The Conversation

CNN's Brooke Baldwin Speaks for the Media, Again

For the second time (at least) in as many days, CNN's Brooke Baldwin has tried to correct guests who criticize the media. On Tuesday, she objected to a Emily Miller's contention that the "conversation on race" was not something the nation actually needed or wanted, but something the media had cooked up with the activist left. On Wednesday, she defended the media again when a Boston firefighter, reacting to the new Rolling Stone cover featuring terrorist Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, blamed the media in general for offending Americans.

Baldwin was correct that CNN itself was not to blame for glorifying the Boston bomber, yet she should have let the remark slide. Clearly, her guest not criticizing CNN directly, but was aiming his criticism at a media culture that, in general, skews left and often glorifies radical extremists with little regard for the sentiments of the public. That is a widely-held view, and Baldwin's defensive response tends to reinforce the sense that the mainstream media does not actually reflect the views and interests of the majority of Americans. 

Her response to Miller was completely out of line. Baldwin attempted to cite polls that show high levels of public interest in racial issues around the Zimmerman trial, but in fact surveys show that Americans are rather disengaged--despite attempts by the media, and CNN and MSNBC in particular, to whip up public outrage. Not only was Baldwin wrong, but rude: her intervention exposed Miller to undeserved criticism by other panelists. Why she takes the issue so seriously, and reacts so defensively, is a mystery.


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