CNN Stokes Racist and Fear-Mongering Rhetoric in GOP Debate & Gets Slammed On Social Media

Posted by on December 17, 2015 in Corporate Controlled Media, Media & Arts with 8 Comments
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"The moderators of last night's CNN presidential debate provided a two hour platform for every Republican candidate to further fear and hatred against Muslims," said Steven Renderos of the Center for Media Justice.):

“The moderators of last night’s CNN presidential debate provided a two hour platform for every Republican candidate to further fear and hatred against Muslims,” said Steven Renderos of the Center for Media Justice.):

By Sarah Lazare | Common Dreams

From calls to ban non-American Muslims to pledges to carpet bomb densely-populated cities, the rise of hateful rhetoric among 2016 presidential candidates—and the real, violent consequences for those communities targeted—has raised widespread concern.

Related Article: All the World’s a Stage … And all the World is Staged

But also on display during the fifth GOP debate on “national security” was the role of corporate media outlets such as CNN in stoking racist and dangerous rhetoric, observers argued Wednesday, in a bid to boost ratings.

“Framing the problem of political violence as a struggle of ‘us’ against ‘ them,’ of creating a demonized other by stoking fear, is a tried and true strategy for building an audience,” Jim Naureckas, the editor of Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting’s watchdog journal Extra!, toldCommon Dreams.

“The debates are seen not as a public service but as a money-making opportunity for the networks,” Naureckas added. “More than anything, they want high ratings.”

Such a strategy, Naureckas argued, was egregiously displayed Tuesday night when CNN debate moderator Hugh Hewitt indicated that, to qualify for the presidency, a candidate must be willing to kill “thousands” of children.

“It’s horrifying to see our leading cable news network offering, as a litmus test for becoming president of United States, a willingness to kill thousands of innocent children.” —Jim Naureckas, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting

Addressing retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, Hewitt posed: “People admire and respect and are inspired by your life story, your kindness, your evangelical core support. We’re talking about ruthless things tonight—carpet bombing, toughness, war. And people wonder, could you do that? Could you order air strikes that would kill innocent children by not the scores, but the hundreds and the thousands? Could you wage war as a commander-in-chief?”

“It’s horrifying to see our leading cable news network offering, as a litmus test for becoming president of United States, a willingness to kill thousands of innocent children,” Naureckas argued. “To equate that with toughness and seriousness about protecting the United States is a violent fantasy of the sort that motivates the people who carry out mass shootings.”

Such violence also surfaced in statements by veteran anchor Wolf Blitzer, the main host of the debate, critics note.

In addressing multi-billionaire Donald Trump’s proposed ban on non-American Muslims from entering the United States, Blitzer appeared to accept that the proposal, widely acknowledged as racist and discriminatory, is worthy of debate—and that those who oppose the plan should be on the defensive.

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Turning to former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Blitzer stated: “You called Mr. Trump ‘unhinged’ when he proposed banning non-American Muslims from the United States. Why is that unhinged?”

What’s more, the fact that Trump has previously sought to justify his proposed ban on non-American Muslims by drawing comparisons with the U.S. internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II at no time entered the conversation as a point of concern.

“Debate moderators entertained proposals like carpet bombing children and innocent civilians, killing the families of suspected terrorists, deporting all Muslims in the U.S., and allowing corporations and law enforcement agencies to spy on anyone deemed a threat.” —Steven Renderos, Center for Media Justice

And to Florida Senator Marco Rubio, Blitzer suggested that the alleged popularity of Trump’s Islamophobic policy proposal among the Republican base overrides civil rights concerns. “You have said banning Muslims is unconstitutional. But according to a recent ABC News-Washington Post poll, a majority of Republicans support Mr. Trump’s idea,” said Blitzer. “Why are they wrong?”

Steven Renderos, national organizer for the Center for Media Justice, told Common Dreams that the premise that racist and hateful policies are justified or reasonable “boils over into actualized violence against the communities it’s directed towards, and CNN‘s role in furthering this problematic discourse is shameful.”

And indeed, communities across the country have warned that hate crimes are soaring, from violence against Muslim communities to attacks on Black Lives Matter protesters endorsed by Trump himself.

“The moderators of last night’s CNN presidential debate provided a two hour platform for every Republican candidate to further [incite] fear and hatred against Muslims,” said Renderos. “Debate moderators entertained proposals like carpet bombing children and innocent civilians, killing the families of suspected terrorists, deporting all Muslims in the U.S., and allowing corporations and law enforcement agencies to spy on anyone deemed a threat.”

However, in a debate on “national security,” Naureckas noted that the greatest dangers were completely absent from the discussion and questioning: right-wing and white-supremacist violence, which—a recent study shows—poses the biggest domestic threat.

Related Article: Bravo Jon Stewart: Comedian Forgoes Jokes to Examine Charleston & Racism in the U.S.

“It’s as though we didn’t just have an attack on a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado. It’s as though there wasn’t just a racist murder of nine people in a church in Charleston in an effort to start a race war,” said Naureckas. “That kind of violence just disappears from the conversation. It’s all about who we should bomb abroad and who we can we keep out.”

Read more great articles at Common Dreams.

Image source: https://flic.kr/p/oRQMN1

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8 Reader Comments

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  1. 1036835689682724@facebook.com' Peg Owens says:

    Pandering to un-Americanism without question. What’s next, will Wolf Blitzer go oral on Donald’s teeny tiny trumpette for ratings? How much more unprofessional will American media get?

  2. 10206543704766240@facebook.com' Gary T Van Vorst says:

    CNN moderators are a bunch of illiterate puppets that are shills for the liberal party. Such ignorance is astonishing. ..!!!!

    • 1714626695439442@facebook.com' Faye Slice says:

      When did carpet bombing and fear-mongering become the “liberal agenda”? All corporate media is owned by conservative Republican plutocrats.

  3. 10205279842977090@facebook.com' Tom Gerencir says:

    Wolf your just like our President nothing but a big Puss, it’s hard to believe your that frigging stupid.

  4. 10154102946202785@facebook.com' Jim Franklin says:

    What else do you expect from the “Clinton News Network” (CNN)!
    Just wait until Hillary is debating ….

  5. 1086357584741671@facebook.com' Loretta Rivera says:

    First I turned on the tube and J Tapper is interviewing that idiot Sarah Palin. Then the clown show if GOP candidates! It would be funny if it wasn’t so ignorant and scary!

  6. 10207519088519497@facebook.com' Jack Palin says:

    Mindless men with no backbones!

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