Former CBS News President Believes ‘Liberal Leaning Media Has Passed Its Tipping Point’

(ERIC BARADAT/AFP via Getty Images)

Shelby Talcott Senior White House Correspondent
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A former CBS News president believes that “the ‘liberal leaning’ media has passed its tipping point” and that the gap in ideological differences will continue to expand, according to an op-ed published Monday in the Wall Street Journal.

Van Gordon Sauter, who worked as a CBS News president in the 1980s, explained in his op-ed how “news organizations that claim to be neutral have long been creeping leftward.” Sauter also wrote that this leftward shift has been increased by journalists’ “loathing of Mr. Trump,” adding that “a return to balance would be commercially unviable.”

“To many journalists, objectivity, balance and fairness — once the gold standard of reporting — are not mandatory in a divided political era and in a country they believe to be severely flawed,” Sauter wrote. “That assumption folds neatly into their assessment of the president.”

Sauter noted that more problems could arise if Trump gets reelected in 2020 because of the media’s increasingly leftward lean. The former news chief added that journalists “will likely find Mr. Trump more dangerous and offensive in a second term than in the first.”

“More important, how will a large segment of the public ever put stock in journalism it considers hostile to the country’s best interests?” Sauter wondered. “Unfortunately, dominant media organizations have bonded with another large segment of the public — one that embraces its new approach. Pulling back from anti-Trump activism could prove commercially harmful.”

US President Donald Trump (L) shakes hands with former US President Barack Obama (C) and former vice-President Joe Biden after being sworn in as President on January 20, 2017 at the US Capitol in Washington, DC. (MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images)

U.S. President Donald Trump (L) shakes hands with former U.S. President Barack Obama (C) and former Vice President Joe Biden after being sworn in as President on Jan. 20, 2017 at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. (MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images)

The op-ed also discussed the possibility of former Vice President Joe Biden winning the 2020 election. Sauter questioned whether Biden would face the same scrutiny that Trump has, or if he would “get a pass because he is a liberal and ‘not Trump.'” (RELATED: CBS News Says ‘Editing Mistake’ Led To Misleading Video Showing An Italian Hospital During Segment On New York’s Coronavirus Crisis)

Sauter brought up former Senate staffer Tara Reade’s allegation of sexual assault against Biden and the “media’s protective coverage” of it. Biden was not asked a single question about the allegation for over a month, according to the Washington Free Beacon. MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski was the first to press Biden on the accusation in a May 1 interview on “Morning Joe.”

“The media’s protective coverage of the sexual-assault allegation against Mr. Biden is perhaps a clear and concerning preview to how his presidency would be covered,” Sauter pointed out. “The media seems uninterested in these issues of bias.”

Sauter continued on to detail how this “gap will expand” because “the media likes what it is doing.” He wrote that “ultimately, the media finds the ‘deplorables’ deplorable” and wished that journalists would begin admitting their bias. This might allow publications to “feel freer to focus on the specifics,” he added.

“Journalism affects social cohesion,” Sauter wrote. “Convinced of its role and its legitimacy, however, the media doesn’t seem to much care. And the other side can certainly enjoy throwing rotten tomatoes at distant targets. But America won’t reunite until far more people can look at a news story in print or on the screen and, of all things, believe it.”