“Tremendous” Sigh

This week, news broke that someone in the United States revealed highly classified intel to the Russians, putting an Israeli spy’s life in danger (among other implications). That same guy who maybe outed an Israeli spy is also the same guy who fired FBI Director James Comey after Comey wouldn’t vow his loyalty to him and wouldn’t drop investigations into Michael Flynn. This same guy called the reporting of these incidents (and the reporting of every wrong thing he has ever done) a witch hunt. Same dude continued calling media outlets who reported his wrongdoings “fake news” (fake news is any truth that makes him look bad), despite going on Twitter and on TV and admitting to doing the exact same things these news outlets were reporting he did. This guy I’m talking about? President Donald Trump of The United States of America.

The worst part is that some of his supporters continue to believe these outlets are fake (some of them know he’s lying but it behooves them to pretend they don’t). Some bias is inevitable in the 24 hour news cycle, but bias and lies are two completely different things; these Breitbart loyalists have a hard time distinguishing that. At this point, Trump’s nose could grow every time he lied and his fanatics would still believe he was telling the truth.

The president of the United States is Donald Trump. To me, that’s like saying we elected Ronald McDonald or Pauly D from the Jersey Shore or Nick Viall from the Bachelor for President– and Trump’s behavior continues to prove they might as well be.

How CNN Can Re-Legitimize Its News Coverage In A Trump Presidency

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.