“Strong men also cry. Strong men also cry.” – The Big Lebowski
CNN’s Brian Stelter took to Twitter over the weekend to make sure everyone knows he is a deeply emotional man who is so full of pathos that he is shedding buckets full of tears over the horrors he sees each day as a “journalist.”
Stelter said the coronavirus crisis has beaten him down, leading to a copious flow of lachrymal fluid.
“Last night, I hit a wall. Gutted by the death toll. Disturbed by the govt’s shortcomings. Dismayed by political rhetoric that bears no resemblance to reality. Worried about friends who are losing jobs; kids who are missing school; and senior citizens who are living in fear,” Stelter wrote on Twitter.
The CNN host went on further – about himself.
“I crawled in bed and cried for our pre-pandemic lives. Tears that had been waiting a month to escape. I wanted to share because it feels freeing to do so. Now is not a time for faux-invincibility. Journos are living this, hating this, like everyone else,” Stelter wrote.
I crawled in bed and cried for our pre-pandemic lives. Tears that had been waiting a month to escape.
I wanted to share because it feels freeing to do so. Now is not a time for faux-invincibility. Journos are living this, hating this, like everyone else. https://t.co/dIDujZZvQZ
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) April 18, 2020
Stelter, of course, added a link to his CNN newsletter page (a good time to hawk some wares).
We get it: These are trying times. But here’s the thing: The CNN host’s words were intended to call attention to his pathos, his deep feelings about the world, his concerns and longings. He says “I” three times, but never mentions the true warriors on the front lines in the battle against COVID-19 – the health care workers. They aren’t crawling into bed and weeping. They’re out there day after day fighting the good fight.
Social media weighed in on quickly.
“Such bravery. Let’s all take a moment to think about the journos working from home while millions have lost their jobs,” wrote one Twitter user.
“…whilst getting his full paycheck and benefits. Also, you’re not a Journo, maybe that’s what finally hit you,” another chimed in.
“Gutted by the death toll????” wrote another. “1.25 mil ppl die in car accidents every year. 80,000 ppl died from seasonal flu in U.S. alone in 2018. You gutted then, little poor boy?”
Another said that perhaps Stelter should take some action rather than laying in bed crying: “What are you going to do about it beside crawling in your bed and crying? We don’t live in China, we are not helpless Brain, put on your big boy pants and protest your rights along with other Americans.”
And yet another said: “Perhaps you feel guilty [that] you and the Lamestream media contributed to this massive overreaction with misinformation.”
Stelter claimed in his posts that he was “Dismayed by political rhetoric that bears no resemblance to reality,” but each day the CNN host adds to that rhetoric with attacks against Trump (who, it is most assuredly acknowledged by members of both parties, has not been error-free in his efforts. Remember when the White House said there was no need to wear a mask?)
“Viewers of Monday’s White House briefing on the coronavirus saw a president in meltdown mode, clearly rattled by the reporting of national news outlets,” Stelter wrote on Tuesday on CNN.
“President Trump acted like he is at war with the media instead of Covid-19. His instability was on full display. He attempted to argue against The New York Times’ damning examination of his delayed response to the virus. He threw up smokescreens and tried to point the finger back at the media,” Stelter continued. “He tossed to an anti-media propaganda video, which was partly ripped off from Sean Hannity’s show, and which caused CNN and MSNBC to cut away from the briefing.”
That’s not the writing of a “journalist.” Journalists do news. That’s commentary from an opinion columnist. Which is fine, just call it what it is.
And one last note to Stelter: We’ve all cried for everyone in the world beaten down by the coronavirus pandemic. Each and every one of us.
We just didn’t go on Twitter and tell everyone.
Author: Joseph Curl