I can’t even pretend to know what CNN is really thinking by hiring as political editor for their 2020 election coverage Sarah Isgur Flores, a former spokeswoman for the Trump Department of Justice under Attorney General Jeff Sessions and campaign operative for Carly Fiorina and Ted Cruz.
Of course, the DoJ has been one of the leakier Deep State departments undermining Trump. There is that. So for the conspiracists, she might already have a close relationship there. And if you like your conspiracies really toasty warm, you might suspect that she’s told CNN that she just has a lot of dirt from her time in connection with the Mueller investigation and knows how to get information out of the DoJ.
But I can say that if the media were serious about actually fixing itself, it would be doing a lot more hiring of conservatives. A LOT.
While recently seeing some modest increases, CNN suffered serious, almost debilitating ratings declines in the two years following President Trump’s election. They fell well behind known liberal network MSNBC and out-of-sight behind well-known conservative network Fox News. They had long wanted themselves to be seen as the most trusted name in news, but consistently ranked below Fox News and sometimes behind MSNBC.
Of course, they jettisoned all that talk of being trusted in the age of Trump and went full-bore partisan hack, often sprinting over to outright propaganda machine.
But if they really want to regain broad-based trust, CNN like every other mainstream media organization, needs to trash diversity based on skin color and gender — which leads to a rainbow of RightThink liberals and horribly partisan content — and seek a diversity of worldview.
Here’s how it could work.
First and foremost, approach it at the start like an addiction — in this case, an addiction to one worldview that supposes it is the one really true truth and all others are fake news.
Admit you have a problem.
Between 85-90 percent of the working media admit to being registered Democrat. I suspect the number of left-of-center journalists is actually higher than based on my own 25 years of experience in newspaper newsrooms.
Admit that because of human nature, that reality causes a deep leftist bias in the resulting product. No waving around the magic wand of “we’re professionals” makes that bias go away. Everyone has these biases, which is why diversity of worldview is critical.
Admit also that since Trump’s presidency, the bias has become blatant and damaging to credibility and driven many Americans to turn off the media for good.
In President Trump’s recent State of the Union speech, there was an amazing diversity of coverage and headlines — but one hundred percent predictable if you align them with worldviews and politics. Here are a few next day headlines of the speech that garnered 76 percent positive response from those who watched it:
➔ (conservative reporters) Washington Examiner: With pitch for unity, Trump urges Congress to ‘choose greatness’
➔ (conservative reporters) NY Post: Congresswomen clad in ‘suffragette white’ give Trump a standing ovation
➔ (“mainstream” reporters) Washington Post: In dissonant speech, Trump seeks unity while depicting ruin
➔ (“mainstream reporters) New York Times head: Trump Presses Hard Line on Immigration in State of the Union Speech
So the mainstream media, filled with leftists reporters and editors puts out leftist content and everyone not a leftist distrusts them — and they think it is because they get facts wrong, or conservatives just don’t like the truth. This is what they tell themselves.
This is not a new development under Trump; it’s been going on for decades. CNN was referred to as the Clinton News Network in the 1990s because of course its reporters were sympathetic to the Democrat President — because virtually all of them voted for him and supported his agenda.
That completely explains what opened the door for Fox News, which when it launched tapped into the biases obvious by the 1990s. Fox News started with the slogan Fair and Balanced and then moved on to We Report You Decide. Now it runs with Most Watched, Most Trusted — because it is both in many polls.
Meanwhile, oblivious to what they were openly communicating 64 million American who voted Trump into office and saw hope for a brighter America without the Clinton corruption machine in power again, the Washington Post changed their slogan to the dark, ominous and utterly self-absorbed “Democracy Dies in Darkness.”
Well, they are totally in the dark about their problems, sitting right there in their newsroom. About 90 percent of all news coverage regarding President Trump has been negative. No wonder they are mostly only getting anti-Trump and liberal consumers — and losing everyone else.
But WaPo and CNN are simply representative of virtually all newspapers aside from a few small, newer conservative ones, and all networks except Fox News.
If the media actually wants to reform itself, it must admit to the problem and the solution: fill newsrooms with reporters and editors that mirror the worldview of Americans. This is easily the biggest key to their trustworthiness is journalists, and why so many of us don’t trust them.
They cannot have every shade of only one worldview and expect balance and fairness — or expect that Americans will turn back to them. They will remain discredited and end up just being shrunken leftist silo media organs while the right has its own silo of media organs.
It might be too late. I’ve been blowing this horn for decades to no avail. But it might not be. And if it is not, then what CNN has done by hiring the conservative Flores — not just as a commentator people can ignore but as a news decision-maker — is the only way out of the silo.
It just needs to be repeated dozens, and then hundreds of times, until there is balance among those creating the content.
Rod Thomson is an author, host of Tampa Bay Business with Rod Thomson on the Salem Radio Network, TV commentator and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Rod also is co-host of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod on the Salem Radio Network.