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Media And Trump’s Racist Remarks

July 15, 2019

Sunday most of the country’s most popular news outlets were refraining from calling Trump’s tweets “racist” with CNN being the biggest exception. But on Monday this changed in a big way.  Outlets like AP and CBS stopped attributing the word “racist” to “critics” and stated it as a fact, in an institutional voice.

This evolution was evident throughout the day and most important. The morning show on CBS leaned on “critics,” but the network’s evening newscast said “racist tweets.” Notably, it was on Norah O’Donnell’s debut as the new “Evening News” anchor. Over on NBC, correspondent Hallie Jackson said Trump was “deploying a racist trope meant to marginalize people of color.”

“Tiptoeing around Trump’s racism is a betrayal of journalistic truth-telling.” That was the headline on Margaret Sullivan’s latest piece for the Washington Post.  Sullivan conceded that it “makes good sense for media organizations to be careful and noninflammatory in their news coverage.” But she also noted that “a crucial part of being careful is being accurate, clear and direct.” Sullivan concluded, “When confronted with racism and lying, we can’t run and hide in the name of neutrality and impartiality. To do that is a dereliction of duty.”

To that I say AMEN!

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