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On Friday, CBS News published an ostensible “news” report that read like a Democrat Party press release. Just the title alone of the piece was notably partisan.
“3 ways companies can help fight Georgia’s restrictive new voting law,” the title read.
“Just days after Coca-Cola, Delta and other major corporate names publicly denounced Georgia’s controversial voting law, civil rights groups are raising the heat on big companies to help combat similar proposals across the U.S.,” the actual CBS News piece itself continued.
Written by Khristopher J. Brooks, described as an “award-winning journalist,” the piece went on to parrot the rhetoric of these left wing “civil rights groups” without offering any pushback to their false claims that the election reform measures being pursued by Republican states are somehow “restrictive.”
Similarly, when CBS News tweeted the story Friday evening, it did so without offering any pushback or — at the very least — a disclaimer that the attached piece was opinion, not fact (archived copy here):
3 ways companies can help fight Georgia’s restrictive new voting law https://t.co/SMPRn5U2HK
— CBS News (@CBSNews) April 3, 2021
“Activists are urging Georgia-based companies like Delta, Home Depot and UPS to stop funding the political campaigns of Republican legislators behind the state’s move to restrict voting rights,” Brooks opined in the piece.
He added, “They also want companies to put their brands behind publicity campaigns that openly oppose similar voter law proposals in Arizona, Florida and Texas, as well as to take a stand in favor of bills in Congress aimed at expanding access to the ballot box.”
Brooks then listed three activist-recommended strategies for corporations to use to effectively punish states that dare defy the demands of the Democrat Party: “do not donate” to the GOP, “spread awareness” and “fight for” H.R. 1, a radical Democrat bill that would nationalize America’s elections.
As of Saturday morning, CBS’s tweet of Brooks’ veritable opinion piece boasted a ratio of 300 percent and counting.
John Cooper of the Heritage Foundation tweeted that the piece was “partisan advocacy” rooted in “debunked misinformation,” while Giancarlo Sopo of the National Review Institute tweeted that it’s “not journalism; it’s activism.”
Meanwhile, Rita Panahi, a conservative Australian commentator, kept it more blunt, calling CBS News “lying miscreants” and “lying propagandists.”
Why is CBS willfully tweeting debunked misinformation, and engaging in partisan advocacy?
This is so inappropriate. https://t.co/t4xn5YV0X9
— John Cooper (@thejcoop) April 3, 2021
This is not journalism; it’s activism. https://t.co/fBB39X4cxQ
— Giancarlo Sopo (@GiancarloSopo) April 3, 2021
Geez I wonder why trust in the media is at historic laws…
PS majority of voters, including democrats, back voter integrity laws, you lying miscreants. https://t.co/E9M7NuFZAd
— Rita Panahi (@RitaPanahi) April 3, 2021
Delete you account, you lying propagandists.
— Rita Panahi (@RitaPanahi) April 3, 2021
Now y’all are the public relations arm of the Democrat party.
Change name to activists.
— Kambree (@KamVTV) April 3, 2021
What are you thinking, Khristopher (@AmericanGlow)?! I mean, I know you want to impress Stacey Abrams, but be a little more subtle in your propaganda, my dude!
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) April 3, 2021
You know what you are? pic.twitter.com/NZZUlkf5FW
— Andrew Follett (@AndrewCFollett) April 3, 2021
The latter tweet seemed accurate — Brooks’ piece did appear to be “fake news.”
Consider this paragraph from the piece: “Georgia lawmakers passed a measure that requires voters to present a photo ID when voting by mail. The law also cuts the time people have to request an absentee ballot and limits where ballot drop boxes can be placed. Critics charge that such changes amount to the 2021 version of Jim Crow rules and other historical efforts to suppress the vote to gain a political advantage.”
Brooks chose — perhaps purposefully — to avoid pointing out that most voters, including most black voters, support a voter ID rule.
While Marc thinks people are too stupid to figure this out, this particular requirement is wildly popular across the board in Georgia.
📊74% support among all voters
📊55% support among Democrats
📊63% support among Black voters
📊98% support among people making under $25K https://t.co/2rDDxYbaDp
— Matt Whitlock (@mattdizwhitlock) April 1, 2021
Voter ID requirements are popular to everyone except elected Democrats https://t.co/gYXB6Amgg2
— Abigail Marone (@abigailmarone) April 2, 2021
Had the piece been an opinion column, then it would have been OK — though still arguably unethical — for Brooks to present only one side of the story.
But the piece was an ostensibly objective news report published by an ostensibly objective news organization and written by someone whose own website lists him as “an award-winning journalist with more than a decade of experience covering education, business, and enterprise topics for newspapers and news websites.”
“Today Brooks lives in Westchester County and works as a reporter for CBS News, covering business and financial news,” his bio continues.
But what he wrote for CBS News didn’t seem like news — it seemed like “partisan advocacy” rooted in “debunked misinformation,” according to Cooper, and it seemed like another example of why the media’s trust level recently hit a record low.
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