For years, we’ve known that The New York Times, CNN and the rest of the left-leaning mainstream media peddle their share of heavily biased stories and “fake news.”
There’s a reason why the Trump administration recently denied White House access to one CNN reporter. Said reporter allegedly shouted “inappropriate” questions at Trump officials, who allowed other reporters to ask away in a more appropriate manner.
Media bias is only getting worse. Look no further than one of the Times’ most recent headlines: “Britain Wants to Keep Trump. The Baby Version, That Is.” In the “news story,” European culture reporter Alex Marshall interviews the left-wing protestors behind the infamous “Trump Baby” balloon and positions them as leading political experts. One of the protestors is quoted as saying the balloon “will define part of Trump’s presidency.”
You can’t make this stuff up. Obviously, the “Trump Baby” — less than 20 feet long — carries very little, if any, political significance. An inflatable balloon is hardly news. But it didn’t stop the Times — long considered a model for hard-hitting journalism — from wasting over 10 paragraphs of ink on a non-story.
How far we’ve fallen! No single news outlet epitomizes the degradation of modern-day journalism more than CNN, which routinely churns out biased, clickbait headlines to smear President Trump. Oftentimes, CNN’s version of “breaking news” amounts to nothing more than what a CNN commentator happens to say on a given day.
Don’t believe me? “Jake Tapper: What the hell is going on?” is one recent headline that appeared on CNN’s homepage — not on a secluded section of the website, but the front page! Click through, and you’ll find that Tapper’s reaction to the Helsinki summit now qualifies as a breaking news report.
A related headline read, “Analysis: This is the week the Trump-Russia conspiracy theories got really real.” That “objective” analysis, penned by the one and only Chris Cillizza, concluded President Trump’s foreign policy “make[s] Russia smile and America grace.” Cillizza also suggested the president’s relationship with Russian leader Vladimir Putin is “more nefarious and more conspirational” than originally thought.
And, no, Cillizza’s “analysis” was not classified as an op-ed column. Of course, he had no problem with President Obama’s “more flexibility” pledge to then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev leading up to the 2012 election.
It’s no wonder more than 90 percent of Republicans think the liberal media “intentionally reports fake news.” Nearly 80 percent of independent voters and even most Democrats complain about “false and misleading stories.”
Americans aren’t stupid. They can spot the difference between news and opinion, and they recognize the blurring line between the two.
But instead of rehabbing their image, news outlets continue to promote personality over professionalism. Cillizza, who recently called on U.S. ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats to resign over the Helsinki summit, is just one example.
There’s also CNN Chief White House Correspondent Jim Acosta, whose blatant attempts at self-promotion are only trumped by the White House’s refusal to play his self-serving games. The image of Acosta complaining about the Trump administration’s “unfair” treatment — despite that same administration fielding questions from dozens of others — is pure theater at this point.
Then there’s Brian Stelter, host of the ironically named “Reliable Sources.” Stelter has often been called out for smearing Fox News Channel and spreading misinformation about Republicans, despite claiming to be an objective arbiter of the news media. And don’t forget Chris Cuomo, who infamously berated Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) for being pro-life and routinely harasses Trump officials with loaded questions.
Whether you agree with President Trump or not — and I’ve had my public disagreements with the president — the devolution of the mainstream media to a ratings-obsessed political super PAC is the real threat to American democracy. This isn’t about the free press being able to do its job — all Americans understand the importance of journalism.
But it has to qualify as journalism first. Otherwise, it’s just “fake news.”
Guy Short is a former congressional chief of staff, six-time Republican National Convention delegate, and Republican strategist with over 25 years of experience in politics.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.