Meghan McCain directly challenged CNN anchor Brian Stelter over ethical questions surrounding his network, and he glossed over her concerns in his response.
Stelter made an appearance Wednesday on ABC’s “The View” to discuss media and how it played into the current political climate. (RELATED: ‘If You’re A Republican,’ Media Is The Enemy: Meghan McCain Blasts ‘Insanity’ Of Giving Woodward An Interview)
McCain began by laying out a few issues that she said raised “ethical concerns” with regard to the way CNN covered the news, asking Stelter to address those issues.
“There’s a 2016 audio of your president Jeff Zucker offering debate advice to President Trump that was released, Jake Tapper was allegedly caught trying to influence a congressional election, and I have serious problems with the way Chris Cuomo had a re-occurring primetime sort of comic routine with his brother instead of asking about policies that were literally sending my friend Janice Dean’s older relatives to die in nursing homes,” McCain explained. “So with the criticisms of CNN, do you believe this is acceptable, and don’t you think there’s enough fair criticism to go all the way around right now in just how news networks are run?”
“First, I think you should write a book,” Stelter laughed, and quickly pivoted to suggest first that the story lines McCain had mentioned were “cherry-picked” and then attacked Fox News and President Donald Trump.
“You listed off all of these story lines. A lot of them, though, are cherry-picked, you know, coming from these audio tapes that Tucker Carlson has been airing,” Stelter said, adding, “And I do have a question about this that relates to my book. You know, Michael Cohen says these audiotapes were only held by Trump, the Trump Organization and the DOJ. So all of the sudden they’re airing on Fox News.”
He went on to argue that he was not a spokesperson for either CNN or Fox News, so it wasn’t really his place to comment on the leaked tapes.
“Here’s what I do think is sad though. I think it’s sad that private conversations get leaked out, get distorted, and then, you know, they become polarized and weaponized,” Stelter concluded. “That’s the environment we’re in and that’s sad. If our text messages or my phone calls with friends were suddenly taken out of context and distorted, I feel like that’s — let me put it this way. I think the Trump age has ruined a lot of friendships. I think that’s really sad, and I hope we can start to rebuild.”