“I’ll accept his silly delivery.”
CNN’s Brian Stelter last week received a mysterious box of donuts from Tucker Carlson, his Fox News counterpart and longtime adversary.
Stelter, the host of “Reliable Sources,” put on a brave face Sunday when the New York Post’s Page Six asked him for comment about the Dunkin’ Donuts shipment.
“Is this Tucker’s way of saying yes to my interview request?” Stelter said. “If so, I’ll accept his silly delivery.”
However, sources at CNN said they suspected Stelter had been “fat shamed,” recalling their colleague’s well-documented struggles with weight.
Page Six offered various theories as to how Stelter had provoked the alleged act of cruelty by Carlson, who has himself packed on some pounds of late. The tabloid noted that Stelter has frequently jabbed at Carlson and his network as part of his on-air media criticism, recently commenting: “I just want Fox News to be a healthy part of the media ecosystem.”
Some of the CNN sources pointed to an article Stelter wrote back in November in which he suggested that Carlson may have exaggerated the danger posed by a left-wing protest at his home. Others flagged Stelter’s coverage this month of an advertiser boycott of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” over resurfaced comments the host made to a shock jock two decades ago.
According to Page Six, Stelter has been trying to get Carlson to come on his show for an interview about the scandal.
However, Carlson has evinced little love for Stelter in the past. Just last week, the Fox News host dubbed Stelter CNN’s “house eunuch,” saying he simply parrots proclamations from his tiny king [CNN President], Jeff Zucker.
The Daily Caller, a news site Carlson founded, only reinforced the fat-shaming accusations in a reportMonday on the donut delivery.
Media reporter Betsy Rothstein trolled: “Could a box of jelly donuts really be triggering for a left-wing newsman who meticulously put every morsel of his entire diet on Twitter and shed tons of weight?”
“HELP!” she continued. “Weight Watchers. Jenny Craig. Marie Osmond. Oprah. Someone protect this man from a dozen donuts!”
After noting that Stelter has “ballooned a little in recent years (but certainly not back to his post-200 pound weight),” Rothstein quoted two anonymous sources slamming him for allegedly feeling sorry for himself.
“Nobody plays the victim card better,” she cited a “longtime media industry insider” as saying. “He can, without evidence, repeatedly question [President Donald] Trump’s mental health but can’t handle receiving a box of donuts.”
Stelter had already earned right-wing scorn for on Sunday rushing to defend the coverage of Trump’s Russia ties just before the Justice Department declared them non-collusive. At one point, he went as far as to suggest that the media is always right.
“News coverage doesn’t happen in a vacuum,” he said. “Reporters don’t ask questions for no good reason. Speculation doesn’t happen in a vacuum.”