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Bias in America’s media fouling our political climate and conversation

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The logo of once-reputable news source CNN.

Aidan Denehy, Opinion Editor

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Lately, I’ve been disgusted by America’s media; that is to say, America’s entertainment sources and oftentimes left-reaching political columns which purport themselves as ‘fair and balanced’ news.

For the longest time, I was a devoted fan of CNN. Admittedly, they had occasionally demonstrated a liberal bias, but compared to the pandering done to the left-wing done by MSNBC or the right-wing politics played by FOX News, it seemed like a good choice for a reliable and fairly moderate news outlet based in the United States.

However, based on their most recent feud with our newly-elected president and the sensationalist headlines being propagated by CNN, that’s no longer the case. It’s truly unfortunate when one feels that the best option of unbiased media within their own country is to rely on foreign news outlets (my new choice being BBC.)

CNN has proven over the past 2 months that they do not care about journalistic integrity. They do not care about reporting fair and unbiased information. They have instead devoted themselves to a yellow journalism campaign against the American right, against the President of the United States, and against private citizens.

It started, I suppose, with the choice of CNN to publish a short piece and review of the infamous (and likely false) documents which claimed to be blackmail against President Trump. This, of course, drew a reaction from the man who was then President-elect. However, since the feud there began, CNN and Trump have begun a furious campaign of mud-slinging back and forth. Rather than proving Trump’s claims of “fake news” incorrect by continuing to report the facts straight and to the point, they have instead put such a twist to even the most basic of political situations the majority of their content is, in a word, unreadable.

For the past few months, it seems that even major news stories have drawn only cursory attention from CNN, while headlines about Trump seem to be popping up as banner notifications on my phone more often than not. However, what led to my decision to personally blacklist CNN was its coverage of the events regarding controversial far-right speaker Milo Yiannopolous last week.

I understand that Yiannopolous has generated quite a bit of controversy. I’ll be honest; I detest him. I think that he is the definition of an ugly American (ironic, considering he isn’t American-born.) His opinions are inflammatory, misguided, and disrespectful. They are historically and culturally ignorant.

However, he does have a right to speak his mind. It is guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution, which does not read “right to Free Speech most of the time” or “Right to free speech when their opinions align with ours” or “right to free speech as long as we’re okay with it.” No, even if we thoroughly dislike everything they say, they have a right to say it.

To return to the issue at hand however, what CNN neglected to report was the scale of violence and rioting that occurred at the University of California Berkeley after College Republicans invited Yiannopolous to speak. Students, some of whom were anarcho-communists (a contradictory position, wouldn’t you agree?) shot fireworks at police, set dumpsters and other objects on fire, tore down barricades, and smashed windows both on campus and at businesses nearby.

So much for peaceful protest.

Of course, many on the far left are saying that it was a justified reaction to an intolerable speaker. After all, he’s basically a fascist, they’d argue. It’s not like fascists use violence to coerce others into being silent or anything.

So CNN does not report widespread damage and looting both at the campus and in the community surrounding… but they do report that “Extremist Milo Yiannopolous, whose Berkeley event sparked protests, takes on the college establishment and rallies white supremacists.” Sounds really neutral and unbiased, CNN. I wonder what your thesis of the article could be; I’m sure there’s no political slant to it.

Furthermore, upon reading the actual article, there’s no mention or evidence of any white supremacist talk by Yiannopolous. It would seem that CNN should probably more carefully monitor their headlines and see that they align with their content; we here at the Crier do, and we’re more than willing to give you some pointers, CNN!

In a politically divisive climate, what does not bring Americans together is parroting of party agendas by the news sources that Americans rely on to inform themselves. It is impossible to really be appraised of the political process as an average citizen if most national news sources say that our country is run by a fascist who is ‘literally Hitler’ or by the one man who can save our country (depending on which outlet you’re using.)

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The student news site of Saint Anselm College
Bias in America’s media fouling our political climate and conversation