CNN's Brian Stelter on Sunday called on journalists to step up their game after Kayleigh McEnany left the network to anchor a "news" broadcast for President Donald Trump's reelection campaign.
McEnany first appeared Sunday as an anchor on the pro-Trump news channel, which is broadcast on Donald Trump's Facebook page.
"Is this the president's way of controlling the message and circumventing mainstream media," CNN host Fredricka Whitefield asked Senior Media Correspondent Brian Stelter following McEnany's premiere broadcast.
"Maybe it's the newscast he wishes he could see on television," Stelter suggested. "Instead, his reelection campaign is producing it on Facebook."
Stelter said that McEnany had been "one of the best known pro-Trump voices" on CNN.
"She was able to get out of her contract and now she's going on to this new role," he explained. "This video is the first of many that she's going to be appearing in showing up on President Trump's Facebook page. That means it could reach many millions of people."
"We saw the Obama White House do some things like this," he added. "The difference is that President Trump and Trump's aides have tried to delegitimize the real news media by calling it fake. So when you see them putting on something that looks kind of like a newscast, it makes you wonder about the broader strategy."
"Is this government funded or is this strictly campaign, like a propaganda tool," Whitfield wondered.
Stelter pointed out that the Trump campaign had not revealed who was funding the broadcast but "it appears to be part of his reelection effort."
"What's notable in the segment that she's doing, the kind of fake newscast that she's doing, the tone is of course very pro-Trump," he remarked. "The tone there is that the president has turned things around. Most economists would say that Trump is really building on President Obama's economy and success in the later years of the Obama presidency."
"I think it's notable, the tone of these videos, the way it looks like a newscast but isn't really a newscast," Stelter said.