It should surprise absolutely no one that CNN is abjectly loyal to the Beltway establishment—especially to the entrenched forces currently dominating the Democratic Party.
Thus it should be no shock to learn that on Monday, CNN stacked its Town Hall with Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, a leading 2020 presidential hopeful, with Democratic Party attendees tied to failed 2016 contender Hillary Clinton—a fact they were forced to admit in a statement.
The cable news network said on Wednesday:
“Though we said at the beginning of the Town Hall that the audience was made up of Democrats and Independents, we should have more fully identified any political affiliations.”
The discovery came to light on February 24, when Paste Magazine noted that town hall participant Tara Ebersole, who had been identified solely as a former biology professor, “lists her current job description as ‘Chair, Baltimore County Democratic Party’ since 2016. Further, her husband was part of Hillary Clinton’s leadership council in Baltimore in 2016.”
Ebersole wasn’t the only questionable town hall attendee.
Abena McAllister was given the simple title of “an active Democrat,” a term that leaves plenty to the imagination but hardly suggests that she may actually be the chairperson of the Charles County Democratic Central Committee, as the group’s website reveals.
Yunjung Seo was introduced as a college student, yet neither Wolf Blitzer nor the on-screen chyron noted her position as an intern for Democratic Party fundraising and consultancy outfit, Katz Watson Group, as her LinkedIn page does.
Shadi Nasab, who was identified as an “American University student,” asked Sanders about his plans to prevent sexual harassment on his campaign team following allegations of discrimination and harassment of women during his 2016 campaign. However, a quick glance at her LinkedIn page reveals that Nasab is currently an intern for Washington, D.C. lobbying firm Cassidy & Associates.
Democratic Party anti-Bernie stalwarts were quick to revile the discovery, accusing “Bernie Bros” of being conspiratorial and having “doxxed” town hall participants unjustly.
Bernie Bros doxxing town hall participants and claiming CNN rigged the event is legitimately deranged, Trump-like, conspiratorial behavior.
— Marcus H. Johnson (@marcushjohnson) February 27, 2019
Other Democrats, however, saw CNN‘s conduct as revealing a clear bias against Sanders.
Cenk Uygur, host of the liberal online talk show The Young Turks, noted:
“When CNN does a town hall for the other candidates and it’s New Hampshire, it’s in Iowa, it’s in the heartland. But when Bernie Sanders, they finally gave him a town hall, they happen to put it in Washington, DC, and fill the room with lobbyists and PR agents and people that work in political offices — and then they don’t tell you? Come on!”
The author of the Paste report, Jacob Weindling, said:
“The bigger problem here is that we find ourselves in a confusing situation thanks to cable news not adhering to basic standards of journalism. (Unfortunately, that’s an evergreen sentence.) When I watched the town hall live last night, this question seemed completely normal and well within the bounds of what Bernie was brought there to talk about, but now that it has been revealed that the question was asked by an intern at a major lobbying firm, you cannot help but wonder about the intent behind this, as well as CNN’s role in selecting this questioner while not disclosing her workplace.”
As CNN’s conduct shows, the network is clearly threatened by Bernie Sanders’ bipartisan appeal, idiosyncratic policies, and yes–his left-wing democratic socialist ideology that threatens to disrupt a system that cable news networks like CNN, MSNBC, Fox News fight tooth-and-nail to defend.