Appearing on Fusion’s “Midterm Mayhem,” CNN senior media correspondent Brian Stelter was asked about the role of cable news in creating fear and panic over Ebola. Stelter said part of the problem is cable viewers themselves, who may watch too much news and get a warped sense of the real story. “It’s partly the fault of the viewer,” he told hosts Nando Vila and Kal Penn.
Stelter argued cable’s saturation coverage of stories like Ebola could lead a viewer who sits in front of the screen for hour after hour to walk away more afraid than someone who watches less:
“It’s partly the fault of the viewer. I don’t know if that’s kosher to say or not. Personally, I don’t watch cable news that way. I don’t read news websites that way. I go in for a few minutes, I get the information, I come back out. I think if you sit there watching for 24 hours or whatever that stereotypical amount of time is, you’re probably going to come away with a disproportional sense of how important that story is. I put a lot of that on the audience. Maybe that’s silly of me to say.”