CNN’s Brian Stelter isn’t about ready to let a little thing like a childish comparison to Mr. Potato Head provoke him into a verbal spat with Donald Trump Jr., who tossed out the insult during his speech at CPAC on Saturday.
On Sunday’s “Reliable Sources,” Stelter said such flinging of “distractions and dribble” that later spread and grow on social media and right-wing media outlets does what it is intended to do: draw people’s attention away from news stories that are actually important.
He pointed out, in particular, how right-wing media outlets have turned the spotlight on trivial stories like the rebranding of Mr. Potato Head as gender-neutral or Disney+ adding disclaimers on some old episodes of “The Muppets” that says the program “includes negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures.”
“There is something wrong when so-called ‘cancel culture’ gets more attention than the troubles that millions of Americans are facing and the importance of a COVID relief bill,” Stelter said. And then there was Trump Jr.’s insult, which Stelter let slide off his back.
“I thought of some really cutting responses, some really clever ways to respond, some really clever ways to go viral. But then, I stopped. I didn’t post anything,” Stelter said.
“It was just another distraction. He wanted me to respond. This was just more BS fuel for the culture war, and it does not matter. The best thing we can do for each other in this world of tweetstorms is to refuse to be confused by that noise. There’s too much real news going on.”
Watch Stelter’s segment about “distractions” in the clip below.
CNN’s @brianstelter takes a look at how social media has made it difficult to filter relevant news from distractions: “On the internet, everything looks the same… Warping the public discourse, creating less space for the big stories and the big debates that we need to have.” pic.twitter.com/ze3rwIbnY4
— Reliable Sources (@ReliableSources) February 28, 2021