Former New York Times reporter Bari Weiss confronted CNN’s Brian Stelter about his network’s coverage of the COVID-19 lab leak theory when he listed examples of why the world has gone mad during the Sunday edition of “Reliable Sources”.
Weiss wrote that many Americans “feel like the world has gone mad,” so the left-wing CNN host asked her what she meant by the comment.
“Where can I start? Well, when you have the chief reporter on the pace of COVID for The New York Times talking about how racist questioning or pursuing the lab leak issue is, the world has gone mad. When you’re not. able to say out loud and in public that there are differences between men and women, the world has gone mad. the world has gone mad, “Weiss said.” When you are unable to say that the Hunter Biden laptop is a story worth continuing, the world has gone mad. When, in the name of progress, young school children, as young as kindergarten, are separated in public schools because of their race, and it is called progress instead of segregation, the world has gone mad. There are dozens of examples.
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Stelter then asked, “Who are the people who are stopping the conversation?”
Weiss responded with a jab to CNN.
“People who work in networks, frankly, like the one I’m talking about right now, to say it was racist to investigate the lab leak theory,” Weiss said.
It was not clear who Weiss was referring to with his remark, although the account that the coronavirus may have leaked from a laboratory in Wuhan has been widely ridiculed by CNN and other media before gaining popularity this year. CNN medical collaborator Dr Leana Wen noted in June that any investigation of the lab theory should not lead to anti-Asian discrimination.
Stelter, who generally defends his network at all costs and spent much of 2021 downplaying journalism ethics violations by his beleaguered colleague Chris Cuomo, wanted to know which of his colleagues Weiss was referring to.
“Who said that on CNN? When you say ‘authorized’ it’s a provocative thing to say,” Stelter said. “You say we’re not allowed to talk about these things but they’re all over the internet… I’ve heard of all the stories you mentioned. So I’m just suggesting of course people are allowed to cover it. whatever they want to cover. “
Weiss retaliated, “But you and I both know that it would be illusory to pretend otherwise than to touch on a growing number of subjects that have been seen as the third rail by mainstream institutions and increasingly by some. tech companies will lead to reputational damage, maybe you lose your job, your kids are demonized sometimes too, so what’s going on is some kind of internal self-censorship. ”
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Noting his question about who did not allow conversation, Aaron Sibarium of the Washington Free Beacon suggested that Stelter look at the Yale Law School administrators who recently implied to a student that his membership in the conservative Federalist Society could threaten his legal career.
Weiss told Stelter that she regularly sees this happen at The Times. She left the newspaper’s opinion section in 2020 with a scathing resignation letter, where she detailed bullying by left-wing colleagues in an “illiberal environment”. Weiss detailed a toxic work environment in the letter and said that “running for work as a centrist in an American newspaper shouldn’t require bravery.”
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Weiss continued his criticism of The Times reporters on Sunday.
“People were like, ‘Why should I die on this hill?’ “, did she say. “‘Why should I take the three or four weeks it takes to smuggle an editorial that doesn’t fit the conventional narrative? I might as well order the 5,000th editorial saying Donald Trump is a moral monster.’ “
Weiss said the media, publishing houses, Hollywood and universities are all guilty of the same thing.
“They drastically reduce what is okay to say and what isn’t,” Weiss said.
Weiss added that she believed “misinformation by omission” plagued the journalism industry.
Over the summer, Stelter’s “Reliable Sources” did not cover CNN’s awkward return of disgraced network legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, departure from the co-host of “The View” Meghan mccain“, The outcry sparked by Mara Gay, member of the editorial board of the New York Times, describing the sight of the American flags as” disturbing “and the collapsed media story in the 2020 election, President Donald Trump ordered the evacuation of peaceful protesters from Lafayette Square for a church photo op.
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Stelter also glossed over the Washington Post’s major correction of his January report which accused Trump of urging Georgian election officials to “find the fraud,” the main MSNBC management reshuffle, Toobin’s dismissal from the New Yorker following her Zoom call masturbation scandal, ousting MSNBC contributor Jon Meacham after it was revealed he was moonlighting as a speechwriter for the Joe Biden campaign, and scandals that tormented media darlings in 2020, Project Lincoln.
Fox News’ David Rutz and Joseph A. Wulfsohn contributed to this report.