CNBC Editor: ‘Viewers Not Stupid As We Think They Are’

There are signs that the media is learning. Nikhil Deogun, senior vice president and editor-in-chief of CNBC, recently discussed confirmation bias and trust in the media with Yahoo! News anchor Katie Couric on a panel at the Aspen Ideas Festival and his thoughts were actually encouraging.

“Consumers are increasingly gravitating toward outlets that basically tell them what they want to hear, reinforce their beliefs,” Couric said, quoted by The Blaze. “A friend of mine said, ‘They’re seeking affirmation, not information.’ So, given that, how do you restore trust in the media writ large if people are so divided about which media outlets are actually fair and accurate?”

“I think sometimes there’s too much of a tendency to interpret a fact to a degree that it goes into opinion,” Deogun said. “And I think part of our job is to — again — remind ourselves that our … readers, viewers, users, are not as ignorant, as stupid as we think they are.”

Deogun continued, “I think part of that is to be more transparent. Part of that is to be more forthcoming about what we know and what we don’t know.”

The injection of opinion into news stories to give a biased slant on the news has long been a criticism of the mainstream media by conservatives. Numerous surveys have shown that the vast majority of reporters identify as liberals and Democrats so when a bias exists it almost exclusively reflects a liberal viewpoint.

Journalists were traditionally taught the “five w’s and one h” for their writing. A good news story answers the basic questions of “Who, What, Why, When, Where and How.” Contrary to the apparent belief of many modern journalists, the “What” is a reference to “What happened?” and not “What people should think.”

Deogun’s statement is an admission that at least some journalists realize that they have gone too far and alienated their customers in the process. While 90 percent of journalists may be liberal, political views of the general population are much more mixed. The majority of the population that is not liberal doesn’t like to be talked down to by liberal journalists, especially when they have to pay for subscriptions to outlets that insult their views and values.

There are encouraging signs that the media is trying to fix its ideological problem. Deogun’s admission that there is too much opinion in news stories and that journalists talk down to their readers and viewers is one such sign. CNN’s firing of three journalists who violated the news site’s standards is another action that conservatives should applaud, rather than using it to attack the network’s credibility.

Of course, the media still has a long way to go in regaining lost trust and respect. After all, Deogun didn’t say that viewers weren’t stupid, he just said that they are not “as stupid as we think they are.”

Old habits and attitudes die hard.

 

Democrats Seethe After Georgia, But Still Don’t Get It

The New York Times ran a typically tone-deaf, if not revealing assessment of the state of their own Democrat Party following the special election loss in the Georgia runoff recently.

As is typical in the New York Times, the Democrats writing the piece embedded with half-truths like attributing Jon Ossoff’s fundraising to “small donations” but not mentioning that he set a record for out-of-state dollars with only 3.5% of his money coming from within the district. Nor do they mention that Ossoff was careful to never directly attack Trump, instead running as a moderate Republican to try to win the seat. That would seem to be an important point when trying to make the case that an Ossoff victory would have been an “emphatic statement about the weakness of the Republican Party under President Trump.”

But aside from the typical Times shenanigans that you just have to expect when you try sifting through their coverage, the article did touch on the “seething” dissent that is being experienced within the Democrat Party. More than one Democrat lawmaker expressed desire for new leadership, meaning they want to give Nancy Pelosi the boot:

Representative Seth Moulton, Democrat of Massachusetts, said the defeat was “frustrating” and urged a shake-up at the top of the party. “Our leadership owes us an explanation,” said Mr. Moulton, who voted against Ms. Pelosi in the last leadership election. “Personally, I think it’s time for new leadership in the party.”

What’s peculiar is that Moulton didn’t voice opposition to the new leadership of his party’s national committee. Tom Perez has been an abject disaster for the public relations of the party, suggesting that no pro-life Democrat need apply for any open position, and that cursing their way back to power was the best course of action.

And while we’re at it, the problem extends beyond Democrat lawmakers and party leaders. It’s also the messaging of the party’s public spokesmen in media. When a wealthy white man defeated female Hillary Clinton for the presidency, feminists were outraged. When female Karen Handel defeated a wealthy white man for a congressional seat, feminists were outraged. It belies the entire movement and Americans see it and tire of it.

And the Times itself is culpable. The day before they ran this article on Democrat seething, they ran Democrat author Jill Filipovic’s assertions that excused her party and blamed the voters:

“At what point is this not a failure of Democrats, but toxic, vindictive voters willing to elect hateful bigots?”

She really wrote that. Karen Handel is a “hateful bigot.” Why? Because she disagrees with Jill Filipovic? Because she’s a Republican? And there was more:

“Maybe instead of trying to convince hateful white people, Dems should cater to our base – ppl of color, women – to turn out. Cater to them.”

This is the kind of identity politics, the kind of divisive nonsense that has overtaken the Democrat Party. It’s become engrained in their DNA, and until there’s a purge of that bloodstream of hatred and dismissal of anyone who doesn’t think like them, it’s not likely to get better.

But don’t expect to see the Times cover that angle.

Liberal Outlets Have A Problem With Otto Warmbier Being A White Man

The news of Otto Warmbier’s passing is tragic. He was a popular student at the University of Virginia, and by all means a great kid with a bright future ahead of him. Sadly, he spent the last year of his life languishing in a North Korean prison for the ridiculous crime of stealing a hotel poster (a crime that has been cast in doubt as terrible footage provided by North Korea of the incident proves nothing).

Warmbier should never have traveled to North Korea, but that is beside the point. He meant well and did not deserve such horrors. Everyone should be devastated by his death following his return from the Hermit Kingdom. Everyone also should’ve been upset that he was even sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in the first place. However, some appeared last year to be happy at his predicament.

Progressive media outlets proved not to be remorseful of his suffering. Lefty sites like HuffPost and Salon actually had a problem with Otto Warmbier. They lamented the fact that he was white and a member of a fraternity.

Look at this cruel headline posted by Salon covering the student’s arrest:

Salon didn’t stop there. They tweeted the piece with even more vicious content. The tweet included a crying Warmbier with the acronym “ASS” under him. The acronym being a clear jab at his fraternity membership:

Not to be outdone, HuffPost also published an article during that time with the headline, “North Korea proves your white male privilege isn’t universal.”

The HuffPost article written by La Sha was filled with overtly racists remarks. At one point she writes, “What a bummer to realize that even the State Department with all its influence and power cannot assure your pardon. What a wake-up call it is to realize that your tears are met with indifference.”

How disturbing.

At a time when we should have been saddened by Otto Warmbier’s arrest, elements on the left reveled in his misery. To them, Warmbier was the combination of two things they hate so much in our society: a white man and… (gasp!) a frat boy. Consumed with identity politics, many on the left could only see a white man who never suffered a day in his life and “had it coming.” They did not see a kindhearted 21-year-old who was put in a horrific situation.

Upholding simple standards of journalism shows that Warmbier’s alleged crime was likely a hoax altogether. His father believes he was coerced into confessing he stole the poster. British citizen Danny Gratton, Warmbier’s roommate during the North Korea trip, does not believe that’s him in the footage.

A report by Heat Street states that neither Salon nor HuffPost have retracted or apologized for their incendiary articles – not even after Warmbier’s death.

Tell me again why white men have left the Democratic Party in droves.

 

Women’s March Covered 3.4 Times More Than March for Life

The 2017 Pro-Choice, Anti-Gender Norms, Pro-Illegal Immigration, Anti-Trump Women’s March on Washington was covered 3.4 times more than the 2017 March for Life.

Is anyone surprised?

The numbers are in. Among the three major broadcast news networks (ABC, CBS and NBC), the Women’s March was given one hour, 15 minutes and 18 seconds – and the March for Life was only given 21 minutes and 52 seconds.

It’s worth noting that these three networks significantly increased their coverage of the March for Life from last year – 21 minute and 52 seconds compared to 35 seconds in 2016. This year, all three networks covered the event, whereas last year only ABC even mentioned the March for Life.

What’s the reason for the increased coverage? We can’t say for sure, but many are speculating that President Trump’s interview with ABC’s David Muir may have had something to do with it. In the interview, when asked about the Women’s March on Washington, President Trump emphasize the then upcoming March for Life, saying:

“And I will say this, and I didn’t realize this, but I was told you will have a very large crowd of people — I don’t know as large or larger, some people said it will be larger — pro-life people, and they say the press doesn’t cover them.”

March for Life President Jeanne Mancini addressed the issue of numbers in her remarks at the March for Life, emphasizing that the number she’s focused on isn’t that of attendees.

“People keep asking me about our numbers for the March for Life. Well, it is hard to add up how many have come here over the last 44 years, but that really isn’t the point. The only number I care about, and the only number that we all care about is – 58 million. Since 1973, 58 million Americans have died as a result of abortion. We stand here today for them – for the little innocent children who have lost their lives to abortion. We also stand here for the mothers who regret their abortion decision.”

While it’s easy for us to get discouraged by media coverage comparison, Mancini’s comments put things into perspective – 58 million lives. That’s a number that puts them all to shame.

About Those Attendance Numbers…

Right now, the mainstream media are agog at how much of a washout the attendance was at Donald Trump’s inauguration compared to Barack Obama back in 2009.  While it’s true that the Donald didn’t pull in the epic number of people that Obama did (estimates put today’s crowd around 900,000, compared to 1.8 million for Obama)–and while I’m sure that President Trump wouldn’t want us making any excuses for his still YUGE turnout–we still gotta face the facts, don’t we?

Well, sure.  So here are some facts:

  • Barack Obama’s election was historic.  Like him or not, the election of the nation’s first black president was a huge milestone.  Petty politics can’t take away from that, so we must give the man his due.  Lots of Republicans even voted for Obama in the hopes that his election would heal the racial wounds of the past and bridge the persistent divide between white and black America (though we all saw how that turned out).  He came into office with a lot of good will aimed his way for that reason.
  • Washington, DC is in the Northeast Corridor.  You know what real estate agents say about location, location, location?  Well, we are talking about the leftmost quadrant of the country.  Getting liberals to show up in Liberal Central for the swearing in of a liberal president is about as easy as getting conservatives to show up at NASCAR.  Where Toby Keith is giving a concert.  On Free Beer Night.
  • The Democrats have a built-in crowd constituency.  Say what you will about the left, but they know how to turn bodies out.  That’s because they have a vast network of union and community organizers, allied with activist networks, serial agitators and dirty tricksters who turn up for protests and rallies because they get paid (or at least funded) to do so.  You ever watch protests on TV and wonder why those people don’t have jobs?  Well, that is their job.  And so is showing up to make liberal politicians look good.
  • Democrats are obsessed with politics.  Conservatives are not.  This one is really simple.  Government is the liberal raison d’être.  Conservatives largely just want to be left alone.  And most conservatives, when an election is over, say, “Good!” and then return to their lives.  That’s because they have familes.  And jobs.  And mortgages.  And all the other stuff that doesn’t leave them with a hell of a lot of time to attend things like, say, presidential inaugurations halfway across the country.
  • And finally…

As I recall, Barack Obama didn’t have to deal with anything like this at his inaugurations.  His supporters got to show up, have a good time, and then go home.  Trump supporters, on the other hand, facing the possibility of having bricks thrown at their heads, might have just let discretion be the better part of valor and skipped the festivities.  Funny how fear can make a difference that way.

Foreign Donors: Trump Hasn’t Done Anything Obama Didn’t Do 100 Times Worse

The media is in a tizzy over the fact that some foreign leaders got fundraising emails from Donald Trump’s campaign. Yes, I know, Trump only hires the best people (who are willing to work for him), and he only buys the finest email lists. But Barack Obama raised millions from foreigners, and did it on purpose.

The Washington Post’s panties are absolutely in a bunch over Trump’s email. Note that their article didn’t include any response from the Trump campaign, possibly because WaPo is persona non grata for The Donald since they forced him to write a $1 million personal check to veterans groups.

The solicitations prompted watchdog groups in Washington to file two separate complaints Wednesday with the Federal Election Commission alleging that the Trump campaign was violating federal law by soliciting funds from foreign nationals.

What happened to Trump is a self-fulfilling prophecy, since many of Paul Manafort’s political contacts are outside the U.S., and no self-respecting campaign insider from previous GOP presidential races will work for the Orange Throne. So whatever lists the Trump campaign buys are likely not top-quality A/B tested, behaviorally vetted data.

Remember back in April, when Trump’s campaign got locked out of it’s own database because they laid off their data guru? Yeah, the best people.

Back in 2012, WaPo reported on Obama’s foreign funding, which since 2008 was a mainstay of his online small donor operation.

Faced with a huge influx of donations over the Internet, the campaign has also chosen not to use basic security measures to prevent potentially illegal or anonymous contributions from flowing into its accounts, aides acknowledged. Instead, the campaign is scrutinizing its books for improper donations after the money has been deposited.

The article is littered with quotes from Obama’s lawyers talking about extensive reviews and refunds. Uh huh. But Obama never bothered to just put a block on accepting foreign credit card donations or check against foreign addresses.

The Washington Times also reported on Obama’s illegal foreign cash.

Former Bill Clinton campaign consultant Dick Morris described the scope of the problem in a recent column: “In September, the Obama campaign got 1.8 million donations from small contributors who did not break the $200 threshold requiring that their information be reported to the Federal Election Commission. They gave the campaign 98 percent of the $181 million it raised that month, a figure vastly higher than its take in any previous month.”

The liberal press, having made its pivot against Trump, will help metastasize this foreign email issue like it’s a huge problem. Give it a few news cycles and you’ll see it popping up on CBS, NBC, ABC.

Trump cannot run a professional campaign because most professionals won’t touch him. And every minor-league mistake they make between now and November is going to be properly memorialized by the hostile media.

The GOP knows all this, and has precious few days to, as Erick wrote, do what is right.