Michael Wolff, Brian Stelter Engage in Contentious Back-and-Forth About Trump Coverage

By A.J. Katz 

Newsweek writer & Hollywood Reporter columnist Michael Wolff has been a frequent critic of the news media’s coverage of Pres. Donald Trump, expressing the belief that the various outlets are making far too big a deal out of every little thing he says or does. Wolff believes this constant nit-picking (to put it mildly) damages the news media’s credibility.

Wolff has also gone after CNN’s senior media correspondent and host of Reliable Sources Brian Stelter for making the media the story, and for delivering what he calls “pious sermons about Trump’s perfidiousness.” Now, whether one agrees with the premise of the show or not, the hour-long Reliable Sources is dedicated to conversation about media affairs, and how those in the media believe they should cover relevant stories. Stelter’s program makes the case the media is indeed part of the story, and when a president attacks the media, they have a right to attack back. Wolff disagrees.

WOLFF: I mean this with truly no disrespect, but I think you can border on being sort of quite a ridiculous figure. It is not a good look, to repeatedly and self-righteously defend your own self-interest. The media should not be the story every week. Every week in this religious sense, you make it the story, but we are not the story.

STELTER: Isn’t there room for one hour a week on CNN for this?

WOLFF: Listen, I love your show, but I wish every weekend you did not turn to the camera and lecture America about the virtues of the media and everyone trying to attack it. The media will be fine.

STELTER: The media doesn’t need defending?

WOLFF: The media doesn’t need defending by the media. The New York Times front page looks like it’s 1938 in Germany every day.

STELTER: No it does not. Give me a break.