“The Emperor’s New Clothes, via FreshPlans

Wikipedia tells me that “Brian Patrick Stelter (born September 3, 1985) is an American TV anchor who is the chief media correspondent for CNN and host of the CNN program Reliable Sources. Stelter is a former media reporter for The New York Times and the editor of TVNewser.” But by his own admission today, Stelter is also an enormous coward, one who is clearly afraid of speaking truth to power.

Now, it’s true that most reporters don’t write their headlines, but in this case the hed—”News media faces conundrum as Republicans baselessly cry ‘fraud’ again, this time in California”—was taken directly from Stelter’s article.

The GOP’s hollow cries about cheating are an ongoing conundrum for newsrooms. Outlets that call out the B.S. are tagged as biased or worse. Outlets that overlook it are enabling an undemocratic concept to take root. Here’s a real-time example: On Monday evening reporters like NBC News’ Alex Seitz-Wald noticed that “Elder’s campaign is promoting a website that claims the recall is over, Newsom won, and they found voter fraud through a statistical analysis of the results.”

Why is this even a “conundrum?” When did plain old “telling the truth and standing by it” become such a Herculean task for reporters—people whose JOB is ferreting out the truth? If you can’t take it when some loudmouths and liars accuse you of bias, what are you even doing calling yourself a reporter or, in Stelter’s case, “chief media correspondent?”

Frankly, it’s difficult to call Stelter’s little essay an opinion piece, never mind a news article. It’s an apologia for lazy reporting, and an invitation to reporters to just go along to get along. “Oh noes, someone might yell at us.”

If you’re not willing to report that the emperor is naked, you don’t really belong in a newsroom.

UPDATE: The Post’s Erik Wemple, who has been accused of bias and far more by Tucker Carlson demonstrates the spine that Stelter lacks.

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