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ADAM WEISS: Will Corporate Media Shoot Itself In The Foot During The Presidential Debates?

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Adam Weiss Contributor
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In today’s media landscape, accusations of bias are rampant, and mainstream outlets are under intense scrutiny.

Allegations of a left-wing slant are not just conservative complaints — they’re potential threats to the heart of our democratic process, particularly during the crucial presidential debates.

As the 2024 election intensifies, the media’s influence on these debates could have significant repercussions, with CNN at the forefront of this contentious issue.

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump have both accepted an invitation from CNN to debate on June 27, marking a historically early showdown that will set the tone for the final months of the 2024 campaign. (RELATED: ALAN DERSHOWITZ: I Was Inside The Court When The Judge Closed Trump’s Trial — What I Saw Shocked Me)

Jake Tapper and Dana Bash will moderate the debate, but their history of biased remarks over the past four years raises concerns about the fairness of the event. Examples include harsh criticism of Trump and consistent support for Biden, such as calling a previous debate a “shitshow” due to Trump and framing Biden’s actions in a favorable light despite public dissatisfaction.

“The president does not think he’s going to win this election, and he wants to bring the rest of us down,” Tapper cautioned in 2020.

With this mentality, are they likely to give Trump a fair shot? Hardly.

This left-wing bias extends beyond debates, as illustrated by the media’s handling of the recent Justice Samuel Alito “scandal,” which was hyped without thorough investigation.

“‘Beyond the pale:’ Ex-federal judge criticizes Alito after blaming wife for inverted US flag,” a CNN headline screamed. “Supreme Court Justice Alito urged to step off Trump election case over U.S. flag controversy,” echoed CNBC. Newsweek chimed in: “Justice Alito’s Upside-down Flag Was An ‘Inexcusable Outrage:’ Analyst.” That is to name a few.

But jumping to conclusions without an explanation has led even typically balanced figures like John Roberts to express frustration, further eroding trust in mainstream media’s credibility. (It turns out the judge was responding to a neighborhood feud and a man who verbally insulted his wife.)

The upcoming 2024 debate, moderated by Tapper and Bash, speaks to much more than just eye-roll entertainment. The media impartiality impacts our democratic processes and everything our founders stood for.

Presidential debates are critical moments in election campaigns, allowing voters to assess candidates side by side on various issues. The role of media in these debates is multifaceted: they select the moderators, frame the questions, and provide post-debate analysis.

Given the potential for bias, these aspects can significantly influence the debates’ outcomes and voter opinions.

The choice of debate moderators is crucial, as they play a significant role in shaping the discourse. Moderators from mainstream media outlets with left-leaning tendencies, like CNN, will likely frame questions that challenge conservative candidates more rigorously or highlight issues favorable to liberal candidates.

This can put conservative candidates on the defensive and steer the conversation toward more advantageous topics for their liberal opponents.

Media coverage following the debates also plays a crucial role in shaping public perception. Analysts and commentators from mainstream outlets often provide immediate reactions and detailed analyses, which can influence how viewers interpret the debates. If most of these analysts exhibit a left-wing bias, their commentary may disproportionately criticize conservative candidates while praising liberal ones.

This post-debate spin can be pivotal. For many voters, these analyses are a primary source of information, helping them to make sense of what they watched.

If the commentary is skewed, it can lead to a biased understanding of the candidates’ performances, impacting public opinion and, ultimately, voting behavior.

So, as the 2024 presidential debates approach, the influence of mainstream media’s left-wing bias should be at the forefront of all our minds. Ensuring that debates provide a fair and impartial platform for all candidates is essential for maintaining the integrity of the electoral process.

Addressing media bias and promoting balanced coverage can enhance the democratic process and ensure that voters can make informed decisions based on a comprehensive and unbiased presentation of the candidates and their policies.

However, don’t hold your breath.

Jake Tapper is a blatant cheerleader for the Democratic Party. Notably, he was a vocal proponent of the “Russia, Russia, Russia” narrative during Donald Trump’s presidency, a storyline that suggested collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russian interference in the 2016 election. This false narrative was a significant aspect of media coverage during that period, and Tapper’s engagement with it served as an indicative of a bias against Trump. Tapper even once referred to Trump’s term as a “nightmare,” raising questions about his ability to act with impartiality as a journalist.

CNN’s bias was rated a clear Lean Left in the April 2024 Blind Bias Survey. Respondents who rated their own bias as Center, Lean Right, or Right rated CNN as Lean Left, on average; respondents with a Left or Lean Left bias rated CNN as Center, on average.

There is little doubt that the upcoming presidential debate propels Trump into a “lion’s den.” There is already plenty of speculation about whether Biden will receive softer questions, potentially focusing on his accomplishments and reasons for reelection, which might contrast with a tougher line of questioning for Trump.

Additionally, CNN’s coverage has advocated a pro-Israel bias, which could influence the framing of certain topics during the debate.

Nonetheless, the real test will be how the MSM intends to cover for Biden when he no doubt stumbles come June 27. Will we see the audio cut? Quick ad breaks? Softball questions thrown his way?

The upcoming debate will not only test the candidates but also the integrity of the media, revealing whether CNN can genuinely provide a fair platform or if it will succumb to the biases that critics have long accused it of harboring.

As voters tune in, they will be watching not just the candidates but the moderators, scrutinizing every move to see if the debate is a genuine contest or a rigged game.

Adam Weiss is the CEO of AMW PR, a New York based political strategy and communications firm. His firm has worked with Jim Brown, Judge Jeanine Pirro, Rep. Lee Zeldin, Eboni Williams, Corey Lewandowski, David Bossie, Andrew Giuliani, Gov. Haley Barbour, Steve Hilton. Anthony Scaramucci and more.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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