CNN Gossips About Which 2020 Dem the NYT Will Endorse for President

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It’s one of the most blatantly biased things a media outlet can do: openly endorse a candidate running for office. But during CNN’s S.E. Cupp Unfiltered Saturday evening, Cupp and chief media correspondent Brian Stelter lauded The New York Times for making a televised spectacle out of their Democratic endorsement announcement happening soon. They would admit the Times had an editorial board that leaned far-left and would endorse “anyone but Donald Trump.”

At the start of the segment, Cupp looked back at history to tout the Times’ routine of making endorsements for president of the United States. “In a tradition stretching back to 1860 with its first endorsement of Abraham Lincoln, The New York Times is about to make its Democratic endorsement tomorrow on its FX and Hulu series The Weekly and online shortly thereafter,” she said.

Since we’re looking back at history, The New York Times hasn’t endorsed a Republican for president in the general election since 1956 when President Dwight D. Eisenhower ran for reelection. They’ve also endorsed Democrats in 27 races, that’s more than double what they gave to the GOP (12) (And 1 to the National Democratic Party in 1896).

Immediately after introducing Stelter, Cupp wanted to know “any thoughts on who you think might get the nomination?” Stelter had a good laugh and declared: “Anyone but Donald Trump, right?” Cupp seemed amused.

A short time later, Stelter admitted the Times has a “very progressive editorial page,” but wanted to assure people “the editorial board is separate from the newsroom.” Adding: “But you know, when it’s just the New York Times endorsement it does carry some weight, more so than other papers.”

 

 

The idea that the editorial direction of the newspaper was different from the discretion of the newsroom was laughable. The fact the editorial section was to the left demonstrated the tone and the culture of the rest of the organization. Just as MSNBC’s prime time hours show the nature of NBC News.

Cupp circled back around to gossip about who would get the nomination, as if it meant something. Stelter then admitted that the Times was even biased to a “hostile” degree against one of their own:

CUPP: Do you want to do odds right now?!

STELTER: No, I do not! Do you want to?

CUPP: Well, yes. I think it's like 70 percent Biden, maybe 30 percent Warren.

STELTER: [Laughter] Well, I would certainly say, when I read the transcripts of these interviews, the questions toward Bernie Sanders were very difficult, perhaps even hostile.

Stelter then gushed that he was “grateful” the Times had published the transcripts of their interviews with the candidates; the same way he was “grateful CNN has been holding these town halls.” “You think every question has been asked at this point, but actually they haven't,” he added.

Meanwhile, CNN’s town halls were an exercise in how many different ways one could ask a candidate about their support for impeachment and fighting climate change.

Just before they switched gears to gossiping about the drama of the British royal family, Stelter argued that handing out these kind of endorsements was “one of the most valuable things these papers can do.” He even boasted about how The Washington Post had a Buzzfeed-esque quiz for readers to discover: “Which candidate do you agree with the most?”

The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:

CNN’s S.E. CUPP Unfiltered
January 18, 2020
6:51:31 p.m. Eastern

S.E. CUPP: In a tradition stretching back to 1860 with its first endorsement of Abraham Lincoln, The New York Times is about to make its Democratic endorsement tomorrow on its FX and Hulu series The Weekly and online shortly thereafter.

The Times’s deputy editorial page editor, Katie Kingsbury said the decision to open up the process to readers is about pulling back the curtain on the tough questions candidates field. But interestingly, she went on to acknowledge, quote, “over the past 160 years, the impact that newspaper endorsements have had on elections hasn't been entirely clear or consistent.”

Here now to dish on whom the Times is likely to select and whether it will matter is CNN chief media correspondent and host of Reliable Sources Brian Stelter. First, Brian, any thoughts on who you think might get the nomination?

BRIAN STELTER: [Laughter] Anyone but Donald Trump, right?

CUPP: Probably.

STELTER: Of course, this is the Democratic primary that the Times is focused on. But they brought all these candidates in. The one thing we know for sure is that it's not going to be Mike Bloomberg, because Bloomberg turned down the Times, decided not to go in for an interview. He said he would go in in the Fall when he’s the general election candidate.

CUPP: So, that’s one down.

STELTER: But, he also knew he was going to face some very hard questions from the Times editorial board about stop and frisk and other issues.

CUPP: Also about his own media decision to bar Bloomberg reporters from investigating him.

STELTER: [Laughter] Yes, investigating him or other Democratic candidates.

So, I think the Times tends to have a very progressive editorial page. Worth reminding people that the editorial board is separate from the newsroom. But you know, when it’s just the New York Times endorsement it does carry some weight, more so than other papers.

CUPP: Do you want to do odds right now?!

STELTER: No, I do not! Do you want to?

CUPP: Well, yes. I think it's like 70 percent Biden, maybe 30 percent Warren.

STELTER: [Laughter] Well, I would certainly say, when I read the transcripts of these interviews, the questions toward Bernie Sanders were very difficult, perhaps even hostile.

CUPP: Hmm. Hmm

STELTER: You get the sense from some of the editors, a lot of skepticism of Sanders, for example. But I was grateful they published these transcripts. The same why I’m grateful CNN has been holding these town halls.

You think every question has been asked at this point, but actually they haven't. There are still a lot of questions to ask of these candidates. And it's valuable to have these editorial boards challenge and scrutinize the candidates even though as the Times acknowledged, its editorial endorsements probably matter less over time.

CUPP: Do you think local newspapers endorsements, maybe union endorsements matter more than like a big national newspaper.

STELTER: In some of these key markets in Iowa, New Hampshire, and other early states they can matter, yes. There are also, unfortunately, fewer staffers working on this in this day and age.

You know, I think it is one of the most valuable things these papers can do. And The Washington Post has a 20-question quiz out this weekend on the website, “Which candidate do you agree with the most?” I think that kind of thing is even more valuable, because just helping people understand the issues that are at play is the most valuable thing that these newspapers can do.

(…)

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