brian stelter CNN
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Brian Stelter
As former New York Times editor Bari Weiss warned that narrow media coverage and rampant self-censorship have created a world gone mad, CNN's Brian Stelter interrupted her to ask, "Who's the people stopping the conversation?"

"You write there are tens of millions of Americans who aren't on the hard-Left or the hard-Right, who feel the world has gone mad. So, in what ways has the world gone mad?" Stelter asked, airing a part of a pre-recorded interview he conducted with Weiss for Sunday's episode of "Reliable Sources." Weiss replied by citing a litany of media bias, blackouts, and sins of omission:
"When you have the chief reporter on the beat of COVID for The New York Times talking about how questioning or pursuing the question of the lab leak is racist, the world has gone mad.

When you're not able to say out loud and in public that there are differences between men and women, the world has gone mad.

When we're not allowed to acknowledge that rioting is rioting, and it is bad — and that silence is not violence, but violence is violence — the world has gone mad.

When we're not able to say that Hunter Biden's laptop is a story worth pursuing, the world has gone mad. When, in the name of progress, young school children as young as kindergarten are being separated in public schools because of their race, and that is called "progress" rather than "segregation," the world has gone mad.

There are dozens of examples that I could share with you and with your viewers, but —"
Bari weiss cnn
© CNN
Former New York Times editor Bari Weiss is interviewed on CNN
"And you often say, you say 'allowed,'" Stelter said, speaking over top of Weiss. "You say 'we're not allowed, we're not able,'" Stelter continued manterrupting Weiss, who yielded mid-thought.

"Who's the people stopping the conversation?" Stelter asked, stopping the conversation. "Who are they?" he asked, smirking.

"People that work at networks, frankly, like the one I'm speaking on right now," Weiss responded fearlessly.

Stelter minimized the effectiveness of network censorship, saying that "every story you mentioned" is "all over the internet."

Weiss responded that reporters know reporting on "an increasing number of subjects that have been deemed third-rail by the mainstream institutions — and increasingly by some of the tech companies — will lead to reputational damage, perhaps you losing your job, your children sometimes being demonized, as well."

"It would be delusional to claim otherwise," Weiss said.

She said each powerful example of cancel culture inculcates "a kind of internal self-censorship" among people in all professions, and not just journalism. Colleagues seeing this think to themselves, "If he's been canceled for that, what does that mean for me? I might as well shut up. I might as well practice doublethink in the freest society in the history of the world."

"What's going on is the transformation of these sense-making institutions of American life. It's the news media, it's the publishing house, it is the Hollywood studios, it's our universities, and they are narrowing in a radical way, what's acceptable to say, and what isn't," she said.

"It's disinformation by omission," Weiss concluded.

Weiss, who is not conservative on numerous issues, resigned as opinion editor of The New York Times last July after seeing the horizon of permissible discourse narrow. In a resignation letter that quickly went viral, Weiss wrote that the Times' leadership believes "that truth isn't a process of collective discovery, but an orthodoxy already known to an enlightened few whose job is to inform everyone else." She added that her colleagues treated history as "one more ephemeral thing molded to fit the needs of a predetermined narrative."

Stelter, who mentioned he's a subscriber to her Substack newsletter, implied that economic incentives influenced her decision. "I've seen it reported that you're making a lot more money than you ever did in [The] New York Times," he said.

"I've made a lot more money than I ever thought was possible in journalism," she said. She noted that although she has not restricted any of her material behind a paywall, so many numerous loyal readers have contributed to her work financially that she is about to hire her fifth employee to write for the newsletter.

"I've never felt freer or more excited about my work than I do right now," she said.

Ultimately, Stelter interrupted Weiss again to prematurely end the video of their conversation, telling his audience, "You can hear the entire conversation on my very own Reliable Sources Podcast."