| Why has the hash tag #CNNistrash been popular since this week's presidential primary debate? There was nothing new about the pro-corporate, militarist, anti-progressive slant of the debate "moderation." What was new was the level of blatant bias so extreme that even viewers who knew little about the issues couldn't miss it, plus the amount of time CNN focused on expressing its hostility toward a single candidate, Bernie Sanders.
First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they attack you, then you win . . . or so the saying goes. The Bernie Sanders campaign is well into stage 3 out of 4.
Click here to tell CNN to apologize for its performance, and fix its coverage.
CNN began Tuesday's debate with a focus on endless U.S. wars in the Middle East, with CNN moderator Wolf Blitzer noting how close the United States had just come to war with Iran and then asking Sanders why he would be the best commander in chief. Not why he would be the best president for making peace.
A bit later, Blitzer clumsily equated opposition to never-ending U.S. troop deployment with a demonized enemy: "Senator Sanders, in the wake of the Iran crisis, Iran's Ayatollah Khamenei has again called for all U.S. troops to be pulled out of the Middle East, something you've called for, as well."
Click here to tell CNN to apologize and to do better.
With each new topic, the bias grew in Tuesday's debate. What can be read in the debate transcript was compounded by the titles CNN displayed on the lower part of the television screen during each segment. For example: "Sanders' proposals would double federal spending over a decade; how will he avoid bankrupting the country?"
CNN, which added right-wing journalists to its panels of questioners at all four of its Republican primary debates in 2015-16, has adamantly refused to add progressive journalists to its panels at Democratic debates.
CNN presented candidates supporting the NAFTA 2.0 trade deal as reasonable Tuesday night, and accused Sanders of unwillingness to compromise. When Sanders' cited environmentalist opposition to that trade deal because the pact doesn't even mention climate change, he was reprimanded for straying off topic.
Then CNN turned to a story that it had reported on just prior to the debate, alleging that Sanders had told Senator Elizabeth Warren that he didn't believe a woman could be elected U.S. president. The CNN questioner ignored Sanders' assertions that he had a public record going back decades of stating that a woman could be elected president, that he had stayed out of the race in 2015 until Warren decided not to run, and that in fact he had told Warren no such thing. Then came this exchange:
CNN: So Senator Sanders -- Senator Sanders, I do want to be clear here, you're saying that you never told Senator Warren that a woman could not win the election?
SANDERS: That is correct.
CNN: Senator Warren, what did you think when Senator Sanders told you a woman could not win the election?
You don't have to support free public college tuition and Medicare for All to recognize the bias here.
Many viewers recognized the slant. Many even began to notice the strange double standard in CNN not asking about the cost of U.S. wars while pounding away on Sanders over the cost of his Medicare for All proposal. Here's a question asked by CNN on Tuesday:
"Vice President Biden, does Senator Sanders owe voters a price tag on his health care plan?"
Click here to let CNN know that its corporatism is showing, and to demand an apology.
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>> The Intercept: "At the Iowa Debate, Bernie Sanders’s Most Vociferous Opponent Was CNN"
>> Common Dreams: "CNN Is Truly a Terrible Influence on This Country"
>> Debate Transcript First Half
>> Debate Transcript Second Half