CNN: No Such Thing as Right-Wing Media, Just a 'Propaganda Apparatus'

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In exercising projection, CNN’s so-called “Reliable Sources” sought to decry President Trump’s “imperial presidency” on Sunday by emphasizing how there was no such thing as “right-wing media” vs. “liberal-media,” but, in fact, it was a “propaganda apparatus” vs. a “media apparatus.” Yes, it was the same show that said Trump had killed more people than Hitler, Stalin, and Mao combined, claimed the “future of the Earth” hung on Trump’s removal from office, and insisted Trump was a “destructive cult” leader.

Things took an absurd turn when CNN columnist Jill Filipovic argued that both sides of the media divide were not equal in terms of searching for the truth. “I think we have a propaganda apparatus and I think we have a media apparatus that is trying to tell the truth and tell the whole story,” she opined before equating it to McCarthyism:

And what I think is particularly fascinating is how much that right-wing propaganda apparatus has become so deeply intertwined with Trumpism, that it not only primed the audience for Trump to rise to power, but it’s now repeating the kind of Trump/Roy Cohn playbook of lie, disseminate misinformation -- Like the quote that you had up on the screen, you know, minimize, deny, and essentially project what you’re doing onto someone else.

Unironically, she made that proclamation shortly after Princeton University history professor Julian Zelizer claimed Trump was the head of an “imperial presidency.” But, as any rational person would tell you, President Trump was not an emperor and was duly elected by the American people.

Filipovic continued by describing how “terrifying” it was that right-wing media was so “tremendously effective” at countering the liberal media’s narratives. “It’s terrifying. I don't know where we go from there to come to this kind of universal national agreed-upon truth.” So, according to her, the liberal media spin was “truth.”

 

 

Host and media janitor Brian Stelter then asked her comment on Senator Chris Murphy’s (D-CT) op-ed that said Republicans were afraid of “the deep state and a media conspiracy.”

Of course, Filipovic argued that all political, social, and economic fears from Republicans were illegitimate. “They are so much, trying to win on this politics of fear of change. Whereas, Democrats are looking at the state of the country and saying, how can we make sure that our public maintains its values, who can we make sure we live out our obligations to our constitution.”

Meanwhile, back here, in reality, the Department of Justice inspector general found that FBI investigators in the Russia probe had lied to the FISA court to get warrants to spy on Trump campaign aide. And, as a recent Media Research Center study found, the evening network newscasts were stacking the deck against the President’s legal team.

To follow up Filipovic, Stelter brought on someone truly irrelevant: former ABC News White House correspondent Sam Donaldson. For his part, the washed-up journalist lamented that things were not as they were when right-wing media used to seek out the facts.

“Today, we still have journalists, thank goodness, who look for facts, occasionally make a mistake, try to put them out to the public and say, ‘please, look at these and use them.” And then we have Fox and we have Alex Jones and we have Facebook, non-journalists are putting out the same type of propaganda based on nothing. So, there’s no equivalency,” he declared.

Donaldson concluded with this cheesy advice for young journalists: “And I’m just saying to the journalists looking for facts and distribute them, keep fighting, keep going, and don’t be afraid.” The cheesiness was accented by a head turn and a smile.

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

CNN’s Reliable Sources
February 2, 2020
11:05:02 a.m. Eastern

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BRIAN STELTER: Julian, is that what history going to say? What are the history books going to say?

JULIAN ZELIZER: It’s going to say two things. One: this is an important chapter in the imperial presidency. We see how aggressive a president can be if they want to go there. And at the same time, we're going to see where partisanship brought the Republican Party. In the end, this is a story not just about President Trump, it’s about the Republicans in the Senate who lived with this, they accepted this, and ultimately they protected the President. And we will remember that a hundred years from now.

STELTER: Jill, what are the top media takeaways, I mean, about how this trial has been covered?

JILL FILIPOVIC: I think one thing I am troubled by is discussing this as if it’s kind of a both sides problem. You know, you have a right-wing media apparatus, you have a liberal-media apparatus, and what you believe depends on where you get your news. I’m not sure that’s right.

I think we have a propaganda apparatus and I think we have a media apparatus that is trying to tell the truth and tell the whole story. And what I think is particularly fascinating is how much that right-wing propaganda apparatus has become so deeply intertwined with Trumpism, that it not only primed the audience for Trump to rise to power, but it’s now repeating the kind of Trump/Roy Cohn playbook of lie, disseminate misinformation -- Like the quote that you had up on the screen, you know, minimize, deny, and essentially project what you’re doing onto someone else.

And to see how tremendously effective that has been and to see not only right-wing media but now also Republican Senators and Republican politicians also jump on board. It’s terrifying. I don't know where we go from there to come to this kind of universal national agreed-upon truth.

STELTER: But do you think Chris Murphy has a point when he says-- the Senator says, look, everybody is afraid of something in this situation. Democrats are afraid of President Trump, Republicans are afraid of what they think is the deep state and a media conspiracy. That is a—that’s real. Murphy is right, is he?

FILIPOVIC: I think he's absolutely right. But I think when you look at -- Which fears are legitimate? To me, Democrats are looking at, we have a president who I think it’s honestly quite hard to deny has done some serious acts of wrongdoing in office. And then you have Republicans who are essentially fear-mongering about this kind of, somewhat invented deep state and liberals that are undermining our values and immigrants who are coming in and we need to build a wall.

They are so much, trying to win on this politics of fear of change. Whereas, Democrats are looking at the state of the country and saying, how can we make sure that our public maintain its values, who can we make sure we live out our obligations to our constitution. Those are two really, really different things and very different motivations. Yes, both sides fear something. Those fears are not equally legitimate.

STELTER: Sam Donaldson, in the environment, what's your advice for the press?

SAM DONALDSON: Well, the press has to keep on doing its job. I mean, all of the press that tries to find facts. Many, many years ago, The Harold Tribune in New York was a newspaper for the Republicans, conservatives. It took the facts and said they mean this and The New York Times took the same facts and said no, it mean that, and we had an argument. Today, we still have journalists, thank goodness, who look for facts, occasionally make a mistake, try to put them out to the public and say, “please, look at these and use them.” And then we have Fox and we have Alex Jones and we have Facebook, non-journalists are putting out the same type of propaganda based on nothing. So, there’s no equivalency. And I’m just saying to the journalists looking for facts and distribute them, keep fighting, keep going, and don’t be afraid.

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