Despite what many denizens of the greenrooms of cable news outlets and editorial staff meetings at the New York Times and Washington Post might believe, the American people aren’t stupid. And the proof is in the amusing “CNN Sucks” chant that accompanies President Trump at his rallies across the nation.
We saw it again this week in Arizona the moment Trump mentioned the “dishonest media.”
Why does the crowd direct their anger and derision at CNN? After all, MSNBC has branded themselves as the liberal progressive media outlet for nearly two decades. Their line-up starts with Morning Joe, one of the most hostile programs for the Trump Administration on the air.
The hosts of Morning Joe have questioned President Trump’s sanity, and even his sexuality over the past two years. They have attacked his family and they’ve hinted that he has STDs. And that just brings us to 9AM on MSNBC.
The day continues with Chuck Todd, Chris Matthews, Lawrence O’Donnell and Rachel Maddow. It’s dangerous and aggressive terrain for Trump and anyone from the administration.
The MSNBC audience expects aggressive criticism of this presidency and even advocacy from its prime time hosts. They tune-in to receive ammunition they can then use on their Facebook pages or in their office break room. And the MSNBC team delivers. If you oppose Trump, MSNBC is your network.
So why don’t the pro-Trump crowds chant “MSNBC Sucks”? Why do they focus their anger and hostility at CNN?
Because MSNBC doesn’t pretend to be objective. They don’t tell their audience that they have no agenda and they’re just delivering the unvarnished and “down the middle” news. They are the progressive network… they proclaim it and they own it.
CNN pretends to be objective. They will tell you they don’t have a dog in this fight. They will tell you that they are just delivering the news with no political bias. They will tell you they they are just delivering the facts with no agenda.
And the American people get it. They don’t mind news delivered with a perspective. They know that Fox News’ prime time line-up has a conservative agenda. And they know that Fox and Friends brings a right-of-center perspective. They also know what MSNBC delivers and they get it. If they want that they’ll watch.
CNN pretends to be otherwise, and the lie doesn’t pass the smell test.
The American people don’t mind a news organization with an agenda, they just don’t like being lied to. Because when you lie to them, and the lie is so obvious, then the message received is “You’re too stupid to know any better.”
And the American people are not stupid. They know what CNN is. And CNN knows what they are. But CNN won’t admit it.
So the chants will continue, until CNN makes some changes.
As long as they continue to have panel discussions with multiple liberals and a handful of anti-Trump Republicans and one token Trump supporter who get bloodied and beaten by the panel and the host, the chants will continue.
As long as they have their Chief White House Correspondent revel in his persona as the chief antagonist in WWE-style press briefings he attempts to dominate, the chants will continue.
As long as they use Valerie Jarrett’s daughter as an “objective” Justice Department correspondent, the chants will continue.
As long as they have their reporters turn on a dime and provide commentary and analysis on the story they were just “reporting,” the chants will continue.
As long as their media analyst reports that unnamed journalists are discussing the “president’s fitness” when “the microphones are off” and uses that anonymous assertion as the hook for a round table discussion on whether Trump is nuts, the chants will continue.
So the chants will continue.
In Arizona. In Pennsylvania. In South Carolina. And in Minnesota.
The chants will continue because, the American people aren’t stupid. Just look at the ratings.
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