CNN media pundit Brian Stelter raised eyebrows On Monday night after he said that “mostly right-wing media” is behind the growing push for Joe Biden not to debate President Trump — despite high-profile calls from The New York Times and even CNN personalities for the former vice president to skip the events.
Earlier in the day, the Times sparked mockery across social media for an op-ed arguing that presidential debates should be “scrapped,” with critics suggesting that it’s the latest effort by the media to prevent Biden from debating Trump. Donald Trump Jr. even chimed in, tweeting, “OMG they’re really going for it. There’s absolutely nothing the left will not do to protect Joe Biden and cover-up for all of his obvious flaws,” to accompany a link to the op-ed.
CNN media pundit Brian Stelter raised eyebrows after he said that “mostly right-wing media” is behind the growing push for Joe Biden not to debate President Trump.
Townhall.com political editor and Fox News contributor Guy Benson quipped about the puzzling media trend, writing, “This ‘Biden shouldn’t debate’ boomlet is just a media tempest, right? Right?”
Stelter, once dubbed the media’s “hall monitor,” appeared to reject the premise of Benson’s comment.
“It is mostly a right-wing media tempest, fueled by hour after hour of Fox commentary (not reporting), far removed from campaign reality …,” the CNN pundit told Benson.
Benson shot back with a screenshot made by Reagan Battalion of various headlines from The New York Times, Newsweek, even CNN, where Stelter’s own colleague Joe Lockhart urged Biden to not debate Trump.
“It seems as though this notion wasn’t invented out of whole cloth by conservatives. It’s an idea that has been floated by left-leaning figures/outlets …,” Benson replied.
The “Reliable Sources” host appeared to then shift his argument, writing, “I’m well aware. but it’s a mistake to spend lots of precious time yakking about what leftie columnists are suggesting in this case. obviously biden will debate. why imply otherwise to viewers, hour after hour?”
While Benson and Stelter were respectful in disagreement, others took to Twitter to tear into Stelter for his attempt to blame “right-wing media” fueling such debate speculation.
“This is a brazen lie that’s easily traceable. Brian Stelter’s head doesn’t not exist in reality,” conservative commentator Stephen Miller reacted.
“When I think about my most Reliable Sources as a reporter, I definitely think about the sources who are shameless partisans who are utterly unwilling to admit when they’re wrong and are brazen & embarrassing as they double down when proven to be laughably & demonstrably off base,” Washington Examiner reporter Jerry Dunleavy tweeted.
CNN’s media newsletter also ran with Stelter’s widely lampooned theory, blaming “right-wing media outlets” for “an imaginary controversy” surrounding calls for Biden to skip debates.