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Stelter champions media criticism, ‘sorting out treasure from the trash’ on final CNN show

Brian Stelter
FILE – Brian Stelter attends the 15th annual CNN Heroes All-Star Tribute in New York on Dec. 12, 2021. CNN says it has canceled its weekly program on the media, ‘Reliable Sources,’ and host Brian Stelter will be leaving the network. The show, which predated Stelter’s arrival from The New York Times, will have its last telecast on Sunday. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

CNN’s Brian Stelter championed media criticism during his closing remarks on the final episode of his program “Reliable Sources,” saying on Sunday “sorting out treasure from the trash” is crucial. 

During his final sign-off on the show, Stelter noted the importance of holding the media accountable, citing the need for more “criticism, debate, and discussion.”  

“We need to have room for media criticism and debate and discussion and we will, so much of the media ecosystem in 2022 is garbage but so much of it is spectacular,” Stelter said. “The hard part’s sorting out the treasure from the trash.” 

Stelter also said that it “was a gift of a lifetime” to confront those issues within the media, adding that it is a “patriotic” duty. 

“Here’s what I do know, I know it’s not partisan, to stand up for decency, and democracy and dialogue. It’s not partisan, to stand up to demagogues. It’s required, it’s patriotic, we must make sure that we don’t give a platform to those who are lying to our faces,” Stelter said. 

“But we also must make sure we are representing the full spectrum of debate and representing what’s going on in this country and in this world.” 

His parting remarks came after the news of CNN’s cancelation of the 30-year-old news media program and Stelter’s departure from the network. 

Stelter, who served as chief media correspondent for The New York Times, was the host of “Reliable Sources” for the last eight years. He was one of the prominent network personalities to push back against the Trump administration and conservative news media. 

Stelter on Sunday also called on viewers to continue to hold media outlets accountable. 

“But it’s got to be on you to hold CNN accountable, not just CNN. You got to hold your local paper accountable. You got to hold your local digital outlet accountable. It’s on all of us. We are all members of the media, all helping to make it better,” Stelter concluded. “That’s what I believe.”

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