When does it count that a news network host challenges the guest when they’re making absurd claims?

According to Seth Mandel, the opinion page editor of The New York Post, Brian Stelter of CNN didn’t challenge NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio at all during his interview on Reliable Sources this Sunday. And it’s hard to argue with his conclusion. Watch the video below. de Blasio starts talking at around 52 seconds and goes on a near two-minute rant about News Corp, Fox News and The New York Post. 

When it’s over, Stelter says, “So you’d rather not have The New York Post or Fox News, exist?”

de Blasio responds that while it’s a free country, the country was changed for the worse because they exist. What Stelter does next is ask a question that comes off like a challenge, but it really is not. He asks, “But isn’t that like saying they’re ‘fake news’ or an ‘enemy of the people?'”

See what he did there? Stelter and others in the press have decried the use of “fake news” and “enemy of the people” by President Trump when he lambasts the mainstream media. All he did there was attempt to frame it the way Trump does, without believing it himself. Therefore, it is not a challenge by Stelter but instead, a means by which de Blasio can justify his garbage critiques of the Post and Fox News.

Mandel believed the same and issued a rebuke of Stelter on Twitter:

At one point, Stelter responded and Mandel was having none of it:

Stelter goes on to say he challenged de Blasio, but the challenges were weak if they were challenges at all. de Blasio’s went on an opening two-minute diatribe against the media outlets he doesn’t like and Stelter let him have his say and they tried to behave like Trump asking questions in a pathetic way to let the Sandanistan apologist off the hook.

One thing that Mandel brings up is de Blasio’s attacks on the Post are against a local newspaper. The Post may have national recognition, but it is, by and large, a metro NYC newspaper. Local journalism, on many levels, is going the way of the dodo bird and that makes de Blasio’s smears all that more unseemly.