Brian Stelter Embraces Being ‘Fired’ From CNN

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Brian Stelter prefers we avoid euphemisms when discussing his ousting at CNN. Use the “F-word,” he asks.

“[CNN] kind of pushed you out,” NewsNation host Dan Abrams said Tuesday, during Stelter’s first on-air interview since leaving the network.

“I’ve embraced the F-word, Dan,” Stelter replied. “Fired!”

A far cry from Stelter’s former colleague Don Lemon denying his fall from primetime to morning television is a “demotion.”

Abrams then asked Stelter why CNN fired him, to which he said “I don’t know.”

“Really?” Abrams asked. “You really don’t know?”

“I really, truly don’t know,” said Stelter. “I know I had a popular show by CNN standards and I know that it was pretty cheap to produce. But I also know every show gets canceled eventually.”

AUSTIN, TX – MARCH 08: CNN’s Brian Stelter poses for a portrait at the 2019 SXSW Film Festival Portrait Studio on March 8, 2019 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Robby Klein/Contour by Getty Images)

Perhaps CNN did not give Stelter a reason for its decision. But the move followed a transition in management under Discovery leadership.

Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav vowed to pivot the network back to “journalism first” amid reports CNN would rid itself of the personalities who ooze a partisan reputation.

The statement culminated with firing white males — Stelter, Jeffrey Toobin, John Harwood, and Chris Cillizza — and demoting black men and white women — like Don Lemon and Brianna Keilar.

Stelter fell into the more unfortunate category.

Abrams didn’t address that dichotomy. He did, however, reference CNN’s shift in strategy:

“Do you think you represented the kind of opinion – particularly from the left – that Chris Licht wanted to distance himself from?”

There, Stelter declined to comment but suggested Fox News played a role in his firing:

“Well, I’m just gonna let you say it then. I think we were doing fantastic journalism at CNN for the CNN years that I was there. And I also think Fox News really enjoyed making me a target and using horrible names about me and all that sort of stuff that happens in the cable news wars.”

(Fox News and OutKick share common ownership.)

Sounds like a stretch.

Brian Stelter and Oliver Darcy.

CNN hoped to restore the journalistic credibility in its media beat by firing Stelter. Yet the opposite has proven true.

As OutKick first argued, Oliver Darcy is far worse.

Brian Stelter covered the media with a liberal bias. He is a progressive.

Oliver Darcy is a fraud. He plays a liberal for CNN.

Before, Darcy portrayed a staunch conservative pundit online. Conservative media groups considered him a “rising star.

He now mimics Stelter but with fewer sources and less writing skill.

Say what you will about Stelter, his Reliable Sources newsletter was oft cited and read within the industry. Under Darcy’s leadership, the newsletter is irrelevant to the conversation.

Suffice to say Stelter’s firing did not benefit CNN as planned. Nor have the other changes at the network, as evidenced by recent record lows in viewership.

Rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, no doubt.

Written by Bobby Burack

Bobby Burack is a writer for OutKick where he reports and analyzes the latest topics in media, culture, sports, and politics..

Burack has become a prominent voice in media and has been featured on several shows across OutKick and industry related podcasts and radio stations.

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