CNN Host Brian Stetler received pushback and ridicule after he suggested on Monday evening that the growing push for Democratic candidate Joe Biden to avoid debating President Trump was the work of “right-wing media,” reported Fox News.
Recently a spate of articles and op-ed pieces from left-wing sources have suggested that the former Vice President avoid the scheduled presidential debates, with a New York Times op-ed suggesting eliminating the debates permanently.
Stetler’s comments were in response to Townhall.com political editor Guy Benson’s tweet about the recent move to discourage Biden from debating Trump. “This ‘Biden shouldn’t debate’ boomlet is just a media tempest, right? Right?” Benson tweeted.
Stetler tweeted back, “”It is mostly a right-wing media tempest, fueled by hour after hour of Fox commentary (not reporting), far removed from campaign reality ….”
Benson returned fire by tweeting a screenshot of headlines from various leftist publications including Newsweek, Boston Herald, and The New York Times, all calling for Biden to avoid the debates. The shot even included a headline from Stetler’s own network, CNN, of a piece by former Clinton Press Secretary Joe Lockhart that urged Biden to skip the debates.
Benson accompanied the screenshot with the comment that, “”It seems as though this notion wasn’t invented out of whole cloth by conservatives. It’s an idea that has been floated by left-leaning figures/outlets ….”
Stetler’s response failed to acknowledge what he had been claiming initially. “I’m well aware. but it’s a mistake to spend lots of precious time yakking about what leftie columnists are suggesting in this case,” Stetler tweeting, according to theBlaze.com. “obviously biden will debate. why imply otherwise to viewers, hour after hour?”
Benson was not alone in his mocking of Stetler. Washington Examiner journalist Jerry Dunleavy tweeted, “When I think about my most Reliable Sources as a reporter, I definitely think about the sources who are shameless partisans who are utterly unwilling to admit when they’re wrong and are brazen & embarrassing as they double down when proven to be laughably & demonstrably off base.” Dunleavy’s reference to “Reliable Sources” was a dig at the title of Stetler’s CNN show.
David Martosko, political editor at DailyMail.com, also chimed in on Stetler’s assertions. “Featured in The New York Times, Newsweek, and… your network, CNN. We can all spot the messaging coordination. There’s nothing unusual about this, but denying it just makes you look complicit,” he tweeted.
Logan Hall, Social Media Manager at the Daily Caller implied an ulterior motive for Stetler’s claim, tweeting, “settler doesn’t want his preferred candidate to debate trump, for obvious reasons.”
So far there has been no indication from the Biden campaign that their candidate will skip the debates, the first of which is scheduled for September 29.