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Brian Stelter Defends Media Coverage of Mueller Probe From ‘Rookie’ Attacks: ‘Don’t Be Fooled By the Partisans’

CNN’s Brian Stelter opened his show Sunday with a defense of the media for its coverage of Special Counsel Robert Mueller‘s investigation, after the special counsel’s team submitted a report to the attorney general.

Stelter noted the partisan coverage of the investigation was often overwrought: “Over on left wing blogs, Mueller was cast as a saint, a savior,” he said, while on the right, Fox News host Sean Hannity decried the “Mueller crime family” in a segment promoted by President Donald Trump.

He then turned the allies of the president who are bashing the media for its coverage of the investigation, and taking a victory lap over the still-unreleased report.

“Partisans on the right are already claiming the end of the Mueller probe vindicates all their prior positions, and they are saying the media, the evil media, was wrong all along,” Stelter said. He argued that such media critics, including Don Jr., are “making a rookie mistake.”

“Mueller’s assignment was to get to the truth about Russian interference,” Stelter said. “Now, did many commentators and Democratic politicians allege collusion? Yes. Did many journalists ask about it? Yes. But there is a giant difference between asking and telling. The job of the nation’s news media is to ask, to question all sides a to scrutinize all sides and report on opposing points of view and only take the side of truth and decency.

“Someone should tell Jesse Watters that,” the CNN host added, playing a clip of the Fox News host, on The Five, calling the end of the investigation a “knock out blow” to the president’s critics in the media.

Stelter finished his monologue with an appeal to tune out the noise of speculation in favor of prioritizing hard reporting.

“Don’t be fooled by the partisans who cherry pick the worst mistakes of individual journalists or the craziest ideas from commentators and claim that’s the entire media,” Stelter said. “It’s not.”

Watch above, via CNN.

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Aidan McLaughlin is the Managing Editor of Mediaite. Send tips via email: aidan@mediaite.com or via Signal: 917-817-8266. Follow him on Twitter: @aidnmclaughlin