One refreshing result of the age of Trump is the sudden emphasis of truth over propriety that even lawmakers have now adopted. Although CNN is having a hard time dealing with it, the network may want to simply sit this one out and accept reality.
When CNN’s Manu Raju requested a quote Thursday from Sen. Martha McSally on the upcoming Senate impeachment trial, the Arizona Republican and former combat fighter pilot clearly had other things on her mind.
“You’re a liberal hack,” she answered. “I’m not talking to you.”
When Raju again asked if she would comment, she repeated, “You’re a liberal hack.”
In recounting the incident, Raju claimed that McSally “lashed out” to him. Former Obama administration senior advisor Dan Pfeiffer claimed she had “a meltdown.” But no, she was merely dismissive and said it matter-of-factly.
CNN political analyst Josh Rogin called McSally’s remark “an insult to the ideals and integrity of the Senate seat she inherited from John McCain.”
And the network itself didn’t let the incident slide either. It blew it up out of all proportion by releasing an official statement:
"It is extremely unbecoming for a U.S. Senator to sink to this level and treat a member of the press this way for simply doing his job," the statement said.
Does CNN seriously want to go there? The cable network has come under fire lately for behavior that goes beyond “extremely unbecoming” — most recently for its handling of Tuesday night’s Democratic presidential debate.
One day before the event, Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s campaign claimed that the Massachusetts Democrat was advised by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., in 2018 that a female could not be elected president in 2020.
The network took sides on the issue. About halfway into the two-hour debate, CNN moderator Abby Phillip addressed it to Sanders.
“Sen. Sanders, CNN reported yesterday, and Sen. Warren confirmed in a statement, that in 2018 you told her that you did not believe that a woman could win the election. Why did you say that?” she asked.
To be clear, Warren didn’t “confirm” — she merely repeated the same allegation. And Phillip’s “Why did you say that?” question indicated that she’d already made up her mind.
“Well, as a matter of fact, I didn’t say it,” Sanders responded. “Anybody knows me knows that it’s incomprehensible that I would think that a woman cannot be president of the United States."
After Sanders repeated that he’d “never told Sen. Warren that a woman could not win the election,” Phillip turned to Warren and essentially called Sanders a liar.
“Sen. Warren, what did you think when Sen. Sanders told you a woman could not win the election?”
But that was merely the latest in a long series of examples, and The Federalist senior editor Mollie Hemingway was only too willing to remind the network of some of its past blunders.
When CNN released its statement calling McSally’s dismissal of one if its reporters “extremely unbecoming,” Hemingway fired back:
“Remind us, is it becoming or unbecoming for CNN, including key player @mkraju to have spent years promulgating the false and dangerous disinformation campaign of treasonous Russian collusion? Or the Covington hoax? Or the Kavanaugh smears?” she shot back. “That's still cool, right? ”
And Federalist co-founder Sean Davis launched into a long series of other CNN missteps, including false stories it still hasn’t corrected, another lawsuit against the network for false and malicious reporting, and even misquoting Abraham Lincoln (someone give them a history book).
But at least CNN’s chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta seems to be learning the new rules. He’s nurtured a reputation for interrupting and even trying to take over press briefings.
On Thursday, he tried to interrupt President Donald Trump. Trump shut him down with one word: “Quiet.” That’s all it took.
When CNN was launched in 1980, its slogan was, “The most trusted name in news” — and it was. It’s latest slogan is, “Go there” — and it does, whether it should or not.
As for Trump, liberal pundits and Democratic politicians often accuse members of the administration, and especially the president, of repeatedly lying. What the administration has actually done is to usher in an age of truth over decorum. It just takes a while getting used to it.
Here’s an example of the process of accepting the new White House rules in the age of Trump:
- 2016: “Did you hear what Trump said this time? Unbelievable!”
- 2019: “Trump called her ‘Hatchet Face?’ ... Yeah, I can see that.”
New times, new rules. Get used to them. Trump’s going to be around for another five years, and yes, Raju can be “a liberal hack.”
Michael Dorstewitz is a retired lawyer and has been a frequent contributor to BizPac Review and Liberty Unyielding. He is also a former U.S. Merchant Marine officer and an enthusiastic Second Amendment supporter, who can often be found honing his skills at the range. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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