Maybe Brian Stelter should rethink what “reliable sources” means.
As word spread this week about the Project Veritas sting operation that suggested Google executives are deliberately working to skew the results of the 2020 election, CNN’s top media expert swung into action.
He ended up embarrassing himself, his network, and what used to be called “journalism” with one unbelievable tweet.
The host of CNN’s “Reliable Sources” was responding to a Twitter post by The New York Times’s Charlie Warzel downplaying the significance of the whole damning report.
so it seems to me that this ‘investigation’ about Google’s bias is really just a bunch of non technical ppl mixing up algorithmic bias w/ political bias. am i wrong? could one of you smart technologists who follow me explain? https://t.co/aP5NXo71Cf
— Charlie Warzel (@cwarzel) June 24, 2019
For anyone who’s seen the video (now removed from YouTube) of Jen Gennai, Google’s head of “Responsible Innovation,” bragging that Google is the only company big enough to prevent another “Trump situation” in the 2020 election, Stelter’s tweet is a ridiculous way to handle the story.
Stelter was at least curious enough about the story to turn to his favorite search engine to learn more. He was apparently surprised he could find no “reliable news account” about what took place.
awatching fox, seeing the talk shows promote project veritas, i googled for a reliable news account about what’s going on… and… can’t really find one.
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) June 26, 2019
“[A]watching fox, seeing the talk shows promote project veritas, i googled for a reliable news account about what’s going on… and… can’t really find one,” Stelter wrote.
For most people the stupidity of that statement would be self-evident, but most people aren’t getting paid by CNN to act as a media critic — a role that requires more obfuscation of the media’s bias in the Trump years than evaluation of it.
Other Twitter users had no problem pointing out that when looking for evidence of wrongdoing, going to the alleged wrongdoer may not be the best way to reach the truth.
Ok wait…you’re a journalist…and you used Google to try to find a damaging story about Google? Ok wait Part 2. This is so stupid it has to be a joke. Ha ha. I underestimated you Brian. You’re actually pretty funny!
— DocWashburn❌ (@DocWashburn) June 26, 2019
“I asked the criminals if they committed a crime and they said no”
Journalism in 2019
— xlKaMiKaZEElx (@mikecustalow) June 26, 2019
you need to Google more than just CNN
— SparkMaker (@plug_maker) June 26, 2019
In Stelter’s defense, it wasn’t his fault that the story has been ignored by what he calls “reliable” news organizations. The establishment media has kept disgracefully silent about a major story that concerns the future of American democracy.
Stelter’s biggest fault is his arrogant presumption of what a “reliable” source is.
Even his Google search would have turned up mention of the story — just not stories from websites that liberals like Stelter prefer to patronize.
But in leaving it to sites like The Western Journal, The Washington Times, and Breitbart to cover, at least the establishment media was merely advertising their bias by staying silent (though The Washington Post did put out a short video showing Sen. Ted Cruz questioning a Google representative at a Senate hearing about the story).
Stelter decided to broadcast his ignorance — or bias — publicly.
And there’s the real story.
The people who claim to protect the country from the supposed ravages of Donald Trump’s presidency are the same ones who are distorting, or deliberately ignoring, a technological stranglehold on American Democracy.
Stelter’s Twitter post, essentially denying a major story about the establishment media and American democracy, takes things to a new level.
It’s another sign of a very real danger to the whole idea of a democracy and an informed electorate – the kind of thing “journalists” actually used to believe in.
But journalists used to be “reliable” too.
Heading into the 2020 election season, Americans need to be thinking very carefully about what that word means.
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