Accuracy in Media

CNN just keeps on slapping objectivity in the face.  This time, CNN’s Jim Acosta went out of his way on November 18 to insult and marginalize the Oath Keepers. 

The Oath Keepers describe themselves as a “non-partisan association of currently serving military, veterans, peace officers, and firefighters” who swear to “support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, so help us God.”  The Oath Keepers routinely send care packages to American troops overseas and speak out in favor the supreme law of the land.  However, it would appear that Jim Acosta disagrees with these actions and goals—which makes sense, given that Acosta has in the past misrepresented Rush Limbaugh in defense of Barack Obama, and attacked those who disagree with leftist health care “reform.”

During the segment, Acosta interviews Mark Potok, a leftist who, in Acosta’s words, “monitors extremist groups with the Southern Poverty Law Center.”  Acosta goes on to remark that Potok has said “Oath Keepers are exploiting false rumors found on fringe websites.”  “Many of the Oath Keepers and people who believe that martial law is about to be imposed at any moment,” Potok says.

However, Potok is far from unbiased—even if Acosta leaves that part of his biography out.  The Southern Poverty Law Center is made up of a group of agenda-driven radicals who “monitor organized hate activity” from what they deem to be the extreme right.  Potok doesn’t “monitor extremist groups,” he monitors groups he vehemently disagrees with—like the Oath Keepers.  And why wouldn’t he?  The Oath Keepers stand up for freedom under the Constitution, and the Constitution technically prohibits the federal government from interfering in situations of alleged “hate.”  As Confederate Yankee reported, “The truly pathetic thing about Potok is that “news” organizations know very well that Potok is a former journalist with an ideological axe to grind.”  Using Potok as a commentator in any serious story is a joke for any self-respecting news organization.

Acosta also interviewed noted leftist Brian McGough, a pet of Media Matters who was once featured in an anti-Rush Limbaugh commercial.  McGough has since become something of a spokesperson for is a left-wing group of veterans who focus their time on attacking John McCain—but never Obama—for skipping Senate votes while on the 2008 campaign trail; supporting “clean” energy; and demanding the “truth” about torture.  McGough is another interviewee who is far from objective, and it is embarrassing for any news organization with hopes for objectivity to allow him to critique a conservative organization.  Especially a conservative organization that involves members of the military. 

Acosta did show some clips of his interview with Stewart Rhodes, the founder of the Oath Keepers.  Acosta asked Rhodes if the Oath Keepers were a “militia” group, and seemed fixated on the idea that men and women in the armed forces would want to protect Americans from ever having to go to detention camps (as is stated in the Oath Keepers’ oath). 

“Do you think that President Obama is plotting to build detention camps in this country?” Acosta asked.

“I don’t know.  Do you think President Bush was plotting to do that?” Rhodes replied.  A reasonable response to a man who will fawn over President Obama without shame, and whose network once employed the infamously biased Susan Roesgen.

Acosta was also painting other patriotic groups as radicals earlier this week.

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