CNN's Brian Stelter avoids Steve Scully controversy on his 'Reliable Sources' media show

Joe Concha on ‘hacked’ tweet: Scaramucci’s ‘nonchalant’ in response, need to hear from Scully

Steve Scully believes Anthony Scaramucci’s tweet was a result of a hack; reaction and analysis from media reporter for The Hill Joe Concha.

CNN's go-to media guru Brian Stelter continued his streak of ignoring some of the biggest media stories of the week on his media-centric Sunday program "Reliable Sources," this time avoiding the controversy surrounding C-SPAN host Steve Scully, who was previously set to moderate the second presidential debate before its cancellation. 

Scully went viral on Thursday night after a tweet sent from his account indicated he had reached out to former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci, something he later alleged was the result of being hacked. The Commission on Presidential Debates said in a statement that it had reported the incident to both the FBI and Twitter to investigate.

Stelter, who has become known as the media's "hall monitor," made no reference to Scully's claim on his weekend show despite the growing skepticism from critics.

The CNN host also skipped the backlash NBC received for its Biden town hall it held last Monday, which was widely criticized as a "Biden infomercial" and later revealed that several "undecided voters" that were able to ask the Democratic nominee questions were either previously identified as Biden voters on MSNBC or had anti-Trump/pro-Biden social media posts. 

Stelter has a history of ignoring some of the biggest media stories that emerge, including the 2019 revelation of ABC News spiking the Jeffrey Epstein story. 

However, Stelter wasn't alone in avoiding the Scully controversy. Nearly all of the major news networks offered no on-air coverage to C-SPAN host's "hack" claim. 

A spokesperson for Twitter told Fox News "We've no comment" when asked to confirm whether or not Scully's account was hacked. 

Scully, who has not yet publicly addressed the controversy himself and could not be reached for comment, and he has a history of blaming "hackers" for posts made on his Twitter account, dating back to 2012 and 2013.

The debate commission had selected Scully to moderate the second presidential debate between President Trump and Joe Biden scheduled for Oct. 15. That debate was canceled Friday night after Trump pulled out following the commission's announcement that the event would be virtual. Biden subsequently withdrew from the debate and has since scheduled an ABC News town hall for the night that the debate was supposed to take place.  

Scully's initial tweet caused confusion and fury among critics, with many concluding the moderator meant to send his message to Scaramucci privately. 

"@scaramucci should I respond to trump," the now-deleted tweet read. 

The now anti-Trump critic responded by telling Scully: "Ignore. He is having a hard enough time. Some more bad stuff about to go down."


Scaramucci told Fox News' Brian Kilmeade on Friday that he thought Scully's tweet was real, prompting his own response Thursday night. He also tweeted later Friday that he has taken Scully's hacking claim "at his word," adding, "Let's not cancel anymore [sic] people from our culture for absolutely something like this. It’s insignificant. He is an objective journalist."

Scully's credibility as an unbiased debate moderator was initially questioned after it became known that he previously worked as an intern for then-Sen. Biden and served as a staffer for the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass. 

During the 2016 campaign, Scully shared a New York Times op-ed headlined, "No, Not Trump, Not Ever."

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