Brian Stelter says ‘CNN needs to stay strong’ on latest ‘Reliable Sources’ show

“Reliable Sources” host Brian Stetler said goodbye to viewers on Sunday after the show was canceled, warning that “CNN needs to stay strong” and calling his role patriotic in a dramatic closing monologue.

Stetler was allowed to host a final episode of the poorly rated media program, which was canceled Thursday, marking the end of CNN’s longest-running show.

“It’s not partisan to stand up to demagogues,” he said. “It’s required. It’s patriotic. We have to make sure that we don’t give platforms to those who lie to our face. But we also have to make sure that we represent the whole debate and that we represent what happening in the country and in the world.

Brian Stelter called his role patriotic on his latest show “Reliable Sources.”
Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

The comments could be seen as a dig at CNN’s new chief executive, Chris Licht, who has pushed for more centrist, less left-leaning coverage on the network since replacing disgraced boss Jeff Zucker in May.

Stelter ran the Sunday morning show for nine years and often criticized Fox News, even writing a book called “Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth.”

“We have to make sure that we don’t give a platform to those who lie to our face. But we also have to make sure that we represent the full range of debates and that we represent what is happening in this country, in this world,” he said in his signature speech.

“That’s why CNN needs to be strong. That’s why I think CNN will always be strong.

The anchor and media critic thanked Licht, formerly of CBS, saying it was “rare” to be able to do one last show after the cancellation.

"Reliable sources" on CNN
Stelter ran “Reliable Sources” on Sundays for nine years.

“It may sound weird, but thank you to current CNN boss Chris Licht for letting us say goodbye,” he said.

In an internal meeting on Friday, Licht apparently publicly thanked Stelter.

“I really appreciate everything Brian has done to set the media beat for CNN. He’s a great human being and a great person. I wish him the best in his new endeavor,” he said.

New York Post

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