Brian Stelter, the CNN personality sometimes referred to as "Humpty Dumpty," is among the many far-left authors seeking to cash in on the raging hot market for Trump-related literature. His latest work, Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News, and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth, was panned in a New York Times review that condemned the "gratuitous gossip" and "name calling" in a book that documents the author's distress over being called names.
Hoax does not fail, however, in its take-no-prisoners quest to hold the powerful to account. Its unironic celebration of professional journalists' "dedication to the truth" might seem extravagant if not for the litany of lies Stelter boldly exposes throughout the text. Here are some examples:
The Ratings LIE
"You have the number one rated show on television," President Trump told Sean Hannity in March of this year. Stelter UNLOADS on Trump's fact-lacking assertion, writing:
The ratings claim was a lie, since Hannity's show had always been eclipsed by numerous other television shows, from NBC Nightly News to American Idol, Wheel of Fortune to Survivor. But Trump was only talking about cable. He didn't care nearly as much about broadcast networks. He was a cable guy.
Stelter concludes his lethal fact check with a biting quip: "[Trump's] call with Hannity was the highlight of his day." Regrettably, the journalist does not provide any evidence to support this claim.
The Public Relations DECEIT
If you can't trust a public relations official, whom can you trust? Stelter was left to grapple with this question—and the accompanying existential angst—following a harrowing encounter with a member of Hannity's staff at a party:
At 8:30 his PR person pushed him toward the door, insisting to me that he had to get to the studio for his nine o'clock show. I later realized that the PR person had lied to me—Hannity had already pretaped his show before coming to the party.
Chilling. Only a Fox employee would commit such a brazen assault on the truth and expect to get away with it. In this case, however, journalism prevailed.
The TiVo TALL TALE
In one of the most riveting sections of the book, Stelter EVISCERATES Trump after catching the president in an egregious falsehood:
The DVRs were the critical part of his television setup. He called TiVo "one of the great inventions of all time" and said television was "practically useless without TiVo." But TiVo, which was invented in 1999, was just the brand name for a generic concept, like people who "Xeroxed" a paper on a different brand of copier. Trump said he had "Super TiVo" in the White House, but he actually had the DirecTV Genie HD DVR, a whole-home system that recorded multiple channels at the same time and let users watch those recordings from any screen in the home. It was genuinely awesome technology for a TV junkie.
Sunlight is the best disinfectant, as the saying goes. Inject that into your veins, DRUMPF!
The Pandemic PREVARICATION
Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who once described Stelter as a "eunuch," is taken to task for failing to provide crucial context. "On Tuesday, March 10, [Carlson] compared coronavirus deaths to gun violence deaths in Chicago without noting that shootings are not contagious," Stelter scolds.
Nice try, bow tie.