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Not a Journalist: CNN’s Brian Stelter Manages Clinton Health Cover-up

21st Century Wire says…

CNN’s Brian Stelter hosts a show facetiously titled, “Reliable Sources”, where Stelter pretends to be a hard-hitting ‘journalist’, but the reality couldn’t be further from the truth. Based on CNN and Stelter’s reporting so far, their only ‘sources’ appear to be those of the Clinton campaign’s damage control team.

IMAGE: CNN’s Brian Stelter host of ‘Reliable Sources’. 

Normally, Stelter, who describes himself as a ‘media analysis expert’, is able to play the part of journalist partly because it’s easy to blend in at CNN which probably employs more political operatives and pseudo-journalists than any other media outlet in the US, but in the high stakes game that is the 2016 election season, Stelter’s cardboard facade has quickly fallen apart, in full view. Buckling under pressure while trying to manage Clinton campaign messaging on CNN, Stelter then lost it, attacking two leading nationally syndicated radio hosts, Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh, accusing them of wanting Hillary Clinton “dead,” (yes that’s right, he said dead) during the nationally aired PBS Charlie Rose segment with fill-in host Andrew Ross Sorkin.

Listen to the rebuttal by Rush Limbaugh:

Apparently, this week’s Hillary Clinton health scandal and subsequent cover-up by her campaign was too much for CNN and Stelter, as the news network circled their wagons around their candidate, giving yet more credence to those who believe that CNN really stands for the Clinton News Network

The Hill

Media reporters are a relatively new breed. A breed that basically came along during the last decade when digital media came into existence, creating hundreds of more avenues for actual reporting to exist, and therefore keep an eye on.

The job of media reporter is fairly straightforward: Observe the industry in all of its forms. And when good or bad reporting happens, simply call it out.

If a police force is a parallel of the Fourth Estate, a media reporter exists in that context as Internal Affairs, as a check and balance for those who are supposed to speak truth to power.

But lately it appears that even Internal Affairs/media reporters are compromised, biased and even dishonest. Exhibit A is CNN’s Brian Stelter in his reporting on Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton‘s health issues, or per his consistent narrative for weeks, total lack of issues.

Sunday was an active news day well outside of coverage of the 15th anniversary of 9/11: Clinton left a ceremony at Ground Zero early. And Fox News’s Rick Leventhal — as solid a news reporter as they come out there — first went to air of Clinton’s unexpected departure.

From there, Leventhal was alone in his report citing a Clinton health episode for leaving early. The Clinton campaign wasn’t talking. Other news organizations were waiting for another outlet or the campaign to come forward to verify before even cautiously broaching it.

But shortly after 11:00 a.m. on CNN, Stelter broke away from his planned segment on “Reliable Sources” to break the news, via CNN’s Jeff Zeleny, that Clinton had indeed become “overheated” during the 9/11 event under comfortable conditions (76 degrees at the time, mild breeze, low humidity).

Here is video of Clinton attempting to enter her secure vehicle:

Here is the CNN transcript of Stelter’s exchange with reporter Jeff Zeleny via the non-partisanRealClearPolitics.

Sunday RCP headline: CNN’s Stelter to Media: Do Not Give Oxygen To “Conspiracy Theories” That Hillary Clinton Is “Secretly Ill”

BRIAN STELTER, RELIABLE SOURCES: Very worrisome news to hear, obviously, Jeff. As someone who covers the Clinton campaign everyday, what can you tell us about how frequently Clinton may have any health issues. Because obviously for years, there have been conspiracy theories online promoted by conservative websites saying that she is secretly ill. The campaign denied that and her physician said she is fit to serve as president. 

JEFF ZELENY, CNN: Indeed, her physician said she is fit to serve as president. She’s released more medical information than her rival has of course but still has not released all of her records that all candidates have had over the years.

Now, this certainly is going to prompt and renew and raise more questions about her health potentially here. She is 68 years old. She will turn 69 in October, before election day. It has, you know, we have seen it a lot over recent weeks, you know, some selected images and pictures and video of her either stumbling —

BRIAN STELTER: Taken out of context.

ZELENY: Taken out of context, yes. And I can tell you, Brian, I cover her a lot day in and day out on the campaign trail. Her schedule is very aggressive. We hear Donald Trumpoften saying, ‘Oh, she is taking a nap in the middle of the day.’ That’s not true. She has a very rigorous campaign schedule.

(…) Stelter later connected with Zeleny for the following exchange — which had nothing to do with the episode Clinton experienced on Sunday that showed her knees buckling while falling into her security van with aides catching her before potentially injuring herself — around an older tabloid photo instead of discussing the situation at hand.

Translation: Nothing really to see here, so let’s deflect the conversation to a completely irrelevant point.

STELTER: “You know, they had that horrible — let’s be honest, Jeff, they had this horrible photo on the cover of that supermarket tabloid. Clearly, Hillary was Photoshopped in the picture. I thought it was disgusting.

And yet, even though there are these conspiracy theories, which we should not give oxygen to, saying that she is secretly ill, suggesting she is on her deathbed, which we can she is not, there are legitimate questions to ask by reporters. And I think that’s the distinction here to make.

ZELENY: Right. It is a distinction, no doubt about it. Like I said, she has released more information than Donald Trump has, but both of them have released far less than John McCain did and Barack Obama did, than Mitt Romney and Barack Obama did, going back much beyond that.

But the picture on the tabloid did looked doctored. I see her most every day. That looked nothing like her. And she has joked about it, Brian. I think we saw her on TV…

STELTER: Yes, good point.

ZELENY: … a couple weeks ago saying, you know, look, they’ve predicted that I would be on my deathbed by October and I’m still here. So she has made humor of this. And I think that this could go one of two ways here. If the other — if her critics keep this up and criticize her, this could certainly motivate and inspire some of her supporters as well here.

But we see her waving there, again. She’s scheduled to go to California tomorrow. She will be on the West Coast for three days this week. As of now, her schedule is going forward here, Brian.

On Thursday, for example, I flew with her all day as she left the airport in Westchester around 10:00 a.m. after a press conference and we returned at 11:00 p.m. She had a couple different campaign stops, a couple different fundraising stops and working along the way. So she is keeping up a rigorous pace here.

But there are going to be questions about her health. In this incident, this episode, this situation this morning in Manhattan is just the latest example of that. The fact the Clinton campaign putting out this statement this morning saying that she felt overheated at Ground Zero and was taken to her daughter’s apartment certainly is the information we have right now at this hour, Brian.”

The report would end there.

The trip to California has since been cancelled.

Takeaway: Stelter never broaches during any of these live reports — big ones considering the news here — that other prominent doctors, including President Obama’s ex-physician of more than two decades — made the recommendation recently that Clinton should take a neurological exam.

Obama’s physician, who gave him a clean bill of health before the 2008 election and is widely respected, was Dr. David Scheiner from 1987 until his election in 2008. Scheiner isn’t a Trump fan, but instead a Clinton supporter who said the Republican nominee “scares the devil out of him.”

“There are a number of questions I have,” said Dr. Scheiner to CNN’s Erin Burnett in mid-August. “First of all, she’s also 68 years old, and while I think that letter was well-written and very professional, unlike Dr. Bornstein’s [Donald Trump’s doctor], it’s not enough.”

“For example, she’s on Coumadin, a medication to prevent blood clots,” he continued. “You have to monitor that and it says she’s being monitored regularly. I’d like to know how well she’s being controlled. That’s a difficult drug to use.”

But here’s the part Stelter — a media reporter whose job it is to present the full story — has curiously omitted in his numerous television appearances pontificating on the topic of Clinton’s health which he has continually dismissed as conspiracy theories:

“Also, I think she should have had a neurological examination, a thorough neurological examination in 2016,” recommended Scheiner. “We know what happens to football players who have had concussions, how they begin to lose some of their cognitive ability, I think both [Trump and Clinton] should release their records.”

On Twitter, I asked Stelter — who had repeatedly made the argument that any questions raised about Clinton’s health status are strictly those of Drudge, Fox’s Sean Hannity, Breitbart and the alt-right — why he has ignored the prognosis of the president’s own ex-physician who made said recommendation on CNN primetime to much press reaction afterward:

In reviewing transcripts of several Stelter appearances on the topic, the media reporter and critic not only has failed to present Dr. Scheiner’s conclusion, but also none of the other top doctors who have come forward to state Clinton needs further medical analysis, scrutiny and transparency as well — and there are plenty to cite.

Short version: The “conspiracy theories” that Stelter has characterized in the form of reporting dozens of times on air and in print around Clinton’s health had gone well beyond right-wing media and Trump surrogates before Sunday’s episode and should have been a legitimate concern worthy of questioning, as noted several times in this space over the past few weeks…

Continue this story at the Hill




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