Who is Brian Stelter? Brian Patrick Stelter is an American political commentator, cnn’s chief media correspondent and CNN Reliable Sources host. Stelter is a former New York Times media journalist and editor of TVNewser.
President Donald Trump’s senior legal counsel for President Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign on Sunday condemned CNN’s recent presidential election as a “deceptive junk science” in a controversial interview on the network.
The “Reliable Sources” interview, which lasted more than 10 minutes, was largely composed of the advisor, Jenna Ellis, and the host of CNN, Brian Stelter, scolding, shouting and talking about each other.
At the heart of the dispute, a CNN poll released Monday showed that former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumed Democratic nominee, was leading Trump by 14 points among registered voters. Ellis repeatedly called the poll “garbage” because it included adults who are not registered voters, although Biden-Trump’s head-to-head figures are based exclusively on the opinions of registered voters. The overall survey, which included other questions, included 1,259 adults – 1,125 of whom were enrolled.
On Wednesday, the Trump campaign sent a letter co-signed by Ellis to the network requesting a retraction. “It’s a blow and a bogus poll that provokes repression of voters, stifles momentum and enthusiasm for the president,” the letter says.
CNN said it stood by the polls.
“To my knowledge, this is the first time in CNN’s 40-year history that cnn has been threatened with legal action because a politician or an American campaign doesn’t like the results of CNN’s polls,” David Vigilante, the network’s executive vice president and general counsel, wrote in response.
Ellis accused the network on Sunday of “extinguishing activism,” telling Stelter: “No pollster in the world would support this as a legitimate poll, by industry standards.”
Stelter defended the integrity of the election. “This is a normal voting procedure,” he said.
The conversation became more and more passionate after that. “You’re just going to interrupt me all this time?” asked Ellis at one point.
“It’s important to stop when you share false information,” Stelter said. He later told her, “You’re wasting my time.”
Ellis and Stelter also argued over a defamation lawsuit filed earlier this year by the campaign against CNN over an opinion piece that the campaign said contained false information.
Ellis tried to pin down Stelter on whether it was ever acceptable to publish false proven statements, even in opinion columns. Stelter refused to be involved in the debate, saying he was not the one being questioned. “I’d always really like to know if @brianstelter think it’s acceptable to post factually false statements on CNN or any other media platform,” Ellis tweeted.
At one point near the end of the interview, Stelter told Ellis that she would eventually feel guilty about these “insults” against the media: “One day you will regret it when your children and grandchildren turn around at that time.”
Last week’s CNN poll was consistent with other polls in recent months that have consistently shown that Trump is following Biden, although cnn’s poll has a larger margin than the others. Polls also showed that Trump had a disapproval rate of more than 50%, including polls released Friday by The Hill/Harris X (53% disapproval) and Rasmussen Reports (55%). The latest POLITICO/Morning Consult poll, released Wednesday, put Trump’s disapproval rate at 58%.
Trump has regularly attacked the integrity of polls that don’t show he’s winning.
“I hired a highly respected pollster, McLaughlin Associates, to analyze today’s CNN poll (and others), which I thought was wrong because of the incredible enthusiasm we’re getting,” he tweeted last week. “Read the analysis for yourself.”
In the 2016 election, Trump called pollsters for projecting his loss. Most polls showed that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by a small margin, which proved to be correct, but Trump prevailed in the Electoral College.
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