On Thursday, BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith accused GOP frontrunner Donald Trump of running a “bigoted,” “lying” and “demagogic” campaign while interviewing CNN chief Jeff Zucker at The Paley Center on Media.
Smith asked Zucker, “given the kind of bigoted, lying campaign he’s been running, do you have any regrets about the role you played in his career?”
Smith also accused Trump of running a “demagogic campaign.”
Zucker said he had “no regrets” and mentioned that he was the one who put The Apprentice on the air at NBC and defended the amount of coverage Trump has received on CNN, which Trump said was responsible for 99% of CNN’s ratings. Zucker said it was not “our role to editorialize” or take “a point of view.”
“It’s our role to report what he says, what he does, to fact-check what he says, what he does,” he said, adding that it was not the network’s role to “build up a campaign or take down a campaign.”
Though CNN gives Democrats like Hillary Clinton multiple passes on a host of issues, Zucker insisted that CNN’s role is to be “skeptical of what every candidate says.” And though conservatives are presumed to be guilty until proven by the mainstream press in their questioning while Democrats are given every benefit of the doubt, Zucker said the “tone” of the reporters asking questions to politicians is what separates the great ones from the rest.
Smith, along with many of his left-wing mainstream media colleagues, have been frustrated that Trump has continued to rise in the polls despite taking positions on illegal immigration and Islamic terrorism that the mainstream press abhor. Trump’s rise has rendered the mainstream media useless in shaping the 2016 election narrative, but the media continue to try to obliterate Trump by ramping up their attacks and accusing Trump of racism, bigotry, and even comparing him to Hitler.
In the Washington Post this week, Dana Milbank wrote: “Let’s not mince words: Donald Trump is a bigot and a racist.”
He also attacked Trump’s supporters—claiming that “though all Trump supporters surely aren’t racists or bigots, even a cursory examination of social media reveals that many are.” Milbank added that Trump, according to the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll, “does particularly well among white men who aren’t college-educated (24 percent) and white, non-evangelical Protestants (27 percent).”
To nobody’s surprise, Hillary Clinton—the press’s preferred candidate—also reportedly accused Trump this week of “making racism and hatred the hallmarks of his campaign.”