This morning, CNN’s show Reliable Sources started a little differently. Host, Brian Stelter, gave a heads up to his audience saying that since “This was not a normal week so this is not a normal show.” He then followed that up by raising questions that according to him, were not usually discussed on air. According to him, it is time to finally raise the question “Is Donald Trump a racist? Is he suffering from some kind of illness? Is he fit for office? And if he is unfit, then what?”
According to CNN, Stelter said that these are uncomfortable questions to ask but the media needs to ask them more often. He raised the questions to a panel that included presidential historian Douglas Brinkley, reporter Carl Bernstein, and Alice Stewart the former Ted Cruz communication director. Stelter was expecting controlled or more neutral comments but the show actually ended up having a more blunt debate regarding Donald Trump and his capacity to lead.
Bernstein gave a definite yes when he was asked whether journalists should raise these questions. According to him, he has already started using these questions in recent conversations with congressional Republicans, business leaders, intelligence and military officials and a number of them have indeed questioned Trump’s stability. Recent events have indeed triggered a river of serious and alarming questions about the President of the United States being fit or stable enough to lead.
When Brinkley described the Trump as the “sick man in the White House” and that he is mentally unstable, Stewart responded by saying that the speculations about Trump are mostly fueled by emotion especially after the Charlottesville violence. According to CNN commentator and former Cruz spokesperson, the question of the president’s fitness and stability is more of a political issue and not a medical issue.
Discussions about the fitness of the POTUS are usually done among friends, family and even on social media so it is no surprise that it has finally entered the national news media. Usually, these are discussed off the air or when microphones are turned off, but now, it has become quite difficult to dodge the subject.
— Reliable Sources (@ReliableSources) August 20, 2017
The Deadline also mentioned that on air, subjects are usually very careful with the words they are saying and they usually use codes like “unhinged” or “unpresidential.” The show also mentioned the hot mic-slip-up between Democratic Senator Jack Reed and Republican Senator Susan Collins where the word “crazy” was used in describing Trump during their conversation last month.
According to Stelter on CNN, Trumps’s actions and inactions after the events at Charlottesville, have indeed sparked some uncomfortable conversations.
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