CNN media correspondent Brian Stelter has offered a rare criticism of his own network’s coverage of last week’s rioting in Kenosha, Wis.
On the morning of Aug. 25, national correspondent Omar Jimenez was reporting live on a second night of unrest that had followed the police shooting of Jacob Blake. As Jimenez stood in front of a raging fire, the chyron at the bottom of the screen read, “FIERY BUT MOSTLY PEACEFUL PROTESTS AFTER POLICE SHOOTING.”
During an appearance on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal,” Tuesday morning, Stelter was confronted by a caller from North Carolina, who slammed the chyron and mocked the “Reliable Sources” host as “Humpty Dumpty” and “nothing but a stooge.”
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After dismissing the name-calling, Stelter did acknowledge the caller was justified in slamming the on-air graphic.
“I really do appreciate the caller’s point about the chyrons. These are the graphics on the bottom of the screen. They’re known as chyrons or banners,” Stelter began before explaining that different CNN programs handle them differently. “I think that CNN banner the caller mentioned that said there were ‘fiery but mostly peaceful protests.’ That banner was probably a mistake. I don’t know who wrote it, probably a young producer who’s trying their best under deadline in a breaking news situation … That kind of thing becomes easily criticized and probably not the right banner to put on the screen.”
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Stelter then urged the caller to not judge CNN by “its worst mistake made during the day” and to instead watch CNN “for a day” to make up his mind about the “totality” of the network.
Other callers were also critics of the anti-Trump network.
“You guys always talk about how many times Trump has lied, I’ve calculated and, I think with your chyrons … I don’t know if there are any journalists left at CNN but I know that, if I were to estimate, about 300 different distortions or misinformation that we get out of CNN,” one caller said. “And you have to watch them in the airport, which is harsh, but if you added all that up to 46 months, it comes out to be 300,000-plus distortions of truth.”
The caller added, “And I don’t believe in dividing our nation, it hurts our great nation, and, so CNN is really the enemy of the truth. That’s my opinion, thank you.”
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Stelter, who is often referred to as the media’s “hall monitor,” has been repeatedly criticized for his constant full-throated defenses of the press and attacks on right-wing media outlets.
Earlier this month, Stelter was slammed for suggesting that conservative outlets “essentially exist to tear down Joe Biden,” while no outlet on the left serves a similar purpose toward Trump.
Fox News’ Brian Flood contributed to this report.