CNN has gone after Sinclair Broadcast Group for having affiliates run segments from former Trump adviser Boris Epshteyn and reading scripts about fake news. And part of CNN’s recent existence has been to demean, smear, and send to the unemployment lines those working for Fox News. But what about CNN’s penchant for identical segments with little independence for its hosts?
Well, an example popped up Monday with the President criticizing Baltimore for its rampant crime, decrepit conditions, and Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-MD), who’s gerrymandered-district includes much of the city. Instead of acknowledging that, CNN journalists called Trump’s comments full of “hate” and “racist” often alongside the chyron “Politics of Hate” between 4:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Eastern.
To make matters worse with a wink and a nudge, CNN used four shows to highlight Jared Kushner’s company owning buildings in Baltimore so they could insinuate that some (or even a lot of) Baltimore’s problems can be blamed on the Kushners.
The sheet music must have been disturbed overnight, as Early Start co-host Dave Briggs bashed Trump and his former employer (click “expand”):
All right, this follows a familiar pattern. The president sitting around the weekend watching Fox News, sees a segment, hits Twitter. This is just like the Squad — the four congresswomen of color that he attacked. What is the president after here? What's the goal....The President can say that race wasn't involved here, but there's a long list of other Democrats that have criticized conditions at the border. Just to mention a few — Kathleen Rice, Chuck Schumer, Dick Durbin, Jeff Merkley, Ron Wyden, Chris Coons. They're all white. He did not attack them or their districts, just to point that out.
By New Day, co-host Alisyn Camerota hilariously got ahead of her skis as she asserted that Trump was “making more racially divisive comments” about Baltimore and Cummings but she later rephrased it as words that “many Democrats and others saying that they are racist.” Oh, so by that you mean the news media? How convenient!
Co-host John Berman also had similar thoughts, reporting that “this morning, the country's faced with a question of how to respond when a president says racist things” which he later added as being “not just about Baltimore” but how he wants to govern through “stok[ing] racial division.”
As she had done throughout the weekend, CNN turned to their female equivalent of Jim Acosta in American Urban Radio Networks correspondent April Ryan due to her Baltimore roots and anti-Trump hostility. Here’s one quote from Ryan on New Day and then two from CNN Newsroom with Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto (click “expand”):
It’s a choice he’s making because he wants to get a certain part of America to vote for him. He wants to show a certain part of America that he's with them. You know, he says he's not a racist, but the racists believe he's a racist and for someone like me, proud Baltimorean born in Baltimore, still call that area home. It hurts. It hurts because that's a city, an area that has so many different types of people. It's a community of love and of survival and of overcoming. It's a community that's been hurt over and over again but still we rise, like Maya Angelou says.
We have a President who is limited in his approach when it comes to people. He believes in scaffoldings and concrete, things without a heart. This is heartless. This is not politics. It's about humanity. He can change the dynamic instead of throwing the ball to someone else to catch. He is the President of the United States who could declare a state of emergency. If it's that bad, do something about it. But yes, he is playing to his base. If we remember, how did he become a politician, by calling then-President Barack Obama illegitimate because he wanted to believe in his mind that he was born somewhere else other than the United States.
And I want to say this — Elijah Cummings — I'm going to give you a little bit of personal perspective. Again, the reporter hat is off. I am from Baltimore. I've known Elijah Cummings for decades. Before we even came to Baltimore — before we even — I mean, came to Washington or we even thought about Washington, D.C., we knew each other. I knew him when he was an attorney and when he was in the statehouse in Maryland and, you know, knowing him and knowing each other – I know his wife, you know, we're all good friends. But knowing him and him knowing me and the friendship that we've gained, when Lynne Patton who works for HUD was very irate for me for whatever reason and called me Miss Piggy on social media, Elijah Cummings had had it. He went to HUD Secretary Ben Carson, who also gained his fame from Baltimore at Johns Hopkins Hospital, and told him to stop it. And Ben Carson called me. This is who Elijah Cummings is.
And so this nonsense continued, including this absurd attempt by Camerota to tie the President’s Baltimore tweets to the death of a six-year-old Hispanic boy in the Garlic Festival shooting.
Moving to At This Hour, host Kate Bolduan fretted that the President’s encouragement of “racial division” and “racist attacks” could be “par for the course in” 2020 in which, in CNN’s world, the President reserves his harshest critiques for racial minorities.
Inside Politics host John King fell into the same trap as Camerota did by claiming that “Democrats call it more racism from the President,” and that Trump’s arguments are devoid of seriousness. Senior political analyst David Gergen bailed him out, bashing Trump as not calling out a city in disrepair but instead “speaking to whites” as a modern day Father Coughlin and George Wallace.
CNN political reporter MJ Lee agreed that Trump “is constantly and eagerly sowing racial divisions, demonizing immigrants and then getting incredibly defiant and untruthful when he's faced with criticism for those kinds of comments” while Politico’s Laura Barrón-López agreed that “this demagoguery...isn’t new.”
Barrón-López added that his racism includes “the build the wall chants,” “the racist ad about the migrant caravan and Mexicans,” and “repeated attacks on black and brown members of Congress.”
CNN Right Now host Brianna Keilar not only kept the narrative alive in the 1:00 p.m. Eastern hour, but she upped the rhetoric (click “expand”):
And racism as a political strategy. Aides close to the presidency see the politics of hate as a winning message.
Also, the President inflaming racial tensions, and it's clear that he's doing it in part as a re-election strategy. Plus, I'm going to speak with a Maryland congressman who represents parts of Baltimore to respond to President Trump's attack on that city.
President Trump and his aides apparently see the politics of hate as a winning campaign strategy as she escalates attacks on Baltimore and black leaders.
After a racist Twitter attack on Maryland congressman Elijah Cummings, President Trump followed up by calling Cummings a racist and now he’s expanding his attacks on Baltimore and its leaders and trying to use comments from Bernie Sanders to back up his anti-Baltimore rheotoric. He tweeted: “Crazy Bernie Sanders recently equated the City of Baltimore to a THIRD WORLD COUNTRY! Based on that statement, I assume that Bernie must now be labeled a Racist, just as a Republican would if he used that term and standard! The fact is, Baltimore can be brought back, maybe even to new heights of success and glory, but not with King Elijah and that crew. When the leaders of Baltimore want to see the City rise again, I am in a very beautiful oval shaped office waiting for your call!”
Sanders making those comments back in 2015 while railing against income inequality. He likened West Baltimore to a third world country while touring the city after the death of Freddie Gray, a young man who died after being severely injured in police custody.
On CNN Newsroom, host Brooke Baldwin told viewers in her two hours that “President Trump is only escalating his strategy of racism....but so many Baltimore natives are standing up to the President's hate” and “political bait” that “likely foreshadows” Trump’s “strategy of racial division.”
Here’s two quotes from her 3:00 p.m. Eastern hour (click “expand”):
BALDWIN: President Trump quadrupling down on his feud with Maryland congressman Elijah Cummings. Since Saturday he's tweeted more than a dozen times about Baltimore and Cummings calling the city a rat and rodent-infested mess lashing out at the African-American veteran congressman as racist and incompetent. President Trump even dragging Reverend Al Sharpton and Senator Bernie Sanders into all of this, calling Sharpton a con man and Sanders a racist. Let me bring these ladies back in with me and, Angela Rye, just to start with you, I was talking to a guy last hour from Baltimore. He was saying he wasn't surprised by this which I think is tragic in of itself. He said it's part of his behavior. We have seen him single out members of congress who are black and brown. If this is some sort of strategy he's deploying and we'll see more of it potentially between now and next November, what's the — what’s the result of that in this country?
ANGELA RYE: I think it's dangerous. I think we are at a time now where for so long people have suppressed feelings of racial bias and hatred and haven't had to deal with them.
BALDWIN: It's not just Trump. It’s also his advisers. Congressswoman, I want to ask you about this. The Washington Post is reporting Trump’s advisers concluded the attacks by him are good, that they resonate among his political base and in particular with “white working class voters he needs to win.” Why do they think racism is working among white working class workers?
That hour’s discussion led chief political analyst Gloria Borger to lecture those (including Congressman Mark Meadows) not in agreement with she and her fellow CNN sycophants (click “expand”):
Sometimes in politics — sometimes — you have to look inside yourself and you say what is it worth? What is it all worth to me? Now, [Meadows] may disagree with those of us who believe strongly that these Donald Trump tweets are racist. Let’ say he even disagrees with that, say he finds a way to rationalize that and say it's not racist. Elijah Cummings is different. He's his friend. He is somebody who defended him. If he's so worried about the President, what does that tell you? What does that tell us and what should it tell his constituents? Quite frankly, I know he's a conservative. He's been with the President. The President has elevated him in a lot of ways. But at a certain point I think all of us have to look inside ourselves and say what's it worth?
Going lastly to The Lead, host Jake Tapper stated that Trump was “digging in on a strategy of division and exposing a common theme by once again attacking a lawmaker of color” while Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) calling Baltimore a “third world country” was very different and thus not racist or done with malice.
One must-run talking point must have been condemning Meadows for not bashing the President after Cummings defended him when Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) appeared to call him a racist.
Throughout the day, guests blasted Meadows for his “deafening” “silence” regarding Trump’s racism until he responded in a text to Rick Santorum that was read on The Lead (click “expand”):
SANTORUM: I texted Mark before I came on because I knew you would talk about this and I've been seeing the reports CNN and mark told me that I could say what he typed — what he said to me. He said that: “No one works harder for his district than Elijah. He's passionate about the people he represents, and no, Elijah is not a racist. I am friends with both me, President Trump and Chairman Cummings. I know them both well and neither of them is a racist” and they offered to go to Baltimore with President Trump to see what they could do to remediate some of the problems they have there.
MAEVE RESTON: That sounds like a great idea.
JEN PSAKI: I have to say, that is so deeply unsatisfying. Having watched Congressman Elijah Cummings give a heart felt admission of friendship to someone who is — people do not like in the Democratic Party and he put himself out on a limb in that hearing and when Congressman Meadows was under assault and he could have done the same thing in return in a human way.
SANTORUM: Well, you can't have heart felt on Twitter or a text. It's harder to — I don’t think it’s not fair to compare these —
TAPPER: He did — okay, anyway, that is Mark Meadows compressing something and it is not nothing any more.