Last week, Republican candidate for president, Donald Trump, was on CNN for a town hall-style event. For the first time, maybe since the OJ Simpson Bronco Chase, the CNN audience share beat that of Andy Griffith replays. The real story is not what Trump said but the reaction to Trump’s performance by CNN’s production and opinion teams.
Even before his election as president, Trump had been well-forged at the highest levels of negotiations and interactions with the world’s biggest players on the world’s biggest stage. So, without any effort, he anticipated and handled CNN’s expected ‘gotcha’ questions. Mr. Trump, why did you incite the January 6 insurrection? Mr. Trump, do you feel like detailing your rape of E Jean Carroll? Mr. Trump, are you such a puppet for Putin that you want Russia to win in Ukraine? Proposed question from CNN to Trump: “Why do you kick puppies and hate grandmothers, Mr. Trump”? There were no surprises in either the questions by the overwhelmed Kaitlan Collins or his handling of them. His was the same blunt, charismatic, and at times nasty manner that his supporters appreciate. None of this was the issue.
What is interesting is the response to his ownership of the night. The event was scheduled for 90 minutes, and CNN prematurely ended the bloodbath 20 minutes early. One can easily assume that if it had gone the other way around, and it was Trump who Collins had overmatched, the event would be played in a perpetual loop. Instead, CNN bailed and sent it to the studio, where they control the talking heads and their content. But the lack of control soon became the content.
“We did it wrong,” said one on-air personality. “We treated him like a normal politician who could be fact-checked. We ended up dancing around a demagogue.”
- CNN’s Anderson Cooper to his audience “If you’re angry or upset, I understand, but you have to power to do something about it.”
- CNN’s Jake Tapper in the studio post evisceration: “He declared war on the truth, and I’m not sure that he didn’t win.”
- Representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez: “CNN should be ashamed of themselves.” “[CNN] would not comment on the platforming of such atrocious disinformation, but I would. I think it was a profoundly irresponsible decision. It was shameful.”
- MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough: [CNN’s town hall with Trump] “was just disgraceful on every level…the most shocking part” was seeing an audience “lapping it up.” “What I saw last night was as chilling as anything I’ve seen on television since January the 6th.”
The list could go on for several comical pages, but there is one final thought worth examining. From CNN chief executive Chris Licht (now under fire for even allowing Trump the platform): “America was served very well by what we did last night.” He went on to hail Collins’ “masterful performance” as moderator. “Kaitlan pressed him repeatedly and made news…Made a lot of news, [and] that is our job.” Isn’t it the job of news outlets to report the news? He betrayed their secret.
The night’s story is that the charade of an independent, unbiased media is dead. Of course, any observer without macular degeneration and hearing loss has known this for years, but this was the evening when the legacy media came out of the thinly veiled closet. They have now made it clear that their job is to carefully craft a narrative that shines a light as poorly as possible on Trump and other members of the new Right Wing. Unlike the old Republican guard, like Mitch McConnell and Mitt Romney, the left wing’s media division despises the leaders and has a condescending disregard for MAGA voters. They cannot stomach even accidentally affording a platform to espouse the truth.
From Dan Rather fabricating documents that attempted to torpedo the presidential aspirations of George W Bush to today’s exposed Twitter Files, the enemy of the left is the truth. These sad episodes and CNN’s Trump response expose the Orwellian efforts to control “misinformation,” and they show that the media will ignore, lie, censor, delete, and contort information in their effort to destroy the Right. Times have changed since Cronkite, Murrow, and Brinkley.
Consider; Just how much different would American politics be if it did indeed have a fair, equally adversarial journalistic apparatus? Currently, their orders are to prevent the non-leftist message from being heard. The left owns newspapers, cable news outlets, and all non-Elon Musk social media. What If there was no bias at all? How much differently would the average low-information voter look at things with just the truth? Imagine if they were just fair, not tilted to the right, just fair. How reviled would Trump really be? Would the general voter know about Hunter’s laptop and the Biden crime family’s ties to China? Would voters know more about Tara Reade? It is easy to imagine that the dastardly Trump might have won re-election.
A fair debate in the arena of ideas leads to a defeat of modern Leftism. Trumps platforming by CNN and the reaction to it shows that they know this. It is also why Twitter and Facebook banned Trump, why Fox was content to pay Tucker Carlson to sit quietly on the sideline, and why cancelation is the weapon of choice of leftists. The legacy media can no longer masquerade as unbiased purveyors of news. They will try. Sadly, they will spin it themselves, and as long as they are doing the corresponding, the reports of legacy media’s death, and their depravity, will be greatly under-reported.
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