Brian Stelter and Guest Bemoan America’s Bad News ‘Brain Fog’ Under Biden

News & Politics

On Sunday’s Reliable Sources, CNN host Brian Stelter found an incredible amount of negative news: “Every time you turn on the news these days, you are swamped by a tsunami of negative news. The only things not happening are tsunamis.”

Inflation, stock market losses, war in Ukraine, baby formula shortages – and apparently none of them are President Biden’s fault.

The title on screen was “The news cycle is full of doom and gloom.” As if CNN wasn’t a Doom And Gloom Network under Trump?

Stelter said forget about who to blame, this gloom is just a bad thing! 

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BILL CARTER: I don’t remember a gigantic pile up as bad as this, nor really a dangerous period — more dangerous period. I think it’s really dangerous for the country.

BRIAN STELTER: And political talkers, always trying to focus on what does it mean for the Democrats and Biden in the midterms? Forget about that for a minute. What does it mean for our psychology for our health as a nation in a world? When you’re just inundated by seemingly negative headlines all the time?

CARTER: It feels like, long COVID. We’re in the middle of —

STELTER: It feels like —

CARTER: We came out of long COVID. It’s like everything is bad and we can’t get healthy again. And really, it’s a tremendous challenge, I think, particularly for the media because what stories do you focus on?

Stelter came back around to the “long COVID” metaphor, that we’re all just a little sick. Carter said “It’s psychologically a long COVID. And people say, when you have it, you have brain fog. Well, that’s what we sort of have now. Where we’re like — we can’t even think clearer. What are we supposed to really do? How can we attack this?” Stelter pulled this “brain fog” out and highlighted it in his Sunday night newsletter. 

When Stelter asked what was “underappreciated” in all this bad news, Carter gave Stelter exactly the narrative he wanted, in that the Big Story was America is being ruined by the Republican Party. “Well, I do think the overarching idea that we have a party that really wants to go autocratic is really a threat. It’s really dangerous. But the war in Ukraine, that is enormous because that has geopolitical implications that we can’t foresee. It could be really long-term.”

Then Carter lamented there’s “race-based incidents” and “it’s spilling over into homophobia” with some “thing online with this guy saying he’s going after LGBT people.” 

Stelter tried to find a silver lining: “But to make the counterargument, is it possible that because we see all this bad news in our social feeds, as well as on television, it makes the world out to be even uglier than it actually is?” In other words, should we watch less cable news? That’s always funny when it comes from cable news.

The Stelter show was brought to you by Verizon.

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