‘It’s really an important part of our democracy to have an excellent, world-class news organization like CNN is…’
(Ben Sellers, Liberty Headlines) Two notorious Trump-bashers teamed up Monday night to blur the lines of fact, fiction and fantasy under the guise of comedy.
CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer, who has repeatedly led the charge in bringing up questions on impeachment against President Donald Trump, visited “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” to despair over the push-back that left-wing media outlets have faced under the current administration.
“It’s been a very slow news cycle lately—I don’t know if you’ve noticed,” Blitzer began glibly.
It was hard to tell from there, however, when the erstwhile White House correspondent’s tongue left his cheek as he proceeded to wax philosophical about the lofty mission of the mainstream news media.
“We want people to watch, obviously, CNN. We want people to know what’s going on. Our job as journalists, as reporters, is to report the news as fairly, as responsibly, as accurately as we possibly can.”
Throwing a charitable bone to critics, Blitzer conceded that CNN has had a sometimes rocky relationship with the truth, perhaps alluding to the resignation of three CNN employees last year over a false story asserting ties between Trump officials and a Russian investment fund.
CNN itself drew criticism for collusion during the 2016 election when it was discovered by Wikileaks that contributor Donna Brazile had given questions to the Hillary Clinton campaign prior to a debate sponsored by the network.
“We know we’re the first draft of history, meaning that occasionally we make a mistake,” Blitzer said, “and if we do, we correct it as soon as possible, but that’s our responsibility.”
Blitzer then quickly pivoted back to scapegoating the Trump administration for the Fifth Estate’s decline in credibility and viewership.
Trump notably has taken an antagonistic tone with the network.
Early in his presidency, he retweeted a meme that showed him tackling and punching a person with the CNN logo photo-shopped on his head.
Blitzer and others in the media have particularly harped on Trump’s rhetoric in referring to members of the press as an “enemy of the people” due to their slanted coverage.
“It’s really an important part of our democracy to have an excellent, world-class news organization like CNN is…. It’s very concerning, very worrisome, that the president of the United States goes after us the way he does,” Blitzer said.
Encouraged by Kimmel—who acknowledged industry bias in his own field when he said in February that talk show hosts were liberal because it required ‘intelligence’—Blitzer then went on record denying Trump’s charge while preaching to the choir:
“Not just me, but all of us serious news organizations, we are not the enemy of the American people. We report the news. It’s part of our democracy. What worries me so much is that when the president says what he says, it gives encouragement to dictators out there around the world to go after a free press, and they say, ‘Look, fake news, disgusting people, we gotta get rid of them.’”
Kimmel chimed in that it was not only journalists at risk.
“Camera guys, audio guys on the scene at a rally in Florida and he’s getting people stirred up, he doesn’t know who’s in that crowd. He doesn’t know what someone might do. It’s truly irresponsible,” Kimmel said, before again blurring the lines between comedy and wish-fulfillment: “We’ve gotta get rid of him, right?”
Blitzer took his cue to play the straight man to Kimmel’s madcap foil: “We have to convince him to stop talking, cause it’s really, really a dangerous situation. It’s an awful situation, and I hope he stops doing it.”
Despite the speculation of what might happen to journalists at a Trump rally, networks were decidedly mute over the aggressive treatment from Antifa and left-wing protestors during a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend, as documented by an NBC camera crew.
Correspondent Cal Perry tweeted footage of the protestors cursing and shoving both media and law enforcement during an Aug. 12 demonstration. The march ostensibly commemorated the year anniversary of the “Unite the Right” event, during which one counter-protestor was hit by a car.