CNN’s Brian Stelter was mocked by callers who referred the media pundit as a “minister of misinformation” and evoked disgraced former CNN darling Michael Avenatti during an appearance on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal” on Thursday.
“Mr. Stelter is the biggest minister of misinformation I have ever heard and I’m a news junkie,” a caller identified as Kevin from Indiana told the liberal CNN host.
“This gentleman told the American people, and his news organization…for four years that there was Russia collusion and actually, after all the $35-$40 million dollars and government investigation, we come to find out there was zero. Zero collusion from the Trump administration and Russia,” the caller continued. “His stories absolutely evolve.”
Stelter, who is regularly lampooned and often referred to as the media’s “hall monitor,” was polite when faced with direct criticism.
“Thank you for the feedback, I appreciate it,” Stelter said.
A separate caller identified as Gordon in Kansas asked Stelter to “admit he and his network are a bunch of liars about Donald Trump.”
Callers weren’t done attacking Stelter, as Rick from Georgia then brought up one of CNN’s most embarrassing blunders.
“I was just wondering if you still feel like Michael Avenatti is the greatest thing in the world and should run for president of the United States,” the caller asked. “My suggestion is, whatever CNN says, do the opposite and you’ll do fine.”
Stelter famously told Avenatti on air in 2018, “One of the reasons why I’m taking you seriously as a [2020 presidential] contender is because of your presence on cable news.”
Avenatti was a CNN regular when he represented adult-film star Stormy Daniels as she made claims against Trump. However, Avenatti was found guilty of trying to extort Nike and the discredited former CNN regular recently lost his bid for additional freedom as four federal criminal trials against him played out.
A 2018 Media Research Center study revealed that Avenatti appeared on CNN a whopping 74 times over a 10-week period. At the height of Avenatti’s fame, he spent his rare time away from CNN’s greenroom partying with the network’s anchors.
Stelter dismissed the caller, claiming he “almost forgot how to say Avenatti’s name” because he’s been out of the news for so long and claimed a “right-wing meme” of the CNN host sipping coffee while chatting with the former porn lawyer keeps the story alive.
“It becomes an attack point to make fun of people like me out of context,” Stelter said.
Another caller said Stelter was “shameless,” while yet another called CNN a “joke.” The liberal CNN host smiled through much of the criticism, often defending his network in the process.