Story In A Bottle Podcast

Brian Stelter is a prominent media personality known for his astute analysis and critique of the media industry. He started his journey with the creation of a Goosebumps fan site and then founded a highly impactful blog, TVNewser. His career took a significant turn when he joined CNN and hosted "Reliable Sources," becoming one of the youngest hires at The New York Times. Stelter is also an author, with books such as "Top of the Morning" reflecting deep insights into television and media operations.

Episode Summary:

In this candid conversation on "Story in a Bottle," host Dan Maccarone unearths the intricate tapestry of Brian Stelter's media journey. From humble beginnings to becoming a CNN host and critic of media practices, Stelter's narrative is entwined with the evolving landscape of news media.

Initially, Stelter shares memorable anecdotes from his formative years, including his adventures in early-web fan sites and blogging. This eventually led to his influential role at The New York Times and his deep dive into the competitive world of morning TV shows. The discussion transitions smoothly into the dynamics of modern journalistic standards and the interplay between media and politics against the backdrop of monumental events like the Trump presidency and the rise of Fox News.

The episode culminates with introspective reflections on Stelter's departure from CNN, his ongoing contributions as a media consultant, and his aspirations as a father. Listeners are treated to a profound exploration of the complexities inherent to balancing professional integrity with personal progression.

Key Takeaways:

  • Brian Stelter's early fascination with media led to creating one of the leading Goosebumps fan sites and the TVNewser blog.
  • Stelter emphasizes the intertwined nature of the media and political realms, particularly in the context of the Trump era and its impact on news coverage.
  • His tenure at CNN's "Reliable Sources" and the decision to transition from full-time hosting to consultancy and freelancing provides significant insights into the changing media landscape.
  • Reflecting on being a target of right-wing media, Stelter shares his experiences of dealing with criticism and public attacks.
  • As a father orchestrating a major life transition, Stelter prioritizes family while freelancing allows him to maintain his voice within the industry.

Notable Quotes:

  • "I wanted someone to be doing it... I thought to myself, I should blog this."
  • "That was a very clear dividing line. Yeah, before Trump, we used to tape the show on Fridays..."
  • "Fox News is a political machine. Donald Trump is a creature of the media."
  • "It's like nobody cared, right? And so, yes, a thousand Twitter trolls would reply to him and say, yeah, Stelter sucks. But nobody in the real world, nobody in my real world cared."


  • Brian Stelter's social media profiles (Not explicitly mentioned)
  • New York Times website (Not explicitly mentioned)
  • CNN's "Reliable Sources" archives (Not explicitly mentioned)

Engage deeply with Brian Stelter's revealing narrative of the media landscape by listening to the full episode. Don't miss out on further enlightening content from "Story in a Bottle" - tune in for thought-provoking discussions that shed light on the media's intricacies from those who shape it.

Direct download: BrianFull.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00pm EDT