Legendary Washington Post journalist Carl Bernstein went on CNN with Brian Stelter in the aptly named “Reliable Sources” program, when the host asked one of the least important questions on the campaign trail today – yet another inquiry into Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s health. Bernstein’s response was perfect:
There is a much larger question about the overall coverage of this campaign by the electronic media, by cable and network news. We’ve been terrific at interpretation at giving equal time to debate panels, but we’ve been positively awful in terms of reporting in a coherent way the biggest story of this campaign: the real existing life and records of Donald Trump.
The New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal have done fabulous reporting on this and we give snippets of it.We need to be doing an hour, two hours a night of real biography, running it over and over of what Trump’s life and record have been about because they’re at absolute odds with the mythical and lying story that he has told us.
He’s a con man. It’s been established. And also he has presided over a cover up of his own life. And we have allowed it in cable news and network news particularly.
Few journalists in America today are more respected than Carl Bernstein and his colleague Bob Woodward, whose doggedly persistent journalism uncovered the last time Republicans broke into the Democratic National Committee for political reasons, and ultimately forced President Richard Nixon to resign from office in 1974 amidst the Watergate affair.
Unlike the 1970s, this time we found out the results of the Russian invasion into DNC email servers almost immediately. Then the Republican candidate departed from all norms of political behavior by any party in America to ask his patron,Russian strongman Vladimir Putin to hack Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign servers, leading almost immediately to another electronic strike.
The real question is: why hasn’t the cable television media noticed any of this and taken the time to dig further into the detailed reports, like proof that the Republican candidate faces serious racketeering charges related to Trump University, that long before the suspected labor and immigration violating Trump Models lawsuit, we found evidence of human trafficking practices in the nominee’s reality TV show productions for MTV?
Every major newspaper in Florida is calling for a federal investigation of Trump University, but thus far CNN and FOX are more interested in Hillary Clinton’s health and ignoring the actual facts that Donald Trump is 70 years old, lied about his height to hide his obesity, and says that making hand gestures during rallies is “exercise.”
CNN’s Stelter replied to Carl Bernstein’s sincere comment with the kind of misguided mainstream media groupthink talking points which might’ve come straight out of a campaign’s deflection and spin files, blaming the reality of Trump’s lifelong con job being under reported on “liberals” wanting to discuss facts. Bernstein shut him down without question:
It’s not just liberals, I think it’s conservatives, too, there is realization that trump is a con man. And that that is a big part of the story. Look, we have reported and nobody has been tougher on Hillary Clinton especially on the server question than I, I’ve said it’s indefensible what she did with it, and we have reported on her whole life. She has been around for 25, 30 years in public on the public stage. And we know her every position and record and her life. Trump is different.
We haven’t — it’s not equal. It’s disequal that we have allowed Donald Trump to play us like this and we focus on his outrageous statements which we do every day and we give equal time to those on his side and Hillary’s side debating these crazy statements and positions that he changes every day. And we analyze that, but do we go back and look at his whole business record? No. We don’t.
It’s sad to watch CNN drown in the effluvia of it’s own conflicted interests, while broadcasting a Trump hotel infomercial live, and without during the hourlong advertisement for the Republican bigot mention that all of its contents were not made in the USA by the xenophobic candidate who advocates protectionism and charges $805 a night to stay in half-finished digs a few blocks from the White House, nor did CNN mention that Trump’s hotel chain is wallowing in vacancy because of the stigma attached to its name.
Since when did providing actual facts become just a liberal idea in the media, rather than the purpose of America’s free press? We scratch our heads along with Carl Bernstein.
Watch it here:
Grant Stern is the Executive Editor of Occupy Democrats and published author. His new Meet the Candidates 2020 book series is distributed by Simon and Schuster. He's also mortgage broker, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida., as well as the producer of the Dworkin Report podcast. Grant is also an occasional contributor to Raw Story, Alternet, and the DC Report, and an unpaid senior advisor to the Democratic Coalition.