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News Analysis Apr 22, 2022 1:58 PM EST

CNN's Brian Stelter admits 'there's no debating' Libs of Tik Tok's influence on policy, culture

"There’s no debating the influence of the Libs of TikTok account. It's even helped inform Florida's recent parental rights law," Stelter said.

CNN's Brian Stelter admits 'there's no debating' Libs of Tik Tok's influence on policy, culture
Nick Monroe Cleveland, Ohio

CNN’s Brian Stelter, on one of his last shows for the doomed CNN+, framed the Libs of Tik Tok Twitter account as undoubtedly influential while accusing the account of bringing a negative impact against "transgenders" and gay people.

"Let's just be honest," Stelter said, "hate and homophobia is lurking right beneath the surface in American politics right now. Years of increasing acceptance of gays and transgenders is provoking a backlash on right-wing talk shows and in state houses."

"Taylor Lorenz’s story revealed the identity of the conservative woman running Libs of TikTok, and now there's a roiling debate about her story and the ethics of it. But there’s no debating the influence of the Libs of TikTok account. It's even helped inform Florida's recent parental rights law deemed the ‘Don't Say Gay bill by opponents. So here's what I want to know. What's it like to be caught in the middle of all this? What's it like for an educator who says the ‘Don't Say Gay’ law is a life or death issue for young trans people?"

When it came to the claim that Libs of TikTok helped inform Florida’s parental rights law, the account owner responded by saying "if true, this is one of the biggest accomplishments of my life and I will wear it with a badge of honor. We must protect innocent young kids."

In Stelter’s newsletter, he propped up the accusations against Libs of Tik Tok, saying that it’s a hub for the coordination of "anti-gay attacks." He further claimed that the account’s owner was playing into a "victimhood narrative" for going on media interviews like Tucker Carlson’s show, where she said she wouldn’t let Lorenz silence her. The account holder, despite Lorenz's doxxing, has remained anonymous.

In his written remarks, Stelter puts "finding new characters for right-wing propaganda" in bold letters, when quoting accusations made in the Washington Post piece.

In the backlash against Lorenz’s story, the Washington Post released a false statement claiming that they didn’t publish details about the personal life of the Libs of TikTok account owner. Even though the outlet originally did, and deleted it later.

Stelter on Thursday morning had to announce the termination of CNN+. The news came as the streaming service failed to attract an audience.

The CNN host’s mention of the "influence" of @libsoftiktok on Twitter comes as the Washington Post’s hit piece catapulted the fame and popularity of the account. Libs of TikTok had 743,000 earlier this week, and as of Thursday night has now accumulated 925,400 followers.

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