainder of the conversation more broadly to cancel culture at large and its effects on society.
But during her appearance on the Reliable Sources podcast this week, Weiss called out the cowardice of her former employer again, for ousting an editor for publishing an op-ed by Senator Tom Cotton [R-AR] last year.
Contact Reliable Sources’ advertiser Northwestern Mutual at the Conservatives Fight Back page here.
Read the transcript below:
BRIAN STELTER: Writer and Editor, Bari Weiss, left her post in “The New York Times” last year saying it was an illiberal environment, a culture where journalistic curiosity could not be pursued.
Now, one year later, she has launched a publication called “Common Sense” via Substack. She says she has over 100,000 subscribers, some of them were already paying even though all the content is still free.
She says it’s an escape from the madness of traditional media. And here is what she meant by that.
STELTER: You write there are tens of millions of Americans who aren’t on the hard left or the hard, right, who feel the world has gone mad. So, in what ways has the world gone mad?
BARI WEISS, AUTHOR AND FOUNDER, COMMON SENSE: Well, you know, when you have the chief reporter on the beat of COVID for “The New York Times” talking about how questioning or pursuing the question of the lab leak is racist, the world has gone mad.
When you’re not able to say out loud and in public that there are differences between men and women, the world has gone mad.
When we’re not allowed to acknowledge that rioting is rioting, and it is bad, and that silence is not violence, but violence is violence, the world has gone mad.
When we’re not able to say that Hunter Biden’s laptop is a story worth pursuing, the world has gone mad. When in the name of progress, young school children, as young as kindergarten, are being separated in public schools because of their race, and that is called progress rather than segregation, the world has gone mad.
There are dozens of examples that I could share with you and within your viewers —
STELTER: And you often say — you say allowed —
WEISS: Everyone’s sort of knows this and —
STELTER: — you say we’re not allowed —
WEISS: It’s the cast on between —
STELTER: — we’re not able, who’s the people stopping the conversation? Who are they?
WEISS: People let work at networks, frankly, like the one I’m speaking on right now who try and claim that you know, it was — it was racist to investigate the lab leak theory. It was, I mean, let’s just pick an example.
STELTER: But who said that on CNN? But I’m just saying though when you say allowed, I just think it’s a provocative thing you say — yOr, you could say: We’re not allowed talk about such things. But they’re all over the internet —
WEISS: Brian, let’s —
STELTER: They are easily Googleable. I’ve heard about every story you mentioned.
WEISS: Of course.
STELTER: So, I’m just suggesting, of course, people are allowed to cover whatever they want to cover.
WEISS: But you and I both know, and it would be delusional to claim otherwise that touching your finger to an increasing number of subjects that have been deemed the third rail by the mainstream institutions, and increasingly by some of the tech companies will lead to reputational damage, perhaps you losing your job, your children, sometimes being demonized as well. And so, what happens is a kind of internal self-censorship.
It was something I witnessed over and over when I visited the New York Times. Some people think, “Why should I be dying on this hill?” What good is it to spend the four or five weeks required to pass through an op ed that does not fit the convention narrative?
It is possible that I could also commission the 5,000th opinion piece stating that Donald Trump has become a moral monster. These sense-making institutions are being transformed in American life. It is the media and publishing houses, the Hollywood studios and our universities. They are limiting in radical ways what is acceptable and unacceptable to share.
You and I know that people don’t have to follow a C-suite directive to experience this feeling. They just need to see an example. Let me give you one example….