“You have every right to be outraged today and angry and never watch this network again. But do you think staying in your silo and only listening to people you agree with is gonna make that person go away?”
That’s what Anderson Cooper told viewers after CNN’s widely-criticized town hall with Donald Trump, during which the former president continuously lied about topics ranging from the war in Ukraine to the 2020 election, disparaged the woman a jury found him to have sexually abused, referred to a Black police officer as a thug, and spewed conspiracy theories.
What happened that night was not getting us out of our silos, Issac J. Bailey writes in his latest column for Nieman Reports — it instead platformed a notorious liar to millions of television viewers.
In the piece, Bailey argues that CNN’s town hall demonstrates the rise of anti-woke journalism, in which media executives have amplified misinformation and bigotry like Trump’s in an effort to counter what they perceive as “wokeism” in the media. No journalist is proposing that the media not cover Trump or stick to its silos, as Cooper suggested. Instead, the debate should center on how to report on the former president responsibly ahead of the 2024 election cycle.
“The anti-woke journalism mindset might have you believe keeping Trump off live air would be singling him out,” Bailey writes. “But traditional journalistic standards say we should treat him like any other source who proves time and again to be dishonest. CNN thumbed its nose at those standards that night.”
Until next time,
Natalie De Rosa