Katie Couric laughs off Brian Stelter as partisan journalist: I'm sure he's 'pure as the driven snow'

Media top headlines October 28

In media news today, a former ESPN reporter tells Tucker Carlson about leaving her job over the company’s vaccine mandate, a CNN reporter attempts to clean up Terry McAuliffe’s education comments, and The Washington Post calls for answers on Wuhan lab research

Veteran journalist Katie Couric laughed off recent criticism from CNN’s low-rated Brian Stelter, mocking him in a podcast posted Thursday as a partisan pundit who isn’t a paragon of impartial reporting.

Earlier this month, Stelter criticized Couric’s admission she once edited out newsworthy remarks from Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to “protect” her, complaining her indiscretion further damaged the wider media’s reputation. Couric has admitted it was a mistake to leave Ginsburg’s remarks out of their interview.

Veteran journalist Katie Couric laughed off criticism from CNN’s low-rated Brian Stelter. 
(Getty Images)

“This contributes to a decline in trust in media,” Stelter said on “Reliable Sources.” “She admits years later that she basically covered something up.”

Couric was asked about Stelter’s comment by New York Times reporter Kara Swisher during an episode of her “Sway” podcast. 

“Well, I’m sure Brian Stelter is pure as the driven snow,” Couric said, cracking herself up in the process.  

“And he’s never given an opinion that reeks of partisanship,” Couric sarcastically continued. 

Couric didn’t elaborate on specific instances of Stelter spouting partisan opinions, but the CNN pundit has developed a reputation for protecting Democrats while constantly vilifying Republicans and conservatives. The liberal host has a long history of skipping the most talked-about stories about the mainstream media, particularly those that put it in a negative light. 

Stelter, whose show is supposed to cover the media industry, spent much of 2021 downplaying journalism ethics violations made by embattled colleague Chris Cuomo. Over the summer, Stelter’s “Reliable Sources” show failed to cover CNN’s awkward return of the network’s disgraced legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, the departure of “The View” co-host Meghan McCain,” the uproar over New York Times editorial board member Mara Gay calling the sight of American flags “disturbing,” and the collapsed media narrative during the 2020 election that President Donald Trump ordered the clearing of peaceful protesters at Lafayette Square for a church photo op.

TV Host Katie Couric appears on stage at the Women in the World Summit in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S. April 6, 2017.   REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
(REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton)

Stelter was one of numerous journalists to praise New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D., during the coronavirus pandemic, saying he would repeat the governor’s words to his own children. On Thursday, the same day Couric disparaged him, Stelte gushed Democrats were “trying to pass laws to help families” as he ripped a Trump letter to the editor published in the Wall Street Journal. Earlier this year, he was derided for a fawning interview with Biden spokeswoman Jen Psaki.

In her new memoir, Couric wrote she omitted some critical remarks Ginsburg made to her in 2016 about national anthem kneelers having “contempt for a government” that made it possible for their elders to have a “decent life.” Couric, who once anchored “Today” and “CBS Evening News,” also called herself a “big RBG fan” and guessed the then-83-year-old judge was too elderly and hadn’t properly heard her question. 

Katie Couric revealed in her new memoir that she once edited an answer with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to maintain the late judge’s legacy as a liberal icon. 
(Yahoo News)

Couric was roasted by colleagues and critics over her conduct, with many calling it a breach of journalistic ethics as well as clear liberal bias. Stelter was among the critics, and cited a column from The Week that mourned the episode would contribute to the country’s “misinformation problem” by further sowing a lack of trust in the press. 

Sunday’s edition of Stelter’s “Reliable Sources” averaged only 698,000 viewers for its fourth smallest turnout of the year. Stelter also struggled among the advertiser-coveted demographic of adults age 25-54, averaging only 108,000 viewers in the crucial category. 

Fox News’ David Rutz and Joseph. A Wulfsohn contributed to this report. 

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