During the “Disinformation and the Erosion of Democracy” conference hosted by the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics (IOP), Chicago Thinker staff writer Christopher Phillips blindsided CNN’s Brian Stelter with a question about the network’s journalistic ethics and its history of spreading disinformation. Phillip’s takedown comes one day after the Atlantic’s Anne Applebaum infamously dismissed the Hunter Biden laptop scandal as “totally irrelevant” in response to a question posed by his Thinker colleague, Daniel Schmidt.
The conference event, “How Media Platforms Shape Consumer Realities,” was moderated by the New York Times’s Jim Rutenberg and featured Stelter, Stephen Hayes of the Dispatch, and Lauren Williams of Capital B.
Phillips opened by highlighting several of CNN’s most notable fabrications:
[…] You’ve all spoken extensively about Fox News being a purveyor of disinformation, but CNN is right up there with them. They pushed the Russian collusion hoax, they pushed the Jussie Smollet hoax. They smeared Justice Kavanaugh as a rapist and they also smeared Nick Sandmann as a white supremacist. And yes, they dismissed the Hunter Biden laptop affair as pure “Russian disinformation.”
Phillips then slammed corporate media outlets, implying that the one-sided nature of these “mistakes” reflects their abandonment of journalistic ethics:
With mainstream corporate journalists becoming little more than apologists and cheerleaders for the regime, is it time to finally declare that the canon of journalistic ethics is dead, or no longer operative? All the mistakes of the mainstream media – and CNN in particular – seem to magically all go in one direction. Are we expected to believe that this is all just some sort of random coincidence? Or is there something else behind it?
Stelter quickly quipped, “It’s too bad – it’s time for lunch.”
He then offered a more lengthy reply, dismissing CNN’s history of questionable reporting as “a popular right-wing narrative.” “I think my honest answer to you […] is that I think you’re describing a different channel than the one that I watch. But I understand that that is a popular right-wing narrative about CNN,” said Stelter.
“I think it’s important, when we talk about shared reality and democracy, all these networks, all these news outlets have to defend democracy, and when they screw up, admit it,” he continued.
The exchange quickly made the rounds on social media, causing “Stelter” to begin trending on Twitter.
The Daily Wire and The Blaze applauded Phillips, a college freshman, for his pointed questions:
Independent journalist Glenn Greenwald also highlighted the condescension of Stelter’s response, while Mike Cernovich celebrated Phillips’ takedown of “regime media”:
Several other notable conservatives likewise expressed support for Phillips, including Jack Posobiec, Christina Pushaw, Mollie Hemingway, Dan Bongino, Benny Johnson, and Clay Travis.
When asked for comment, Phillips expressed his frustration at Stelter’s response. He told the Thinker, “Even after speaking with Mr. Stelter after the event, I am still left without an answer to my question. Why am I – or anyone else – to believe that CNN is an impartial news outlet when its journalistic ‘mistakes’ systematically favor Democrats? I challenge Stelter to identify an error CNN has made that favored Republicans.”
I could not agree more wth what Christopher told the media panel! Outstanding!
Did you attend the Media Institute seminars, Christopher?
You nay feel like a voice in the wilderness, but I encourage you to stay the course
If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen fat boy. Stelter’s daus are numbered, and he will join msdnc like his other fake journalist colleagues
If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen fat boy. Stelter’s days are numbered anyway, and he will join msdnc like his other fake journalist colleagues
Bruh you didn’t “smoke” him. All you did was demonstrate how completely out of touch you are. Have you ever even watched CNN, or do you just read what other people say that CNN says? Your question reads like the title of a Ben Shapiro video, not one posed by an ostensibly serious journalist. It’s honestly embarrassing to have this kind of nonsense associated with our school.
“All you did was demonstrate how completely out of touch you are. Have you ever even watched CNN ….”
If Mr. Phillips is “out of touch” (the suggestion being that YOU aren’t), then it should be easy for you to FACTUALLY REFUTE every example of Bias / Misreporting / Outright Lies that he listed in his Remarks / Question.
Please enlighten us — with IRREFUTABLE FACTS — like Jeffery Toobin “entertaining himself” on Live TV, three CNN “reporters” resigning after publishing an UNSUBSTANTIATED story about Trump being linked to a Russian Investment Firm (CNN retracted the story and apologized for it), etc., etc.
P. S. I suspect that I’ve been watching CNN’s decline into a parrallel-universe “news outlet” for many years prior to your birth.
> I suspect that I’ve been watching CNN’s decline into a parrallel-universe “news outlet” for many years prior to your birth.
Yeah, no shit. It’s obvious you’re not a current UChicago student, since if you were, you’d know how to write like a normal person.
Still no response to provide irrefutable proof that anything Phillips said was untrue. Leftwingnut with zero credibility…..
Racist blacks like you think it’s normal to fake hate like Jussie Smollett did. And no surprise you defend the CNN apologists who defended the smear campaign against the Covington Catholic students.
I’m not black lol, I don’t know where you got that impression but whatever it is, it probably points to some unfortunate preconceived notions you have about black people.
Bruh,… who says that anyway? It says a lot about you. You are clueless. It’s very sad. Perhaps if you didn’t attend college you would be a normal independent thinker.
Tell me, what does it say about me, beyond “a lot”? The fact that you’re completely unaware of changes in modern slang is pretty telling. The word “bruh” has existed in its current form for about two decades now, and it’s been in common parlance for at least a decade. Not knowing that isn’t a crime or anything, but it makes me wonder why you would consider yourself qualified to comment on political matters if you apparently haven’t even been exposed to the conversations of young people for at least two decades.
“Bruh moment” above has exposed himself as a complete fucking imbecile
Chris did a phenomenal job.
With people like Chris, there is hope for the future of America.
Holy shit, Albert Einstein? You’re alive? Wow, I’m so honored I’m getting to speak to such a distinguished mind. Tell me, what are your thoughts on the recent confirmation of the existence of gravitational waves? Have you changed your mind on the cosmological constant? Oh, and let’s not forget: do you stand by your assertion that capitalism is a major source of evil in the world and that socialism is the way to go for the future? If that’s the case, I wouldn’t expect you to be commenting on a website whose views are so antithetical to your own. But it’s a small world, I suppose.
Racist blacks like you still thing faking hate is a civil right. That’s why you defend DNCNN’s defense of Big Chief Meth Mouth, Jussie Smollett, and the lying whore from the Duke lacrosse rape hoax.
This reminds me of that saying about playing chess with a pigeon: it’s pointless, because all they’ll do is knock over the pieces, shit on the chessboard, and strut around like they won. And you’re somehow surprised that the guy didn’t want to play chess with you, you dumbass pigeon?
You pigeon. Chicago Thinker gave a superior performance. CNN Stelter gave no answer. Stelter said that news media job is to defend democracy. We need a republic.
Bravo. When our boys in ww2 were askes what they were fighting for, most said “liberty”, not democracy. Democracy is mob rules, wwf stuff.
The difference between the two in modern discourse is just semantics. No one is arguing for direct democracy, and basically no countries are direct democracies, and those that have some way for the general population to enact laws generally use it only in a few specific circumstances. For all intents and purposes, when people say “democracy” they simply mean “a representative form of government.”
Dear Chicago Thinker,
Mil gracias from Texas. Bravo!
UChicago is one of the few remaining bastions of free speech and inquiry in academia. May the Lord bless your integrity, courage, and brilliance at The Chicago Thinker. Thank you for standing up and demonstrating the irreplaceable role of free speech in procuring truth.
The liberties protected by the First Amendment to the US Constitution separate the US from almost all other nations. Those liberties are pillars of American exceptionalism and freedom, and benefit mightily from the courage and analytical rigor of exceptional advocates such as yourselves.
Mark Adams Brown, JD ‘81
San Angelo, Texas
Was this representative of young Chris and the team here? What an incredible encouragement this was to watch!
The great takeaway is the courage and clarity fostered by your team of associates. No reasonable person would have expected a first-year student, permitted only one question, to upend CNN. What Chris did, however, was to “ring a bell”. A bell cannot be “unrung”.
I want to believe this was a seminal event, a key moment in time. I’m not the only one seeing this.
Know this, Chicago Thinker: American media corporations have laid waste to journalism, and never before have Americans been so hungry for real news, objective reporting and incisive questioning. It should be your future to tear it down and “build back better”, and thus make a mockery of their globalist, fascist pretensions.
Maybe Chicago Thinker won’t just be a college paper in five years. Maybe it’ll be something far greater. Don’t let us down.
When young, articulate, critically-thinking young men like this speak up, it gives me so much hope for the United States. Thank you, Christopher Phillips. Keep up the great work and increase your numbers with other college students and young people growing confidence and courage to challenge the nonsense that has taken over our great country. God bless the United States of America.
Those corporate fascist media types sure have some nerve. The primary purveyors of disinformation and outright mendacity show up the warn UC students of all the lies and disinformation they are being subjected to BY OTHER MEDIA OUTLETS. Obviously, they thought the UC administration would have had the venue rigged so that they would not have to face any embarrassing questions. Well done, Thinkers.
Outstanding and do encouraging to see one so young, smart and articulate standing up for truth and exposing the media elite. We’ll done, Chris!
All anyone need to do is tell the truth. The swamp is slowly draining. The young man did a fantastic job. Brian Shelter is just another high paid puppet. None of these journalists are unique, truthful or even respected. They all read the same script.
So proud of you for how you handled your interview question! It’s nice to see clear minded younger folks (I’m old- a college freshmen in 1981). Stay true to yourself and never let them stop you! You’re going to be great at whatever you do!
Bravo young man! Just when I think objective journalism is dead, someone like you comes along and calls out the establishment, who spew the same old narrative and garbage that so many willingly buy. Keep up the good work. You have a bright future, rooted in the truth!
The Chicago Thinker.com gave an excellent question to.cnn stelter. Stelter refused to answer. Stelter’s response was like, “no comment”.
Stelter said the job of media is to defend democracy. Where does that come from? What does democracy mean? Democracy is a code word for left-wing political agenda. It would be interesting to see what the Canon of journalistic ethics has to say about democracy. A republic is better.
I saw the clip of Mr. Phillips confronting Stelter. It warmed my heart. The “journalistic” world today is filled with left wing claptrap narratives masquerading as objective reporting. It’s encouraging that not all young minds are poisoned. I’m so fortunate that I have two grandsons, one in college, the other in higschool. Both share the same conservative, fact based thinking as young Mr. Phillips. It gives me hope for the future.
Wonderful questions, all on point and true. The demise of CNN throughout the years and the lies, that CNN have reported in the past 4 years, and all MSM, leaves the question, what happened to impartial reporting? I believe that went by the wayside when 24 hours news had 24 hours to fill and opinion news shows became the norm. That includes Fox News. Many news stories are riddled with opinion, bias and not just the facts. Brian Stelter is a joke,
I thought at first that Phillips was reading a question written by republican operatives because few freshmen are that smart or articulate in politics. Now, I think Phillips may be smart enough. And hey, did Stelter ever come talk to him further as he said he would in his response to his question? That would be interesting to know. Thanks.
Bravo. When our boys in ww2 were askes what they were fighting for, more said “liberty”, not democracy. Democracy is mob rules, WWE stuff. We live in a Republic.
Thank you, Christopher Phillips!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Twitter is gonna get a thorough cleaning…
Nice to see some real journalists, who don’t fear the upsetting the narrative with facts. All who comment against this practice wish to be under the thumb of the oppressive left. Socialism always ends with slaves and elites that won’t tolerate what the slaves think!
Brian Stelter’s initial response was the real truth, “time for lunch”, no time for a real questions. He knew his only response would have to be lie. CNN and all the left wing media outlets just saw their agenda is failing at the hands of a FIRST year student. Funny, I think a High School freshman could have done the same thing to this group. I was searching the media outlets and only Fox interviewed this fantastic student, thought maybe the rest would be looking for a rising STAR.
MY NEW HEROES
Daniel Schmidt and Christopher Phillis
Its about time for AMERICA TO HAVE REAL JORNALISTS since Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald)
is in EXILE in Brazil very few are HONEST journalist are keeping the truth as a code of action
Actually, there was an element of truth in Stelter’s answer when he said, “I think you’re describing a different channel than the one that I watch.”
Stelter, being CNN’s media reporter, spends most of his time watching Fox News, not CNN. So, Stelter is correct, Mr. Phillips was not describing the channel that Stelter watches, he was describing CNN.
Regardless, Stelter did not answer the question regarding the death of the canon journalistic ethics, nor did he deny a single allegation of CNN’s misinformation.
Christopher Phillips, job well done. You speak for millions of Americans who really work for a living and are tired of the corrupt news media. Love to hear more!
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