Critics Say…CNN’s Brian Stelter Cheap-Shotted Megyn Kelly

bsOn Reliable Sources today Brian Stelter focused his critical lens on Megyn Kelly’s blockbuster interview with the Duggar family, and if you thought he couldn’t find something to carp about, you thought wrong:

BRIAN STELTER: But what I was struck by most was the way she framed some of her questions. Take a look.


MEGYN KELLY, FOX NEWS: What the critics are going for is that you shouldn’t have been preaching about moral values when you had a secret like this your own family. The main charge we’ve heard from your critics has been, they’re hypocrites. They preached family values.

What I’m asking you is, can you understand the critics’ reaction to the news?


STELTER: What she was saying was framing things as critics. Doesn’t it frame the Duggars as the victims of a nasty media?

BONNIE FULLER: Well, absolutely.

Yes, critics say: that time-worn phrase used by newspeople for decades to challenge interview subjects without vouching for the sentiments of the question. Only now, under the newly minted Stelter Rule of Critical Reference, it becomes a tactic to smear “media.” When was this rule passed? And why hasn’t Mr. Stelter informed his CNN colleagues about it? Because they’ve been citing “critics” for years!

  • BRIAN TODD: But critics say you knew about his history…
  • ANDERSON COOPER: I guess, though, the critics say well, why not then, have the month
  • RICHARD QUEST: Your critics say you are moving away from the low-cost model…
  • WOLF BLITZER:  But your critics say you, Newt Gingrich, are fully capable of imploding…
  • ANDERSON COOPER: Dr. Israel, what about that? I mean, your critics say you’ve done no long-term studies…
  • SHANNON TRAVIS (to SARAH PALIN): Critics say you’re way too divisive…
  • ANDERSON COOPER: Senator Obama, your supporters say you are different. Your critics say you’re inexperienced…
  • JAKE TAPPER (to BARACK OBAMA): Your critics say this is diminished expectations…
  • BRIAN STELTER: The company’s critics say it is way too cozy with government…

The Cable Gamer strongly suspects that Brian Stelter didn’t go on the air, wagging a finger at all of those CNN people for trying to paint their subjects as “victims of a nasty media.” Nope, the Stelter Rule of Critical Reference is apparently only invoked when it’s Fox News—with bonus points when it’s Megyn Kelly. Which makes it not just a cheap shot, but an embarrassingly transparent one at that.

One comment

  1. Michael Bennett

    While some might argue that calling it a “cheap shot” is a bit hyperbolic, I don’t think reasonable people can disagree that Brian Stelter made a baseless inference based on what Megyn Kelly had just said.

    What she said was, “What I’m asking you is, can you understand the critics’ reaction to the news?”

    This is entirely different from asking a question like, “What I’m asking you is, do you feel like the critics have been unfair?”

    She was not framing anything. All she was doing was asking a question.


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