Collateral Damage

That incoming fire, the rounds that didn’t hit Brian Williams? Some of them did find a target, only it wasn’t BriWi. It was CNN’s Brian Stelter. The snark-o-meter at FTV Live went to “11” as they reported:

Stelter then writes, “This week, I’ve been urging Brian Williams to be fully transparent about what happened on his embed in Iraq and about why his story evolved over the years.”

Why Brian Williams would care or take advice from Stelter is beyond us, but Stelter must think he’s Williams PR team or his Dad.

Stelter ends his story with, “What initially looked like an account that supported some of Brian Williams’ war story — that he came “under fire” that day — no longer appears to be true.”

And Brian Stelter’s big scoop that he talked about all day yesterday just got shot down.

You didn’t have to be Nostradamus to see this coming. It’s what happens when your media critic can’t resist playing reporter. Scott Jones warned about it, and so did I. What kind of credibility is Brian Stelter going to have when he does another of his regular segments going after Fox News? Will the next Reliable Sources feature an in-depth discussion of how badly he bungled a “scoop” that wasn’t sufficiently fact-checked–a discussion moderated by himself? Will that be another whitewash as he did with Fareed Zakaria? Or will his own gaffe just be ignored (a la the Carol Costello incident) as he points fingers at his competitors?

It’s too early to tell what will happen to Brian Williams as the story continues to develop. And to be fair, it’s probably too soon to write any obituaries for Brian Stelter. He’s Zucker’s guy, and when the boss likes you that can absolve a multitude of sins. But outside the Zuckerville Reality Distortion Field, CNN’s media reporter/analyst/critic/stormchaser has taken a hit. “Reliable Sources?” How ironic that sounds now.


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