When it comes to complaints of liberal bias in the news media, media personalities often, intentionally or otherwise, miss the point. We are not interested in leading any "hate movements" nor do we believe that President Trump immune from criticism, but what we do reject is what CNN Newsroom host Brooke Baldwin did her Tuesday show when she portrayed the battle between Trump versus the Democrats as the bad guys versus the good guys as if Democrats are pure in their motives and Trump represents a unique kind of threat to common decency.
Baldwin illustrated this in a segment with Columbia Professor Nicole Hemmer, a self-appointed expert on the right-wingers. The two began by lamenting the fact that Trump has been particularly provocative on Twitter since the Ukraine story broke last week. If the segment ended there, it would have been fine, the President of the United States should not be hyping the possibility of civil war on Twitter, but it didn't end there. Instead, Baldwin introduced a short video clip of someone with the alleged moral authority to call out Trump's Twitter usage. That person being Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris.
After the clip, Baldwin asked Hemmer, "Now, Twitter is not going to suspend or ban the President of the United States, but what does it say that we are at this point where a sitting U.S. Senator is saying this about the President of the United States?" Instead of saying that Harris was once a favorite for the Democratic nomination, but is now an also-ran trying to fire up progressives to rally to her dying campaign, Hemmer, "I think it speaks to the real danger of his words."
Baldwin then played another clip, this time of Trump implying the whistleblower and any of his assistants should be executed for espionage and treason. Again, Trump should not have said it, but Hemmer took it one step further, "is something that will appear in articles of impeachment but it is something that should."
If that is an impeachable offense, then Congress needs to pre-emptively impeach Bill Weld who said the same thing about Trump on MSNBC and nobody there cared in the slightest. If threatening opponents is a standard is good enough impeach Trump, then it should be good enough to, at the very least, censure, if not expel, Democratic members of Congress who have done the same thing, but don't count on CNN making that argument.
Here is a transcript for the October 1 show:
CNN Newsroom with Brooke Baldwin
2:46 PM ET
BROOKE BALDWIN: Once again today President Trump is lashing out at the whistle-blower who's coming forward as well as Democrats pushing this impeachment inquiry and just on Monday the president took his apocalyptic rhetoric to a frightening level quoting a Baptist minister and Fox News commentator warning a of a civil war-like fracture from which our country will never heal. Nicole Hemmer is an associate research scholar of Columbia University and author of "Messengers of the Right: Conservative Media and Transformation of American Politics." She just wrote this great opinion piece for CNN.com entitled "Why it's so scary when Trump tweets about civil war." So, thank you for being with me. Why is it so scary?
NICOLE HEMMER: Well, It's so scary because that language of civil war is something that militia groups, white power groups hear as permission to actually engage in more violence. Something we should be really concerned about. Presidents don't normally encourage this kind of activity but we already know from the Oath Keeper's Twitter profile, they’re one of the major militia movements in the United States, they hear this as something that says, hey, it's time for us to pick up arms and start fighting back.
BALDWIN: Kamala Harris obviously, so many listened to what he said and saw the tweets and Kamala Harris specifically says he crossed a line with this tweet on Monday and there should be consequences. Take a listen.
KAMALA HARRIS: His Twitter account should be suspended. I think there is plenty of now evidence to suggest that he is irresponsible with his words in a way that could result in harm to other people and so the privilege of using those words in that way should probably be taken from him.
BALDWIN: Now, Twitter is not going to suspend or ban the President of the United States, but what does it say that we are at this point where a sitting U.S. Senator is saying this about the President of the United States?
HEMMER: I think it speaks to the real danger of his words. Right? This isn't just a president using apocalyptic rhetoric. He's called for political violence over the past four years and that is something that senators, Congress, party leaders should be standing up against, because it has potential and already has created violence in the United States.
BALDWIN: In case you all watching have forgotten and you point it out in your piece, at rallies, "Knock the crap our protesters." Told police office, please, don't be too nice when looking to arrest his word was I believe "Thugs." What he said right after the whistle-blower complaint went public.
DONALD TRUMP: I want to know who's the person that gave the whistleblower, who's the person who gave the whistle-blower the information? Because that's close to a spy. You know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart? Right? The spies and treason? We used to handle it a little differently than we do now.
BALDWIN: I mean in this climate, we so often talk about how people are almost numb to this, this rhetoric which we shouldn't be, but we've seen and heard so much of it. What will it take for this president to be held accountable for his language?
HEMMER: So far he hasn't been held accountable. I don't imagine this is something that will appear in articles of impeachment but it is something that should, because he has sworn an oath to actually protect the United States and here he is endangers specific people with his words and that's a real problem.
BADLWIN: Nicolle Hemmer, good to have you on. Thank you so much.