Brian Stelter: ‘I Think It’s Sad That Private Conversations Get Leaked Out, Get Distorted and Then They Become Polarized and Weaponized’

By A.J. Katz 

CNN chief media correspondent and Reliable Sources anchor Brian Stelter declined to play the role of CNN spokesperson when asked a question on The View concerning questionable behind-the-scenes behavior shown by high-level personalities at the network.

“There are some ethical questions that are being thrown around about CNN lately,” began co-host Meghan McCain. “There is 2016 audio of your president, Jeff Zucker, offering debate advice to President Trump that was released. Jake Tapper was recently caught, allegedly, trying to influence a congressional election. And I had serious problems with the way Chris Cuomo had a recurring prime time, sort of comic routine with his brother,” referring to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. “Do you believe that this is acceptable?”

Stelter first responded by saying McCain should write a media-focused book of her own, and added that Tucker Carlson had “cherry-picked” certain audio clips and storylines for his program—including candid private phone conversations between Zucker and former Trump attorney Michael Cohen—in order to push a certain narrative. Stelter also noted Cohen’s claim that the tapes were held only by Trump, the Trump Organization and the Department of Justice. “You have to wonder if it’s an example of this feedback loop that exists between Trump and Fox,” Stelter said.


“But, look, I’m not a spokesperson for … CNN. It’s not for me to comment on these tapes,” Stelter added. “Here is what I think is sad, though. I think it’s sad that private conversations get leaked out, get distorted and then, you know, they become polarized and weaponized. That’s the environment we’re in, and that’s sad. You know, if our text messages or if my phone calls with friends were suddenly taken out of context and distorted—let me put it this way, I think the Trump age has ruined a lot of friendships. I think that’s really sad.”

*Note: Stelter founded this site, TVNewser, in 2004.