CNNer Admits CNN Is Intolerant of Conservatives, Panel Smears GOP

During Sunday’s so-called “Reliable Sources,” CNN got to talk about their favorite topic (more so than former President Trump): themselves! Host Brian Stelter kicked off the show with a smorgasbord of stories that all had to with CNN, allowing them to wrap themselves in toxic narcissism. Asides from touting how CNN handled Chris Cuomo’s lack of journalistic ethics, Stelter led the panel in bashing and smearing Republicans along the way.

After talking about Chris Cuomo helping his brother survive his sexual misconduct scandal, Stelter beamed as he boasted about CNN firing former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum after he said some clumsy things about Native Americans and the origin of America’s system of government.

And for “context for this decision by CNN,” Stelter looked to CNN columnist and Columbia University “scholar” Nicole Hemmer, who said it reminded her of MSNBC firing Pat Buchanan. She then admitted that CNN was no longer tolerant of conservative views, such as those of Santorum:

And in this case, too, it’s not that Rick Santorum 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.

“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,” Stelter praised, ignoring how CNN host Don Lemon lashed out on the issue and falsely claimed, “Europeans did not found this country!”

Further, Stelter leaned on Washington Post columnist Perry Bacon Jr. to answer, “How should the reality-based press cover an alternative-reality GOP?”

Bacon argued that they should cover the GOP “honestly,” but suggested that meant it would look like the media were siding with the 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 declared.

Claiming “Journalism has a bias for facts, evidence, truth,” Bacon added that the press needed to target Republicans because the voters and the politicians who leaned that way weren’t inherently truthful (Click “expand”):

BACON: 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”.

STELTER: Small “D.”

Hemmer chimed in afterward and suggested, “Republicans are showing an anti-small ‘D’ democratic bias.” Thus claiming they were against freedom and liberty.

Later in the program, and completely oblivious to the Santorum segment, Stelter decried “these bad faith campaigns” that get reporters fired for their biases; and in the case he was citing, an AP reporter’s anti-Israel bias. “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,” he whined.

And in direct opposition to all their pontificating about journalists being for truth, Stelter and company were outraged that 1619 Project huckster Nicole Hannah-Jones was denied tenure from the University of North Carolina, and blamed mythical academia Republicans for it.

They’re withholding tenure, apparently due to Republican pressure or Republican concerns about her work with a 1619 Project,” Stelter said, ignoring the legitimate concerns of actual historians. “And in the case of Nicole Hannah-Jones, she has been a particular hate object on the right especially around the 1619 Project for some time,” Hemmer agreed.

Bacon added his two cents by suggesting: “…Republicans are fairly opposed to – I would call it honest discussion of racism, honest discussion about voting…”

Facts last. This is CNN.

Brian Stelter’s anti-Republican clownishness was made possible because of lucrative sponsorships from Amazon and Expedia. Their contact information is linked so you can tell them about the biased news they fund.

The transcript is below, click “expand” to read:

CNN’s Reliable Sources
May 23, 2021
11:06:50 a.m. Eastern

(…)

BRIAN STELTER: [Chris] Cuomo is part of this next story as well about Rick Santorum. CNN parting ways with right-wing commentator Rick Santorum. Huff Post broke the news yesterday and said Santorum’s contract was, quote, “terminated.” This stems from Santorum’s speech last month, when he spoke dismissively about Native Americans, stirring outrage; leading this segment on Chris Cuomo’s show, where Santorum said he misspoke but did not actually apologize. So, now he’s out.

And Nicole Hemmer, the question is, what is the context for this decision by CNN?

NICOLE HEMMER: So, you know, this decision actually reminds me a lot of the decision in 2012 for MSNBC to cut ties with Pat Buchanan, who had been on the network for a decade, for some racist and nativist things he had said. And in this case too, it’s not that Rick Santorum 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.

STELTER: 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.

(…)

11:14:57 a.m. Eastern

STELTER: And Bacon, you wrote – boy, you wrote for The Washington Post — one of your debut columns, you said the state of American democracy is, well it is either worse than you think. So, how should the reality-based press cover an alternative-reality GOP?

PERRY BACON: Honestly. I mean, I think that is the key important thing here, is cover it honestly. 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.

Journalism has a bias for facts, evidence, truth. 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”.

STELTER: Small “D.” Stand up for democracy. Stand up for decency. But Nicole Hemmer, doesn’t that cause even more shouts of media bias, even more polarized landscape, and an even more fractured country?

HEMMER: Well, I don’t think it causes it. It is a response to it in many ways. Right?

STELTER: Okay.

HEMMER: That what else can you do but to cover the issue of the insurrection and to point out when Republicans are showing an anti-small “D” democratic bias because that is an existential issue not just for journalists but for the country. And to not be honest and to not stay on that beat even as Republicans try to memory hole the insurrection, I think it would be a dereliction of duty.

(…)

11:24:24 a.m. Eastern

STELTER: 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. And once we all agree on that, we shouldn’t fall prey to these bad-faith campaigns. At the same time, though, these social media platforms are a constant source of headaches for news management.

I wonder, Nicole, if you think this is related at all. Is there any link between this story, about the AP and Nicole Hannah-Jones, the famed New York Times writer, leader of the 1619 Project who has been denied tenure at UNC. They’re withholding tenure, apparently due to Republican pressure or Republican concerns about her work with a 1619 Project.

HEMMER: Yes, I do think that that is the common tie. When people generally talk about something like cancel culture they talk about as a product of the left but in both of the cases it was Republicans going after these two women.

And in the case of Nicole Hannah-Jones, she has been a particular hate object on the right especially around the 1619 Project for some time. And while she still will have a job there, she doesn’t have the kind of protections that she really needs in order to continue to do the writing on race that she has been doing for so long. So, it is a real loss for her.

It is a pretty bad decision by UNC and the board of trustees but I think it helps us understand the way that this particular type of power works. Right? That it comes down through the board of trustees as posed to somewhere else in the university.

STELTER: Perry, do you want to button all of the stories up for us. It is an overwhelming amount of news but I think there is a common thread here about power and how it is utilized.

BACON: Yeah, two common threads. I think one is that the Republicans are fairly opposed to I would call it honest discussion of racism, honest discussion about voting, honest discussion about the 2020 election. So, they’re sort of punishing people for views that are not held by the Republicans that are accurate and truthful in a certain way.

(…)

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