Fox News, MSNBC and CNN have all taken to their corners of the cable news ring, and each came out swinging at the other Sunday.
CNN’s Brian Stelter began Sunday’s “Reliable Sources” blaming Fox News for President Trump’s “pattern of racism” as demonstrated by his recent tweetstorm belittling Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings and calling his 7th district in Baltimore a “rat and rodent infested mess.”
“The tweets are factually inaccurate in several ways … and the result of Trump getting distorted information from his friends at Fox News. Those friends are actually doing him a disservice,” Stelter said, adding that “racist and ridiculous stereotyping of a part of the country is damaging to the country as a whole.”
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Stelter asked where Trump got this “distorted impression of the 7th district.”
“The answer, as is often the case, is right on Fox News,” he said.
Stelter then focused in on a “Fox & Friends” segment with Republican strategist Kimberly Klacik that aired early Saturday morning in which compiled footage of impoverished neighborhoods of Baltimore suggested the city was nothing but abandoned buildings and trash-lined streets overrun with vermin.
An hour later, the president tweeted his comments about Rep. Cummings and Baltimore. Stelter pointed out that the president’s tweets parroted wording Klacik used in her report, including calling Baltimore “most dangerous” district in America.
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“[The tweets] are the result of Trump getting distorted information from his friends at Fox News,” Stelter said. “Those friends are actually doing him a disservice.”
Meanwhile, over on Fox News’ “MediaBuzz,” host Howard Kurtz criticized MSNBC for reporting that Fox wouldn’t cover the special counsel Robert Mueller’s testimony before the House Wednesday.
“They seem to be fixated on Fox over at MSNBC these days, to the point guests kept repeating a blatant falsehood before the Mueller hearing began,” Kurtz said.
Kurtz showed a July 21 tweet from MSNBC contributor Joyce Alene that said, “Fox isn’t showing Mueller’s testimony Wednesday. Trump is afraid of what will happen if his base gets to hear Mueller’s testimony for themselves.”
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That same day, Kurtz deleted the tweet, saying in a new tweet, “I’ve deleted an earlier tweet I intended ironically, but that some took as factual regarding Fox news coverage of Mueller’s testimony. My apologies to anyone I confused. I don’t like to delete tweets but that seems a better course than unintentionally misinforming people.”
Nevertheless, MSNBC on-air guest Rick Wilson repeated the erroneous information, as did former congresswoman Donna Edwards, who was quickly corrected by host Stephanie Ruhle.
Later that day, “Deadline: White House” host Nicolle Wallace said, “Fox News called us, they asked us to let you know that they’re carrying the hearings. Don’t watch them, though. Watch me and Brian [Williams]. We’ll be more fun. I promise.”
Kurtz asked his audience, “More fun or more partisan?”