“The media didn’t ‘get it wrong’ on Lafayette Park, they lied to America — and they’re still lying.”
Christopher Bedford, The Federalist, June 11, 2021
CNN is deeply concerned about the truth. They also claim to be deeply concerned about democracy itself. At least, that’s what they say. On Oct. 27, 2021 they aired a “CNN Special Report” titled “STOP THE VOTE: The Big Lie’s Assault on Democracy” reported by Dana Bash. Given, however, that there are obviously so many lies around these days one might be justifiably perplexed about which “Big Lie” is the “Big Lie” referenced by CNN.
Perhaps by “the big lie” CNN means the constant claims by multiple people in the “news” media and on CNN, some with distended veins and popping eyes, that the reason Trump “won” the 2016 election was because he colluded with the Russians when, in fact, the Trump-Russia collusion story was a hoax financed by Hillary Clinton. But no, that “Big Lie” propagated to cheat the American people out of their choice for president in 2016 is not the “Big Lie” or “attack on democracy itself” that has CNN in such distress.
Perhaps by the “Big Lie” CNN means the fact that James Clapper and John Brennan stated on CNN that they had seen evidence that Trump colluded with Russia but when they were put under oath, they miraculously discovered that they had no such evidence. But no, that is not the “Big Lie” or attack on democracy CNN means.
Perhaps by the “Big Lie” CNN means all the times their “star” Jake Tapper featured Adam Schiff to lie that he had actually seen evidence of Trump’s collusion with Russia? But no, these attempts to undermine the democratic process are not “the Big Lie” that has CNN so distressed.
Perhaps by the “Big Lie” they mean the time they reported, right before the 2020 election, that Trump “consistently downplayed” the fact that Russia paid bounties to the Taliban to kill US troops in Afghanistan, when, in fact, Trump “downplayed” this because it was “fake news all along”. But no, that “Big Lie” right before a big election is not what CNN is so upset about.
Since it became clear later that it was Hillary Clinton who mobilized the offices of the US government and colluded with Russians to damage her opponent before an election, this should be a very good candidate for CNN’s “Big lie” that damages our democracy. But no, this is not what CNN means by “the Big Lie” or “assault on our democracy.”
Perhaps by “the big lie” CNN means the fact that several established journalists received Pulitzer Prizes for their false reporting on Trump’s collusion with Russia, awards that used, in “the old days,” to be reserved for “journalists” who actually condescend to tell the truth to the peasants. But no, the lies that undermine trust in CNN’s own “journalistic” profession are not the “Big Lies” that CNN is so upset.
Perhaps by the “Big Lie” CNN means Stacy Abrams repeated lie that the governorship in Georgia was stolen from her in 2018 by voter suppression. Alternatively, perhaps, CNN’s “Big Lie” is Stacy Abrams’ new claim, since she plans on running again and must promote the impression that she is truthful and honest, that she never claimed that the 2018 election was stolen from her – even though she is on video doing so multiple times. But no, since Stacy Abrams checks most of the boxes on CNN’s “identity politics” form, that is not the “Big Lie” that troubles CNN so much.
Perhaps by the “Big Lie” CNN means the lie told by CNN and most of the “news” media before the 2020 election when it was so important to help Biden, who was safely sheltering in his basement, that the “Hunter Biden laptop,” which is filled with all sorts of unfortunate information about Hunter and Joe, is Russian disinformation? On Sept. 28, 2021, Glen Greenwald, who is not a Trump supporter, tweeted that “It’s been 6 days since POLITICO reporter @SchreckReports published a new book verifying the key emails from Hunter Biden’s laptop, including Joe’s role in the China deal.”
Not one outlet that spread the CIA lie that it was Russian disinformation (except Politico) has even mentioned it.” Surely CNN’s claim that the Hunter Biden laptop story is Russian disinformation in order to keep the truth from the American people before an election, thereby undermining the democratic process, should be an excellent candidate for the “Big Lie” because it is, in a sense, a repackaged version of the Russian collusion hoax that most of the media had shamelessly perpetrated before and after the 2016 election. But no, that is not the “big lie” that has CNN up in arms.
Perhaps by the “Big Lie” CNN means the lie by the Biden administration that single male illegal immigrants are being turned away at the border that was exposed when bodycam footage acquired through a Freedom of Information Act request “shows federal contractors dropping off migrants at the Westchester County Airport in White Plains, N.Y., last summer, with one contractor on the scene saying the Biden administration was ‘betraying the American people.’” But no, for reasons that may be too obvious to mention, the Biden administration violating the law and betraying the American people is certainly not the “Big Lie” that has CNN is so morally outraged.
One could go on indefinitely. Unfortunately, a comprehensive list by Sharyl Attkisson (a real journalist in an age of Lilliputians) is far too long to be discussed here.
What, then, is the “Big Lie” that has CNN so unhappy? Since Donald Trump called CNN “fake news” they are, putting it mildly, not happy. But do not CNN and other “journalists” have the right to claim that Trump lied about the 2020 election? Of course. In fact, it would actually be useful to have a serious discussion about Trump’s claims, not theatre produced by a “news” company that is massively biased against him.
A fair discussion would have to be carried out in the old-fashioned way, back when the United States was still free, by having a respectful public discussion in a neutral venue with an unbiased moderator to make sure that both sides are fairly treated. One might sit Mollie Hemingway on one side of the table and, if any of CNN’s surviving “stars” are willing to venture forth from their safe spaces at CNN, on the other side of the table, and give both sides equal time to present facts and arguments in a respectful back and forth in order, not to jack up ratings with hyperventilating and hyperbole, but, rather, to reach the truth.
By Richard McDonough
Richard Michael McDonough, American philosophy educator. Achievements include production of original interpretation of Wittgenstein’s logical-metaphysical system, original application Kantian Copernican Revolution to philosophy of language; significant interdisciplinary work logic, linguistics, psychology & philosophy. Member Australasian Debating Federation (honorary life, adjudicator since 1991), Phi Kappa Phi. Richard is a regular contributor to The Blue State Conservative.
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Featured photo by United States Senate and Congress, Office of Senator Michael Bennet, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.