Accuracy in Media

CNN editor-at-large Chris Cillizza showed his true colors as an advocate rather than a neutral reporter in his article “The 11 most dangerous things Donald Trump said in his Montana speech.”

Cillizza did not like the speech by President Donald Trump during a Montana rally for Republican U.S. Senate candidate Matt Rosendale. At the rally, Trump called out bias at the FBI against him; this bias was evidenced in documents and text messages released to the public showing top FBI workers felt animus toward the Trump campaign during the 2016 election.

“When the President of the United States insists the Justice Department is biased and can’t be trusted, it erodes one of the long-standing pillars of civil society,” Cillizza wrote.

Cillizza took issue with Trump saying that “It’s a rigged deal, folks. It’s a rigged deal. I used to say it. It’s a rigged deal. It’s a disgrace.”

But even though saying the system is rigged was a mainstay theme by Democratic candidates such as Bernie Sanders, Cillizza said that when Trump says it, that means something sinister.

Cillizza said that Trump is “fomenting (for political gain) the resentment that lots of people feel toward their government and toward societal establishment more generally. Trump is provoking people to believe that there is some ‘they’ out there working to keep you down. And enjoying doing it.”

Cillizza also contradicts himself, comparing Trump’s calling out media bias to the completely unrelated tragedy at a newspaper workplace shooting in Annapolis, Md., despite the statement that “This attack shocked the conscience of our nation and filled our hearts with grief,” and that “Journalists, like all Americans, should be free from the fear of being violently attacked while doing their job.” President Trump also issued a proclamation honoring the victims of the newspaper shooting and ordered White House flags lowered to half-staff. To honor the victims, the order also covered all flags on public buildings, military posts, naval vessels, embassies abroad.

But that did not stop Cillizza from conflating two separate issues.

“Eight days ago, a man walked into the Capital Gazette newsroom in Maryland and murdered five staffers,” Cillizza writes. “His motives were his own — he held a grudge against the paper for its coverage of a criminal harassment claim against him — and had nothing to do with Trump’s repeated rhetorical attack on the media as ‘fake.’ Full stop. That said, one might think that in the wake of such violence committed against reporters, the President of the United States might be more mindful of savaging the media to a crowd of his supporters. That would be the responsible thing to do. That isn’t what Trump did.”

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