One of cable news infotainment’s most shameless hosts is out of a job. On Thursday CNN canceled the Sunday morning show Reliable Sources and released its host Brian Stelter.
The media’s janitor, as I’ve come to call him, is unemployed for now, but don’t expect it to last. The New York Times has had a media columnist opening since Ben Smith left in January — and that’s where Stelter made his name.
I hate to burst the bubble of those celebrating the departure of one of the most dishonest figures in the national media, but Stelter, for some reason or another, is highly respected in the industry. His CNN newsletter is one of the highest circulated among journalists, whom Stelter worked to shield from controversy from atop his perch on the wall at CNN.
Stelter’s greatest hits including floating disgraced and imprisoned attorney Michael Avenatti for president and routinely having discredited newsman Dan Rather on his show to opine about Trump and the right, blissfully unaware of the irony of attempting to rehabilitate Rather on a show titled Reliable Sources. Stelter, along with his Salacious B. Crumb Oliver Darcy, mainstreamed the Media Matters method of watching Fox News, then informing all of us who watch Fox News about what was happening on Fox News. This, despite the fact that Fox News is much more widely viewed than CNN. Stelter’s weekly show never broke a few hundred thousand viewers.
The host also never answered questions about how he smeared Radar Online in his newsletter, prior to the site’s scoop about the downfall of his boss and clone, Jeff Zucker. And Stelter refused to answer what he knew about colleague Chris Cuomo’s work with Zucker on elevating former governor Andrew Cuomo and directing his much media-heralded Covid pressers.
We should not remember Brian Stelter as an unbiased journalist; he was a hitman on behalf of the media, sent in as the cleaner for CNN and Jeff Zucker. Imagine a less competent Mike Ehrmentraut.
Stelter’s days at CNN were always numbered following Zucker’s unceremonious departure. But really, Stelter’s worst transgression was feigning the role of a straight-shooting media ombudsman, rather than owning up to being a rank partisan operative on behalf of the corrupt mainstream media. Perhaps he’ll land somewhere that frees him up to show his true colors. Then CNN can attempt to rebuild as an actual news network, and shirk its bad rep as the Media Matters gossip hall that Brian Stelter and his former boss turned it into. Good riddance to them both.