The University of Chicago and the left-leaning Atlantic magazine co-sponsored the symposium, “Disinformation and the Erosion of Democracy.”
The snooty event would have gone mostly unnoticed by the public but instead it blew up social media after an independent publication, The Chicago Thinker, sent its staff writers to confront the panelists over their own bias and record of smears, lies, and untruths.
Brian Stelter, known for dismissing examples of left-wing bias but complaining about hated rival Fox News, was seated on stage during a panel discussion when Thinker staff writer Christopher Phillips rattled off CNN’s own problems with telling the truth.
“They push the Russian collusion hoax, they push the Jussie Smollett hoax, they smear Justice [Brett] Kavanaugh as a rapist, and they also smeared Nick Sandmann as a white supremacist,” Phillips, a college freshman, reminded Stelter. “And yes, they dismissed the Hunter Biden laptop affair as pure Russian disinformation.”
Not done yet, Phillips went on to point out all of those “mistakes” tend to “magically” go in one direction, referring to the obvious left-wing bias, and he asked Stelter if the the “canon of journalistic ethics” was dead.
Without missing a beat, however, Stelter dismissed the examples as a “popular right-wing narrative” about CNN.
Yet it was not just some “right-wing narrative” or a conspiracy theory. It was a verifiable check list of journalism malpractice by CNN, which had sent its media analyst to speak at a university seminar literally called “Disinformation and the Erosion of Democracy.”
Over at Fox News, that cable network’s media analyst, Joe Concha, said Stelter had failed to answer the specific accusations because it was impossible to do so.
“Because who can defend the indefensible?” Concha asked.
Concha also pointed out the public had taken notice of the confrontation because the CNN analyst's name was trending on social media. And that public exposure was mostly due to the Thinker, which reported in a post-conference story it had sent several of its staff writers to confront the left-wing luminaries and their own history of biased behavior and questionable decisions. In one confrontation, Thinker senior editor Daniel Schmidt confronted Atlantic writer Anne Applebaum over Hunter Biden’s laptop. The laptop issue was not an “interesting” topic for her to pursue, she said, because Hunter Biden’s “business relationships” don’t have “anything to do with who should be president of the United States.”
That is quite an observation to make considering the laptop and its owner, and his controversial business deals around the world, are curiously becoming a frequent topic in left-wing newsrooms after being ignored for two years.
In another exchange, Thinker managing editor Evita Duffy pressed U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar over her “Health Misinformation Act” that was introduced in 2021. That bill would punish social media companies for allowing comments to be posted that are deemed “health misinformation” by the U.S. Health and Human Services.
Klobuchar refused to answer Duffy’s specific question – is it “misinformation” to say there are only two sexes? – and said her legislation was written to address “misinformation” about vaccines, as if that clarification was reassuring to the public.