EDIT: This post is meant to be constructive criticism for CNN. I enjoy watching CNN, I don’t believe they are “fake news,” and I am not a conservative, but I see how and why CNN’s coverage is being misconstrued by the right.
The mainstream media has been under fire as a result of its 2016 election news coverage, with many viewing the media’s endorsements of presidential candidate Hilary Clinton as clouding the legitimacy of the news reported by those media outlets.
News organizations like Fox News and Breitbart have been mocked for years due to their blatantly biased news coverage, analyzing everything through the conservative, republican lens. Now, longstanding reputable media organizations, like CNN, that have previously been known to lean left are now demonstrating an explicit bias for the liberal, progressive agenda. Don’t get me wrong, they are preaching to the choir with me, but they are quickly becoming the Fox News of the left (leave that to MSNBC).
You don’t have to watch CNN for too long to know that Chris Cuomo, Dana Bash, Anderson Cooper, Wolf Blitzer, Don Lemon and other CNN news anchors are Democrats; that’s a problem because CNN is a news organization not a late-night show. Interrupting a guest mid sentence — it doesn’t matter if they’re lying, if they’re sugar-coating something egregious, or if they say something you just don’t agree with –it severely affects the way the reporting is perceived by the audience. While the anchors may think interrupting helps deter the narrative of the person they’re interrupting, it only makes the anchor/interrupter seem hot-headed and temperamental (the same way we see Fox News anchors when they become irately passionate as they preach their conservative agendas). Wait for the guest to finish speaking, then counter them with the facts. If I’m being fair, I have seen CNN news anchors attempt to combat lies with the truth but they go about it the wrong way. Instead of asking guests if they believe a fact is true, tell them what the facts are and proceed from there. What I’ve seen guests do is take advantage of the anchor presenting a fact as a question. For example, an anchor may ask their guest “Do you think the sun rises in the morning?” Then the guest answers by saying, “No, the sun does not rise in the morning.” This happens all the time on CNN. If the anchor begins the discussion by questioning the facts or presenting them as a matter of opinion, how are people expected to accept facts for what they are?
This Trump presidency gives an unprecedented challenge against the truth. The Trump presidency encourages fake news because the truth is inconvenient for them. CNN has to fight this by staying objective, by making their anchors as neutral as possible, by not only bringing in commentators from both sides but by giving equal speaking time to both sides (the right has some good ideas every now and then. Let’s encourage listening to each other and working together). The anchor shouldn’t frequently interrupt their guests, speak over them, or speak down to them, the anchor should present the facts and correct someone if they have said something that isn’t true.
Additionally, CNN news anchors need to stop showing elitism. If someone on CNN is making fun of a person’s conservative views, level of education, or lack of complexity in their speech, do you really think an audience member with the same conservative views, level of eduction, and uncomplicated speech as the person CNN is making fun of will sit there and listen to CNN when they could just change the channel to Fox News? I’ve seen CNN be smug only a handful of times, but that alone is enough to deter someone with opposing views to totally dismiss the news organization as a whole.