Alice Green | Aug 6, 2022 | 3
Christopher Phillips: “CNN ‘mistakes’ magically all go in one direction.”
If you ask most folks “who is Christopher Philips?” they will not know. But he is starting to get more than 15 minutes of fame. Phillips is a freshman at the University of Chicago. That is not a lot of help, is it?
Okay, let’s set the stage.
The University of Chicago – along with the New York City-based Atlantic Magazine – held a symposium on “Disinformation and the Erosion of Democracy.” This particular session was entitled “How Media Platforms Shape Consumer Realities.” If you take the title of the conference — I mean symposium — in conjunction with the title of the session, it is clear that the discussion is about how CERTAIN media outlets use disinformation in an attempt to mold public opinion.
But which media platforms are they talking about?
Weeell … when you look at the sponsors and the composition of the panel of presenters, it becomes rather obvious. Sadly, the University of Chicago is one of those institutions that is user-unfriendly to the personalities and opinions on the right side of the political spectrum. Secondly, Atlantic Magazine is one of the major elitist east coast left-wing publications. You getting it?
Oh yeah .… the panel. It was composed of Lauren Williams, an alumnus of Vox Media who founded Capital B – a media producing black-oriented material; Stephen Hayes, of the Dispatch (the sole conservative voice); and Brian Stelter, the leftwing pit bull who is (allegedly) a media analyst for CNN. The session was moderated by Jim Rutenberg of the New York Times, of course.
Stelter is one of the leading media personalities on the left who constantly attacks FOX News as corrupt purveyors of disinformation and propaganda. An objective observer may see that as “projecting” – the practice of applying one’s own traits on an opponent.
That is where Christopher Phillips comes in.
Instead of seeing Stelter as an informed observer and legitimate reporter, Phillips saw him as the prime example of the disinformation – along with the rest of the CNN network, that claims to be the “the most trusted name in news” despite the collapse of its ratings.
Addressing his inquiry to Stelter, Phillips asked him to explain certain examples of media disinformation based on political biases. The young student offered up several examples carried out by CNN – and other left-leaning media outlets.
Phillips accused the network of pushing the Russian collusion hoax, the Jussie Smollett hoax, smearing Justice Kavanaugh as a rapist, and smearing another young man, Nick Sandmann. as a white supremacist. In the latter case, CNN had to fork over money for slandering Sandmann.
Phillips wrapped up his list by accusing CNN of dismissing the Hunter Biden laptop revelations as pure Russian disinformation during the 2020 presidential campaign. And it worked according to the 10 percent of the Biden voters who now say they would not have cast their ballot for Biden had they known that the laptop was NOT a Russian concoction – and all those damning emails were legit.
Remember the name of the conference, “Disinformation and the Erosion of Democracy.” If the sponsors were hoping to give definition to that title from a liberal bias, Phillips flipped it back onto Stelter and all those in the media that he personifies.
But Phillips was not done with Stelter. In what would have been a great closing argument of a prosecutor in a court-of-law, Phillips asked “With mainstream corporate journalists becoming little more than apologists and cheerleaders for the [Biden] regime, is it time to finally declare that the canon of journalistic ethics is dead or no longer operative,”
Phillips wondered why “all of the mistakes of the mainstream media, and CNN in particular, seem to magically all go in one direction.”
Then there was the closer. “Are we expected to believe that this is all just some sort of random coincidence or is there something else behind it?” Game. Set. Match.
So, how was Stelter to respond to such harsh and accurate prodding?
Understandably, Stelter looked a little stunned. That nervous giggle was the giveaway. After all, there was no easy credible answer. I suppose that Stelter could have fallen on his sword and admitted that Phillips was right. But no. Why would a person who peddles lies for a living suddenly become honest?
When you have no good answer you duck, dodge and distract. Basically, you do not answer. And that is what Stelter did.
He first went for the laugh by suggesting that it was “time for lunch.” Ha! Ha!
Without addressing any of the specific points, Stelter suggested that Phillips was “describing a different channel than the one that I watch.” Watch? (Memo to Stelter: You are not a viewer of CNN. You have a show on the network.)
Finally, Stelter said that Phillips was just repeating “a popular right-wing narrative about CNN.” No response to the question. No point-by-point defense. Just duck, dodge and distract. He did not even deny the fact that the “rightwing narrative” was true.
In a WTF moment, Stelter used his time to say how CNN and New York Times folks worked to help get FOX News’ badly wounded correspondent Benjamin Hall out of harm’s way in Ukraine. Nice of them – but nothing to do with Phillips’ question.
In a last-ditch defensive move, Stelter said that by “regime,” Phillips was referring to the Biden administration. As proof of his and CNN’s innocence on all charges, Stelter said, “The last time I spoke with a Biden aide, we yelled at each other.” When there are no good answers, you get stuck with bad ones.
Ironically, Stelter’s non-answers actually enhanced the credibility of Phillips’ accusations. I suspect that the bosses at CNN were not very happy with Stelter’s feckless and ineffective handling of a question from a college freshman. How long can this man survive – even at CNN?
Finally, Stelter said, “I know, we can keep going but there’s lunch right out in the hallway!”
Sorry Stelter, Christopher Phillips already ate your lunch.
So, there ‘tis.