CNN media correspondent Brian Stelter is about the furthest thing from an unbiased journalist the establishment media has to offer — and he continues to prove it.
As President Donald Trump and many Fox News hosts — whom Stelter loves to bash — touted the use of hydroxychloroquine as a potential treatment for COVID-19, Stelter joined his CNN colleagues and used his platform to attack the president.
It was tough to fathom why Stelter would want to pour cold water on a ray of hope for many as the drug has shown promise around the world. But he wasn’t exactly the most objective commentator on the matter.
As Stelter has mentioned multiple times on air, his wife uses the drug for her own condition (unrelated to the virus).
Stelter has also said that the president and Fox News’ promotion of hydroxychloroquine could potentially cause a rush on sales of the drug.
Why today’s WH briefing was disturbing: presidential misinformation from the podium; dangerous and unconfirmed claims about hydroxychloroquine; gratuitous shots at rival politicians. pic.twitter.com/dHqUtCzkKC
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) April 4, 2020
Newsweek reported on April 1 that the FDA had begun warning consumers that hydroxychloroquine and the similar drug chloroquine, both antimalarial medications, were “currently in shortage” due to a drastic increase in demand.
That shortage is exactly why Stelter has a conflict of interest. And as someone who purports to cover the news objectively, he shouldn’t just have mentioned his wife’s use of the drug; he should have refrained from covering the issue entirely.
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In an April 22 segment of “CNN Newsroom,” host John King played a tape of the president and various Fox News personalities expressing hope about hydroxychloroquine. After asking a question of a doctor on the show, King turned to Stelter.
“As the doctor notes, we need more data, we need more evidence. But in anxious times, people do sometimes look to people they trust for guidance, and we know there was a run on this drug,” King said.
Stelter agreed with King and then mentioned that his wife takes the drug before commencing with his usual routine of attacking Fox.
“Yes, and the millions of Americans who use this drug for approved purposes, including my wife, people who have autoimmune issues and need this drug became worried they wouldn’t be able to get it because of the drug-pushing that was happening on Fox News and from the White House podium,” he said.
Stelter’s diatribe should have stopped before it began. Even if he believes he can be impartial, the appearance of a conflict of interest should have prevented him from commenting on hydroxychloroquine at all.
But Stelter didn’t stop there; he had to get in a few more jabs at his rival network.
“You know, the president yesterday was asked about this new study, and he said he hadn’t seen the report and that may be because Fox News is barely talking about it because it doesn’t fit the narrative that was being promoted in late March and early April,” he continued.
“But recently, Fox has moved on. They’ve stopped talking about this drug and the hope that it could be beneficial. They have moved on to other quick fixes and other pro-Trump narratives.”
“You know, this network, these stars, they think they’re helping the president, but they’re actually hurting him when they push these narratives. And ultimately, they’re misleading their viewers, and that’s why it is so troubling. Why would we ever think a Fox News star or any president should be promoting a drug? It’s outlandish,” he said.
He and his colleagues literally make their living by attacking the president and Fox News, with whom Stelter appears to be obsessed.
What’s actually outlandish is for Stelter to continue commenting on the subject of hydroxychloroquine, considering the appearance of a blatant conflict of interest.
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