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CNN’s left-leaning media correspondent Brian Stelter was visibly uncomfortable when confronted by a freshman about his network being a “purveyor of misinformation.”
Stelter traveled to the University of Chicago on Thursday to participate in a panel discussion at the “Disinformation and the Erosion of Democracy” conference.
Christopher Phillips, a college freshman and writer at the conservative and libertarian newspaper The Chicago Thinker, confronted the CNN star, who accused others of pushing “misinformation”.
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“They’re pushing the Russian collusion hoax, they’re pushing the Jussie Smollett hoax, they’re defaming Judge Kavanaugh as a rapist, and they’ve also defamed Nick Sandmann as a white supremacist. And yes, they’ve dismissed the case from the Hunter Biden laptop as pure Russian disinformation,” Phillips told Stelter. “With traditional corporate journalists becoming little more than apologists and cheerleaders for the regime, is it time to finally declare that the canon of journalistic ethics is dead or no longer operational?”
Phillips continued, “All the mistakes of the mainstream media and CNN in particular, all seem to magically point in the same direction. Are we supposed to believe this is all just some kind of random coincidence or is there- is there something else behind it?”
Stelter, who appeared to be sporting a nice tan despite the overcast weather in Chicago, nervously replied, joking, “It’s lunch time.”
“There’s a clock that says 30 seconds, but I think that’s my honest answer to you, and I’ll come back and talk more after that…I understand that’s a popular right-wing narrative on CNN,” Stelter said. . “I think it’s important, when we’re talking about shared reality and democracy, all these networks, all these news outlets have to stand up for democracy. And when they’re wrong, admit it.”
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Stelter continued to dodge Phillips’ line of questioning by taking to CNN to help Fox News in Ukraine after the deadly attack on the Fox News crew last month, showing how the media “works together,” which Stelter said, “we don’t talk enough about this.”
“And when it comes to the diet, I think you mean President Biden? Last time I spoke with a Biden aide, we were yelling at each other. So that’s the industry reality of information, that people don’t see, that people don’t see. I don’t hear,” Stelter said. “They imagine it’s a situation that just isn’t. But I think your question, it speaks to the failure of journalism to show our work and to show the reality of how our profession works. We have a lot work to do, I think.”
Phillips then thanked Stelter for following him after the roundtable, but tweeted, “I ALWAYS wonder: If CNN is truly impartial, WHY every mistake they make is an overshoot for Democrats and against Democrats. Republicans??
Stelter did not address the substance of the questions posed by the student during the panel, particularly the list of lies that CNN has peddled in recent years.
CNN, among other liberal networks, pushed the narrative of Russian collusion for much of the Trump presidency, offered sympathetic coverage to disgraced actor Jussie Smollett, who was convicted of orchestrating a crime hoax of hate, and raised unsubstantiated claims that Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh was a gang rapist during his confirmation hearing in 2018.
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The network was also forced to settle a libel lawsuit against Covington Catholic High School alumnus Nicholas Sandmann, who the network described as a racially motivated attacker of a Native American elder in a viral exchange.
Additionally, CNN saw a spike in explosive New York Post reporting on Hunter Biden during the final weeks of the 2020 presidential election.