‘We Need Two Different Newscasts’: Brian Stelter Rips Media’s Vaccine Coverage

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Michael Ginsberg Congressional Correspondent
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CNN’s Brian Stelter blasted media coverage of COVID-19 vaccines during the Sunday episode of “Reliable Sources.”

“We need two different newscasts. The headlines that scare the bejesus for the vaccinated are for the unvaccinated, yet I don’t know if they’re tuning in,” he complained during a segment about media coverage of breakthrough infections and COVID-19 variants.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced Tuesday that it was once again recommending that vaccinated Americans wear masks when indoors “in areas with substantial and high transmission” of COVID-19. (RELATED: House Imposes Mask Mandate Again With New CDC Guidance)

Stelter’s segment on vaccinations also included media reporter Oliver Darcy, who explained that the White House is complaining to news outlets about their vaccine coverage.

“The White House is very frustrated and they’re concerned that the news media is focusing on these infections and not focusing on the larger issue of people spreading the virus to family, friends and coworkers,” Darcy said.

“So they’ve reached out to news organizations to try to get them to do what you’re saying, to reset the coverage to focus on the issue. We know the breakthrough infections, from the data we’ve seen, don’t really result in hospitalizations and deaths, it’s the unvaccinated who are ending up in the [intensive care unit] and needing some medical attention.”

“News outlets shouldn’t just blindly follow what any White House says, Biden or Trump … but it is notable that they’re making these complaints, and frankly, what I think what they’re trying to do is clean up some of the mess caused by the CDC,” Stelter responded.

Reason magazine senior editor Robby Soave blasted media coverage of breakthrough infections as “shamefully hyperbolic and fear-mongering. It’s scaring people.”

“It’s still the case that the vaccines are extremely effective at reducing transmission and specifically at preventing serious injury and death. In highly vaccinated areas, we’re not seeing deaths tick up, we’re not seeing hospitalizations tick up. In D.C., where we’re reimposing mask mandates, even though we have a very high vaccination rate and we have a handful of serious COVID-19 cases all month, why? It doesn’t make any sense. No one is going to follow it. The mayor herself isn’t following these mandates,” he continued.

“What was the mayor doing last night?” Stelter asked.

“She held a maskless birthday party immediately before the mandate went into effect, and she presided at a maskless wedding after the mandate was in effect,” Soave responded.

“Now we know these rules are really needless for the vaccinated. It’s different for the unvaccinated. But nothing has changed about the vaccinated themselves.”