‘Popular Right Wing Narrative’: Brian Stelter Denies He Purveyed Hunter’s Laptop as ‘Russian Disinformation’

Amy Entelis, Alisyn Camerota, John Berman, Kelly Wallace, Brian Stelter, and Dave Briggs a
Mike Coppola/Getty

CNN anchor Brian Stelter on Thursday denied that CNN purveyed multiple hoaxes and dismissed Hunter Biden’s “laptop from hell” as “Russia disinformation.”

Speaking at the “Disinformation and the Erosion of Democracy” forum, Stelter was asked by college freshman Christopher Phillips about CNN’s record of inaccurate reporting and suppression of news.

“You’ve all spoken extensively about Fox News being a purveyor of disinformation. But CNN is right up there with them,” Phillips prefaced.

“They pushed the Russian collusion hoax, they pushed the Jussie Smollett hoax. They smeared Justice Kavanaugh as a rapist and they also smeared Nick Sandmann as a white supremacist,” Phillips said, giving examples. “And yes, they dismissed the Hunter Biden laptop affair as pure Russian disinformation with mainstream corporate journalists becoming little more than apologists and cheerleaders for the regime.”

Phillips then questioned Stelter about whether CNN possesses any moral authority to still report the news. 

“Is it time to finally declare that the canon of journalistic ethics is dead or no longer operative?” Phillips asked Stelter. “All the mistakes of the mainstream media and CNN in particular, seem to magically all go in one direction.”

Stelter answered by first suggesting it was time for lunch. “Too bad it’s time for lunch,” he said before acknowledging he had 30 seconds to answer the question. Stelter said he would talk to Phillips privately about the question, but noted he would also give an honest public answer.

“I think you’re describing a different channel than the one that I watch,” Stelter said, denying that CNN purveyed numerous hoaxes and coverups.

“But I understand that that is a popular right-wing narrative about CNN,” Stelter added.

In March, Stelter refused to walk back inaccurate claims he promoted on his program when he insisted Hunter Biden’s “laptop from hell” emails were “Russian disinformation.” Stelter made the claim Hunter’s laptop story was “Russian disinformation” on October 18, 2020, before the New York Times authenticated the laptop last month. Hunter’s laptop was authenticated by the New York Post in 2020.

When pressed by Breitbart News on these claims he made on his program, Stelter refused to retract his false statements and insinuations — and instead falsely accused Breitbart News of not standing by its reporting.

“So… you clearly can’t back up your assertion that I claimed ‘Hunter Biden’s laptop emails were likely Russian propaganda’ — thanks for confirming that what you wrote is false,” he responded to this reporter.

CNN finally admitted in March that Hunter Biden’s “laptop from hell” was authentic — 532 days after the initial story broke on October 24, 2020 — notably calling it “Russian disinformation” and “made up” at the time.

Meanwhile, CNN has come under fire during an ongoing internal investigation in the wake of CNN’s former president Jeff Zucker’s resignation. The investigation may engulf Stelter due to his closeness to Zucker. The Zucker investigation is reportedly still ongoing.

Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter and Gettr @WendellHusebø


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