CBS/CNN Panels: Totally Fine to Take Trump’s ‘Animal’ Comment Out of Context

As has been stated previously, the liberal media made total fools out of themselves last Wednesday night when they rushed to claim President Trump had slammed all immigrants as “animals.” And when the video of the full context came out, nearly all of them issued corrections and retractions. Yet despite the media’s own retractions, panelists on CBS’s Face the Nation and CNN’s Reliable Sources thought it was fair to do that to the President given his past comments about immigrants.

On Sunday’s Face the Nation, moderator Margaret Brennan had let left-leaning Slate’s Jamelle Bouie kick off their discussion of the President’s comments. “The idea that that's unfair criticism, I think, ignores the fact that for the past three years now the President has made this consistent linkage between Hispanic immigrants and crime and Hispanic immigrants and disorder,” he argued.

According to Bouie, since Trump didn’t actually say MS-13 in his answer to a question about the gang that meant there was wiggle room for any assertion about his comment to be true:

Even in this particular case where he's responding to a hypothetical question about an MS-13 gang member he doesn't -- his language, he doesn't -- he doesn't talk specifically about MS-13 gang members. He talks specifically about "these people,” which is just vague and a bit slippery and unclear exactly what he means. But that is in keeping with his past language.

I'm not sure we should give the benefit of the doubt towards the President only referring specifically to this one group of people,” Bouie added.

Bouie even stepped up to defend the barbarism of MS-13 from the President’s condemnation, saying, “I do think there’s a serious problem with the president dehumanizing any group of people, in the United States, even if they are hardened criminals.” He worried it would a “cue” for law enforcement to treat them roughly.

 

 

Meanwhile, on Sunday’s Reliable Sources, host Brian Stelter was making his own excuses for the media he worships. “He doesn't say MS-13 in his answer, but it seems like that's what he's referring to. It's not entirely clear, but that's what it seemed like. So some news outlets might have taken him out of context,” he suggested before decrying Fox News for railing against the press and their misleading reporting.

Of course, Stelter failed to mention it wasn’t just Trump friendly media that scolded the misleading press. For example, HLN’s S.E. Cupp Unfiltered, a show Stelter often appears on, ripped into the media for their horrendous anti-Trump antics. One producer even noted that the media rushed to push the false claim because it fit their narrative about what Trump was to them.

Even Stelter’s panel was ready to condemn Trump. “Just keep in mind this is an old game the White House plays. Trump says something that’s incredibly offensive and then he comes out and says it was fake news, it was taken out of context, it was just a joke or something,Washington Post columnist Max Boot explained to Stelter. “So I think fundamentally the coverage was basically fair.

And the Daily Beast’s John Avlon was on hand at CNN to defend the bloodthirsty killers of MS-13. “I think that's something to watch out for, the history of political leaders dehumanizing opponents, even criminals, using animal metaphors is a dangerous one,” he opined. “That is not something we should accept from an American president.

Given these comments about how it wasn’t a travesty to have the media manipulating statements and video since it met a preconceived notion, it’s disingenuous when they bemoan Trump’s criticism of the press.

The transcripts are below, click "expand" to read:

 

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CBS's Face the Nation
May 20, 2018
11:03:56 AM Eastern [1 minute 52 seconds]

(…)

MARGARET BRENNAN: The President says he there was talking specifically about gang members from MS-13 that he was not speaking at large about immigrants. That’s certainly not how the Mexican government took it, Anne. And Jemele, that the not what a lot of people heard here. And the White House said that was unfair criticism of it.

JAMELLE BOUIE: The idea that that's unfair criticism, I think, ignores the fact that for the past three years now the President has made this consistent linkage between Hispanic immigrants and crime and Hispanic immigrants and disorder. And so, in his campaign announcement speech, “they're being crime, they’re rapists, some I assume are good people.” In speeches and addresses and off the cuff remarks, again and again, the President has made that linkage.

Even in this particular case where he's responding to a hypothetical question about an MS-13 gang member he doesn't -- his language, he doesn't -- he doesn't talk specifically about MS-13 gang members. He talks specifically about "these people,” which is just vague and a bit slippery and unclear exactly what he means. But that is in keeping with his past language.

I think that when evaluating these kinds of comments and evaluating this kind of imprecision, I'm not sure we should give the benefit of the doubt towards the President only referring specifically to this one group of people. And having said that, even if that was the case, I do think there’s a serious problem with the president dehumanizing any group of people, in the United States, even if they are hardened criminals.

It opens the door to really problematic actions from federal law enforcement, who take that as a cue for how they should approach gang members, how they should approach people that are within their enforcement per view. So, setting aside the political controversy other what the president means, I think there's a real sort of pragmatic and ethical problem with the President speaking about people as, quote, “animals.”

(…)

 

CNN's Reliable Sources
May 20, 2018
11:56:45 AM Eastern

BRIAN STELTER: So the President holds a roundtable to rail against sanctuary cities. He starts by condemning “sadistic” MS13 gang members. The conversation continues and one of the panelists—one of the participants brings up MS-13 in one of her questions for the President. Trump responds by saying, “these aren't people, they are animals.” He doesn't say MS-13 in his answer, but it seems like that's what he's referring to. It's not entirely clear, but that's what it seemed like.

So some news outlets might have taken him out of context. There were splash headlines and tweets and Facebook posts with a video not showing the MS-13 question, only showing the President's answer. And you know what happened next. Fox and the President in the press railed against the news coverage.

(…)

STELTER: But the President also has a history of dehumanizing language and disparaging language against all sorts of immigrants.

(…)

STELTER: John, is it appropriate for the president to call anyone an animal, even if they are sadistic gang members?

JOHN AVLON: I think that's something to watch out for, the history of political leaders dehumanizing opponents, even criminals, using animal metaphors is a dangerous one. That is not something we should accept from an American president. Yes, comments should be reported in context, but it's also saying look at the real stats. Don’t look at the style, look at the substance.

(…)

Also, be aware of bullies playing the victim card. Don’t fall for that. It’s our job to impose context but it’s also in the context of actions and rhetoric around immigrants over time.

STELTER: Max, the last 30 seconds are yours.

MAX BOOT: Just keep in mind this is an old game the White House plays. Trump says something that’s incredibly offensive and then he comes out and says it was fake news, it was taken out of context, it was just a joke or something. So he gets to slam the news media as well as get his offensive comments out there to his base. Don't fall for it. And the final point I would make, whatever the so-called context of his animals remark, what people heard was different. It’s that he was stigmatizing and dehumanizing immigrants that’s the message he wants to send out there. So I think fundamentally the coverage was basically fair.


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NBDaily Immigration Media Bias Debate Bias by Omission Labeling Broadcast Television CBS Face the Nation Cable Television CNN Reliable Sources Video John Avlon Brian Stelter Jamelle Bouie Donald Trump