Patterico's Pontifications

1/19/2019

Brian Stelter and His “Reliable Sources”

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:48 pm



Offered without further comment.

OK, I lied; I’ll offer further comment.

There’s nothing wrong with having Ben Smith and Anthony Cormier on a show about media. Stelter should have Jason Leopold on as well. The issue is not simply their presence on the show. The issue is whether they, and the sources upon which they based their recent blockbuster story, are going to be treated as “Reliable Sources.”

And based on Stelter’s track record — including having Dan Rather on his show and treating him as some sort of journalism laureate — Stelter is not going to raise the real questions that need to be raised. Such as: how do you hire a guy who maintained for months that Karl Rove had been indicted — and who doubled, tripled, and quadrupled down on that story when the world could see how dubious it was? And how could you publish a story this momentous based on anonymous sources, co-authored by a guy with that track record?

And: if you claim that there are documents supporting your story, where are they? Did you bring them with you today? You didn’t? Why not?

So yeah, Brian Stelter, I want “to pursue and promote reliable info” and “to advocate for a better media ecosystem.” But I don’t think your laughably named show is the way to do that.

Prove me wrong. Do your job on Sunday. Don’t tepidly raise Mueller’s denial, give these guys a platform to pretend that their story is still solid, and act like it’s a he said/she said situation. Even if Trump did what they are accusing him of — and believe me, I think that’s quite possible — there is a Big Problem here. If you want to advocate for a better media ecosystem, you should damned well treat it like the problem it is.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]


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