Self-awareness is a gift that has become extremely scarce in these perilous and “woke” times; especially among members of the mainstream media. From calling alternative media “fake news” while at the same time being the main traffickers of fake news; to alleging political objectivity, while doubling as the de facto PR team of the Democrat Party; mainstream journalists are increasingly losing their grip on reality.
One such journalist is CNN political analyst and former Bill Clinton White House press secretary, Joe Lockhart. In an opinion piece entitled How to make the Trump-Biden debates fair, Lockhart asked whether the inevitable series of debates between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden would “devolve into a series of lies from the President that former Vice President Joe Biden is forced to react to?”.
Despite immediately conceding in the following paragraph that “Debate rules are determined by negotiations between the two campaigns mediated by the Commission on Presidential Debates”; and that the commission “has done a very good job of structuring the debates in the past”; Lockhart insisted that in order for those debates to be fair; a lot more would have to be done. Of course, what he goes on to suggest is solely focused on “fixing” Trump.
Lockhart writes that President Trump “routinely lies about what he has done, what he has said and what is actually happening in the country.” and that Trump “famously said to Americans that they should not trust what they see and read; they should only trust him.”
Of course, Lockhart must have been totally oblivious to the fact that his own CNN colleague Chris Cuomo said the following to his audience about the leaked Hillary Clinton emails in the fall of 2016: “Also interesting is, remember, it’s illegal to possess these stolen documents. It’s different for the media, so everything you’re learning about this, you’re learning from us.”
But I suppose, CNN contributors aren’t paid to be aware of their colleagues’ past statements, even in the face of laughable contradiction.
Lockhart then asks: “how do we have debates that are a service and not a circus for the American public?” Answering his own ludicrous question he writes: “I think it’s important the debate commission recognizes the challenge of the moment — one of the debaters seems incapable of sticking to the truth. They must structure the format to take that into account, to allow for the moderator to call out lies no matter who they come from.”
Now why would the moderator in Lockhart’s world, “call out lies no matter who they come from”, if according to the CNN political analyst, the ‘challenge of the moment‘ the debate commission must recognise; is that “one of the debaters seems incapable of sticking to the truth,”? Again, Lockhart seems so unaware of his innate anti-Trump bias, that he contradicts his own sentiment, within a single paragraph.
He then issues the same challenge to the networks; that is, to stop Trump’s ‘alleged’ lies at all costs during the debates. Lockhart asserts that “Just broadcasting what gets said in real time creates a perverse incentive to not tell the truth during the debate. Correcting things with fact checkers after most people have turned off their televisions fails to meet their responsibilities to keep the public informed.”
Totally insanity! But it doesn’t end there. Lockhart adds that the networks “must develop a system for identifying false statements in real time. Whether that be the moderator or a split screen, letting a lie (or lies) pass unchecked for 90 minutes encourages both candidates to create their own reality.”
What’s ironic about the above is that Lockhart cites Orwellian literature to describe Trump earlier in his piece, yet fails to recognise just how Orwellian his suggestion to the networks sounds. Absolutely zero self awareness!
The CNN political analyst added that failure to apply his advise during the debates would only leave “the character of the candidate to police themselves — creating a huge disadvantage for a candidate whose character compels them to tell the truth.”
Although Trump is not a paragon of honesty, how any credible journalist can describe Joe Biden as a “candidate whose character compels [him] to tell the truth”, is striking.
But only a journalist with zero self awareness would write such a thing, and would suggest that there be real-time fact checking during the debates.