Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman had some justifiably harsh words for the mainstream media during a segment on CNN’s “Reliable Sources.”
Goodman rightly called out media sources such as CNN, MSNBC, Fox, and even print outlets such as the Washington Post and the New York Times for both their excessive coverage of Donald Trump and media blackout of Bernie Sanders.
Goodman pointed to specific examples to illustrate her point while “Reliable Sources” host Brian Stelter played “devil’s advocate” (as he called it) to defend the networks.
She noted, “Let’s look at Super Tuesday 3, you had major coverage here at CNN, at MSNBC, at Fox…You see the concession speeches and the great victory speeches, you see Hillary Clinton, Ted Cruz, Kasich, you see Donald Trump… Where was Bernie Sanders? Well, in fact, Bernie Sanders was in Phoenix, Arizona before thousands of people and as the networks were waiting for Donald Trump and waiting and all the pundits are weighing in, they don’t even say that Bernie Sanders is about to speak.”
Not a single media outlet played even a snippet of Sanders’s speech in Phoenix, which he gave to a roaring crowd of over 7,000; instead, they chose to broadcast Trump’s empty podium.
Although Stelter attempted to justify this by calling Sanders the “biggest loser” of the night, Goodman quickly pointed out that while CNN was ignoring his speech, Illinois and Missouri were still too close to call and up for grabs—Sanders could have emerged victorious in the two states and come away with a 3-2 state split for the night.
She extended this criticism to print outlets such as the Washington Post (which ran 16 anti-Sanders articles within a span of 16 hours) and the New York Times (which edited a pro-Sanders article into a condescending, negative hit piece without a single editorial note—a move so egregious its Public Editor wrote a letter to apologize).
Contrast this coverage (or lack thereof) to the superfluous, needless coverage of demagogue and emerging fascist Trump, and it’s a frightening thing to behold, particularly because the media has been exceedingly fair and negligibly critical of Trump until the last few months.
Goodman accurately summarized that the media has “manufactured consent” for Trump—in other words, it has normalized his authoritarian, xenophobic language through excessive, uncritical coverage that often attempts to defend him and his ideas.
Even an ostensibly unbiased, objective news source such as PBS aired a documentary promoting the views of a “reasonable” family of Trump supporters—until viewers pointed out that members of the family were sporting white supremacist tattoos.
Goodman’s overarching point is that the job of a journalist is to be objective. The objective truth here is that everything Trump has said and done screams fascism, even if our mainstream media refuses to define it as such.