“Nah, the news media isn’t biased! It’s just right wing Faux News lovers who say that! The news media OTHER than Fox is fair and objective!”
I get these protests all the time, and I am considering being more direct and unpleasant in my responses when I do. For this statement is either proof of ignorance, stupidity, or dishonesty. There is no fourth option, and the recent example I will now describe shows why.
Earlier this week, a woman noticed a four-month-old girl in a locked car in a New Jersey Kohl’s parking lot . She screamed, alerting passer-by Steve Eckel, the New York Daily News reported. Eckel called 911 but didn’t wait: he used a sledgehammer to break a window in the car, rescuing the cooking child.
During an HLN interview on cable TV, the retired New Jersey police officer wore a T-shirt with the legend, “2016 Trump for President.” Yet when the CNN headline news channel ran the interview an hour later, the message was blurred out.
Would a pro-Hillary Clinton, pro-Obama, Black Lives Matter, Planned Parenthood, anti-gun or virtually any other non-obscene message or image be so censored? Never. My assumption, if I saw such a blur, would be that the T-shirt was wildly offensive in some undeniable way, making that blur a slur on Eckel’s character. (A pro-Trump T-shirt doesn’t exactly speak well of him either, but that’s irrelevant.)
Of course, to the left-wing hordes that occupy broadcast media news and editing rooms, a simple election slogan favoring the Republican nominee for President is regarded as wildly offensive, and they certainly don’t want a pro-Trump sentiment being associated with a hero who saved a baby. Might get Trump some votes—cognitive dissonance, you know—and we can’t have that.
CNN is trying to elect Hillary Clinton and clothesline Trump. That’s why it fact-checks Trump’s speeches as it broadcasts them, but not Hillary. That’s why it gives minimal coverage to Clinton’s still expanding e-mail scandal, preferring instead to flog every idiotic comment Trump makes—and he makes them virtually hourly— as if it’s the Gettysburg Address. CNN’s website runs ridiculous opinion pieces like this one, extolling mega-jerk Colin Kaepernick’s fact-free and self-serving “protest” against America as “speaking truth to power,” but has never permitted the opinion that this is also what many American think Trump is doing as well. (Actually, Trump is just as incoherent and almost as dim as Kaepernick, but at least his blather has national news significance. This just in: for several days, the 49ers bench player has been wearing socks depicting police officers as pigs. You know: truth to power.)
Note also who picked up on CNN’s partisan censorship. The Daily Caller. Newsbusters. The Washington Free Beacon. The Washington Examiner. Newsmax. Instapundit. TheBlaze. Breibart (yechh.) BizPac Review. Where are the mainstream, a.k.a. Clinton pimping news sources? Well, they don’t care, because they feel the same way CNN does, and in less obvious ways do the same kind of thing every day.
Isn’t it obvious why a right-biased news media is essential if the so-called mainstream media arrogantly, constantly violates its duty of objectivity?
Actually, I see one non-right news source covering the censorship: the Washington Post. Pretty good job of coverage by Erik Wemple, too, except his conclusion:
“HLN executives should strain their vocal cords in issuing apologies to Eckel.”
Eckel? Just Eckel?
How about apologizing to the Trump campaign?
How about the Republican Party, that HLN treated like the KKK?
How about CNN viewers, who were intentionally deceived so the candidate CNN is dedicated to defeating (and whom it greatly assisted in getting the nomination by giving him free airtime) can’t even get the benefit of an ex-police officer’s T-shirt?
How about the American public, whose democracy CNN and the rest of the mainstream media is openly attempting to warp to meet its own partisan goals? How about them?
After enough of the conservative media started screaming, CNN/HLN issued a mea culpa, saying, “We blurred the logo and shouldn’t have; it was done in error.” A spokeswoman added in an email that the blurring was not common practice for non-political interviews. At least not yet, since it couldn’t slip it past everyone this time. Then again, she might have noted, The All Wise and Correct Journalistic Establishment isn’t usually fighting to get the first woman President elected and save the nation from a fascist.
By error, the admission by CNN means simply, “Gee, we thought we could get away with this, and obviously couldn’t. Oopsie! We’ll try to make our slanted anti-Trump/ pro-Hillary coverage more subtle….for a while.”
14 thoughts on “Res Ipsa Loquitur! The News Media’s Anti-Trump Bias Expressed As Naked Censorship”
My journalism career was mostly in radio so blurring would never have been an issue. But, yes, if I was the producer of that segment I would have blurred a shirt promoting any political candidate. Unless this was an on-site interview at the time of the incident and he’d chanced to be wearing that shirt when it happened, my reasoning would be that the person being interviewed was trying to “game” the system by deliberately wearing the shirt to get his preferred candidate some free publicity. Since it wasn’t relevant to the story, I wouldn’t let a Trump supporter, a Clinton supporter, a Johnson supporter, a Stein supporter or a Vermin Supreme supporter (Google is your friend) get away with that by blurring the image on the shirt. I also would probably ask the on-air talent to explain that we’d blurred the image on the shirt because it was an irrelevant attempt to promote “a political candidate”.
And as a fair, reasonable, non-partisan policy, Gregg, that’s wholly defensible. Helpful comment.
I felt the same way, Gregg, that they might have felt he chose the shirt specifically to promote his preferred candidate and blurred it.
On the other hand, I DO have to wonder if they would have blurred a Clinton shirt.
Don’t wonder: they wouldn’t have. And he DID wear that shirt for that purpose, meaning that they should have asked him to change, not blur what he wore. I think Gregg’s policy is defensible. I also think it’s wrong. Broadcast news shouldn’t blur ANYTHING, offensive, political or commercial.
And their apology was clearly disingenuous. They didn’t blur that shirt out by mistake at all. It was absolutely deliberate, regardless of the reason.
Hey! What do you have against Vermin Supreme supporters? We are pretty normal people. We encourage good oral hygiene. Without good, clean, strong teeth, what do you have left?
I saw that interview live, and I had assumed it was a product Logo that CNN hadn’t been paid to promote.
You got it, HT!
I agree that the blurring was unethical. They could have done a tighter head shot or asked him to change, and should do so for any political t-shirt that isn’t relevant to the segment.
Was it unethical for Eckel to use this moment to endorse a presidential candidate?
I posted my observations on this to my Facebook, and someone said, “This is about equal time. You can’t show that unless you have a “Hillary” thing for just as long.”
I don’t really believe him. What are your thoughts?
They don’t know what equal time is, and it certainly doesn’t apply to news coverage. Good lord: the networks covered Obama about 30% more than McCain. Interviews in real news reporting are exempt. And it was about 5 minutes. Christ, what people won’t say to excuse media bias.
There was an Australian comedy tv series (Frontline) which satirised Australian television current affairs programs. In one episode there was an item about the bad behaviour of the youth of today. The reporter interviewed some teenagers and their non offensive words were bleeped out just so the tv reporter could reinforce the storyline’s negative opinion about youth.
Ever since I saw this tv program, even though it was only a fictional story, I have decided that I prefer the news and current affairs programs unbleeped and unblurred so I can form my own opinions about the interviewee and subject matter of the story, even if it means now and again seeing or hearing something I find distasteful. After all I can always change the channel if I don’t like it.
I gather that neither the blurring nor the T-shirt came with a ‘trigger warning’, so that overly-sensitive viewers could get to a safe place. Oh, wait…they blurred it so it wasn’t needed.