Stelter Decries ‘Right-Wing’ Media ‘Arsonists’ for ‘Creating’ Omar-9/11 Controversy


By now, you’ve undoubtedly seen the disgusting 9/11 comments made by anti-Semite Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (MN-D) before the terrorism-supporting Council on American Islamic Relations. Well, during Sunday’s so-called Reliable Sources, CNN host and media dung-sweeper Brian Stelter defended her while denouncing conservative media for cooking up the controversy. He likened it to “an arsonist lighting a match”.

In a segment that sought to explain how controversies were cooked up (seemingly only from the right), Stelter walked his few viewers through how he supposed Omar’s comments were pounced on (click “expand”):

Omar gave a speech to the Council on American Islamic Relations, last month. Her focus was on the importance of protecting American civil liberties. The speech didn’t really get picked up at the time. But then, last Monday, the conservative website, The Daily Caller – co-founded by Tucker Carlson – picked up on Omar’s reference to the 9/11 hijackers. She said, quote, “some people did something” while arguing that all Muslims should not be punished for the action of a crazy few.

So, The Daily Caller posted four minutes of video to YouTube. Then an Australian man who calls himself a Muslim scholar and is very active on Twitter set the frame for a week’s worth of news conference. The framing – you can see here – is that Omar was downplaying 9/11. His tweet took off and it spread to right-wing website. It was all over these sites by Tuesday. Then, on Tuesday night, Sean Hannity brought the video to television. He covered it on Tuesday night. And then, come Wednesday, Fox and Friends was all over it. Brian Kilmeade was questioning Omar’s patriotism. This went on and on for days and days. Then on Thursday, this was the cover of the New York Post.

‘Some people did something.’ Four words. Probably not the best choice of words. It’s easy for me to sit here and say I would have chosen different words. Right,” he shrugged, giving her the biggest of breaks.

 

 

Stelter reiterated his claim “that this controversy was created” by people on the right. “The construction of the frame, Omar downplays 9/11, is a key part of the story. These viral videos and tweets are how we argue about the future of America. But so much of it is based in bad faith. These outrage cycles corrupt us. Omar’s comment was used as a weapon against her,” he decried.

Stelter paints these terrible phantom motives on his political opponents and then has the nerve to declare others were acting in bad faith. He described conservative media as the “right-wing rage machine”, but never considered that Omar’s comments were actually offensive to most Americans. Nope, to him, it was all part of some insidious plot.

Pretending to be an intellectual, Stelter opined about how “the big questions” needed to be asked: “where does the controversy come from? How was it created in the first place? Who created it? Who stands to benefit from it being created? And who stands to lose, who stands to suffer?”

That’s actually some good advice. People should think about how CNN creates controversies, how CNN stand to benefit from it, and who CNN is trying to hurt.

We already know that CNN boss Jeff Zucker likes to cook up entertainment instead of actual news. We know the network likes to pretend the revolving door between the White House and the media came into existence with this administration, or at least wasn’t used often. Pushing the collusion conspiracy was in their best interest because their ratings tanked (and still are) after Attorney General Barr announced no collusion was found. But Stelter defended their years of speculation. This is CNN.

The transcript is below, click “expand” to read:

CNN’s Reliable Sources
April 14, 2019
11:00:56 a.m. Eastern

BRIAN STELTER: First let’s talk about something that has been in the headlines for days now. Let’s talk about where controversies come from. You probably heard a lot about Congresswoman Ilhan Omar this week. But do you know why? Do you know how it started?

Controversies don’t erupt naturally like a bolt of lightning sparking a fire. No. Controversies are created like an arsonist lighting a match. But too often our news coverage in the papers, and on TV, and online starts mid-story. We say something like, “there is a controversy brewing among these two people.” But we leave out the most important part, the lighting of the match.

So, let’s look at how the Omar-9/11 story started and how it’s being framed.

Omar gave a speech to the Council on American Islamic Relations, last month. Her focus was on the importance of protecting American civil liberties. The speech didn’t really get picked up at the time. But then, last Monday, the conservative website, The Daily Caller – co-founded by Tucker Carlson – picked up on Omar’s reference to the 9/11 hijackers. She said, quote, “some people did something” while arguing that all Muslims should not be punished for the action of a crazy few.

So, The Daily Caller posted four minutes of video to YouTube. Then an Australian man who calls himself a Muslim scholar and is very active on Twitter set the frame for a week’s worth of news conference. The framing – you can see here – is that Omar was downplaying 9/11. His tweet took off and it spread to right-wing website. It was all over these sites by Tuesday. Then, on Tuesday night, Sean Hannity brought the video to television. He covered it on Tuesday night. And then, come Wednesday, Fox and Friends was all over it. Brian Kilmeade was questioning Omar’s patriotism. This went on and on for days and days. Then on Thursday, this was the cover of the New York Post.

“Some people did something.” Four words. Probably not the best choice of words. It’s easy for me to sit here and say I would have chosen different words. Right?

But the point is that this controversy was created. The construction of the frame, Omar downplays 9/11, is a key part of the story. These viral videos and tweets are how we argue about the future of America. But so much of it is based in bad faith. These outrage cycles corrupt us. Omar’s comment was used as a weapon against her, including by President Trump who has pinned this anti-Omar video to the top of his Twitter page.

Trump’s video is what propelled this story all way to the nightly news. So now, it’s being framed as Trump versus Omar. Some Democrats are saying Trump is putting her life in danger. But there’s something bigger going on here with this story. It tells us something about the right-wing rage machine and about how news priorities are set.

The history of the United States is a tug-of-war over who belongs and who’s equal and who has power. It is the biggest story of all. Yet, those of us in the press oftentimes cover this in tiny discrete bits. We put a very small frame on the biggest story. I think we do a much better job when we widen way out. And part of widening out is showing where does the controversy come from? How was it created in the first place? Who created it? Who stands to benefit from it being created? And who stands to lose, who stands to suffer? These are the big questions I think we should be asking when there are these eruptions that happen.

(…)



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