On Saturday, CNN ran a headline: “Donald Trump Dredges Up Clinton’s Use of ‘Super Predators’” Really? “Dredges Up”?
What a difference a few months can make. Back in April, CNN’s Jake Tapper brought up Hillary Clinton’s controversial comments to Bernie Sanders, all but begging for Sanders to go on the attack. Sanders declined, “Sorry, Jake, not gonna go there,” although he did eventually relent, “I think it had race connotations.”
Both Tapper and Trump have a point in “dredging up” these comments. Watch this clip of Hillary Clinton speaking on the campaign trail in 1996 for her husband, President Bill Clinton. The money quote comes at 0:58:
We also have to have an organized effort against gangs, just as in a previous generation we had an organized effort against the mob. We need to take these people on. They’re often connected to big drug cartels, they’re not just gangs of kids anymore. They’re often the kinds of kids that are called ‘super-predators.’ No conscience, no empathy. We can talk about why they ended up that way, but first we have to bring them to heel…
“Super-predators”? “These people”? “Bring them to heel”?
Imagine Donald Trump saying any of these things. The media — and especially CNN — would insist on weeks of coverage. But now that it’s August, and now that it’s time for the media elites to get behind the Democratic nominee, this is the type of story that CNN chooses to bury beneath an avalanche of Trump hit pieces.
But headlines like “Trump Dredges Up…” signal to CNN’s audience that the story is about an illegitimate issue. It makes the story about Trump, not Clinton. This is how media bias reveals itself.
During the Democratic primary, Sanders wasn’t “dredging up” an issue because, in CNN’s journalistic opinion, it was totally appropriate to bring up Hillary’s past to answer the question of which candidate in the Democratic Party was the most sufficiently liberal in their policies and the most supportive of the Black Lives Matter movement.
But when Trump brings it up just a few months later? When the battle lines are clearly drawn between Democrat and Republican? As the headline signals to the reader, the attack is totally out of bounds. Why? Because according to media elites, Trump has no right to question liberals like Hillary Clinton when it comes to racial matters. After all, he’s a Republican.
Unlike Hillary Clinton, Trump has made a legitimate economic argument to America’s minorities that their cause has not been advanced by the fundamentally liberal policies that have dominated inner cities over the last several decades. But such an argument to CNN is utterly ridiculous. For a Republican to question any aspect of liberal policy is beyond the pale.
We saw another example of CNN’s bias with Anderson Cooper and Donald Trump last week. After Hillary Clinton gave her speech where she called Trump and his supporters, among other things, “hateful,” “bigoted,” and “racist,” Trump charged back by arguing that Clinton is a “bigot” because her policies have failed minority communities.
Cooper was aghast:
ANDERSON COOPER: You called, last night, Hillary Clinton a bigot. Previously, you called her policies bigoted. You’ve directly called her a bigot —
TRUMP: Well, she is a bigot. When you look at what’s happening to inner cities, when you look at what’s happening, you look at what’s happening to African-Americans and Hispanics in this country, where she talks all the time, she’s talking, look at where she says the vets are being treated just fine, that it’s over-exaggerated what’s happening to the vets not so long ago —
COOPER: But how is she bigoted? Bigoted is having hatred toward a particular group —
TRUMP: Because she’s selling them down the tubes. Because she’s not doing anything for those communities. She talks a good game. Her policies are bigoted because she knows they’re not going to work.
COOPER: You’re saying she’s personally bigoted?
TRUMP: She is. Of course she is.
And Cooper couldn’t believe it. What? How in the world could a Republican call a Democrat a “bigot”? That’s just… well, it’s just awful!
Blinded by his own bias, Cooper doesn’t even think to go back and question Hillary Clinton for her slanderous attacks on Trump and his supporters — racists! bigots! — because, in his distorted, left-wing reality, the attacks are certifiably true.
John Nolte, a conservative writer and prolific Tweeter (@NolteNC), likes to say, “CNN is Hitler.” I’m not sure I would go that far.
But it’s not a stretch to say CNN is openly serving as Hillary Clinton’s personal propaganda outlet. Joseph Goebbels would be jealous.
Frank Cannon is the president of American Principles Project.