Home Covid-19 Former CNN host Brian Stelter gets Harvard fellowship discussing 'threats to democracy'

Former CNN host Brian Stelter gets Harvard fellowship discussing ‘threats to democracy’

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Brian Stelter, who was dumped by CNN last month, has found a new gig discussing “threats to democracy” and how the press can respond.

Stelter has been named a Harvard Kennedy School’s Walter Shorenstein Media and Democracy Fellowship, and he will work with both students and faculty during the Fall of 2022. 

“As the Walter Shorenstein Fellow, Stelter will convene a series of discussions about threats to democracy and the range of potential responses from the news media. These discussions with media leaders, policy makers, politicians, and Kennedy School students, fellows, and faculty will help deepen public and scholarly understanding about the current state of the information ecosystem and its impacts on democratic governance,” the school noted.

Harvard Kennedy School, which is the public policy school within the prestigious university, noted in its announcement that Stelter was the anchor of “Reliable Sources” until August 2022, but didn’t make any note of why he left the network. 

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Stelter’s show was canceled, and he was shown the door as new CNN CEO Chris Licht has put an emphasis on “news,” as opposed to the liberal opinion programming that the network became known for under Jeff Zucker’s management, particularly during the Trump administration.

Brian Stelter hosted his final “Reliable Sources” last month on CNN. 
(Screenshot/CNN/ReliableSources)

In what many assumed was an attempt to appease new management, Stelter recently had an epiphany about the severity of the Hunter Biden scandal, which turned out not to be a dismissable “right-wing media story” like the liberal pundit insisted in 2020.

But the last-ditched effort didn’t save his CNN show and Stelter, who developed a reputation as a left-wing pundit and spent much of his airtime criticizing conservative media, has reportedly been telling people he was essentially a “sacrificial lamb.”  

Brian Stelter has been named a Harvard Kennedy School’s Walter Shorenstein Media and Democracy fellow, and he will work with both students and faculty during the Fall of 2022. 
(Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Vanity Fair)

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He was called out in a report earlier this year that noted he was the “face of the network’s liberal shift” in the eyes of conservatives, but continued to insist he was nonpartisan until the very end. 

“I know I didn’t have all the answers, I didn’t even always have all the right questions… Here’s what I do know. I know it’s not partisan to stand up for decency and democracy and dialogue,” Stelter told CNN viewers during his last appearance. “It’s not partisan to stand up to demagogues. It’s required, it’s patriotic. We must make sure we don’t give a platform to those who are lying to our faces. But we also must make sure we are representing the full spectrum of debate and representing what’s going on in this country and in this world.”

The famous Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.

The famous Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.
(iStock)

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In April, Stelter was visibly uncomfortable when confronted by a college freshman about his network being an alleged “purveyor of disinformation” during a panel discussion at the Disinformation and the Erosion of Democracy conference in Chicago.

The Walter Shorenstein Media and Democracy Fellowship “brings high-profile figures at the forefront of media, politics, and public policy to Harvard’s Kennedy School to work with students, faculty, scholars and the public on important issues of the moment,” according to the school’s website. Past fellows include legendary CBS reporter Bob Schieffer, former TIME managing editor Richard Stengel and Obama-era FCC chairman Tom Wheeler. 

Fox News’ Joseph A. Wulfsohn contributed to this report. 

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