CNN Uses Hurricane Harvey to Wage War Against Trump
Hurricane Harvey swept through Texas this weekend creating untold amounts of damage – damage that could easily take years to fully come back from. Families saw their property destroyed beyond recognition. Thousands lost power, creating a whole new set of life-threatening circumstances. As of Monday, the full extent of the wreckage was not known, but already some officials were predicting that large swaths of the state would be utterly “uninhabitable” for months, if not longer.
If there’s anything positive to say about a natural disaster of this magnitude, it’s that Americans tend to show their best selves in the face of tragedy. Regardless of our differences, we come together in times of strife. And from the donations and volunteers pouring in from around the country, it doesn’t appear that this time will be any exception. We may be more politically divided than ever, but left and right cease to matter much when you see your fellow Americans in dire need of help.
Which is why it’s just so shameful to see CNN using a disaster like this to score points in their ongoing feud with President Donald Trump.
Actually, let’s take a step back. It’s shameful that CNN is even INVOLVED in a feud with President Trump in the first place.
But they are, and they make very little effort to hide it. So while it was embarrassing to watch Brian Stelter and his panel use the hurricane as an excuse to martyr journalists and paint Trump as a great force for evil, it wasn’t particularly surprising.
After playing some clips of Trump’s remarks at a rally last week, where he went on a tirade against the mainstream media for their outrageous portrayal of his Charlottesville remarks, Stelter said, “I think of these words as poison, meaning that they’re a slow-acting poison, gradually hurting the country by causing more and more distrust of the media.”
Well, no, it’s the MEDIA that’s causing the distrust, Brian. It’s the MEDIA that has been poisoning the public, and in turn, itself, with months and months of unhinged coverage of this president. But we wouldn’t expect anyone on CNN to realize that.
Jeff Greenfield agreed with Stelter. “And that is to inoculate his supporters against believing whatever is being said about Donald Trump in the mainstream press,” he said. “The idea that the press doesn’t love our country, I mean, you know, I don’t how many reporters have died covering wars, trying to bring stories to the attention of the people.”
So, this is where it really started to go off the rails. USA Today editor Joanne Lipman really liked Greenfield’s idea of reminding viewers how brave and self-sacrificing American journalists are, so she decided to go him one better.
“Yeah, I have to point out the deep irony here. Right? Just hours after he made those remarks, we had a hurricane category 4 making landfall in Corpus Christi, Texas,” she said. “Our reporters, every single person in that newsroom, while the rest of the city is being evacuated and going to higher ground, was going into danger to cover danger, to cover it, to bring this to the rest of the world.”
As though Trump was berating weather journalists on the ground in Texas or war journalists in Iraq and Afghanistan? Come on. These people would be the FIRST to jump down Trump’s throat if he tried to conflate an issue like this, and yet they don’t have any compunction about playing such a ridiculous game?
By “defending” journalism in this way, Greenfield and Lipman actually made Trump’s point for him. Of course there are thousands of well-meaning, ethical journalists working in the U.S. today. Of course there is plenty of mainstream news that is not “fake.” Trump would be the first to acknowledge that. He’s talking about political pundits disguised as journalists, and while that may only be a small percentage of the total media landscape, these biased reporters take up more than their fair share of the oxygen in the room. THAT’S who Trump is talking about, and that’s plain as day to anyone with half a brain.
Then again, those aren’t the people watching CNN…