Monday’s Erin Burnett OutFront ended with Burnett interviewing former CNN anchor Bernard Shaw to help mark CNN’s 40th anniversary. However, he ended up spending most of his airtime trashing President Trump.
According to Shaw, “the critical focus of history will judge Donald Trump as a presidential aberration. Walking from the White House through the tear gas-laden Lafayette Park to the steps of the church of the Presidents, St. John’s, and holding up that bible would have made P.T. Barnum proud.”
When asked about the “tone” Trump set during his remarks earlier in the evening, Shaw fretted that “his tone was not surprising” before bringing up the President’s comments about the unrest in Charlottesville, Virginia three years ago seemingly from out of nowhere.
After Burnett listed off some bleak statistics about the status quo in America with regards to the economy and race relations, Shaw gleefully predicted that “the Democrats...will regain control of the Senate, will keep their majority in the House of Representatives, and the Trump/Pence ticket will be defeated by landslide proportions.”
Only after Trump-bashing since that’s a requirement for Zuckerville, Burnett asked Shaw to reflect on his 20 years at the network.
As if he had spent the past several years watching a completely different network, Shaw proclaimed: “Never once have the people at CNN forgotten their mandate; which is to report the news, gather the news, report it, to do it fairly and in a balanced way. That’s done 24/7, seven days a week.”
Earlier, Shaw accused President Trump of having a “total preoccupation with one thing and that is getting re-elected in November.” Shaw’s point only reinforced what NewsBusters finds about CNN’s cartoonishly anti-Trump coverage, including a 2017 study showing that CNN has a “total preoccupation” with covering Trump, mostly from a negative perspective.
Regarding Shaw’s pronouncement that CNN exists to “report the news,” it seems like lately, CNN exists to offer up the opinions of its left-wing anchors.
Just an hour before Shaw’s appearance on CNN, Don Lemon warned that America was “teetering on a dictatorship” and accused the President of “declaring war on Americans” by daring to take measures designed to implement “law and order” in this time of national chaos. Americans can expect this kind of hyperbolic analysis, a far cry from merely delivering a report on the news, “24/7, seven days a week.”
A transcript of the relevant portion of Monday’s edition of Erin Burnett OutFront is below. Click “expand” to read more.
Erin Burnett OutFront
ERIN BURNETT: You’re looking at live pictures of Washington and Philadelphia. Police pushing protesters back. You’ve got Philadelphia on the left. You’ve got Washington on the right. You see our Alex Marquardt in the front. As we watch these scenes unfold, someone OutFront now who really needs no introduction to our CNN viewers and people across this country; legendary CNN anchor Bernard Shaw joining us on what happens to be CNN’s 40th anniversary tonight as well. You know, Bernie, you’re…you’re in Washington. You know, we’ve seen these in…this incredible scene play out moments ago right outside the White House. The President wanted to speak in the Rose Garden. Rubber bullets, flash bangs, tear gas deployed to disperse the crowd, a peaceful crowd. And then the President, it became clear, he did all that so that he would be able to walk across the street for a photo-op with members of the White House staff outside Saint John’s Church; where he held up a Bible. How did you feel as you saw all of this unfold?
BERNARD SHAW: I was thinking that the critical focus of history will judge Donald Trump as a presidential aberration. Walking from the White House through the tear gas-laden Lafayette Park to the steps of the Church of the Presidents, Saint John’s, and holding up that Bible would have made P.T. Barnum proud.
BURNETT: And, and, and, and what do you make, Bernie, of his read of this? I mean, he…he, before he did that, he said, “I am your President of law and order,” and he said he is, you know, invoking an act not invoked since 1807 to deploy U.S. military troops on American soil; which Jeffrey Toobin pointed out he can’t legally do. But that was the tone he set. What do you make of that tone? This is his read of the moment.
SHAW: That tone is not surprising. This man has a total preoccupation with one thing, and that is getting re-elected in November. I think of what he said about the people in Charlottesville: there are good people on both sides. You recall that.
BURNETT: So, so, you have the George Floyd murder. You have Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor. You have all of these stories now, and on top of that, a pandemic causing pain and anxiety across this country. But in terms of death and mortality hitting the African-American community more than any other, you have unemployment across this country of 20-plus percent; and in some of the communities most affected here, probably significantly higher than that. What do you make of these two unprecedented historical moments happening at the same time?
SHAW: The American people, this great country of ours, is under assault. For four years, I proudly wore the uniform of the United States Marine Corps. I am proud of my country. I love my country. I love my fellow citizens. But our great nation has fissures and it is flawed. Donald Trump wants to be re-elected but right now, upwards of 40 million Americans are without jobs. Do you really think that between now and in November, our economy is going to turn around? That these 40 million Americans will have their jobs back? They cannot pay their mortgages. They cannot pay their rent. They cannot pay their bills. They struggle to get food for themselves and their families. The American people are going to make their judgment. They’re going to make their verdict known to the world in November. And I think what’s going to happen…what’s going to happen is that the Democrats, because of all of this ferment, will regain control of the Senate, will keep their majority in the House of Representatives, and the Trump/Pence ticket will be defeated by landslide proportions. That’s what I think is the upshot of what is going on right now because we are on the threshold of a new movement in our country. There’s a new movement, a movement against hatred. And the elements of that hatred include racism, which traces its roots back 400 years. It includes anti-Semitism. It includes sexism and xenophobia. There is a new movement, fresh blood, white Americans realizing that they must step in and they must do their part, as they have been doing, most of our citizens; African-Americans, people of color, brown people, black people. There is a new movement being born right now. The ‘60s had the civil rights era. There’s a new movement underfoot, underway in our great country right now.
BURNETT: And, Bernie, before we go, I want to ask you. You know, I…I remember the first time I saw you. I was a…I was a young child with my parents at a restaurant in Washington. They were star-struck by seeing you. You, you…it’s our 40th anniversary today and we do just have a little bit of time left. But you were at this network for 20 years. The Gulf War, Tiananmen Square, the 2020 recount, the list goes on and on. What stands out to you the most?
SHAW: All of that. And then, of course, the attempt by John Hinckley Jr. to assassinate President Reagan. CNN was very young. It had a cadre, a core of about 300 women and men who worked very, very hard, much as you and your colleagues do today; not only in the United States, but around the world. And never once have people at CNN forgotten their mandate; which is to report the news, gather the news, report it, to do it fairly and in a balanced way. That’s done 24/7, seven days a week.