For years now, CNN has been dubbed the Clinton News Network and even the Communist News Network, with a disturbing amount of truth for the former and much more hyperbole for the latter.
But last week, CNN emerged as the Censoring News Network. Is anyone surprised?
There are certainly some fine reporters at CNN who strive to be balanced and fair in their work, and when compared to Fox and MSNBC, there have been times when CNN appears to be less biased then their cable competitors.
But as the presidential campaigns wear on, CNN's pro-Hillary, anti-Trump reporting is becoming even more glaring to the point of blatant censorship. Shades of the old Communist Party playbook!
As an early endorser of Ted Cruz, I noticed CNN's fairly obvious disdain for him during the Republican primaries, as a Trump or Hillary victory in one state would be described as very important or highly significant, while an even bigger Cruz victory in an equally important state would be reported flatly and without adjectives, as in, "Senator Cruz wins in Utah."
But these were minor infractions and hardly amounted to censorship. Not even close.
Over at Fox, it has been impossible to miss the degree to which Sean Hannity and others have thrown themselves in with Trump, to the point that some shows resemble political infomercials rather than journalistic programming.
But again, this too does not amount to censorship.
It is totally different, though, when images are altered and words removed so as to withhold important information or give misleading impressions to the viewing audience. CNN was guilty of this twice in two days last week.
On Aug. 31, CNN's Headline News (HLN) broadcast a report about Steven Eckel, a 53-year-old man who came to the rescue of a 4-month-old girl he spotted left in a hot car in New Jersey. He smashed the window with a sledgehammer, probably saving the little girl's life.
What could there be to censor?
Well this hero, who was being hailed for his actions by the media, was actually—hold your breath now—a supporter of Donald Trump. Worse still, he was wearing a t-shirt that said, "Trump 2016."
How could a man like that do anything good and compassionate and praiseworthy? And how could CNN's HLN feature a glowing report that made a Trump supporter look good?
When the report first aired on Aug. 31, the Trump 2016 logo was clearly seen.
"But," the Daily Mail reports, "when it was shown again later the same day, producers decided to censor the front of his t-shirt," blurring the words so they could not be seen.
How utterly outrageous.
A spokesman for HLN stated that the blurring was a mistake, explaining, "We blurred the logo and shouldn't have; it was done in error."
The obvious question is whose idea was it to blur the image?
Really now, what could possibly motivate someone to do such a thing other than extreme anti-Trump (or pro-Hillary) bias? On what grounds could anyone working in the HLN newsroom think that the "Trump 2016" logo should be obscured? Was it profane? Did it contain an offensive graphic? Was it giving out private information? No, no and no.
And does any rational person think that if the hero had been wearing a "Hillary 2016" t-shirt that the pro-Hillary logo would have been blurred?
Two days before that, on Aug. 29, CNN came under fire for omitting Trump's trademark description of Hillary as "crooked" when posting one of his tweets.
What they posted for their viewers was the actual image of a Trump tweet reading, "I think that both candidates, Hillary and myself, should release detailed medical records. I have no problem in doing so! Hillary?"
Again, the viewers saw what appeared to be an image of Trump's tweet, which was then read on the air by the CNN anchor, Jim Sciutto. The actual tweet, however, in keeping with Trump's custom, contained the "Crooked Hillary" moniker.
So CNN not only had its host read the tweet sans the word "Crooked," but they put an image on their screen sans "Crooked," giving the misleading impression to the casual viewer that this was a copy of the tweet.
What kind of deceptive reporting is this? Is it anything less than censorship?
Personally, I'm not a fan of the "Crooked" epithet (although sadly, Mrs. Clinton seems to be knee-deep in corruption and lies), and if the CNN reporter chose to use a certain intonation to reflect his displeasure with it, that would be understandable.
But to alter the text, presumably because CNN deemed it offensive, and then to post a graphic with that altered text as if it was the original, is to engage in outright journalistic deception.
Once again, this sounds like it could be taken right out of the pages of the old Communist Party playbook. North Korea would also be proud of reporting like this.
It is true that the following day, CNN reporters read the entire tweet, unedited, but that does not remove the offensive nature of what was done the day before.
So from scrubbing an offensive word to blurring an offensive slogan, one being anti-Hillary and the other being pro-Trump, CNN is becoming the Censoring News Network.
To all people of influence and responsibility at CNN, I urge you to step higher, to report the news without censorship, and to do your best to become known for unbiased reporting.
America desperately needs at least one station that will give it an honest shot.
Dr. Michael Brown (www.askdrbrown.org) is the host of the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program. His latest book is Revival Or We Die: A Great Awakening Is Our Only Hope. Connect with him on Facebook or Twitter, or YouTube.
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