CNN’s Stelter: Is It ‘Irresponsible’ for Media to Highlight Divisions Between Trump, Fauci?


CNN’s Brian Stelter had an interesting moment on Sunday when he allowed his Reliable Sources panel to debate how the media ought to cover the divisions between President Donald Trump and Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Throughout the last few days, Trump and Fauci contradicted each other multiple times on how the country should handle the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. This has drawn a great deal of attention from the political press, so Stelter noted that “the media has been looking for fractures between the president and Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birks…Is that irresponsible at this moment in time?”

Dr. Esther Choo agreed with that premise, telling Stelter “we need a unified response to this.”

“We need to stand behind the science that Dr. Fauci puts out every day and figure out a way to rally behind his messages about how to best contain this disease, and not look to divide the message or to really question the authority that’s coming out of our leading scientists.”

New York Times’ Maggie Haberman disagreed with that viewpoint, saying its journalistically worth noting how Trump and Fauci are not in alignment.

“My colleagues in the White House Briefing Room…They’re putting themselves at risk every time they go into that room. Reporters who are covering this in New York City, in hospitals all around the country, they’re putting themselves at risk when they are trying to do this. I think the fact there’s a distinction between what Fauci is saying and what the president is saying is not the media’s doing, and I think it is dangerous to try to categorize reporting as us trying to play some kind of a game.”

UPDATE – 2:09 p.m. ET: After the segment, Choo amended her stance on Twitter while saying that she misunderstood the question:

Watch above, via CNN.

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