CNN media reporter and host Brian Stelter has come under a lot of fire from the right for multiple reasons in the past – most recently by the New York Post’s normally docile Seth Mandel over an absolute softball interview about the press.

That particular issue was so outrageous because Stelter (along with his network) has been on the front lines in Donald Trump’s “war on the press,” yet the reaction to New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s rhetoric on right-leaning press (News Corp. and Fox News, in particular) does not come across as strong as the reaction to Trump’s rhetoric on “Fake News.”

However, Stelter once again found himself on the receiving end of criticism when he shared the following on social media:

Stelter is using his position as a television host to spread a possible conspiracy that Donald Trump is mentally unwell. That is what “Is the president okay?” means. There is no other possible translation of that question that doesn’t point to Trump having some sort of mental issue.

The problem here is that Stelter was one of the loudest voices in the media when conservatives pointed out Hillary Clinton’s physical health issues, including her passing out and stumbling at events.

It is not a question of whether or not Stelter or anyone else thinks Trump is “okay” or anything like that. I sometimes find myself questioning it. The problem with Stelter’s statement is that he broadcast the thought as a diagnosis of Trump’s mental health with no real evidence after spending time focusing on “debunking” Hillary Clinton’s health issues.

I try to stay out of the habit of making serious personal attacks on people I don’t politically agree with. I think substantive arguments will always be better (I’m in no way perfect on the issue, but I’m trying). I think, if you’re a host on a major news network that purports to be neutral and unbiased, you should probably stay away from diagnosing people from your anchor desk. That is no longer a substantive criticism, but a personal attack.

And for CNN, that should be unacceptable.

 

Editor’s Note: This column originally claimed that Stelter did not address the eviction of a New York Post reporter from an event by de Blasio. Stelter reached out to this writer and pointed out the incident happened after the interview. The paragraph in question has been edited to remove the reference to the event.