You want to know why most members of the press are liberal?
Well, as CNN's Reliable Sources showed Sunday during an interview with a group of journalism students at the George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs, these folks apart from Facebook and Twitter get their "news" from liberal sources such as the Associated Press, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, NPR, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and believe it or not Jon Stewart (video follows with transcript and commentary):
FRANK SESNO, HOST: As director of the George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs, I'm very lucky to work with aspiring young journalists and see the changes in the media from the ground up. So we thought this was an A-plus moment for them to weigh in on news coverage and more.
SESNO: You want to be journalists. You're in Washington, you're in Washington at a time when the government is shut down, it's the biggest story we've had in a long, long time.
Where are you getting your news from?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Twitter. I mean, you know, following reporters or the actual media outlet.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Before I get out of bed every morning, I'm always on Twitter. So Twitter, Facebook, I follow CNN, I follow "New York Times," "The Washington Post," basically everyone.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I turn to "The Washington Post" a lot and also I watch "The Rundown" on "CBS THIS MORNING" on their website.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I first go to Twitter. And then when I'm out -- I always go to the gym in the morning and I'm always watching "MORNING JOE" and "THE DAILY RUNDOWN."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My news is almost exclusively online, I'm looking at Twitter, I'm watching podcasts. And most of those are NBC, CNN, AP.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Once the alarm hits, I take the smartphone and check Twitter, still in bed obviously.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm actually kind of old school. I wake up to NPR.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When I wake up I usually just check my Facebook, check my e-mail when I'm still in bed, and it usually leads me to places like BuzzFeed, and then from there, Facebook also brings me to, like, "The Washington Post" and CNN.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Links from Twitter usually go to "Bloomberg" or "The Post" or "The Times," and then I also read morning newsletters, like from "Slate."
Explains a lot, doesn't it? But there's more:
SESNO: How many of you get your news from the Jon Stewarts and the Jimmy Kimmels and the Stephen Colberts of the world?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) this week.
SESNO: You're watching nonstop?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jon Stewart's been on fire.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I wouldn't say that I get my news exclusively from Jon Stewart or exclusively from Colbert. But I mean, it's funny and it's, you know, easy to watch while you're doing other things.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think most people go there as their -- to Comedy as their main source of news. I think it's mostly people who have read and have an understanding and know what's going on. And then that's just supplemental to everything else.
Wow. So journalism students are watching Stewart and Colbert for news. Scary. But there's still more:
SESNO: What's the first and foremost responsibility of the news media?
If the first responsibility of the government is to govern, and they're not, what's the --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They act as the watchdog.
SESNO: OK. That's easy to say. What does that mean?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's to like hold like the people who are responsible accountable for what they have failed to do.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not the media's job to play the blame game, too, though. OK, most that they can do is just provide the facts and let the people decide what they think is accurate.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think the role of the media is to inform everyone. I don't -- and then if it involves holding people accountable, if that's how you get the information to inform everyone, then that's how you do it. But it's presenting them the facts and letting them make the decision.
SESNO: Who decides who's credible, who's not? How do you cover these people?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We shouldn't be giving senators and congressman who are saying falsehood of a -- lying on the -- on the news. So like there are senators and congressmen who have said, you know, the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional. Well, it is. The Supreme Court ruled that it's constitutional. And that's fine.
So, like, just -- you can't just like say these things because that's how you feel. If someone is going to blatantly say something that's incorrect on the news, as an elected official, we should -- they should lose their access to the media.
SESNO: You shouldn't interview them again?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
SESNO: Even if they're the ones who are orchestrating this whole thing?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I wouldn't let them proselytize, like I wouldn't use C-SPAN coverage of them just talking and be like, and from the opposition, this is what's, you know, this is their valid point. It's not.
SESNO: So would you not cover Ted Cruz?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
SESNO: How could you not cover Ted Cruz?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think that like when you have someone who's willing to stand there 21 hours and just continue to like ramble and then eventually goes on Star Wars, you made your point.
SESNO: Is it just because you disagree with him? For -- as far as he's concerned, he's "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, same thing if he was a liberal.
Yeah, and if you believe that, I've got some beachfront property for sale in Florida.
As for not covering politicians if they've been found to be lying, would this hold for presidents as well?
And would Democrats and Republicans both be held to this standard?
And what about members of the media? If they're found to be lying, should they lose their jobs?
Sadly, this wasn't addressed. But there was still more:
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I completely disagree with that, actually. I think you have to call those people out. You have to do it in a civilized way where you question them. You ask them about their motives. You ask them why they're doing that. That way the public can really decide for themselves are they really looking out in our best interests or are they just doing their own thing for political gains?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Media has the ultimate agenda setting power. So I feel like not pointing fingers at people but perhaps putting them in the spotlight and making them responsible and for their -- like for them to give explanations. And just putting them under spotlight could be a solution.
Wow. So the media should set the agenda.
Notice how Sesno, their teacher, didn't push back on that absurd thought:
SESNO: What should the agenda setting priority be in this one? What should the media's agenda be?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why the government failed to govern.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you're at your local paper, you have to localize it. So you have to talk to the people in your community about how it is affecting them.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We talked a little bit about how the media hasn't really been able to localize this information to make it relatable to people, but I feel as though social media in a sense has been able to fill that void by allowing people who are affected by this, whether it be the panda camera or something more serious to vocalize their concerns and really say how it is affecting them personally.
And then this -- when people talk about it and it gets retweeted or shared, then that's when we really get to hear it directly from the people who are affected.
SESNO: There you have it, a future of news and a shred of hope.
Sesno saw this as a "shred of hope."
To most right-thinking Americans, this is a large part of what's wrong with the country.
Kudos to CNN, though, for giving us a glimpse into what's exacerbating the problem.