Call it a symptom of Trump Derangement Syndrome, CNN’s Brian Stelter suffered an on-air meltdown Sunday over conservative media paying any attention to arguably the largest spy scandal in American history instead of breathlessly covering ongoing public health pandemic, which, center-right outlets are still doing.
“The death toll isn’t something that can just be downplayed. It’s not something we can hide from, even if it is gut-wrenching to hear about everyday. It’s like New Orleans floods every day. It’s like the planes go into the towers every day, and to look away or act like it’s now normal or acceptable, is a disgrace to the victims,” Stelter said on “Reliable Sources.” “It’s so disappointing to look at what we’re seeing from right-wing media these days where there’s such an obsession with the deep-state, and these revelations with the Russia probe, and the decision about Michael Flynn.”
"They’re treating the Michael Flynn story like it's a bigger deal than the deaths of 2,000 Americans a day."@brianstelter rips "right-wing media" for extensive coverage of @GenFlynn and the Russia investigation. pic.twitter.com/I2fNW4whGY
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) May 10, 2020
Never mind that CNN, led the media’s infatuation with Russiagate conspiracy theories distracting the country from preparing for the kind of pandemic seen today. Now that new revelations have begun to fully expose the deep-state operations for what they really were, reporters are now apparently supposed stay quiet as not to reveal the grossly high level of media malpractice for the past four years.
“In what right mind is any scandal, any political scandal, any Department of Justice story more important to ask the president about than the pandemic that’s raging,” Stelter asked on Sunday. “Ultimately it’s about news judgement, it’s about lack of judgement, but I find it befuddling.”
Clearly Stelter doesn’t see the irony in his own comments after hyping up stories of Russian collusion with fake intelligence that a more than two-year special counsel investigation with unlimited resources found to be nothing more than an attempt at a deep-state coup.
— Washington Free Beacon (@FreeBeacon) May 12, 2020
The Mueller report released last spring only began to reveal the degree to which the media led the American people astray in believing their president was a Russian agent. After finding not one person on the Trump campaign, let alone Trump himself, working on behalf of the Russian government to subvert American interests, a damning inspector general report released last fall detailed 17 major omissions in FISA warrant applications to spy on U.S. citizens and a treasure trove of earth-shattering new evidence in recent weeks have completely exonerated former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.
In Stelter’s world however, it’s nearly unforgivable to give any coverage to a scandal where his own network played entirely complicit.
No serious person, as Stelter claims, is downplaying the massive death tolls that the novel Wuhan coronavirus has imposed on the world which has in turn, abruptly upended life as we knew it. As of this writing, more than 280,000 people around the globe have fallen victim to the virus, with nearly 80,000 deaths having taken place in the United States, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. As a result, state and local lockdowns implemented in mid-March to curb the spread of the virus have led to a number of other unintended public health consequences of their own, including skyrocketing rates of addiction, severe anxiety, financial distress and refusal to seek vaccines for other diseases.
What is deeply unserious is pretending such government lockdowns can remain in place throughout the duration of the pandemic until adequate mass testing or a vaccine can be produced, which is likely to take 3-5 years barring a miracle. It’s not an attempt to “normalize” the unfortunate loss of life to acknowledge that the current strategy is chasing a cure worse than the disease itself.
Last week, the April jobs report revealed record high levels of unemployment not seen since the Great Depression nearing 15 percent while the nation’s economy continues to self-destruct bringing the devastation of the American psyche along with it. A Kaiser Family Foundation poll conducted in March found that half the nation reported the pandemic was harming their mental health, and that was before more than another whole month of lockdowns. Stelter himself personally came public with details of his own mental breakdown over the crisis just a few short weeks ago on Twitter.
Last night, I hit a wall. Gutted by the death toll. Disturbed by the govt's shortcomings. Dismayed by political rhetoric that bears no resemblance to reality. Worried about friends who are losing jobs; kids who are missing school; and senior citizens who are living in fear.
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) April 18, 2020
The lockdowns cannot continue forever, and as of this week, more than two dozen states have already begun partial reopenings.
The public health emergency is the crisis of this generation that no doubt warrants generous coverage, but there will also be stories that demand public attention that deviate from the ongoing pandemic that the nation will suffer in the months or years to come, including unraveling revelations of sexual misconduct against the presumptive Democratic nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden on which CNN had also remained silent. To pretend otherwise is deeply unserious, no matter how bad it might make the legacy media look.