I did not think it was humanly possible to outdo CNN’s Brian Stelter on the selective media hall monitoring and concern-trolling, but it has happened, folks, thanks to his colleague S.E. Cupp.
Ms. Cupp, who is prone to epic self-awareness fails on occasion (to put it mildly), took to the Twitter machine to post her latest “Unfiltered” video Thursday and the topic she chose to address was the supposed issue of which media outlets are engaging in what she called “fan fiction” and which ones are doing actual journalism:
A super majority of Republicans believe the election was rigged, and their favorite “news” orgs are telling them that’s true. Let’s stop calling that journalism, and call it what it is: fan fiction. 👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻 https://t.co/7QMlrkJ0FM
— S.E. Cupp (@secupp) December 11, 2020
Yours truly actually sat through the four-minute diatribe and listened very closely and carefully to what sounded like a stern, uptight teacher lecturing naive schoolchildren who don’t know any better than to take what the crotchety person behind the desk says at face value.
I was struck by the number of media issues she talked about which, if you didn’t know she worked for CNN you’d think that’s the network she was scolding.
But she wasn’t. She was finger-wagging at Fox News, Newsmax, and OANN for supposedly indulging readers and viewers in “conspiracy theory” thinking about the results of the presidential election as they stand now. It was “fan fiction”, she stated, to suggest that there’s evidence of election fraud/irregularities here. These networks, she claimed, were steering audiences away from reality and into fantasy territory which is not the job of a credible news outlet, she said.
She also said in so many words that journalists have an “obligation” to “tell people what they need to hear, not what they want to hear.” While it is indeed true that is not the media’s job to tell people what they “want” to hear, it is not necessarily their job, either, to tell them what they supposedly “need” to hear. For example, CNN picks and chooses what they think their audience “needs” to hear and doesn’t need to hear (like the Hunter Biden story, for example). It’s actually the news media’s job to report on important news whether or not they believe it “needs” to be heard by those watching and reading.
While I’m not here to put any news network on a pedestal (I have my issues with pretty much all of them, which is another topic for another day), I will take issue any hour of the day, any day of the week with anyone – and I do mean ANYONE from CNN who actually believes they hold some moral high ground when it comes to trying to school other networks on what does and does not constitute real journalism.
This is the same CNN that for four years peddled bogus conspiracy theory after conspiracy theory about President Trump, from the Russia collusion hoax to the fake news about what he allegedly said about dead veterans during a trip to France, to everything in between. CNN has been a one-stop shop for Trump haters eager for their next fix, and it didn’t matter how thinly sourced a negative story about Trump was, they ran with it in hopes it would undermine and destroy Trump’s presidency and ultimately defeat him.
This is the same CNN that all but ignored the Tara Reade allegations until it became impossible to do so, and once they started “reporting” on them most of their “reporting” was admittedly taken from what the New York Times and Washington Post did in obvious efforts to discredit someone who potentially could derail Joe Biden’s presidential campaign.
This was also the same CNN that actually plotted to actively suppress the Hunter Biden scandal that the New York Post reported on in October because it had the potential to hurt Joe Biden’s chances at winning the election. They threw another media outlet under the bus for the sole purpose of Protecting the Democrat. Some on Cupp’s network, including Stelter and others, actually painted the story as a “Russian disinformation campaign.” It wasn’t, which we knew then and now.
So no, no lectures from CNN on what journalism is or isn’t are needed at this time – not ever, really. The damage that network alone has done to the credibility of the journalism profession will likely never be undone.
They really should try cleaning up their own smelly sandbox before throwing stones in someone else’s. Maybe then they’ll be given the chance to be taken seriously. Until that time…