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BEVERLY HILLS, CA: CNN's Brian Stelter speaks onstage at Day 1 of the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit 2018 Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

CHICAGO (LifeSiteNews) — A first-year college student put CNN pundit Brian Stelter on the defensive Thursday when he blasted Stelter’s network for perpetrating a long list of hoaxes and conspiracy theories while dismissing real news as “disinformation.”

University of Chicago freshman Christopher Phillips took the opportunity to roast the left-wing network during a university conference on “Disinformation and the Erosion of Democracy,” which featured Stelter and The Atlantic’s Anne Applebaum, among others.

In a clip captured by NewsBusters’ Nicholas Fondacaro, Phillips slammed CNN, whose motto is “The Most Trusted Name in News,” for being a “purveyor of disinformation” while seeming to denounce it.

“You’ve all spoken extensively about Fox News being a ‘purveyor of disinformation,’ but CNN is right up there with them,” Phillips said. “They pushed the Russian collusion hoax, they pushed the Jussie Smollett hoax, they smeared Justice Kavanaugh as a rapist, and they also smeared Nick Sandmann as a white supremacist. And yes, they dismissed the Hunter Biden laptop affair as ‘pure Russian disinformation.’”

“With mainstream corporate journalists becoming little more than apologists and cheerleaders for the regime, is it time to finally declare that the canon of journalistic ethics is dead, or no longer operative?” Phillips asked.

“All the mistakes of the mainstream media, and CNN in particular, seem to magically all go in one direction,” he added. “Are we expected to believe that this is all just some sort of random coincidence? Or is there something else behind it?”

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In response to Phillips’ comments, Stelter made a quip about heading out to lunch, then refused to respond to Phillips’ specific claims.

Instead, the “Reliable Sources” host, who has accused conservative media of “obsession” with the Russian collusion hoax despite making the investigation a hobbyhorse in his own reporting, downplayed Phillips’ comments as a “popular right-wing narrative.”

Stelter did not offer to explain why CNN incorrectly insisted that President Donald Trump colluded with the Russians to win the 2016 election, promoted Smollett’s fake hate crime, spotlighted groundless accusations that Justice Brett Kavanaugh raped women during college, inaccurately dismissed Hunter Biden’s laptop as “Russian disinformation,” and maligned Covington Catholic High School student Nick Sandmann.

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Stelter went on to praise CNN’s actions in covering the war in Ukraine, dodging the accusations that instead of acting as bulwarks against disinformation, CNN often contributes to it.

The left-wing talk show host also hit back at claims that CNN acts as “apologists and cheerleaders” for the Biden “regime,” commenting, “[t]he last time I spoke with a Biden aide, we yelled at each other.”

“So that’s the reality of the news business that people don’t see, that people don’t hear. They imagine that it’s a situation that it simply is not,” Stelter said. “But I think your question, it speaks to the failure of journalism to show our work and show the reality of how our profession operates. We have a lot of work to do, I think.”

Writing for The Daily Wire, reporter Tim Meads remarked that Stelter’s answers to Phillips were “not an admission that his network pushed around-the-clock fake news on some of the biggest stories since 2016. No, the real tragedy, in Stelter’s mind, is that the American people just don’t understand how the news business works.”

“Despite not addressing any of the fake news mentioned by the student, the CNN star wants you to believe that the legacy media is full of staunch defenders of democracy and they can prove it — like that one time he got yelled at by a Biden aide or something,” Meads continued. “Stelter, what a guy. He can’t give a college freshman’s question a straightforward answer, but he wants you to trust him to deliver the news without bias.”

Fox News contributor Joe Concha praised Phillips for confronting Stelter during the conference, observing, “For a conference tackling disinformation, there is certainly a ton of disinformation being shoveled out.”

“Kudos to Christopher Phillips and in this case, the CNN media guy was trending on Twitter for all the wrong reasons,” Concha said.

After the viral interaction, Phillips tweeted, “thank you @brianstelter for taking my question and having a conversation with me afterwards, but i am STILL wondering: if CNN is truly unbiased, WHY is every mistake they make an overstep in favor of democrats and against republicans??”

“It is a good question and one that Stelter has yet to answer,” Meads commented.