Donald Trump is not just once again claiming the major media outlets are guilty of producing fake news stories. He is increasingly taking seriously the revelation that CNN is spending more of its screener time scrutinizing the writing style of male celebrities with turtlenecks than the work of white women with navy tees.
On Saturday, for example, CNN’s top three critics were Beyoncé, Bill Clinton and Michael Moore, who had been spending significant time at the network. Despite this triumvirate of celebrities, CNN was spending more time examining Beyoncé’s “Shades of Blue” than on Moore’s latest, Michael Moore’s Trump-bashes against the president.
But then at the end of the month, that pattern looked almost completely reversed. Yes, Beyoncé was always running second — but at least three other female celebrities were spurring screener time too. This time CNN was devoting considerable airtime to the newly newsworthy effort of Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Ralph Northam. According to CNN, Jones and filmmaker James Ponsoldt, producers of the movie “Stronger,” were also on the network more than the newsier stories of the month. As is to be expected in a campaign that is always looking for new outlets, CNN is known for their on-air staff giving tips to the candidates.
Keep in mind these are conversations not with journalists, but producers. At this point the same thing has been said about CNN’s coverage of Northam’s chief competitor for the Democratic nomination. In August, Progressive.com released its own list of the 10 most talked about political stories of the week. At the top of the list was Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
But in its rush to soak up the attention of her fellow first-time female congressional candidates, the network is once again putting much more time into the efforts of California Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Antonio Villaraigosa. By the time you read this, Villaraigosa will almost certainly have been dropped from that list.
“Sexist” is a loaded term, but it is difficult to look at the TV performances of Jay-Z, Kate Beckinsale, Matt Damon and Lena Dunham in August and miss the subtle display of bias. Last year, then New York mayor Bill de Blasio called out CNN for running “obnoxious, offensive, irrelevant” debates during the presidential campaign.