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Brian Stelter’s New Gig As Journalism Fellow At Harvard Draws Intense Backlash

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Former CNN host Brian Stelter has found a new job that he’ll be starting in just a few weeks, but the gig is causing critics to roll their eyes.

According to a press release, Stelter, who was fired last month by the long-struggling network amid reports new CEO Chris Licht is restructuring CNN to produce more straight news and less biased content, will become a journalism fellow in the Ivy League.

The Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School is pleased to announce that Brian Stelter will join the center as the Fall 2022 Walter Shorenstein Media and Democracy Fellow,” a Sunday press release from the university said.

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The fellowship “brings high-profile figures at the forefront of media, politics, and public policy to Harvard’s Kennedy School to work with students, faculty, scholars, and the public on important issues of the moment,” the press release stated.

“As the Walter Shorenstein Fellow, Stelter will convene a series of discussions about threats to democracy and the range of potential responses from the news media. These discussions with media leaders, policymakers, politicians, and Kennedy School students, fellows, and faculty will help deepen public and scholarly understanding about the current state of the information ecosystem and its impacts on democratic governance,” it adds.

Brian Stelter is a nationally recognized media reporter and expert on the state of journalism and its wide-reaching implications for society and governance. Until August 2022 he was the anchor of “Reliable Sources,” which examined the week’s top media stories every Sunday on CNN, and the chief media correspondent for CNN Worldwide,” the university noted.

Prior to his departure, Stelter’s weekly show was one of the lowest-rated programs on CNN. He was also frequently criticized for holding extreme left-wing positions, frequently attacking then- and former President Donald Trump and Republicans in general.

His appointment as a media fellow at one of the country’s oldest universities drew new criticism — from American academics.

“Just weeks after news reporter Brian Stelter was fired from CNN, he was hired for a new gig that shows just how corrupt the American education system is,” Grant Atkinson wrote for The Western Journal.

“That’s right: the same man who was fired last month for being terrible at his job in journalism will now join one of the most prestigious universities in the country to teach aspiring journalists,” he wrote. “The irony would be laughable if it was not so discouraging.”

Atkinson noted that Licht and CNN obviously had lost faith in Stelter’s ability to succeed at his job as a media analyst, making the decision by Harvard to hire him as a media analyst even more strange.

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That said, Atkinson offered up his own explanation for the hiring.

“Harvard’s reasoning for hiring Stelter is obvious to anyone who is paying attention. It has nothing to do with Stelter’s qualifications as a journalist and everything to do with his political views,” he wrote. “Leftist institutions like Harvard do not actually care about training students to be good journalists. Instead, they care about turning students into Democrat activists.

“The more leftist journalists Harvard can train to eventually be put on television, the more influence they can have on viewers. Harvard understands it can garner more votes for Democrats using this process,” he added.

Matt Walsh of The Daily Caller also criticized Harvard’s decision and compared it to other recent hires by left-leaning institutions.

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“Brian Stelter goes right from CNN to Harvard. Jen Psaki goes from the White House to NBC. Karine Jean Pierre goes from NBC to the White House. The Academia-Media-Government human centipede crawls along,” he tweeted.

“Brian Stelter to teach at Harvard about media? He falsely claimed Hunter Biden’s laptop was Russian disinformation,” Breitbart’s Wendell Husebo added.

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The First’s Jess Kelly added: “Part of living in a late-stage republic is you don’t really have access to ‘experts’ anymore because your society doesn’t produce them. The people handing out the credentials are as stupid and useless as the ones they’re handing them to. Brian Stelter is perfect for 2022 Harvard.”

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