CNN host Brian Stelter was giggling like a schoolgirl who said hi to her crush during Sunday’s so-called “Reliable Sources” as he and his cavalcade of unhinged lefty media types declared war on “normalizing” their opponents. To incite hatred, they conspired to attack Fox News and the Republican Party by spreading lies and innuendo.
This first act in Stelter’s hate-fest was James Fallows from far-left rag Atlantic. According to Fallows, the way the GOP were conducting themselves in the debt ceiling debate could easily be equated to an extremist group threatening to “If you don’t do X or Y, then dump the anthrax in your water supply.”
If his intent wasn’t clear enough, he doubled back on the notion a little bit later in the segment (Click “expand”):
One point: Congress may be in disarray but one group of Congresspeople makes it seem like Congress is in disarray. It’s by – The Republicans are saying we’re going to use the threat of a filibuster with our minority to hold up this crucial thing for the world’s economy. It’s not a natural phenomenon, but it is in disarray.
“But the intendancy of the media is present all of these things in the ways we’re familiar with as a standoff, as a negotiation, a chess game, who’s going to blink, who is canny, et cetera, et cetera,” he whined.
And to prove which side of the political aisle they were on, Stelter led the panel in a discussion about how they needed to do more to support Congressional Democrats by doing away with headlines about how “the Democrats are in disarray.”
He was backed up by Yahoo! News White House correspondent Brittany Shepherd, who suggested that the media were harming President Biden’s leverage because the disarray narrative “allows someone like Manchin, Sinema to go to the White House and have all this unbridled power because then it becomes this like Aaron Sorkin power play…”
She also took a shot at her colleagues in the press pool by suggesting they didn’t ask the highbrow questions she would if she wasn’t forced to stand in the back of the room. “I’m in the back like needing more Advil because I just don’t have a tolerance for it anymore,” Shepherd gripped.
Perhaps if she worked for a real news organization and not a glorified news aggregator, she’d get a seat and get called on.
But some of the more angry and vicious attacks came from Baltimore Sun media critic David Zurawik. And according to him, the GOP was embracing “autocracy” and the “crisis” was how the media reported it (Click “expand”):
Brian, we talked about this a couple weeks ago in another context, the danger is this move towards autocracy and the way the Republican Party has bought into it, and the way they are shutting down Congress and doing all of these things to bring Trump back in 2024 and to get the midterms in 2022.
And we are at this dangerous point and the crisis is how do we communicate this to the American people?
He even flashed a sadistic side when he hoped his neighbor’s social security payments would get cut off so they could see what the GOP was doing. “I have some elderly neighbors who are only on social security. And I thought, ‘wait until your social security check doesn’t come, then you’ll know what’s going on here,’” he said.
Things between Stelter and Zurawik grew darker as the former suggested, without evidence, Fox News was directly responsible for “prolonging the pandemic” because some hosts questioned the “authoritarianism of vaccine mandates.”
“How do you live with yourself when you know what you’re doing in the media can cause deaths for people,” Zurawik sneered as if talking to the people at Fox News. “It’s not a game. You walk out on the street, you’re part of the community. You’re part of this country. You’re part of the global community, and you’re contributing to killing people!”
And with Stelter continuing to giggle like a schoolgirl, Zurawik damned them, suggesting the people at Fox News couldn’t receive forgiveness:
ZURAWIK: That’s unconscionable. There’s no forgiveness. There is no forgiveness for these people. Go ahead cash your checks now.
ZURAWIK: You know. You’re helping to kill people. Think of that tomorrow when you go in before the cameras.
Of course, this all came the week after Stelter equated Fox News to the clogged heart of a GOP that’s ready to die. It’s clear who needs to visit the cardiologist.
These vicious and venomous takes were made possible because of lucrative sponsorships from United Healthcare and Abbott Laboratories. Their contact information is linked so you can tell them about the biased news they fund.
The relevation portions of the transcript are below, click “expand” to read:
CNN’s Reliable Sources
October 10, 2021
11:02:52 a.m. Eastern
BRIAN STELTER: “Normalizing” in our first word, Jim. You’ve been writing about this on your Substack several times a week, trying to chronical how the debt limit’s been covered. Just simply put, what has the media got wrong in this story?
JAMES FALLOWS: So, the main problem is the one you laid out and clearly in the introduction. There’s something happening now that’s not normal and is a threat. It’s not the normal political negotiation. It’s not the kind of disagreement we might have over immigration policy or dealing with China of anything like that. It’s an outright threat to the welfare of the country.
An extreme example would be some group saying, “Well, we’re going to dump anthrax in the water supply unless you do X, Y or Z.” That is a threat. This is not a public health threat. But it’s a threat that can have real economic implications.
But the intendancy of the media is present all of these things in the ways we’re familiar with as a standoff, as a negotiation, a chess game, who’s going to blink, who is canny, et cetera, et cetera? So, I think there was a time until the recent agreement to hold us off for two months where the press was beginning to say this isn’t normal, this isn’t negotiations, using the filibuster to renege on the credit of the United States is not a normal disagreement.
STELTER: [Giggles] Right.
FALLOWS: But after the sigh of relief, there’s been some backsliding again.
11:04:52 a.m. Eastern
STELTER: Well, one of the phrases I always hear these days is, of course, Dems in disarray, it’s a meme, it’s a joke, but it’s also said seriously all the time; “the Democrats are in disarray.” Is it more accurate to say it’s “Congress is disarray? Congress is failing?”
BRITTANY SHEPHERD: Absolutely. And when we say Dems are in disarray, it gives like a political game chips to both people. Right?
SHEPHERD: It Sinema and Manchin can now go to Washington, DC to enjoy all the unbridled power of the White House because then it becomes this like Aaron Sorkin power play, or people make jokes about VEEP in the briefing room, and I’m in the back like needing more Advil because I just don’t have a tolerance for it any more. But, you’re actually able to change the shape of were actual negotiations are when we use the phrase like “Dems are in disarray,” and we don’t just say “why isn’t Congress working Mr. President?”
FALLOWS: And just one brief point here, Congress in disarray, but Congress is made to be in disarray by one group of Congress people. It’s by – The Republicans are saying we’re going to use the threat of a filibuster with our minority to hold up this crucial thing for the world’s economy. So, it’s in disarray but caused disarray, rather than just some a naturally occurring phenomenon.
11:07:05 a.m. Eastern
DAVID ZURAWIK: Well, you know, I’ve never heard a president who’s a good media critic. Whenever they start criticizing the media, A, they’re in trouble and B, they don’t know what they’re talking — even Obama. Obama was the worst media critic. I love some things Obama did, but when he played media critic, it was bad.
And it’s kind of disingenuous for Biden to be saying that when he’s the guy who the uber-narrative he’s given us is “battle for the soul of America.” Yeah, okay, that is intense, that’s good. I agree with that. So don’t say we’re hyping it. If we’re in the battle for the soul of America, you can’t hype that. That’s the battle.
STELTER: Oh, that’s interesting.
ZURAWIK: And he’s actually right about that, he’s actually right about this. All of this that’s going on,
Brian, this was something we discussed a few weeks back in another context.This move toward autocracy is dangerous, as well as the fact that the Republican Party has bought in to itThey are closing down Congress, doing everything to bring Trump back by 2024 and get the 2022 midterms.
We are now at a dangerous crossroads. The question is: How do we convey this information to the American people.
You know, when they were talking about the debt ceiling, I thought — I live in the city of Baltimore, and I thought my neighbors, I have some elder – like I’m young – [laughter] – but Some of my elderly neighbours are on only social security. And I thought, “wait until your social security check doesn’t come, then you’ll know what’s going on here.”
ZURAWIK: So, that’s the real feeling. I don’t like Biden playing media critic but, you know, he’s going to do it. Presidents do that.
11:12:41 a.m. Eastern
STELTER: They essentially, David, are The pandemic could be extended by being so aggressively, deeply skeptical, oppositional. Look at that, “authoritarianism of vaccine mandates.” The tone every single day is to be anti-Biden on these things.
ZURAWIK: Brian, it’s not real to them. It’s like it’s a game. I mean, they’re playing for viewership, okay? They’ve got a core that listens to this and wants to hear this apparently and that they’re reinforcing. But how do you live with yourself when you know what you’re doing in the media can cause deaths for people? How do you live with – I don’t understand that. I do not.
There are a lot of sins we have, and I’ll confess to some of them as a journalist, but I don’t know how people in right-wing media, with the science we have out there and with all of the videos and all of the personal tragedies we have witnessed of people dying, you can go and do anti-vax stuff on television.
It’s not a game. When you walk down the street, it’s part of your community. You are part of the country. You belong to the global community. You’re helping to kill people. That’s unconscionable. It is impossible to forgive. These people are not forgiven. You can cash your checks right now.
ZURAWIK, You’re aware. Your actions are helping people to die. When you enter the camera room tomorrow, think about that.