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Though he’s appeared as a guest host since August, Sunday marked the official debut of host Brian Stelter on CNN’s Reliable Sources. The former New York Times reporter introduced himself before launching into a briskly paced hour of interviews.
“I have to admit, this all is a little strange,” he conceded at the end of the program, noting his time covering cable news at TVNewser and at the Times.
“The bosses at this network liked some of the stories I wrote [at the Times and TVNewser] and strongly disliked some of the other stories I wrote there. That’s probably how it’s going to be here too,” Stelter promised.
Earlier in the program, the host dutifully included media criticism of CNN. The show addressed the conflict of interest present during CNN anchor Chris Cuomo‘s Monday New Day interview with his older brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, after last week’s deadly Bronx train derailment.
“That’s outrageous. For a network like CNN that prides itself on its, you know, hard-hitting news reporting straight-up, for [Chris Cuomo] not to say this is a conflict of interest — there is obviously a conflict of interest,” remarked panelist Paul Farhi, from The Washington Post. “That’s why I don’t interview my mother on television or in print.”
Stelter gave his take: “My impression was that it was great television, it was great to see [Chris and Andrew] next to each other. Maybe it wasn’t great journalism. And, of course, in TV, there’s both elements involved.”
The show also tackled expected topics like MSNBC host Martin Bashir‘s resignation and Sam Champion‘s exit from ABC News for The Weather Channel. It included interviews with former New York Times executive editor Bill Keller, who penned the paper’s obituary for Nelson Mandela, and Ryan Seacrest on his business ventures.
Stelter was hired by CNN in November as the permanent replacement for Howard Kurtz, who currently hosts the competing MediaBuzz show on Fox News.
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Thomas Brodie Sangster