October 30, 2019 | Reading Time: 2 minutes
QT: CNN hires a stooge
The cable network is legitimizing Sean Duffy's lies.
CNN has hired Sean Duffy as a political contributor. Duffy is a former House Republican from Wisconsin. He’s a dead-ending fascist supporter of the president.
He tried last week to explain away Mick Mulvaney’s (accidental?) confession that Donald Trump really did hold up military aid to Ukraine in exchange for that country to open a criminal investigation into Joe Biden and his son, Hunter. In the process, Duffy ended up echoing one of the president’s favorite conspiracy theories.
The conventional thinking, as far as I can tell, is that lies on TV news are OK as long as journalists call them out. That, we’re told, is the best way to dispel a lie’s power.
We do not inhabit a culture in which differing interpretations of the truth compete. We live in a culture in which truth and falsehood compete. More accurately, the Republican Party has abandon all deference to the authority of facts and reason. Its media allies have created an alternate universe in which lies take on the force of truth.
By inviting Duffy into its world, CNN has made itself and its audience vulnerable to the systemic lying that has poisoned the minds of at least a third of the electorate. It has substituted reasoned civil engagement with entertainment, shouting and angst.
The best way of preventing lies from crippling our thinking is taking care of the health of the public square and integrity of the national discourse. That would mean avoiding as much as possible being a part of the dissemination of lies. It’s not enough for Camerota to say Duffy’s babbling is conspiracy theory—not when her employer has legitimized his “authority.” Indeed, CNN is complicit in the republic’s poisoning.
It could stop.
But it won’t.
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John Stoehr is the editor of the Editorial Board. He writes the daily edition. Find him @johnastoehr.