CNN media analyst Brian Stetler opened his Sunday morning “Reliable Sources” show with a withering attack on President Donald Trump for his bizarre Sunday morning tweet promoting violence against CNN.
In a rare editorial commentary, the normally mild-mannered Stetler appeared to be holding his anger in check as he called out the president of the United States for so blatantly attacking the free press.
Along the way, Stetler compared Trump to Presidents Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey and Vladimir Putin — all of whom are notorious for squashing the free press in their respective countries.
Steler began by running the Trump video clip posted Sunday morning on Twitter.
“Look at this video from his Twitter account this morning,” Stetler began. “This is from WWE years ago when Trump used to show up at WWE events. You can see that the CNN logo has been superimposed onto the other fighter’s face. This showed up on a Reddit message board days ago, and now it’s showing up on the president of the United States’ own twitter feed.”
“The early reaction in the last 90 minutes have ranged from the fact that this is juvenile, ridiculous, idiotic, or wait no, it’s just funny. He’s just having fun — wait, no, it’s actually scary and dangerous,” Stetler continued.
Stetler then read from an official response from CNN, saying: “It is a sad day when the president of the United States encourages violence against reporters. Clearly Sarah Huckabee Sanders lied when she said the president had never done so. Instead of preparing for his overseas trip, his first meeting with Vladimir Putin, North Korea and working on the health care bill he is involved in juvenile behavior far below the dignity of his office.”
Stetler then took up Trump’s tweeting habits again
“We’ve been covering this all week long. his offensive tweets about Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski took up days of news coverage and those came after days of attacks against CNN and the Washington Post,” Stetler remarked. “Now his target on Sunday is CNN again. Who knows which outlet will be next? Who’s going to speak out? Are other media outlets going to speak up?”
“What about GOP leaders? What about Republican leaders?” he continued. “I think we should be clear about the Trump strategy here, the president’s strategy. Let’s think about this: He’s trying to build up news outlets that promote him while trying to tear down outlets that dare to challenge him. He is promoting his friends in the media, talking with friendly interviewers who won’t ask him tough questions while he’s demeaning others.”
“Is this president trying to impersonate Hugo Chavez? Recep Tayyip Erdoğan? Vladimir Putin? This is exactly the kind of language that leaders use when they’re trying to undermine the press,” he concluded.
Watch the video below via CNN: