Stelter: Unlike Rogan, If CNN Says So, It Must Be True

Stelter: Unlike Rogan, If CNN Says So, It Must Be True


On Monday’s installment of At This Hour, CNN chief media correspondent Brian Stelter joined host Kate Bolduan to assert that people can trust CNN to be truthful and accurate because, unlike Joe Rogan, it is a real news operation that cares about facts and information.

While crediting protests from Neil Young and other left-wing singers with Spotify’s decision to put content warnings on COVID-related podcasts, Stelter wondered what took the audio streaming app so long: “So, basically they’re doing what Twitter and Facebook and other platforms did two years ago. This is nothing original, nothing novel, they are belatedly responding to the pressure from artists and subscribers.”

 

 

After quoting CEO Daniel Ek trying to thread the needle between censorship and “making sure there are rules in place and consequences for those who violate them,” Stelter introduced an Instagram video where Rogan declared, “My pledge to you is that I will do my best to try to balance out these more controversial viewpoints with other people’s perspectives so we can maybe find a better point of view. I don’t want to just show the, the contrary opinion to what the narrative is. I want to show all kinds of opinions.”

After the video, Stelter returned to wail that hosts like Rogan just didn’t have the supposed credibility of liberal media outlets — like CNN:  

Which sounds great but not all opinions are created equal. You think about major newsrooms like CNN that have health departments and desks and operations that work hard on verifying information on COVID-19. And then you have talk show stars like Joe Rogan who just wing it, who make it up as they go along, and because figures like Rogan are trusted by people who don’t trust real newsrooms, we have a tension, a problem that’s much bigger than Spotify, much bigger than any single platform, Kate, but that’s what’s at the heart of this right now.

Stelter’s claim that CNN can better discern what is true than the average Joe Rogan listener is not something backed by evidence. CNN once cheered YouTube banning Sen. Rand Paul for something that the CDC and CNN now agree with and that does not even begin to mention CNN going all in on the Russia Collusion narrative.

Bolduan wrapped up Stelter’s part in the segment by asserting: “Yeah, but you’re right, it is getting at something bigger that isn’t going to be solved in one Joe Rogan video or one statement from Spotify, for sure.”

Stelter is not wrong to say “not all opinions are created equal,” but he should have the humility to acknowledge that CNN’s are not inherently better just because they are CNN’s, especially given the cable channel’s own poor track record.

This segment was sponsored by CarShield.

Here is a transcript for the January 31 show:

CNN At His Hour

1/31/2022

11:40 AM ET

STELTER: I think it’s because of Young and Joni Mitchell and other artists and we don’t know how many complained privately, we also don’t know how many subscribers either canceled or threatened to cancel over the weekend but clearly, Daniel Ek, the CEO of Spotify, was under enough pressure, that he took these very urgent actions on Sunday afternoon. Here are three of the examples, Kate, of what the company says they’re doing. They’re publishing the rules they already have in place for podcasts. They are working towards adding content advisory around any podcasts episode involving COVID-19 and they’re going to test ways to highlight the rules. So, basically they’re doing what Twitter and Facebook and other platforms did two years ago. This is nothing original, nothing novel, they are belatedly responding to the pressure from artists and subscribers but here’s what Ek said in a statement, “it is important to me that we don’t take on the position of being content censor while also making sure there are rules in place and consequences for those who violate them.” You can hear the tension right there in that quote. He doesn’t want to be a censor but he needs to have rules in place to protect his audience. Now Ek, did not mention Joe Rogan at all, but Rogan’s at the center of this because of the guests he’s had on his podcast and the anti-vaccination narratives coming out of this popular podcast. Here’s what Rogan said in an Instagram video overnight. 

JOE ROGAN:  My pledge to you is that I will do my best to try to balance out these more controversial viewpoints with other people’s perspectives so we can maybe find a better point of view. I don’t want to just show the, the contrary opinion to what the narrative is. I want to show all kinds of opinions. 

BRIAN STELTER: Which sounds great but not all opinions are created equal. You think about major newsrooms like CNN that have health departments and desks and operations that work hard on verifying information on COVID-19. And then you have talk show stars like Joe Rogan who just wing it, who make it up as they go along, and because figures like Rogan are trusted by people who don’t trust real newsrooms, we have a tension, a problem that’s much bigger than Spotify, much bigger than any single platform, Kate, but that’s what’s at the heart of this right now. 

KATE BOLDUAN: Yeah, but you’re right, it is getting at something bigger that isn’t going to be solved in one Joe Rogan video or one statement from Spotify, for sure. It’s good to see you, Brian. Thank you so much.

STELTER: That’s right. You too, thanks.



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