CNN’s Brian Stelter was ridiculed on Twitter for his whiny response to a tweet President Trump sent about media conspiracies over first lady Melania Trump’s recent absence from the public eye.
“The Fake News Media has been so unfair, and vicious, to my wife and our great First Lady, Melania. During her recovery from surgery they reported everything from near death, to facelift, to left the W.H. (and me) for N.Y. or Virginia, to abuse. All Fake, she is doing really well!” Trump tweeted.
That’s when CNN senior media correspondent Stelter stepped in and quoted the president’s tweet writing, “Trump is conflating random Twitter commenters with ‘the media’ here. A common tactic of bad faith critics. But disappointing to see POTUS do it.”
Big mistake, that’s when people quickly called out Mr “reliable sources” for hypocrisy,
Brian was among the many mainstream media reporters who helped pushed the conspiracy that the first lady was “missing in action.”
— Amber Athey (@amber_athey) June 6, 2018
D.C. Examiner’s T. Becket Adams replied, “You’re joking, right?”
Writer Erick Erickson added, “Given the number of blue check marked accounts and your own that have turned this into a game of Where’s Waldo, I have to disagree on this one. And a number of prominent media figures have speculated openly about abuse, etc.”
The Daily Caller’s media editor Amber Athey hit back at Stelter’s tweet, telling the CNN fake news guru to “stop gaslighting us.”
Stelter actually responded with what he probably thought was a “gotcha”, saying that the White House should provide links to the claims made by Trump.
That’s when the real fun began.
Athey then fired back with solid proof that verified reporters speculated on everything from a suicide attempt to domestic abuse being the reason for Melania staying out of the public eye for a few days.
My “reliable sources” then went on to claim that tweets sent by reporters are not the same thing as published reporting, which was quickly shut down.
“Enough with the semantics, you’ve been dabbling in conspiracy theory territory and you know it,” one user responded, while another said, “Stelter’s defense/deflection of him promoting conspiracy theories is getting pretty weak.”
“Oh for heaven’s sake we’re not idiots. You were all were obviously suggesting something was amiss when you reported on it. You opened the door for the speculation, and you did it with purpose,” another user added.
I just came here for the “mea culpa.” Looks like I will have to wait.
— Jim Stinson (@jimstinson) June 6, 2018
— QQ ® (@CypressRozay) June 6, 2018
Brian Stelter: Trump is wrong
Also Brian: Retweets Jake Tapper saying Trump is NOT wrong pic.twitter.com/NDw3UmdVyG
— Chet Cannon (@Chet_Cannon) June 6, 2018
One user asked, “You’re trying to say that when these ‘journalists’ go on their verified Twitter accounts, where they identify themselves as members of major news organizations, that what they’re doing is NOT reporting?”
The Daily Caller’s media editor Amber Athey sent a follow-up tweet mocking Brian Stelter with an article showing a CNN report speculating on plastic surgery being the real cause of Melania’s absence, “CNN: It was only random twitter users floating conspiracies about Melania… Also CNN: Let’s repeat those conspiracy theories in our reporting and ask the first lady’s spokesperson about them!”
CNN: It was only random twitter users floating conspiracies about Melania!
Also CNN: Let’s repeat those conspiracy theories in our reporting and ask the first lady’s spokesperson about them! pic.twitter.com/nLmLJiymes
— Amber Athey (@amber_athey) June 6, 2018
CNN’s Brian Stelter’s “Reliable Sources” newsletter just on Sunday had a giant graphic of a calendar with question marks on each date showing Melania Trump was “last seen” on May 10. Beneath the graphic, the newsletter specifically stated The First Lady was expected to attend an event on Monday to honor Gold Star families.
“BUT BUT: The event is closed to the press, so Monday evening may not resolve the mystery,” CNN’s Brian Stelter wrote. He made a similar argument on Twitter, writing “if the event is closed press, it means the ‘Melania hasn’t been seen in public’ issue will linger.”
— Jeremy Frankel (@FrankelJeremy) June 6, 2018
But lo and behold The first lady appeared at the event on Monday as scheduled.
As well as Brian Stelter, Salon writer Bob Cesca, Rolling Stone senior writer Jamil Smith, New York journalist Natalia Antonova, Atlantic senior editor David Frum and professor C. Christine Fair are also among the ‘journalists’ and influencers who have pushed conspiracy theories regarding First Lady Melania Trump’s absence.
“David Frum & Jamil Smith – Random Twitter commenters” https://t.co/HJRwnxQsqm
— Stephen Miller (@redsteeze) June 6, 2018
Melania who is well known for being a very private person. The First Lady stayed behind on Friday when the President and a few family members traveled to Camp David for a weekend retreat. even though she hadn’t made a public appearance since before her five-day hospital stay after surgery for treatment of a kidney condition last month, she actually had been seen around the White House.
Amid the backlash, Fox News contributor Stephen Miller joked, “We haven’t seen Brian in almost an hour. Where did he go? This is a legitimate news story that he just disappeared without warning or answering questions.”
Mr reliable sources has yet to respond to a request for comment.
My bet is he won’t.