CNN host Brian Stelter erupted during a panel discussion in New York City on Tuesday after conservative commentator Michelle Malkin said Cokie Roberts was guilty of “fake news” just hours after the veteran journalist’s death.
Ms. Malkin used Ms. Roberts as an example of dishonest reporting during a panel discussion at the Paley Center featuring Mr. Stelter, Sharyl Attkisson, Angelo Carusone, Tim Graham and Christine Quinn. It was reported just hours earlier that Ms. Roberts, 75, had died of complications from breast cancer.
“President Trump did not invent the concept of fake news,” Ms. Malkinsaid. “Cokie Roberts, of course, passed away today, and God bless her for an incredible career that she had, but I distinctly remember that she was one of the first guilty culprits of fake news. In 1994—”
“Wait, are we doing this today?” Mr. Stelter interrupted.
“Yes, yes we are,” Ms. Malkin replied.
“We’re doing this today?” Mr. Stelter asked again. “You’re attacking her today? I just want to be clear. The body’s not cold yet.”
“Do you want to hear what I have to say?” Ms. Malkin responded.
“I’m just curious,” Mr. Stelter said. “I’m just curious if today’s the day.”
“Because it’s pertinent to the discussion about fake news and media bias,” Ms. Malkin continued.
She went on to cite a 1994 incident when Ms. Roberts covered then-President Bill Clinton’s State of the Union address while standing in front of a simulation of the U.S. Capitol building. Ms. Roberts wore a coat and pretended she was reporting on the scene, Variety magazine reported at the time. She was later reprimanded by ABC News and issued an apology.
“This was a deliberate attempt to deceive the viewing public into thinking she was actually there live covering it,” Ms. Malkin added. “Fake news has existed far long before President Trump even had the idea of running for office.”
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