Brian Stelter Says ‘Right Wing Rage Machine’ Fueled Omar News Cycle: ‘This Controversy Was Created’


CNN’s Brian Stelter broke down how “the right wing rage machine” fueled the news cycle on Rep. Ilhan Omar‘s 9/11 comments.

Omar’s comments, made in a speech last month, were resurfaced this week and fueled a controversy that eventually made its way to President Donald Trump’s Twitter feed. Speaking before the Council on American-Islamic Relations, she claimed the group was created after 9/11 “because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.”

“The speech really didn’t get covered at the time,” Stelter said on Reliable Sources Sunday. “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.”

After The Daily Caller posted the video, Stelter explained, Omar’s comments were picked up and distorted by social media, before making their way to Sean Hannity‘s Fox News show. Then, the comments were picked up by Fox & Friends and eventually landed on the cover of the New York Post, over a graphic photo of the burning World Trade Center towers.

“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?” the CNN host said.

“The point is this controversy was created,” Stelter said, arguing “so much” of similar outrage cycles are “based in bad faith.”

“These outrage cycles corrupt us. Omar’s comments were used as a weapon against her, including by President Trump, who has pinned this anti-Omar video to the top of his Twitter page.”

“But there’s something bigger going on here with this story,” he continued. “It tells us something about the right wing rage machine, and about how news priorities are set.”

Watch above, via CNN.

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Aidan McLaughlin is the Editor in Chief of Mediaite. Send tips via email: Ask for Signal. Follow him on Twitter: @aidnmclaughlin