Dershowitz: CNN Didn’t Want Their Viewers “Confused By the Facts”
In a scathing op-ed for Fox News, famed attorney Alan Dershowitz slammed CNN for misleading viewers and chasing the almighty dollar for two years rather than present a balanced take on the Mueller investigation. The lawyer said that CNN embraced its profitable role as the anti-Trump network at the expense of any semblance of objective news coverage.
It wasn’t always like that, he argued. When the investigation kicked off, yes, the majority of hosts and commentators on CNN were of the opinion that Trump was guilty of collusion and obstruction. Most were telling viewers that it was only a matter of time before Mueller perp-walked the president out of the Oval Office.
However, he said, they at least allowed for dissenting opinions.
“During the first several months of the investigation, CNN viewers also heard my more nuanced, more centrist views,” Dershowitz wrote. “As a liberal Democrat who strongly supported Hillary Clinton, I had some credibility when I raised questions about the certainty with which other CNN guests had declared Trump guilty. I introduced constitutional analysis regarding the allegations of obstruction of justice, arguing that — regardless of Trump’s intentions — he could not be charged with obstruction based exclusively on exercising his constitutional authority under Article II. This includes the power to fire any member of the executive branch.”
Unfortunately, that wasn’t what CNN wanted to put on the air. While they were fine with having a handful of token Trump supporters on the air to face down a panel of avowed #Resistance fighters, it was not okay to have a public critic of the president side with the law and the Constitution. It was too confusing for viewers, who wanted their news portrayed in a black and white fantasy context. Either Trump was a hero or Trump was a despicable villain.
Dershowitz said that none other than CNN boss Jeff Zucker called for him to stop appearing on the network – there was no room for a liberal defender of the president.
“The brass didn’t want their viewers’ minds to be confused by the law or the facts. Trump was guilty; that’s all they needed to know,” he wrote. “Well, my calibrated views turned out to be largely right, while CNN’s wishful thinking turned out to be largely wrong. That isn’t because I’m smarter than the CNN execs. It’s because I don’t allow my political preferences to substitute for objective legal analysis.”
Dershowitz said that while a mea culpa from CNN would be a step in the right direction, it was just as important that the network reassess its role as a news organization.
“John Brennan, the former director of the CIA, has acknowledged that he may have based his mistaken assessments and predictions on ‘bad information,’” Dershowitz concluded. “But what he failed to say was that he and CNN were often the source of this bad information.”