After discussing the differences between the way information is spread between the Johnson, Nixon, Clinton and now Trump impeachments and the effect the Internet has on the way people digest their news, and whether the media should be scrutinizing Rudy Giuliani's activities in Ukraine before giving him any airtime, CNN's Brian Stelter had some words of warning to for the press and how they should cover these impeachment hearings:
But, here is an old fashioned idea. How about those of us in the reality based press, evaluate what he's doing, see if his claims make any sense, and then decide whether he merits media attention?
Trump and his allies rely on the media to repeat their misinformation and conspiracy theories, even though they've been debunked over and over and over again.
The lies and smears and diversions are not automatically newsworthy. Our job is to report what is true, and then to the extent that what's untrue or unproven or un-sourced is affecting the public debate, then our job is to explain who's pushing that stuff and why, and how we know it's unreliable.
This is only going to get more intense in the weeks to come. We in the press have to keep putting the facts front and center.
It would be nice if Stelter could convince someone at his own network to get them to stop doing their part. As long as CNN continues to employ gaslighting Trump sycophants like Sean Duffy, Rick Santorum, David Urban and their ilk to muddy up their political panels, as long as the network allow members of Congress to come on the air and spread lies without being challenged or fact-checked in real time, and as long as they continue to air Trump chopper-talk lie-fests or his rallies live, CNN is doing just as much damage to the country and to our democracy as the right-wing outlets that Stelter is criticizing here.