Stelter Tries To Explain Away His Softball Interview With Psaki

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CNN host Brian Stelter tried to explain away Friday his much-criticized interview with White House press secretary Jen Psaki, telling MSNBC that it was meant to be “more of a feature.”

MSNBC host Ari Melber pointed out that there was criticism over Stelter’s questions, like asking what the media gets wrong about their coverage of the Biden administration, inquiring about what Psaki’s job is like compared to what she expected it to be like and asking if she made any progress defeating misinformation.

Melber asked Stelter to “explain to us how you approach your interviews” and “how you try to be fair.”

Stelter joked that Fox News uses him as a “content machine” because “they need something to complain about,” but did say learning from critics is important. (RELATED: Glenn Greenwald Blasts Brian Stelter Over CNN’s Low Ratings)

“I think it is important to be critiqued and we all have to learn from criticism,” he told Melber. “What I was trying to do with Psaki was more of a feature interview because I was not on the main political program interviewing her about news and policy.”

The CNN host added that he thought the interview “went well.”

“But I think it’s so important that we do listen to our good-faith critics and we do try to learn from them,” Stelter continued. “That’s the only way that journalism in this country is ever going to get better and we’re ever going to win trust back, is by hearing our critics.”

Referring to his question to Psaki about defeating misinformation, he cited a line from Biden’s inaugural address in which he said it’s everyone’s job to “defend the truth and defeat the lies.”

“It’s a challenge for Facebook, as you said, it’s a challenge for the CNNs and the MSNBCs of the world, you know, there’s a bright line we can all draw between reality and disinformation,” Stelter said. “And that’s a challenge for you and me and for the White House, frankly.”