Failing Upwards: Brian Stelter Is Heading To Harvard

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 28: Consulting Producer, Brian Stelter attends Apple's global premiere of "The Morning Show" at Josie Robertson Plaza and David Geffen Hall, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts on October 28, 2019 in New York City.
(Brian Ach/Getty Images for Apple TV )

What does an Ivy League education get you in the year 2022? Life lessons on democracy and media from the likes of Brian Stelter, apparently.

The ex-CNN anchor just landed a plush job as the Fall 2022 Walter Shorenstein Media and Democracy Fellow at the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School. Stelter, recently fired from CNN, has once again proven that in politics and media, the worst offenders tend to fail upwards.

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,” Harvard said in an announcement. “These discussions with media leaders, policymakers, 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.”

To his credit, Stelter has done something that defies the odds in 21st-century America. He landed an academic job as a white and straight male. Based on the Left’s standards — and Harvard’s student admission system — those immutable characteristics do little to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Nonetheless, Stelter is now an esteemed fellow at Harvard and can opine about “dangers” to democracy. In short, his class likely won’t be that much different from his Sunday show.

Stelter regularly spent his time parroting White House talking points — even asking former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki for tips on how to cover the Biden administration.  Thus, it probably is not an incorrect prediction to speculate his lectures will be chock-full of denigrating MAGA supporters as “threats” like the White House has been doing in recent weeks.

Stelter also gave America a preview of how he handles college kids who challenge his ideas. He pretty much tells them they don’t know what they’re talking about and refuses to answer questions straightforwardly.

The University of Chicago hosted a “Disinformation and the Erosion of Democracy” conference in April. Stelter was one of the “experts” given stage time.

NewsBusters’ Nicholas Fondacaro flagged one student who pressed the then-CNN and CNN+ star on legacy media’s malfeasance.

“Freshman Christopher Phillips CALLS OUT Brian Stelter and CNN for being a ‘purveyor of disinformation,'” Fondacaro tweeted. “He points to the Russian collusion hoax, Jussie Smollett, the smears of Justice Kavanaugh and Nick Sandmann, and their dismissal of Hunter Biden’s laptop.”

Phillips noted that “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?” Phillips asked Stelter.

“I think my honest answer to you — and I’ll come over and talk in more detail after this — 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,” Stelter retorted.

“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,” Stelter added.

Yet he didn’t  “admit” that CNN botched and incorrectly reported the stories mentioned by Phillips. Instead, he simply dismissed them as part of a talking point contrived by the Right.

Stelter also claimed he was adversarial media because he once got into a shouting match with a Biden aide.

“So that’s the reality of the news business that people don’t see, that people don’t hear,” he added. “They imagine that it’s a situation that it simply is not. But I think your question, it speaks to the failure of journalism to show our work and show the reality of how our profession operates. We have a lot of work to do, I think.”

In other words, the issue with legacy media isn’t that it is driven by an overarching leftist bias and anti-Trump agenda, but the problem is that the American people are ignorant of how journalism really works.

According to the University of Chicago student, Stelter never did answer his question.

“Thank you @brianstelter for taking my question and having a conversation with me afterwards, but i am STILL wondering: if CNN is truly unbiased, WHY is every mistake they make an overstep in favor of democrats and against republicans??” Phillips tweeted after the interaction.

Now, Stelter is here to save the day by working to mold America’s next generation of media experts at Harvard.

The Ivy League school’s motto is “veritas” or “truth.”

The irony is that if Stelter had been focused on the truth – rather than essentially spending his time painting anybody to the right of Don Lemon as anti-American — he’d likely still be on CNN and not teaching at Harvard.

The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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