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EXCLUSIVE: Inside the ‘Reliable Sources’ Cancellation Party

Classified transcript reveals how CNN's Brian Stelter celebrated the end of an era

• August 22, 2022 5:00 pm

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Brian Stelter is officially done at CNN after hosting the final episode of Reliable Sources on Sunday. The controversial media journalist spent the day retweeting praise from fans of the show before returning home to have dinner with his family and listen to his wife read out even more complimentary tweets. What happened next might surprise you.

The Washington Free Beacon has exclusively obtained a classified partial transcript of the celebration that subsequently transpired at the Stelter residence. It was provided by a former Trump administration official who would neither confirm nor deny that the former president ordered the FBI to plant surveillance devices in Stelter's home and office. Enjoy!

BRIAN STELTER: Are we out of cake? Why did you stop? Keep going.

JAIME STELTER: @Covfefe_ScienceMom writes: "Brian Stelter is the Alexander Vindman of American journalism. He saved democracy by exposing lies. My entire family thinks I'm crazy but thanks to ‘Reliable Sources' I have PROOF that they're the crazy ones."

B. STELTER: More.

J. STELTER: Cake or tweets?

B. STELTER: Both.

J. STELTER: Of course, cuddles. But first I want to show you something. Give me one second. Now take my phone and press play.

DAN RATHER: Hello, Brian. This is Dan Rather, calling from Cameo. I'm going to read a short note your wife sent me. I haven't verified its authenticity, but I'm going to proceed anyway. Wink wink. Here goes: This is Dan Rather, hall of fame journalist, reporting the news. Breaking: Brian Stelter is a brave, brave boy. Braver than a blind Comanche riding bareback on a bucktoothed bronco. It is often said that journalists are like soldiers, risking their lives on the front lines of an information war. Absent their noble sacrifice, democracy itself would perish, crushed under the iron boot of—what? No, I'm on the toilet. [Inaudible.] I can't right now. Because I'm recording. How do I turn this off?

J. STELTER: Did you like it? Best $280 I've ever spent.

B. STELTER: What do you mean? He wouldn't do it for free? Hold on, my phone's ringing. Hello?

AUTOMATED VOICE: This is a collect call from an inmate in a federal corrections facility.

B. STELTER: It's Mikey.

J. STELTER: Again?

B. STELTER: I'm gonna take it. What's up, my brother?

MICHAEL AVENATTI: Hey Brian, it's your agent calling.

B. STELTER: Yeah, look, about that. I'm not sure—

AVENATTI: Bullshit, you need me. I think I just found your next gig. How do you feel about Subway?

B. STELTER: The subway? Well, I wouldn't know. I'm rich.

AVENATTI: Sandwiches. They're looking for the next Jared Fogle. You're not a perv, are you?

B. STELTER: No, sir!

AVENATTI: Good. They want to pay you to lose weight, do some commercials? What do you think?

B. STELTER: I'll have to think about it. Anything else? Andrew Cuomo's planning a redemption run and asked me to be his press secretary. Oh, and Media Matters has been in touch about a very promising internship opportunity.

AVENATTI: Cuomo, that prick? He's the reason you got canceled, Brian. I assume Fredo has already reached out about NewsNation?

B. STELTER: He sent a case of muffins. Wants me to join his gym.

AVENATTI: Sick freak. Did I ever tell you about him and Stormy?

B. STELTER: Yes. We all knew.

AVENATTI: Those were good times while it lasted, huh?

B. STELTER: I wouldn't call saving democracy "good times," but sure.

AVENATTI: You miss him, don't you?

B. STELTER: Who?

AVENATTI: You know who.

B. STELTER: Oh. Of course. I miss the ratings.

AVENATTI: Like I said, good times. You talk to Jeff?

B. STELTER: He won't return my calls. Must have gotten a new number.

AVENATTI: Definitely not. I spoke to him this morning. You know he just fired his butler?

B. STELTER: Really?

AVENATTI: There's an opening. You interested?

B. STELTER: Yes, sir. Please!

AVENATTI: Want me to put your name out there?

B. STELTER: You know I would do anything for that job, Mikey.

AVENATTI: I know, kiddo. Gotta run. [Click.]

J. STELTER: Look who's here.

B. STELTER: Albert Darcy! And Oliver! Come sit on my lap. The cat as well. Haha.

J. STELTER: Haha.

OLIVER DARCY: Haha.

JEFFREY TOOBIN: Haha.

B. STELTER: Jeff, what the hell?

J. STELTER: Get out!

DARCY: Put it away!

TOOBIN: I'm freer than you'll ever be! [Incomprehensible yelling, grunting. Sound of door slamming.]

DARCY: That's it. He's gone. Brian, what's the matter?

B. STELTER: He's right.

J. STELTER: Don't say that, you big grump. Want me to read some more tweets?

B. STELTER: Yes, please.

Published under: Brian Stelter, CNN