This week's Mainstream Media Scream features a classic TV duel between CNN "Reliable Sources" host Brian Stelter and senior Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway.
Called out by presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway to name the "big scandals" of the Trump administration, Stelter, on Sunday's Reliable Sources, cited President Trump's "demagogic behavior when it comes to the media." The CNN host insisted that when Trump "calls real news outlets fake news, he poisons our public discourse" and "makes it harder for us to trust each other."
From the July 23 Reliable Sources on CNN, after Conway complained about the media's obsession with Russia as they undercover other important administration achievements:
BRIAN STELTER: But journalists also recognize there are big scandals going on.
KELLYANNE CONWAY: What scandals are going on? Brian, name them. Go ahead, I'll sit here, I want to hear about. No, you can't get away with that. What are the, quote, "big scandals" going on? Please, name them for me.
STELTER: When you look at this president's rhetoric, his demagogic behavior when it comes to the media–
CONWAY: His rhetoric is a scandal?
STELTER: Yes, it actually is. But the more important scandals–
CONWAY: It is? His rhetoric is a scandal?
STELTER: –are what happened before -- you don't think that his words against the media are poison, Kellyanne, actually hurting the country on a daily basis?
CONWAY: Wait, his rhetoric is a scandal?
STELTER: When he calls real news outlets fake, when he calls real news outlets fake news, he poisons our public discourse. It makes it harder for us to communicate as a country, it makes it harder for us to trust each other.
Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains the pick: "Talk about a lack of self-awareness. CNN, and the MSM, long ago lost the trust of much of the public because they so obviously favored liberals and denigrated conservatives. Trump is not the cause of distrust in the media or a poisoning of discourse, but someone who successfully exploited the table set by too many politically-driven journalists."
Rating: Five out of five screams.
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at email@example.com