A guest went on CNN to urge the news media to dispense with pretenses of unbiased objectivity and simply demonize conservative news and organizations openly.
It would be hard to accuse most of the mainstream media of being too soft on Republicans, yet on Sunday Timothy Snyder, a Yale professor of history, unabashedly went on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” to tell host Brian Stelter exactly that.
Snyder felt that the media overall is being too strict about trying to maintain a facade of neutrality and that the press needs to “drop the fair and balanced” act. He didn’t mean this as a criticism of media bias, but rather that his liberal beliefs are so self-evident that one needn’t pretend to treat Republicans as equals or a legitimate segment of America. He praised CNN for having “done a lot in this direction,” and for its hard work to “drop the pretense of American exceptionalism.”
“My advice for the press corps is drop the fair and balanced about the one party and the other party. Who cares about the parties? The parties are not really the story. The story is whether we have a democracy or not. And the behavior of the parties is the actual story. So I think the main thing we have to do, and you guys have done a lot in this direction, is drop the pretense of American exceptionalism, democracy is just out there like the air we breathe, and make democracy the story itself,” Snyder told Stelter.
Snyder continued on to play to hysteria over the January 6th riot, and raise the specter of a Trumpist coup in 2024 subverting the election:
“We had minimal excuse to be surprised in 2016, no excuse to be surprised by the coup attempt in 2020. If we’re not prepared for the attempt for unelected people to take power in 2024, we’re pathetically naive. Preparing for that and getting the facts out so people can prepare and prevent it what colleagues in journalism should be doing.”
Stelter later went on to compare journalists to weather forecasters, whose duty is to warn people of the “gathering storm,” of encroaching autocracy, as represented by former President Donald Trump. Apparently oblivious to the irony, Stelter played a clip of an interview Trump gave One America News anchor Dan Ball (described by Stelter, again without a sense of irony, as a “propagandist” in the KVIA written piece), in which Trump says “our country will not survive this,” before returning to implying that America will not survive Trump.
One thing is certainly clear from the exchange, and Stelter’s later monologue: that while Trump calling Democrats “vicious” (in the OAN interview) is reprehensible, abandoning any semblance of journalistic integrity or objectivity when dealing with Republicans in order to demonize them is simply the noble duty of good “weathermen” on the air.
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