Brian Stelter, host of CNN’s “Reliable Sources,” is either a propagandist in the league of Joseph Goebbels (Stelter demonstrated on Sunday that wild Nazi comparisons go unchecked on his program, so I didn’t think he’d mind if I did the same thing to him) or, like Chris “Fredo” Cuomo, he is an Eddie Haskell clone who offers weak excuses when he screws up royally.
Either way, Stelter will never be described as a standup guy; a standup weasel, possibly.
But Stelter is doing a fine job maintaining his boss Jeff “Mother” Zucker’s reckless attitude with the reputation and future of CNN, much like the loyal and power-hungry Goebbels, who followed the Führer around like a little lost toy dachshund.
As a member of early, “classic” CNN, and as its first special assignment correspondent, I resent—truly resent—the irresponsibility of an apparently power-hungry, self-aggrandizing 34-year-old bent doing his best to destroy the reputation of the once-proud network that I was honored to help create.
It is especially hard to take in the light of trying to burnish the reputation of the then-upstart CNN by taking on very dangerous assignments, usually paired the redoubtable cameraman Ken Kelsch. Such was the case when were being pursued by some very annoyed Surinamese secret police in 1985. We had to “buy” a canoe to make our escape across the piranha-infested Moroni River in a thunderstorm to French Guiana. Stelter, of course was sucking his thumb, or other appendage, in his mother’s womb at the time.
Given his physiological aspect ratio, which resembles both that of the TV screen and of his boss, Stelter has become Zucker’s Mini-Me with a barracuda smile, and is obviously following Zucker’s dicta, so as to suit his own taste for accelerating past his peers.
It’s a taste Stelter has been cultivating for some time, personally and professionally, starting perhaps with his ill-fated 2011 “romance” with then-CNBC “smoking hot” anchor Nicole Lapin, while he was the New York Times’ media correspondent. Lapin reportedly gushed about the then-svelte Stelter, calling him her “wonder boy robot.” Business Insider described them as the “media’s latest power couple.” Right.
According to Gawker, however, there seemed to be some lack of clarity regarding conflict of interest, and whether Stelter told his boss or his boss told him of the whirlwind affair before he was recused from reporting on CNBC. Nice guy. After all, who needs journalistic ethics when a hot babe is in your sights?
The “power couple” split up after about a month; some say he had would have had a better chance flagging down a freight train with a votive candle.
But Stelter found another anchor and married her.
So let’s say Brian really did have technical problems with hearing Dr. Allen Frances, the bloviating shrink who was on a completely uncontrolled rant on Sunday. If you missed it, Frances contended, with utmost seriousness, that Donald Trump “is as destructive a person in this century as Hitler, Stalin, and Mao were in the last century. He may be responsible for many more million deaths than they were.”
There are only two possibilities here: Either Brian was attempting to use his IFB earpiece intestinally, or he was too inept to use the time-tested solution when all else fails: “Let’s go to a commercial.”
Such ineptitude by an apparently self-aggrandizing dork causes me such shame that I have to preface any introduction with the disclaimer that I have nothing to do with the current CNN, but that I was once part of classic CNN. It hurts my pride very deeply to have to stand on the sidelines and watch the decline of the network that was such an important part of my life.
Enjoy yourself Brian. CNN can’t continue in its own shadow for much longer.