Susan Ferrechio torches Brian Stelter for dismissing Hunter Biden news, defending Russia coverage

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Washington Examiner Chief Congressional Correspondent Susan Ferrechio tore into CNN's liberal media reporter Brian Stelter this week for being quick to dismiss the Hunter Biden email story while offering a sanctimonious defense of the mainstream media's Trump-Russia coverage.

On the latest episode of BBC Radio 4's "The Media Show," Ferrechio and Stelter took part in a panel discussing the explosive New York Post report indicating that Hunter Biden introduced a Burisma Holdings executive to his father, then-Vice President Joe Biden, despute the elder Biden's denials that he ever discussed international business interests with his son.

Stelter appeared to play defense for the Bidens, saying "Hunter Biden has apologized and acknowledged his poor judgment" and claiming Joe Biden, now the Democratic presidential nominee, has "addressed it." The host of CNN's "Reliable Sources" later dismissed the controversy as "last season's episode called 'Impeachment.'"

"The idea that there's a lot new here just doesn't seem to make a lot of sense," Stelter told the host, BBC Media Editor Amol Rajan. 

Stelter then suggested that social media companies "aren't even doing one-tenth of what they should be doing" in the effort to stop the spread of "misinformation," later clarifying that while he wasn't defending Twitter and Facebook's suppression of the New York Post report, he believed Big Tech's apparently frequent crackdowns on conservatives are a response to "asymmetric lying" and "nastiness" on the right.

Ferrechio took exception to Stelter's description of the email story as being "last season."

"The bottom line is, it deserves scrutiny by all media outlets and if they pick and choose and decide it's not worth their time, I think that's showing real bias," she said. "I think everybody deserved to look at the Mueller stuff and everyone should look at this and give Biden the scrutiny that, you know, he's not running for president of the glee club, he's running for the president of the United States and this is serious.

"This is not last year's news," Ferrechio added. "It's whether or not his son was coordinating to get him to talk to these Ukraine oligarchs and he was benefiting from it. It's really dirty and it needs to be looked at."

Stelter responded by telling Ferrechio "we don't know what is real and what is fake in these emails," despite the fact that the Biden campaign has not claimed any of the emails or documents found on Hunter Biden's laptop are fake.

"Yeah, but that doesn't stop anybody reporting the Mueller and the dossier and all that stuff," Ferrichio responded.

"I understand that you have a lot of resentment –" Stelter began.

"'Oh, now we have ethics,'" Ferrechio mocked the CNN host. "'Okay, now we have ethics.'"

"How dare- don't you dare!" Stelter shouted at her. "Don't you dare act like newsrooms didn't have ethics in 2017 and 2018."

"Oh, I know they didn't. You can 'Don't you dare' me all you want, Brian. I've been doing this for 30 years," Ferrechio fired back. "Say whatever you want. It's my view and I have the right to say it."

Axios media reporter Sara Fischer defended the media's hesitancy to follow up on the Post report for fear they would be playing into a potential "disinformation effort" to interfere in the election. Fischer went on to urge Ferrechio to "see the forest through the trees."


"Yeah, but nobody looked for the forest through the trees with the president," Ferrechio told Fischer. "I mean, it's always one-sided. Now it's time to look at the forest — all I'm saying is let's do it universally, okay? I didn't discard the Mueller stuff. I was much more skeptical because I knew the sourcing and I knew where it came from on Capitol Hill, where I have stood in the building for the past few decades. I had real reason to doubt that stuff and I constantly did. And it turned out that a lot of it was a bunch of bunk.

"So we have to use that skepticism," she concluded. "We have to. Even now with the Biden stuff, let's use skepticism but don't ignore it!"

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