CNN’s critics had fun with the network’s in-house media reporter Brian Stelter on Wednesday when he promoted an upcoming documentary about “disinformation and the cost of fake news” on the heels of the liberal network settling a multimillion-dollar defamation lawsuit filed by Covington Catholic High School student Nick Sandmann amid various other controversies.
“HBO just announced something I've been working on for a couple of years: A documentary titled 'AFTER TRUTH: DISINFORMATION AND THE COST OF FAKE NEWS.' The film will premiere on TV and online this March,” Stelter tweeted.
The film is directed by Andrew Rossi and executive produced by Stelter. It aims to explore “the rising phenomenon of ‘fake news’ in the U.S. and the impact that disinformation, conspiracy theories and false news stories have on the average citizen,” according to WarnerMedia.
“After Truth: Disinformation and the cost of fake news” will help explain “how post-truth culture has become an increasingly dangerous part of the global information environment,” the company added.
WarnerMedia is the parent company of both HBO and Stelter’s CNN.
Media Research Center vice president Dan Gainor told Fox News that “it's hard to tell if this is a documentary or an autobiography.”
“One of the most amazing things about the news media is they can't even envision how people will look at what they are doing in a critical way,” Gainor said.
In addition to the recent settlement with Sandmann, Stelter’s tweet came as CNN was trending on social media because of backlash to CNN political correspondent Abby Phillip's performance during the network’s Democratic debate in Iowa on Tuesday night.
The network cited unnamed sources close to Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., who claimed that Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., told her that he didn't believe she could win a presidential election because she's a woman. Sanders denied the claim, but Warren affirmed the report -- leading to a widely panned debate moment.
Despite Sanders' debate stage denial, CNN’s moderator immediately turned to Warren and asked, “What did you think when Sen. Sanders told you a woman could not win the election?"
The moment was condemned by pundits on both sides of the aisle and resulted in a variety of disparaging hashtags related to the liberal network.
“CNN is usually a punching bag for conservatives in the Trump era, but I can't say I've seen it so harshly criticized from the left as it is today due to last night's debate and particularly the treatment of Bernie,” wrote The Hill media reporter Joe Concha.
NewsBusters managing editor Curtis Houck told Fox News that it’s “incredibly ironic” the documentary was announced at the same time that “CNN is grappling” with a debate that was even panned by the far-left MSNBC.
“Add in Stelter’s recent complaint that calling D.C. journalists ‘swamp creatures’ is ‘hateful speech’ and you have quite the week for HBO to announce his latest ride atop his high horse,” Houck said, referring to a recent segment when the CNN media reporter condemned White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley for criticizing reporters.
Stelter's announcement was immediately hit with criticism and mockery.
The announcement also came one day after attorney Michael Avenatti, who was a CNN guest hundreds of times at the height of his fame, was arrested over allegations that the high-profile lawyer scammed a client out of $840,000. Stelter once famously declared that he was taking Avenatti “seriously” as a 2020 Democratic presidential contender – so many critics responded to the documentary news with footage of the 2018 interview.
While CNN’s critics were having a field day, some media members were indeed excited to see the film.