It appears that CNN is comfortable with saying the quiet part out loud now. During a recent episode of Reliable Sources, host Brian Stelter and his guests lauded the activist media network’s superior reportage, all but confessing their apparent bias against conservatives when discussing comments made by Rick Santorum, a former Republican senator from Pennsylvania, about Native Americans.
Like other legacy outlets, CNN seems to focus more on creating narratives than informing its viewers. But even worse, it attempted to use Santorum’s comments to smear the Republican Party and the rest of the conservative movement.
Stelter Said What Everyone Knows
The conversation happened right after the panel discussed the network allowing CNN anchor Chris Cuomo to run interference for his brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, amid his sexual misconduct scandal. Stelter celebrated CNN’s recent decision to fire Santorum as a commentator because of his controversial remarks about America’s founding in relation to Native Americans.
“We birthed a nation from nothing. I mean, there was nothing here. I mean, yes, we have Native Americans, but candidly, there isn’t much Native American culture in American culture,” Santorum said.
Columbia University’s Nicole Hemmer stated that Santorum’s firing reminded her of Pat Buchanan’s ouster from MSNBC and indicated that CNN is no longer tolerant of certain views. “And in this case, too, it’s not that Rick Santorum said something that was unusual for the sets of beliefs that he has; it’s just that the tolerance of CNN and its audience for those beliefs seems to have changed. And so, that I think is the most important context for what happened here,” she said.
Stelter gushed, “And I think it is striking to see Native American groups, journalists, activists speaking out and drawing attention to Santorum’s comments and their power and voices were heard.”
Later in the conversation, Stelter asked media activist Perry Bacon Jr., “How should the reality-based press cover an alternative-reality GOP?”
Bacon responded by insisting the activist media should cover the Republican Party “honestly,” but said it would make it appear as if the press were favoring Democrats. “I think we’ve had this view for a long time and journalism should be not aligning with either party. But I think we’ve interpreted it to mean journalism should be equally distant between the two parties. And I think that is not realistic,” he noted.
He added: “Journalism has a bias for facts, evidence, truth.” He insisted that the activist media should single out Republicans for criticism because they are less truthful than Democrats. He said:
“And if like half of the voters in one party and a lot of the elected officials in the party are not but truthful, journalists are going to cover that and look like they’re covering that party more negatively.
So, in this environment, we have to prioritize, we have to be pro-truth, pro-democracy, pro-evidence, and I think that’s going to make it look like we’re pro-democratic. But I think we should be pro-democrat, small ‘D,’ not pro-Democratic capital ‘D.’”
Later in the segment, Stelter complained about “these bad faith campaigns” that have gotten alleged reporters fired for displaying political bias in their reporting. He was referring to a story about Emily Wilder, a journalist who was fired from the Associated Press after social media posts surfaced revealing her pro-Palestine activism.
“And it is down to the idea that one person, even if you hate what they post on Twitter, they do not represent the entirety of a global news operation,” Stelter lamented.
CNN media activists are complaining about alleged journalists being fired for displaying possible bias. They are also celebrating that their network now has prejudice toward individuals who are right of center.
Will They Ever Stop Pretending?
If one looks closely at the statements made by Stelter and his guests, it seems apparent that they are attempting to feign objectivity while admitting they are biased, casting themselves as dispassionate actors who seek only the “truth.” However, their truth appears to be that arguments made by conservatives are wrong, dishonest, and bigoted and Democrats are as pure as the driven snow.
Of course, they have to couch their arguments in this fashion; it allows their viewers to consider them journalists instead of activists in front of a camera. This strategy might seem effective until one looks at the myriad of polls suggesting that trust in the media has been plummeting for years, which has affected their ratings. But activists are not supposed to care about money; they care about the cause, which means they function more as true believers than capitalists.
Read more from Jeff Charles.