Accuracy in Media

After railing about the criticism from the right-wing media about former Vice President Joe Biden’s mental acuity, CNN Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter wondered whether the Left has an anti-Trump media outlet to tear down Trump.

STELTER: Let’s talk more about it with David Zurawik, The Baltimore Sun media critic. He’s here with me. Along with Columbia University scholar Nicole Hemmer, she’s the author of “Messenger of Right,” all about conservative media and American politics. And also with us, Errin Haines, editor-at-large for The 19th, the brand-new website covering the intersection of gender and politics.

Nicole, first to you: Negative partisanship, it kind of explains everything about what is broken in our media environment because there’s all of these media outlets, all of these talk radio stars and TV shows that are just constantly attacking, fueling hatred of the other side. Am I right to say this happens on the left and the right but it’s more severe on the right currently?

NICOLE HEMMER: Yes. I would say it’s more severe on the right currently, in part because the right just has a longer tradition of these overtly ideological media outlets, right? There is this sort of habit of attacking Democrats that goes pretty far back. If you look at like the 1990s and the way that Rush Limbaugh and others sort of sharpened their teeth on Bill Clinton, this is the way they built audiences for these decades now.

STELTER: Yeah, I don’t want to claim it’s new, I just — I’m arguing that it’s getting worse, it’s more severe. Errin, your view of this, you know, when you see entire media companies essentially exist to tear down Joe Biden, is there an equivalent of that on the left, tearing down Trump?

ERRIN HAINES: There really isn’t. What I would say is it’s really a diet of this type of information that a lot of these voters are getting. A lot of the voters I talk to, I can — when I interview them, I do hear them saying a lot of the talking points that sound very familiar from some of these shows which I try to listen to when I’m out on the campaign trail or when I’m home, watching TV.


Stelter and his guests somehow conveniently forgot about the anti-Trump media of the Left which includes Stelter’s current employer CNN, his former employer The New York Times, along with MSNBC, The Washington Post, and just about every major newspaper and broadcast news network which in totality dwarf any supposed anti-Biden media that he was attacking.


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