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CNN’s Stelter to Ben Shapiro: How Do You Criticize Trump When Some of Your Fans ‘Hate Hearing That?’

CNN’s Brian Stelter had on as his guest Ben Shapiro, the openly conservative Editor-in-Chief of The Daily Wire and frequent critic of what he sees as clear media bias, the sort of which that Stelter often explains from his well-reasoned perspective.

Given the piqued political reactions one typically sees from the Twitter followers from each, one might expect a white-hot debate over Trump, media bias and, well, whatever else. But what largely unfolded was a dispassionate, well-mannered and rational conversation. Harmonic convergence? Not quite, but a good fair discussion nonetheless.

The section of the segment featured above, of course, centered on the coverage of President Donald Trump, of whom Shapiro has been both very critical and also praised. Shapiro explained his positions as much, saying:

I’ve said all along when President Trump says something that’s wrong, the media should fact check him. When President Trump says something that is morally reprehensible, he should be called on that but the constant drum beat that President Trump is an awful, awful man, an Orange man bad and, therefore, he should be ousted on the basis of his lack of character and that other characters in Politics are imminently better and that what we have a true moral conflict in terms of character, if you back President Trump, what you see from the media is this idea that if you back President Trump it’s inherently because you back the worst things he’s ever said or done.

Stelter fairly called out a bit of Shapiro’s straw-man rounding of corners here, pressing his guest’s definition of “media” by asking “you mean liberal commentators, right?”

Shapiro retorted that he did mean “liberal commentators,” adding “I often mean liberal commentators who pose as journalists. This has been one of the great battles inside media. People like me openly conservative. I will cover the news from an openly conservative perspective.”

Stelter focused on the common ground the two shared, offering that the media needs lots of perspectives — fact based journalists as well as liberal and conservative columnists as well. He then asked Shapiro how he “walk this tight rope” of criticizing the president from a conservative point of view, “knowing some of your fans hate hearing that.”

After pushing back politely on the “tight rope” description, Shapiro opined “I think people are looking for an honest take. Not an objective take but my honest take as a human being on what the president is doing” to which Stelter appeared to agree.

Watch above via CNN.

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