April 28, 2018

CNN’s Stelter Goes Ballistic Over Media As ‘Enemy of the People’ Poll Result

Two Thursday polls showed that the nation’s trust in the establishment press is in the tank. CNN’s Brian Stelter went onto to Twitter to hypocritically go after one result showing that a majority of Republicans see the news media as an enemy of the American people.

Quinnipiac reported that “enemy of the people” result.

But poll respondents were given a ridiculous choice between two extremes, indicating that Qpac engineered the question to generate a “gotcha” result:


An unusually high 12 percent of respondents wouldn’t answer the question, which should have included a third option: “that it is an important source of information enabling people to make important decisions on their own.”

Early Friday, Stelter predictably pounced with this odious tweeted reaction:


Stelter needs to look no further than his own mirror for the source of this “infection that’s spreading.”

After all, he and his network tried to popularize the term “fake news” shortly after the 2016 election in a clear attempt “to marginalize and silence center-right outlets” — including, as will be seen in the Stelter-narrated video below, NewsBusters — and to allege that Donald Trump may have won the presidency because of it:

Transcript (beginning at 0:18):

BRIAN STELTER: Did the spread of fake news on the web help elect Donald Trump?

We may never know for sure, but researchers are asking the question, because made-up, false stories are polluting people’s Facebook timelines and Twitter streams.v

(cut to pre-recorded clips seen elsewhere)

JOHN OLIVER: This cesspool of nonsense.

GERALDO RIVERA: Bogus stories.


(back to Stelter’s report)

STELTER: And getting worse. Even President Obama is raising the alarm.

These fake sites are easy to set up and profitable for the creators. Every time we click and share, they make more money. But we are worse off.

Now, Facebook and Google are banning fake sites from making money off their ad networks. It’s a first effort to choke off some of the revenue.

The bigger challenge? Providing more BS detection tools, without threatening free speech.

ARIZONA STATE PROFESSOR DAN GILLMOR: Suddenly, they have these, I think, social, societal duties to help us not be faked-out all the time. And yet, I don’t want the Terms of Service of one company, or two or three companies, to have more influence than the First Amendment.

STELTER: The root problem is that some people want to believe the lies. That’s why the responsibility isn’t just (with) Facebook, Google, or Twitter. We all have to get a little smarter about what we share.

Given the hostility Stelter has directed at NewsBusters, it’s hard to imagine that the appearance of an image from the site at the same time Stelter said “BS detection tools” was a coincidence. The idea that he dishonestly included NB in a presentation which was supposed to be about “fake sites” was an example of the very “fake news” he decried.

Unfortunately for Stelter, his “fake news” crusade has successfully been turned against his own network and other establishment press outlets like the New York Times, Washington Post, and Associated Press with a delicious vengeance. Why? Because they’ve been the ones serially generating fake news since Donald Trump became President. The rout over the application of the term “fake news” has been so complete that CNN President Jeffrey Zucker said less than six months later that “we should all try to avoid it.”

The results of a question asked by Pew Research, which released the second poll Thursday, demonstrate that the so-called “infection” the Qpac poll artificially tried to isolate to Republicans is actually ubiquitous:


If you’re only generating a great deal of confidence with 5-8 percent of your audience, you’re the one with the problem. But as Rush Limbaugh has so often said, the establishment press is about the only business which believes that ”the customer is always wrong.”

Also, an important final reminder, using the Qpac poll as an example: As of 2014, only about 8 percent of people pollsters attempted to contact were completing their related surveys — down (per a 2012 Pew report) from 36 percent in 1997, 21 percent in 2006, and 9 percent in 2012. It’s ridiculous to believe that the other 92 percent or so would have responded in exactly the same way to Qpac’s tedious, 50-question survey.

Cross-posted, with possible revisions, at NewsBusters.org.


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