The Cable Gamer has her criticisms of CNN but she greatly appreciates their transcript services. They are unusually thorough, and usually updated the same day the programs air. It’s where we turned when we heard Tucker Carlson and The Hill’s Joe Concha discussing CNN’s coverage of Donna Brazile and the Mystery of the Town Hall Questions Leaks:
TUCKER CARLSON: It’s funny. They have a media reporter over there who I know likes to be on television. He hasn’t mentioned it.
JOE CONCHA: The bias of omission is the worst kind of omission you can possibly have.
CARLSON: It is. It’s suppression.
Can this possibly be true? A major scandal impacting the credibility of CNN’s Presidential town halls goes unmentioned by Brian Stelter, that network’s star media journalist? The CNN transcript archives to the rescue:
With the dozens of hits Mr. Stelter made over the past seven days (has there ever been a “media reporter” who wangles his way into more segments over a week’s time?) how is it Donna Brazile has never come up? Perhaps a little less restrictive search will show CNN giving this story the attention it deserves:
Even leaving Mr. Stelter out of the equation, there was only one mention on CNN of the Donna Brazile imbroglio over the past week. And when you check out that reference it proves to be just that: a single passing reference by New Day guest Errol Louis, immediately pooh-poohed by company man Chris Cuomo as having “zero chance” to be true. And now CNN can say “we covered it!”
Brian Stelter, it turns out, took issue with Tucker Carlson’s remarks:
Since you read The Cable Game you know what Brian Stelter carefully omitted: Tucker Carlson wasn’t talking about a post on a website. He specifically referenced Brian Stelter’s many on-air CNN hits. And there CNN’s own transcript archives have the last word: Stelter is wrong and Tucker Carlson is right.
UPDATE: After your Cable Gamer exposed CNN’s embarrassing refusal to report on The Brazile Leaks, Sunday’s Reliable Sources did give this ongoing controversy a cursory mention. It was a “throw up your hands, it’s all beyond me” sort of framing:
STELTER: And the point is, it’s still a mystery. You know, no — we haven’t gotten an exact answer to how the heck this happened.
That might be because “we” (i.e. CNN’s on-air journalists and hosts) haven’t reported on the story, let alone addressed any questions about it, since the story broke. Ask no questions and what do you know? You get no answers.
STELTER: Trump has taken this to say, oh, Clinton is being given debate questions, using the plural, using questions, right? So I feel like he’s taken a grain of truth and turn it into a lie.
It’s “a lie” to say Donna Brazile talked about questions “using the plural?” Perhaps Mr. Stelter thinks so because this is the first time he has spoken a word about this subject on CNN’s air. But in any case he’s wrong. Quoting Brazile:
BRAZILE: From time to time I get the questions in advance…
Note: Questions, using the plural, is exactly the wording Brazile used. (And she was talking about not just once, but “from time to time.”) So has Brian Stelter has taken a grain of truth and turned it into a lie? The Cable Gamer reports, you decide.