Of all the offensive, obnoxious and outrageous things Donald Trump has said or tweeted, none infuriated progressives more than his calling the news media the “enemies of the people.” This is ironic, because nothing he’s ever said was more true or important to express.
Ace of Spades, the conservative blogging provocateur who is often as incisive as he is inflammatory, issued an impressive examination of what is transpiring at CNN in the wake of last week’s Trump “townhall.” He predicts, as others are predicting, that CNN chief Chris Licht’s days are numbered because the programming went against the pure, near-MSNBC level of full-throated Democratic propaganda CNN has been selling as “news” for more than a decade. It seems clear—and it really shouldn’t be surprising—that the audience CNN has nurtured by slanting its reporting isn’t interested in opposing views, perspective or objective analysis. Thus there has been a sudden drop in CNN ratings following the Trump event similar to the exodus from Fox News following the removal of its demagogue-in-chief, Tucker Carlson. Both migrations are evidence of ethics corruption, but of the two, punishing CNN for what once would have been considered responsible and necessary journalism is the more ominous.
Ace’s various references reveal, among other things…
- Brian Stelter’s replacement, Oliver Darcy, is at least as much of a fake media ethicist as Stelter was. “It’s hard to see how America was served by the spectacle of lies that aired on CNN,” Darcy wrote in CNN’s “Reliable Sources” newsletter, which he took over from Stelter. It’s hard to see how America was served by allowing the public to hear the unfiltered positions and rhetoric of a former President and the likely GOP nominee in 2024! Really? That’s hard to see? That could only be hard to see for someone who believes the only way America is “served” is by ideologically motivated censorship and the careful filtering of news to guarantee a single-party, Leftist totalitarian government.
Michael Fanone, a former D.C. police officer who was injured during the Jan. 6 riot and thus is considered qualified to be a paid CNN contributor, criticized his employer for “offering a platform” to Trump, claiming that CNN honchos of sacrificed “journalistic integrity” for ratings. No, that is hilariously up-side down: legitimate news media are supposed to give platforms to important and influential public figure so citizens can make up their own minds about their positions. The type of people who should not have platforms are of the Fanone variety: ill-informed, emotional hacks who appeal to the “low information voter.” This guy wrote an opinion piece for Rolling Stone headlined, “CNN Is Hosting a Town Hall for a Guy Who Tried to Get Me Killed.” Trump tried to get him killed. Sure. This is CNN.
Christian Amanpour attacked Licht during a commencement speech in front of 2023 graduates of the Columbia Journalism School. (Let me interject by saying a journalism school allowing Amanpour to disable its graduates’ ethics alarms with a commencement speech is like a law school allowing Michael Cohen to address its grads.)
“I have always opted to speak out when staying silent might have been easier,” Amanpour told the aspiring young reporters, saluting her own courage. “So right now in this moment, for me personally, I want to do what’s right, and empathize with and acknowledge all those who need to trust us at CNN, the most trusted name in news.” (Let me interject again: calling CNN “the most trusted name in news” is like calling David Brooks the most objective New York Times op-ed columnist.) “My management believes they did the right thing, a service to the American people. Some reports have written about important new thoughts and things that we learned from Trump’s very mouth that night… Time could very well prove that Trump’s electroshock therapy to the world jolts the undecided into greater awareness,” Amanpour said.
Ace correctly points out: “Amanapour is saying that the only way putting the likely Republican nominee on TV and interviewing him is acceptable is if that interview succeeds in destroying him. If it doesn’t destroy him, then interviewing that newsworthy figure is a betrayal of “journalism” — which is now defined sub rosa as simply leftwing political propaganda.”
Read the whole piece, which is spot on (if a bit nasty, but that’s Ace) and depressing. Quoting another part of Amanpour’s Ethics Corruption speech in which she shared her “mantra” that journalists must be “be truthful, but not neutral,” telling them “Both-siderism–on the one hand, on the other hand — is not always objectivity. It does not get you to the truth,” he concludes, “The ‘truth’ is always just what the leftwing “journalist” — almost all “journalists” are extremely bitter partisans for the hard left — believes it is….In other words: Conservatives are evil and progressives are good and any work of journalism that permits a viewer to come to a contrary position is not “objective,” as it doesn’t push the ‘truth’ that conservatives are evil, and progressives good.”I keep writing about this death spiral for democracy, but I don’t have a clue what to do about it. Explaining why it is wrong and destructive on a rarefied blog read by just a coupe, thousand people —on a good day—is just shouting, King Lear-like, into the storm.
11 thoughts on “CNN’s Internal War Over The Trump Townhall Shows How Corrupt And Dangerous U.S. Journalism Has Become”
I keep writing about this death spiral for democracy, but I don’t have a clue what to do about it. Explaining why it is wrong and destructive on a rarefied blog read by just a coupe, thousand people —on a good day—is just shouting, King Lear-like, into the storm.
As you say, “Attention must be paid.” The thing is, with a blog, you never know who may read you, and suddenly elevate you into the national conversation. It happened to me very briefly when I was blogging about a college basketball program, for God’s sake. How much more consequential is what you are writing about? It could also happen to you, and more importantly, to your arguments and observations about ethics.
That’s why you haven’t just given up and walked away. You will, one day — trust me. But not today.
Circling back to your first point (I admit, “circling back” is both hated by me and a weird guilty pleasure), what we are seeing is not the death spiral of democracy, but of the American republic. It has become comprehensively corrupt from top to bloody bottom.
Gangs now rule the major cities with the assistance of Leftist mayors and district attorneys who prosecute and berate the police when they try to protect the public. Our national legislature is full of grifters, outright thieves, and social degenerates so loathsome our Founders would be shocked not to find them in the gutter. Our President is an octogenarian plagiarist that encourages his family to peddle his influence with impunity for vast sums, and demonstrates his growing age-related dementia on a daily basis. His Vice-president is a vapid, racist, empty pantsuit with the personality of a root vegetable. And this “leadership team” is likely to be opposed by a late-septuagenarian con man who has developed a cult of personality.
Yes, this is the end. It is a slow-motion train wreck. The disgusting socialist media is both a symptom and an agent of our freeze-frame self-destruction.
But it was only fantasy
The wall was too high, as you can see
No matter how he tried, he could not break free
And the worms ate into his brain
Your Pink Floyd Wall reference is quite appropriate.
These problems are not limited to the US. The entire world is being pushed by centralized forces to submit to progressive will. Protests rage the world over against the forces of those who would bend them to progressive will.
At times, I am prone to despair the state of affairs. It is easy to become frustrated and appalled by the depths of stupidity that some people can stoop to, but the centralizing forces are much better at sowing chaos and hate than they are at harnessing those forces. That is why the media continues to commit suicide by taking up lost causes like pushing for universal worship of transgenderism, perversions like pedophilia and equity. These causes are sabotaging themselves with impossible expectations on the capacity for human sympathy and “niceness”. Niceness is a social construct that is imposed on civilized societies as a means of expansion. The truth is, once you trigger the collapse of societal conventions of niceness by pushing for acceptance of widespread criminality, pushing for the acceptance of the rape of children by perverts, pushing for the acceptance of mental disorders like transgenderism as enlightened states, pushing for self sacrifice in the name of lazy people stealing from the productive….niceness will disappear.
That which is not evolutionarily sound is not acceptable or possible. People do not agree to have their standards of living downgraded for any reason, including niceness. People will not agree to eat bugs once they have grown accustomed to eating beef. People will not agree to live in sweltering heat or freezing cold once they are accustomed to central air and heat. People will not agree to let freaks rape their children once they become accustomed to having their children safe. So far we have not seen an actual reduction in living standards from the totalitarians. Once credit cards are maxed out and living standards are reduced, once serious changes to people’s lives are seen, riots and violence will ensue. The violence will not be limited to the left or the right, it will be universal. People will kill rather than eat the bugs.
Personally, I think politician would be much tastier than cricket.
The US is heavily armed. It won’t take much use of those arms to make spoiled politicians decide they would rather cows be dinner than themselves.
It might take more violence than people might wish for for the point to me made, but eventually it will be made one way or another. Hopefully, most of the bloodshed will be rhetorical rather than literal, but only time will tell.
Null Pointer wrote:
That is why the media continues to commit suicide by taking up lost causes like pushing for universal worship of transgenderism, perversions like pedophilia and equity.
You know, at one time I also thought the media were killing themselves with their “wokeness,” but since it has continued virtually unabated and grown even more strident, I am beginning to wonder about that reasoning.
At some point, one would think that any financial consequences from their current trajectory would persuade them to reassess, but that doesn’t seem to be happening. No doubt the media as a whole has shrunk and lost money, but it seems they either don’t care or are comfortable with the retrenchment.
Further, the pipeline between Democrat Party apparatchiks and lucrative media gigs is only expanding, and the product they put out is ever more focused on the desired narrative and marginalizing or “de-platforming” all opposition. At this point, I am becoming convinced that no level of financial consequences will stop them, and there is a definite floor of consumption that they will reach, if they haven’t already.
In other words, I don’t think they are “committing suicide,” but rather have decided that a temporary “downsizing” while they help the Democrats take complete control of the country will pay off in the end, after all us rubes are re-educated or die off and replaced by compliant drones.
The Left has ever taken the long view.
The truth is, once you trigger the collapse of societal conventions of niceness by pushing for acceptance of widespread criminality, … …niceness will disappear.
This seems right, but is the collapse of civilization better than what the Left is offering? I suspect a great many will not think so, and certainly they will be told that All Is Well.
The US is heavily armed. It won’t take much use of those arms to make spoiled politicians decide they would rather cows be dinner than themselves.
Again, this is conventional wisdom. But is it right?
Unless all the objectors join in common cause, they risk defeat in detail and isolation. The government will still be there.
The media channels currently get paid by the cable companies whether they have any viewers or not. The days of most people buying cable television are coming to an end. Give it a decade. That particular gravy train is running out of gravy.
Interest rates rising above zero will also have an impact. Profit margins get more relevant when money has value. The media companies may already be dead and just haven’t discovered it yet.
“This seems right, but is the collapse of civilization better than what the Left is offering?”
All of society won’t collapse at once. Individual conventions, like niceness, cooperation, and presumptions of good will will be early casualties. I believe that the real pushback on progressivism hasn’t even started yet. We are starting to see a little bit of real pushback over school curriculums and the sexual mutilation of children, and I think the results are promising. A little bit less niceness won’t destroy all of society.
“Unless all the objectors join in common cause, they risk defeat in detail and isolation. The government will still be there.”
It won’t take a full scale war or an organized rebellion to scare the elites into backing off. 3 or 4 large scale, disorganized, grass roots, uncontrollable riots will probably do the trick. Right now the morons think they can control the uncontrollable. They can’t and I guess they are going to have to learn the hard way. Listening to reason doesn’t seem to be their strong suit.
Great reply, NP. Thanks for that.
Corporate executives don’t have to care. They have rigged the system so all the boards of directors are stacked with the CEO’s of their competition in the industry. The shareholders (owners of the company) have no say. In most companies, a deciding majority of the stocks are owned through the investment banks and they vote the owners’ shares in favor of the board. They are playing with other people’s money. They can use the owner’s company in any way they see fit and they will vote themselves a big, fat, bonus check no matter how well the company is doing. It doesn’t matter that VICE media just went bankrupt, it is just the shareholder’s money. The employees got to serve the cause. A disturbing trend is the number of CEO’s in the news lately that are ex-CIA.
In many respects, it is the same as our government. Much like the stockholders have no say in how companies are run anymore, the voters have very little say over the government. Look at what happened when Trump became president. Millions of federal employees began a concerted campaign to undermine his authority. Trump wasn’t even allowed to pick who was working in the Whitehouse, spying on his conversations with foreign leaders or have those people thrown out of the Whitehouse once the spying was revealed. Look at all the manipulation of the ballots and voting. You want to see disenfranchised people, look at Republicans in Arizona.
Have you considered going on instagram for more visibility? I think you’d do great there.
Brookings (yes, Brookings) pulled out the Big Guns on Thursday and got former CBS newsreader Marvin Kalb to take credit for an advice column:
A roadmap for TV coverage of the 2024 presidential campaign
The piece mentions Trump 27 times and only mentions Biden in the context of his trailing Trump by 7 points in the latest polls. And, for some unknown reason, Kalb didn’t recommend that CNN give Biden his own Townhall for parity.
Looks like it’s going to be another round of Hidin’ Biden in the 2024 elections.
Obviously the tyrannical radical left considers censorship of any idea, belief, opinion that doesn’t rigidly conform to their totalitarian dogma to be normal and necessary, and this isn’t confined just to the United States either. Therefore, it is prudent to consider everything that comes out of the media to be lies and propaganda, unless or until it can be irrefutably proven otherwise.