Brian Stelter CNN
© Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for CNN
CNN’s Brian Stelter was confronted by a C-SPAN caller who told him the network is “dividing our nation."
'Have some respect if you have no shame,' one social media user responded

CNN's Brian Stelter was slammed for tweeting out a piece from the Associated Press claiming network TV anchors were "the closest thing that America had to national leaders on 9/11."

"Most Americans were guided through the unimaginable by one of three anchors: Tom Brokaw of NBC News, Peter Jennings of ABC and Dan Rather of CBS," AP writer David Bauder wrote.

Stelter added his own two cents that "political leaders were in bunkers or otherwise out of sight" during the terror attacks, which occurred 20 years ago on Saturday.

stelter tweet 9/11 ratio
© Brian Stelter/Twitter
Stelter's critics, which included some prominent figures like Meghan McCain, hopped online to remind him of the heroics of first responders, and the decisive leadership of U.S. officials, most notably former President George W. Bush.

"I don't know what this is even designed to mean other than to be incendiary on a dark anniversary," McCain tweeted. "First responders led & ran into danger and died. Mayor Giuliani, Hillary Clinton, George Pataki, President Bush, Chuck Schumer.... there were many real leaders leading us."

Others accused Stelter of making the day of remembrance all about him and his fellow journalists.

Several pointed out that President Bush was out in front making decisions and being transparent with Americans throughout the tragic day.

"What in the world are you on about?" the Washington Examiner's Becket Adams tweeted. "President Bush delivered an address from the Oval Office that very evening."

Stelter responded to that tweet in particular, suggesting he was simply quoting the piece he shared. But several social media users noted he had tacked on his own input to the tweet.

"I remember," Stelter said. "Please send your objections to the author of the story or the person he quoted."

"You added your take outside the quotes!" the Media Research Center's Nicholas Fondacaro responded. "Also, you shared it. So at some level you liked it and agreed with it. You didn't offer criticism, so what other deduction is there? Stop playing these stupid games Brian. We all know what you're doing.

In a recent interview with Fox News, former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer detailed the decisive steps President Bush took in the hours following the terror attacks. He said one tweet that always gets a "huge reaction" from his followers is when he quotes the former commander-in-chief telling Vice President Dick Cheney how the U.S. was going to respond to the terrorists.

"Bush's direct and sometimes off-color language on September 11, such as when he said, 'When I find out who did this, they're not going to like me as president. We're going to kick their ass,'" Fleischer said.