In this world of Republican Presidents and Republican congressional majorities, it seems like the mainstream media just isn’t being biased enough. So says Vox Correspondent, and all around liberal mouthpiece, Carlos Maza.
Maza began his odd video on Thursday by attacking CNN, not for its blatant and proven bias against the President, but because he believed they are being too normal. He attacked their lack of bias, saying, “If you turn on CNN or your local news channel right now, things will probably look kind of normal. And that's because our news media isn't great at conveying when our politicians have gone truly off the rails.” Maza seems to be ignoring the fact that most Trump coverage is negative, this according to a recent Media Research Center study.
Meza went on to explain how even-keeled, unbiased reporting is fine in an administration like Obama's, but that “In the Trump era, it’s made political journalism feel totally inadequate.” Call me a skeptic, but I just might think Carlos Maza and liberal Vox just don’t like Republicans and use the cover of journalistic integrity to hide that fact.
That thought was quickly validated when Maza went on to give examples as to why we aren’t living in what he calls normal times. His first example was on the recent Senate health care vote, saying, “Republicans voted to consider a bill without knowing what was in it. They tried to pass it in the dead of night with no committee hearings.” Maza seemed to forget the now infamous quote by Nancy Pelosi, who proudly stated that lawmakers would have to pass ObamaCare to "know what was in it".
But after minutes of explaining his odd theory, he finally named it the "normalcy bias," or journalists treating similar stories from Democratic and Republican administrations the same way. The horror!
Below is a transcript of selected portions:
CARLOS MAZA: It’s hard to overstate how bonkers the news cycle is right now. Republicans are trying to ram through a train-wreck health care bill without any hearings.
CHRIS MURPHY: This process is an embarrassment. This is nuclear-grade bonkers.
MAZA: The White House is threatening the attorney general to derail the Russia investigation. And Trump is actively asking if he’s allowed to pardon himself if it turns out he committed a crime. Any one of those stories represents a fundamental breakdown in political norms. But if you turn on CNN or your local news channel right now, things will probably look kind of normal. And that's because our news media isn't great at conveying when our politicians have gone truly off the rails. If you look at some of the most well-respected journalists on TV — Anderson Cooper, Lester Holt, Wolf Blitzer — they all kind of talk the same way. They’re unemotional, even- keeled, and unfazed by the stories they’re covering. You could watch Wolf Blitzer on mute and not know if he’s talking about the Kardashians or a nuclear missile launch.
MAZA: The norm in American media is that journalists shouldn’t get flustered or outraged or even emotional about the political disputes they’re covering. They should present the facts, let panelists argue about it, and then move on. And in normal political disagreements, that’s fine. But in the Trump era, it’s made political journalism feel totally inadequate.
MAZA: Take the recent Senate health care vote. Republicans voted to consider a bill without knowing what was in it. They tried to pass it in the dead of night with no committee hearings. And the bill was so bad they made Paul Ryan promise not to pass it, hoping they’d come up with something better before it was too late. That’s a gross hijacking of the legislative process. It’s gambling with the lives of millions of people. Even conservative commentators called it “disgraceful.” But on CNN? Business as usual.
DON LEMON: What is the strategy on health care?
CNN PANELIST: What’s amazing, we still don’t know if there are 50 Republican votes.
STEPHEN MOORE: Can the Republicans come up with something that gets 50 votes?
MAZA: Don Lemon just doing his thing.
LEMON: I mean, when you say the “skinny” repeal, makes it sound like a diet plan. They want to drop the weight of this bill.
MARGARET HOOVER: This is Trump being Trump.
MAZA: This is what normalization actually looks like. Journalists feel compelled to treat every news story like the ones that came before it.
LEMON : Not official until, until the gavel pounds.
LEMON : And again, until this gavel comes down, it’s not official.
MAZA: They just can’t admit that something abnormal is happening.
MAZA: And it’s important to recognize this as a form of bias. Call it “normalcy bias.” And that normalcy bias ends up making for misleading news coverage. A huge part of the way that we process news is by nonverbal cues, how a story is framed and delivered and compares to every other news story. So when Anderson Cooper is laughing during a segment about Trump derailing Mueller’s investigation, audiences perceive that it’s not a big deal. That this is normal. When a segment about Trump pardoning himself looks and sounds like every other segment, it’s easy to assume that everything is fine. When TV anchors are just casually updating you on the status of the health care vote, they’re not conveying how dangerous what happened is. It’s not like everyone’s pretending everything is fine.
JEFFREY TOOBIN: You know, we get tired of saying, “It’s shocking, it’s unusual, it’s not normal,” but it’s shocking, it’s unusual, it’s not normal.
MAZA: But this shouldn’t be the job of commentators or guests dropped into otherwise normal-looking segments. One of the central responsibilities of journalism is to tell us when something really abnormal is happening.
MAZA: Some stories are too important, too dangerous to be treated like everyday political disputes.But until news networks adapt their behavior for this administration, it’s worth remembering that our politics are a lot scarier than what they look like on TV.