Brian Stelter, who was described as a “partisan hack” and ditched by CNN last month, has taken on a new role discussing “threats against democracy” and how the media might react. After CNN’s chairman and CEO Chris Licht canceled Stelter’s long-running Sunday show focused on the news media, The Harvard Kennedy School named Mr. Stelter a Walter Shorenstein Media and Democracy Fellow. He will work alongside students and faculty. The new role of Stelter will include serving as a media and democracy fellow and hosting a series of discussions on what the center has described as “threats to democracy and the range of potential responses from the news media.”
The Harvard Kennedy School, the school of public policy within the prestigious university, announced Stelter would anchor “Reliable Sources” during the Fall of 2022, without specifying the reason for his departure from the network. His show was canceled and Stelter was shown the door as the network’s new CEO Chris Licht focused more on “news” than the liberal opinion programming it became known for under Jeff Zucker.
Before joining CNN, Stelter was a reporter for The New York Times. He is considered a polarizing media personality who has often been sharply criticized by the right for his comments about ex-President Trump and the conservative media, said Fox News.
Stelter recently revealed the severity of the Hunter Biden scandal, which turned out not to be a reprehensible far-right media story as the liberal experts insisted. This was seen by many as an attempt to appease the new leadership. But that attempt failed, and Stelter, whose style has been described as left-wing pundit and who often criticizes conservative media, told people that he was essentially a “sacrificial lamb.”
“As the Walter Shorenstein Fellow, Stelter will convene a series of discussions about threats to democracy and the range of potential responses from the news media. These discussions with media leaders, policy makers, politicians, and Kennedy School students, fellows, and faculty will help deepen public and scholarly understanding about the current state of the information ecosystem and its impacts on democratic governance,” the school declared in an announcement.
During his last appearance, Stelter told CNN viewers, “I know I didn’t have all the answers, I didn’t even always have all the right questions… Here’s what I do know. I know it’s not partisan to stand up for decency and democracy and dialogue. It’s not partisan to stand up to demagogues. It’s required, it’s patriotic. We must make sure we don’t give a platform to those who are lying to our faces. But we also must make sure we are representing the full spectrum of debate and representing what’s going on in this country and in this world.”
As a freshman confronted Stelter at the Disinformation and the Erosion of Democracy conference about his network’s role as a “purveyor of disinformation,” Stelter looked visibly uncomfortable.
According to the press release announcing his appointment, Stelter will “convene a series of discussions about threats to democracy and the range of potential responses from the news media.”
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