The dystopian hit Hulu series “The Handmaid’s Tale” reemerged in the political arena as liberals have compared the Texas abortion law to the award-winning drama, but one media personality has attempted to erase his past condemnation of such comparisons: CNN host Brian Stelter.
The Texas law, which bans pregnancy terminations after six weeks, has become the epicenter of a political firestorm, particularly after the Supreme Court decided in a 5-4 ruling to not halt the GOP-backed legislation, sparking its liberal opponents to invoke “The Handmaid’s Tale,” a show based on the novel from Margaret Atwood that focuses on the enslavement of fertile women who are forced to bear children in a totalitarian society.
However, as Mediaite first reported, Stelter once opposed the analogy during a 2018 exchange with liberal activist Amy Siskind, who claimed “We are a few steps from The Handmaids Tale” in response to a New York Times report about Border Control checkpoints that were established in New Hampshire and Maine.
“We are not ‘a few steps from The Handmaids Tale,’” Stelter told Siskind in the now-deleted tweet. “I don’t think this kind of fear-mongering helps anybody.”
Stelter appeared to double down to critics, writing in a tweet that hasn’t been deleted, “I cover media. I’ve been working on a CNN documentary about Trump and TV. I interviewed one of the Handmaids Tale producers for the doc and I’ve talked to TV critics about this broader issue. I don’t think it’s an opinion to point out that America is not Gilead, nor is it close.”
The internet archive website The Wayback Machine shows that Stelter’s tweet was still on his Twitter profile as recently as Wednesday amid the media’s non-stop coverage of the Texas abortion law.
While it is unclear whether Stelter deleted the tweet because he no longer believes the “Handmaid’s Tale” comparisons equate to “fear-mongering” or to prevent his tweet from going viral during the liberal uproar.
There is an indication, however, that Stelter’s views may have evolved as seen in a 2019 exchange he had with “Handmaid’s Tale” star Ann Dowd where he seemed to legitimize the analogy he once opposed on his CNN program “Reliable Sources.”
“How close or how far do you think America really is to the fictional hellscape of Gilead?” Stelter asked.
“A heck of a lot closer than we were season one, which is terrifying,” Dowd responded.
Siskind took a swipe at Stelter in response to Mediaite’s report on Thursday, tweeting “Hate to have been right in predicting what was coming.”
Stelter did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
The “Handmaid’s Tale” comparisons were consistent during the Trump era, particularly during the Supreme Court confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett.
One of the biggest champions of the analogy is MSNBC host Joy Reid, who renewed the comparison during her hyperbolic coverage of the Texas abortion bill.