Former CNN host Soledad O’Brien utterly destroyed CNN’s integrity Sunday by speaking out against the network’s normalization of white supremacy. And she is right. CNN has done that.
It is expected of Fox News, but CNN purports to be a real news network rather than a propaganda arm of the Republican Party. And they sometimes are, despite the “hiring” of Corey Lewandowski. But their’s is a spotty record, and more tarnished than many realize.
Soledad O’Brien exposed CNN’s culpability Sunday, telling Brian Stelter there is “lots of evidence” that Trump is “softening the ground for people — who are white supremacists, who are white nationalists, who would self-identify that way.”
Watch courtesy of Mediaite:
“If you look at Hillary Clinton’s speech where she basically pointed out that what Donald Trump has done — actually quite well — has normalized white supremacy. I think she made a very good argument, almost like a lawyer. Here is ways in which he has actually worked to normalize conversations that many people find hateful.
“I’ve seen on-air, white supremacists being interviewed because they are Trump delegates. And they do a five minute segment, the first minute or so talking about what they believe as white supremacists. So you have normalized that.
“And then Donald Trump will say, ‘Hillary Clinton, she’s a bigot.’ And it’s covered, the journalist part comes in, ‘They trade barbs. He said she’s a bigot and she points out that he might be appealing to racists.’ It only becomes ‘he said, she said.’ When in actuality, the fact that Donald Trump said she’s a bigot without the long laundry list of evidence, which if you looked at Hillary Clinton’s speech, she actually did have a lot of really good factual evidence that we would all agree that are things that have happened and do exist. They are treated as if they are equal.”
The mainstream media’s response to Donald Trump has been frustrating, to say the least. We have seen them let his lies fly past them unremarked, and even seen a Trump campaign manager paid by Trump while working at CNN.
Trump complains about MSM bias against him and has even called CNN the “Clinton Network” but he is the guy paying one of their “journalists” in order to sell his propaganda masquerading as news. Far from media neutrality we have a mainstream media complicit in Donald Trump’s political objectives.
Yes, there have been murmurings of dissent, happily reported on here. They are exceptions, however, and notable for their rarity. Even those who seem increasingly critical of Trump, like Joe Scarborough or Chuck Todd, then turn around and tell whoppers on Trump’s behalf, from Scarborough’s claim that Trump isn’t responsible for what he says because he says so many different and conflicting things, to Todd’s claim that the guy who won’t release his taxes is more transparent than Hillary Clinton, who did.
These are not just mistakes, but epic journalistic failures. And they’re not the first. Before the white supremacists we had the Religious Right hate groups, with the Family Research Council’s and American Family Association’s surrogates flooding cable news desks spewing their own unchallenged hate.
Religious bigotry was normalized before white supremacy.
O’Brien lamented that the context is missing from the words, that,
“We actually don’t even cover the details of something. We just cover the back and forth of it.”
I think it is worse than that, bad though that is. Just this past Friday we were witness to a CNN host allowing a Trump surrogate to claim Donald Trump saved the American auto industry.
There is not even the pretense of an appeal to the actual facts when things like this are said. Republican talking points should not be dished out as news, or allowed to pass unremarked. If Trump is now sometimes fact-checked while he’s spooling out his endless stream of lies, it has become obvious that the same must be done for our news hosts.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.