When it rains, it pours. Brian Stelter, outspoken critic of “fake news,” has been taking criticism himself for not-quite-honest reporting of a Trump-bashing restaurant review. And hard on the heels of that mess comes another controversy for the CNN commentator–and his competitors have been quick to capitalize on it.
Here are The Hill’s Joe Concha and FNC’s Tucker Carlson pummeling Mr. Stelter for carelessly forwarding a hate crime hoax to his 400,000+ twitter followers:
They aren’t alone on this. Stelter has taken heat on twitter, where exchanges go something like this:
Brian Stelter: I wrote about in the tweet you just replied to. you can read what I wrote here: http://eepurl.com/cuGgBj
PK: you wrote it in a article that nobody will ever read ? Lol you’re being a hypocrite and can’t even admit you were wrong!
Wrecker: Is it responsible to RT unverified allegations simply because they’re going viral? Isn’t that the problem?
As Tucker and Joe Concha discuss in the video, just a few weeks ago Mr. Stelter was sanctimoniously declaring a New Rule for social media:
Essentially, Stelter wanted to make the point that social media users should “triple check before you share” any article to make sure that what is getting sent out is factual.
But apparently Mr. Stelter forgot to mention that this rule is only for the rabble who aren’t members of the elite media. Professional journalists, like Brian Stelter, don’t need to triple-check, double-check, or check at all:
Brian Stelter: I’m noting the virality of the video.
World King Swag: You don’t see the irony of spreading this during the “fake news” craze?
Brian Stelter: I’m not “spreading fake news.” I’m noting that a video is going viral to a degree that rarely happens.
Cecelia Mc: Thereby accelerating that process. I call bs, Brian.
Benjamin Martin: Did you “triple check” this? You are the king of fake news.
The Cable Gamer notes PK’s comment to Stelter that he “can’t even admit you were wrong!” Apologizing comes more easily to some than to others for whom “Sorry” really is the hardest word. Flashback to 2014, when Mr. Stelter lobbed a gratuitous taunt at Fox News, claiming they “tend not to come out and apologize” when their people say something offensive or off-base. Even Erik Wemple, hardly an FNC apologist, had no trouble finding a string of apologies that countered Stelter’s wisecrack. And the indefatigable Johnny Dollar made a graphic that he used to hector Brian on twitter:
johnny dollar: Fox people ‘tend not to apologize’? Where was that data collected, on Bizarro Planet?
Brian Stelter: I’ve been covering Fox for 10 years. Objectively speaking, it reacts to criticism differently than other nets do
johnny dollar: Three relatively recent apologies from F&F alone so suggests to me that ‘tend not to apologize’ = dubious claim.
Brian Stelter: you might be cherry-picking. i think it’s better to take a broader view, not possible thru Google searches.
johnny dollar: I like facts. Counting and stuff. Helpful before claiming something is infrequent or rare.
Two years later The Cable Gamer gets why Fox has been covering this particular Stelter gaffe. It kind of supports the notion that it’s Brian Stelter who tends not to apologize. Even when he’s caught spreading fake news.