American media have a disproportionate say in the way Americans view themselves, their country, and their political leaders. American author Andrea Widburg refers to journalists in Washington as living on the “Beltway bubble,” according to American Thinker magazine on August 10.
Widburg references what journalist Errin Haines said on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” program, directed by political commentator Brian Stelter.
Haines played audio clips of conservative commentators referring to Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.
“Errin, your opinion on this. When you see those entire media companies exist essentially to take down Joe Biden, is there an equivalent to the left, taking down Trump,” Stelter asked.
“There really isn’t,” was Errin’s response, giving the impression that they were impartial and that “no one on the left would ever engage in purely negative reporting about a presidential candidate,” Widburg said.
Based on this video Widburg noted a “total lack of self-awareness” on the part of CNN.
“And now for the video that would surely win an award (if there were one) for the least self-aware people in America,” Widburg announced.
.@brianstelter: "When you see entire media companies essentially exist to tear down Joe Biden, is there an equivalent of that on the left, tearing down Trump?"@emarvelous: "There really isn’t." pic.twitter.com/JlMkqAQeIW
— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) August 9, 2020
In turn, news editor Daniel Chaitin of the Washington Examiner sees Stelter as a very narrow-minded person when he talks about the right-wing radio programs targeting the 2020 presidential candidate, Joe Biden, without realizing what he and his colleagues are doing.
“For many, this will seem like a very tone-deaf comment from Brian Stelter as they view cable news networks like CNN as being an extension of the Democratic Party with nothing but negative coverage of Trump and his administration,” Chaitin tweeted.
For many, this will seem like a very tone deaf comment from @brianstelter as they view cable news networks like CNN as being an extension of the Democratic Party with nothing but negative coverage of Trump and his administration https://t.co/uQpifK4qmw
— Daniel Chaitin (@danielchaitin7) August 9, 2020
Brent Baker, vice president of research at the Media Research Center, agrees with Widburg on Stelter’s presentation.
“Stelter has become a parody of himself with this unintentionally, very funny exchange, which so well displayed his total lack of basic self-awareness,” Baker said, according to the Washington Examiner, adding “On a show dedicated every week to denouncing President Trump that airs on a network, which devotes hours every day to denigrating Trump’s policies and character.”
Media coverage was 93 percent negative about U.S. President Donald Trump in January of this year, as reported by American Thinker magazine.
Illinois journalism professor Nikki Usher has focused her research on elite U.S. newsrooms and how new technology impacts how journalists work. Her recent study with colleague Yee Man Margaret Ng looked at how Washington, D.C., journalists cluster on Twitter.
“Political journalists in D.C. are people who use Twitter all day. And so the question is what does that do to how they think about the world. … it seems to me that it can make things worse.”
That means Beltway journalism “may be even more insular than previously thought,” said the study authors, “raising additional concerns about vulnerability to groupthink and blind spots.”
American journalists donated in 2016, more than 96 percent of their contributions to the Democratic candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.