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How Could Anyone Trust CNN's 'Reliable Sources' After the Avenatti Saga?

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If for whatever reason you spent any time watching CNN’s coverage of the criminally charged porn lawyer, Michael Avenatti, the network owes you a massive apology for wasting your time.

CNN’s Brian Stelter — the resident media guru at the network — spent an absurd amount of airtime covering Avenatti last year when he was, oddly enough, a rising star in the media world. But now that Avenatti faces a possible ticket to the slammer, Stelter went into turtle mode.

According to Fox News, the disgraced attorney was covered in a huge write-up in Vanity Fair in a piece detailing his “epic fall.” As was pointed out, that kind of story would typically be front-and-center for Stelter’s popular “Reliable Sources” newsletter.

Surprise, surprise, it wasn’t mentioned at all. And more than one person took notice — with Free Beacon media analyst Cameron Cawthorne calling out the CNN personality in a tweet.

“Weird how MEDIA reporter @brianstelter doesn’t mention the Vanity Fair story on MEDIA darling Avenatti in his nightly newsletter. So weird!,” Cawthorne wrote.

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Stelter, in what turned out to be an epic failure to save face, responded to Cawthorne’s call-out with a smug reply claiming he did, in fact, cover the story Tuesday night.

“That’s because it was in Tuesday night’s newsletter. The story came out on Tuesday,” Stelter’s tweet reply, now deleted, read.

But he didn’t cover the story and Cawthorne promptly reminded Stelter of it, firing back that Stelter’s claim was “false” and that he checked previous newsletters before making his initial accusation, as any good reporter would.

Stelter, who knew he had just been defeated — not unlike the Devil in the Charlie Daniels’ song “The Devil Went Down To Georgia” — replied to Cawthorne, claiming he was “mixed up,” and then deleted his original, snarky reply.

“You’re right, I’m wrong, I got mixed up. Now the trolls have a legit reason to dunk on me… Will include it tonight,” Stelter said, presumably with his head held low. And the “trolls” he refers to, which are mostly just average people tired of CNN’s fake news, dunked on him hard.

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The bottom line is that many of CNN’s personalities, including Stelter, should be humiliated. Fox News points out that a Media Research Center study found that Avenatti appeared on CNN a whopping 74 times within a 10-week span. Quick math puts his appearance rate at once per day, every day, in that time span.

Do you find it difficult to trust anybody on CNN?

Furthermore, a newsletter and talk show by the name of “Reliable Sources,” should be, you know, reliable. Stelter, in an effort to hide from the fact that he helped hype Avenatti, was willing to bury one of the biggest stories involving Avenatti, hoping nobody would notice.

Oh, but they notice, Brian Stelter. And they always will.

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Ryan Ledendecker is a freelance journalist and writer. He began reporting news and writing commentary during the 2014 Ferguson riots. Prior to that, he worked as a web editor and columnist for an award-winning local newspaper.
Ryan Ledendecker plunged headfirst into news reporting and political commentary while on the ground during the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri. He later wrote extensively on Donald Trump's presidential campaign and election.

When he's not writing, Ryan spends time improving his barbecue skills. He has his own brand of BBQ rub and is a trophy winner in the world of competitive BBQ.
Birthplace
Illinois
Nationality
American
Location
St. Louis, Missouri
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Science & Technology




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