CNN media reporter Brian Stelter admitted his network had grown to more editorials in recent years on Monday, but defended it as simply “pro-democracy.”
During an appearance for Stelter at Lehigh University, guest speaker and former “Good Morning America” host Joan Lunden asked him about the evolution of journalists at CNN and elsewhere who feel more and more secure. more comfortable wearing their point of view on their sleeves.
“Now that there are all these attacks on the free press, and quite frankly repeated attacks on the real truth, have you had to change your position in that you have to somehow take a stand and give an opinion? ?… Maybe it was three or four years ago, you would have said, ‘I’m not going,’ “said Lunden.
Stelter said CNN has changed since 2015, when Donald Trump started his race for the Republican nomination and ultimately for the White House.
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“Definitely before 2015 there were times when the presenters would speak directly to the camera and take their perspective on certain topics,” Stelter said. “What you see a lot more since 2015 are these segments of analysis, these segments of perspective where we look directly at the camera, we speak directly to the viewer, and we evaluate the information there, trying to tell you what we see is true, what we know to be true, and now also sometimes what we stand for. “
Stelter acknowledged that CNN had “moved on” due to Trump’s political rise.
“When you have a propagandist, a demagogue who runs for president, then becomes president and takes pretty clear anti-democratic positions, I think the idea was understandable that the anchors … were talking about democracy, talking about the truth, talking about of decency. Said Stelter. “I don’t think it’s partisan to be pro-democracy, pro-decency, pro-truth.
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“I think there are topics that are essential to America and journalism that need to be championed, and I think that’s how CNN has evolved where you have presenters like Anderson [Cooper] or Jake Tapper or my way, myself, taking these positions. “
CNN has covered Trump’s incredible political rise closely and has become one of its main antagonists in the press; former White House correspondent Jim Acosta was infamous, even among his colleagues in the mainstream media, for his awe-inspiring approach to his coverage. Acosta gave one of the monologues Stelter was referring to on Saturday, where the left-wing bald anchor lamented the country’s divisions since September 11, 2001.
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CNN’s editorial positions lean heavily to the left, with Acosta, Cooper, Tapper, Don Lemon, Brianna Keilar and Chris Cuomo among its more outspoken voices mixing opinion with the news. The latter was caught up by his brother as a private adviser to his brother, former Democratic Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo, during his political scandal of sexual harassment. CNN also ridiculed the Cuomos for conducting friendly interviews at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Tapper admitted this year that he had become more opinionated, but also presented it as a defense of “decency” rather than shilling for Democrats.
“I don’t consider my role to be particularly opinionated except for things that I think it’s good to have an opinion on, like the truth and the facts and just basic decency,” Tapper said. “But I’m not saying this tax bill has to be this particular bill. It’s not my style.”
Stelter focuses heavily on conservative media in his coverage and often defends CNN and other mainstream liberal media from criticism. He presented the country’s media structure on Monday as a battle between the truth-driven mainstream press and more nefarious right-wing media.
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“We have two media. We have two countries, two media,” he said. “We have mainstream media, you know all the brands. We have flaws but we try. And we have this alternative media structure in the country… We have these two media in one, and it creates a very, I think, confusing environment for the public. “