Instapundit’s Glenn Reynolds likes to say that if the mainstream news media didn’t have double standards, it would have no standards at all. As this has rapidly degenerated into “It’s still not ethical to be unfair to Donald Trump day,” I once again have to call an ethics foul on the news media, which is apparently jettisoning all objectivity and fairness sooner in this election than ever before, as it obeys the commands of its progressive masters.
Today, CNN fact-checked Trump with an onscreen graphic that claimed one of the statements in his speech was false as they played the video. In other words, they did exactly what Rep. Joe (“You lie!”) Wilson did to Barack Obama in his State of the Union address. Like Wilson, CNN was correct on the facts, but still unethical. The TV audience had a right to hear Trump’s speech as his audience heard it, without simultaneous media attacks and without a negative filter. What’s next, on- screen comments like, “Boy, can you believe this douche bag?”
The left wing cyber rag PoliticusUSA cheered this despicable new low in slanted journalism, saying that “This is the type of fact-checking that should be on the screen for every single interview that Donald Trump does.” But not, presumably, every interview that Hillary Clinton does, or Bernie Sanders, or Barack Obama, who has issued many whoppers on the stump. This is the developing theme of many pundit posts on the left: the news media should be outright adversarial to Trump, while treating Democrats with kid gloves. That’s what many 21st Century Democrats call “ethical journalism” Can Hillary still win if she loses the “fairness vote” and the anti-riot vote? I wonder.
CNN has a lot to answer for with this device; so far, none of the legitimate media ethics watchdogs have weighed in on it. I’ll help them out: this technique is not ethical journalism, but active partisan opposition. It’s unfair no matter what candidate it is used against—and, I must ask, who fact checks CNN? This is the same network that couldn’t manage to “fact-check” its own expert when he said that Thomas Jefferson wrote the Constitution!—but if this is the kind of tactic CNN is going to use on Trump speeches, it is obligated to do the same with Hillary.