Former CNN opinion host, Brian Stelter who was fired from the network, has landed a new gig at Harvard. The Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy, to be exact.
The university announced Monday that Stelter will join the center as the Fall 2022 Walter Shorenstein Media and Democracy Fellow.
“The Walter Shorenstein Media and Democracy Fellowship brings high-profile figures at the forefront of media, politics, and public policy to Harvard’s Kennedy School to work with students, faculty, scholars, and the public on important issues of the moment,” says the Harvard website.
According to the announcement, “Stelter will convene a series of discussions about threats to democracy and the range of potential responses from the news media. These discussions with media leaders, policy makers, 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.”
In November 2013, he became the new host of CNN’s Reliable Sources and also chief media correspondent.
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On August 18, 2022, CNN canceled Reliable Sources.
Stelter departed the network after its final episode on August 21. The cancellation was one of a number of cost-cutting moves at CNN and its parent, Warner Bros. Discovery.
Stelter criticized the network’s decision to cancel the show, saying “It’s not partisan to stand up for decency and democracy and dialogue.”
Stelter made headlines in 2020 comparing the “radicalization” of President Donald Trump’s supporters by the “right-wing media machine” to ISIS members.
“First, the best word for what is happening in America right now is radicalization. That’s what it is. That’s what this hyped-up, right-wing media machine is doing. That’s why it feels harder to talk about politics with other people,” Stelter said in 2020.
“When Trump lifers are calling for troops in the streets because they lost an election, that’s radicalization. When they start speculating about breaking off and creating their own country, that is radicalization. All of this election denialism talk is radical. And yet, it is infesting the airwaves. It’s everywhere in the pro-Trump media.
“The body of research about radicalization is very clear. The internet creates more space for extremism and the echo chamber effect accelerates the process. Qanon is one really clear recent example. But so is ‘Stop the Steal’ and so are some corners of the anti-vaccination movement. Reporters see what’s going on. They are seeing signs of this radicalization in American politics, and some are calling it like it is,” Stelter said.
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On Sunday, Stelter halted his newsletter saying, “Maybe I’ll start a newsletter someday, or maybe not. After nearly seven years of the Reliable Sources newsletter, I’m taking a break from the newsletter beat. I may or may not be back someday. Either way, I’ll use this email list for updates.”
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