CNN’s in-house media pundit Brian Stelter was confronted by a C-SPAN caller on Tuesday who told him the liberal network is “dividing our nation” and called CNN the “enemy of the truth.”
Stelter joined C-SPAN's “Washington Journal” to answer questions from viewers when a caller from Minnesota accused CNN of committing over 300,000 “distortions of truth” since President Donald Trump took office.
“You guys always talk about how many times Trump has lied, I’ve calculated and, I think with your chyrons... I don’t know if there are any journalists left at CNN but I know that, if I were to estimate, about 300 different distortions or misinformation that we get out of CNN,” the caller said. “And you have to watch them in the airport, which is harsh, but if you added all that up to 46 months, it comes out to be 300,000-plus distortions of truth.”
The caller then evoked Nick Sandmann, who famously settled a multimillion-dollar defamation lawsuit with CNN.
“You defamed a child,” the caller said, adding that CNN is “dividing our nation” with partisan coverage.
“And I don’t believe in dividing our nation, it hurts our great nation, and, so CNN is really the enemy of the truth,” the caller said. “That’s my opinion, thank you.”
Stelter, who seemed to be used to such feedback and has been labeled media’s “hall monitor” by critics in the past, said he was grateful for the call.
“I know you’re not the only person that feels this way,” Stelter said. “There has been a process of radicalization that’s happened in this country with media bashing that is absolutely unprecedented.”
Stelter then said that many journalists live in big cities and have “liberal leanings,” but newsrooms should ensure that “bias doesn’t seep into the news coverage.”
“Yet sometimes it does,” Stelter said. "I absolutely acknowledge that. I think it’s different to talk about things as if they are enemies. No American is an enemy of another American. No news outlet is an enemy of America.”