During its coverage of the Republican National Convention, CNN's flagship morning show, New Day, has been displaying the substantial move further left that the liberal news network over the last few years.
Not only has the show's guest load been short on pro-Trump conservatives -- who are also forced to share segments with more liberal guests -- but the show's anchors have tried to blame Republicans for alleged vigilantism in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
As the show recalled several shootings that occurred in Kenosha during protests over a recent police shooting in the city, at one point, CNN co-host John Berman fretted over the inclusion of St. Louis residents Mark and Patricia McCloskey at the RNC on Tuesday night:
JOHN BERMAN: There's a through line here that you could potentially draw the McCloskeys -- who are lifted up and glorified on the first night of the Republican convention. This is this couple in St. Louis that were brandishing their weapons in the face of protests in that city. And, again, they were held up as an example, in the Republican convention, of virtue. And now here we are with possibly armed people who went further than the McCloskeys.
And, after anti-Trump right-leaning contributor Amanda Carpenter also fretted over the issue, co-host Alisyn Camerota accused the McCloskeys of having confronted "peaceful protesters" in St. Louis in June as she commented:
I think that the juxtaposition of what we've seen at the RNC and then what's happening out in the world. I mean Matt (Lewis), there's the McCloskeys who brandished their weapons at peaceful protesters, and they're elevated at the RNC at the same time that these people with -- these militiamen, as the sheriff calls them, in Kenosha, are showing up with their long guns and shooting people.
Not mentioned was that those protesters were intruding on private property and had broken a gate to get in.
Camerota also bristled at the notion of law-abiding armed residents defending their property and conflated them with "vigilantes" as she fretted over reports of Kenosha residents defending their own property. Addressing CNN law enforcement analyst Charles Ramsey, Camerota posed:
They say that police showed up at a business -- a dry cleaner -- and they saw armed men on the roof. And they said, "You can't be up there -- come down here." And the armed men said, "This is our business -- we're staying here. No." It's an open-carry state -- they say it's their business. What do police do then?
Later in the show, as conservative CNN contributor Rick Santorum was required to share a segment with liberal contributor Bakari Sellers, Camerota debated Santorum as he declared that violent protest must be prosecuted. The CNN host ended up fretting over reports of armed residents guarding their property as she turned to Sellers and posed: "But they are not counter-protesters, Bakari. They're armed vigilantes. They say they're guarding their dry cleaning store."
As if there were something wrong with guarding one's own property from possible looters or arsonists.
And, as for the ideological double standard of New Day's convention coverage so far, last week, only one pro-Trump conservative guest appeared all week, and that was Vice President Mike Pence who appeared on Friday. Otherwise, nearly all guests and contributors who appeared to discuss the convention were either liberal CNN contributors, liberal activists, or elected Democrats, along with a few anti-Trump Republicans, who were supporting of the Democratic ticket.
But, in the first four days of this week, on the show which in the past couple of years has rarely included its conservative contributors in political discussions, only three contributors -- Scott Jennings, Sean Duffy, and Rick Santorum -- have been included as unequivocal supporters of President Donald Trump. And all three had to share segments with anti-Trump guests. On Monday, Jennings appeared with Carpenter, and Duffy shared a segment with anti-Trump liberal Republican Charlie Dent (lifetime ACU rating 57.8).
No Trump supporters were included on Tuesday, and, on Wednesday, Santorum shared a segment with Sellers. This was only the fourth time Santorum had appeared on the show since February 1, whereas Sellers has been on the same show 29 times in the same time period.
Duffy and Jennings have each only appeared once on the show since February 1.
Given that Republicans in the general population overwhelmingly plan to vote for President Trump, CNN's selection of Republican analysts is heavily out of step with reality.
Below is a transcript of relevant portions of the Wednesday, August 26, New Day on CNN:
6:32 a.m. Eastern
AMANDA CARPENTER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: There's been a lot of talk throughout this convention about law and order, honesty, and I just got to say, every day I wake up feeling more queasy. Republicans like me who just can't stomach Donald Trump have been increasingly worried how he will abuse his powers as President for personal and political gain throughout his presidency. And it's only getting worse.
I mean, just look at the setup last night, and contrast that with the chaos in the streets happening right now where people on both sides -- the militias, the protesters feel like they have so much to lose that they are resorting to violence in the streets. I mean, I am worried for our democracy. I don't care about the Republican party anymore -- I feel that the alarm bells are ringing to loud, and that it's only going to get more perilous as we get closer to the election.
ALISYN CAMEROTA: I hear you, Amanda. I mean, I think that the juxtaposition of what we've seen at the RNC and then what's happening out in the world. I mean Matt, there's the McCloskeys who brandished their weapons at peaceful protesters, and they're elevated at the RNC at the same time that these people with -- these militiamen, as the sheriff calls them, in Kenosha, are showing up with their long guns and shooting people. I mean, this is what's happening on the split screen, but I know that you say that some elements of the RNC have been very effective. So what's your takeaway?
MATT LEWIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Right, well, look, I echo Amanda's concerns about the abuse of power and sort of exploiting the trappings of the presidency -- I think it's pretty horrible. But I think, theatrically speaking, I think this convention has been wildly successful, much beyond my expectations.
CAMEROTA: I just want to describe one vignette that the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has reported on this morning, and just how you explain how police would deal with this. They say that police showed up at a business -- a dry cleaner -- and they saw armed men on the roof. And they said, "You can't be up there -- come down here." And the armed men said, "This is our business -- we're staying here. No." It's an open-carry state -- they say it's their business. What do police do then?
JOHN BERMAN: Tonight, there are two people dead in Kenosha, Wisconsin. There is a manhunt under way. The sheriff there is warning of the presence of armed vigilantes. He used the word "militia" to describe some of the people who may have been involved in the shootings there. And this, of course, follows the police shooting of Jacob Blake in that city. … Obviously, the President has been leaning into a message of law and order for this convention -- even before the convention. The President and the people at the convention talking about chaos in the streets. This is a twist, though, potentially, in Wisconsin because some of the shootings this morning, and the deaths, may be connected to people in a way with the same "law and order" message taking law and order into their own hands. I wonder how this complicates what the President will say this morning.
And, again, there's a lot we don't know about what happened in Kenosha, and we just don't know who exactly was involved, who was shot, and who might be captured in this manhunt. However, I do want to say, there's a through line here that you could potentially draw the McCloskeys -- who are lifted up and glorified on the first night of the Republican convention. This is this couple in St. Louis that were brandishing their weapons in the face of protests in that city. And, again, they were held up as an example, in the Republican convention, of virtue. And now here we are with possibly armed people who went further than the McCloskeys.
CAMEROTA: So, my question is: Is that the stuff that President Trump should address? And should he condemn openly these vigilantes, Senator?
RICK SANTORUM, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, it's all connected, Alisyn. The reality is that people were -- protesters were not just protesting. They were doing much more than protesting, and have been for the past couple of nights there. That's the problem. And so, yeah, we need to address that issue. And you even heard Mr. Blake's mother called for no looting -- no rioting. I mean, protesting is one thing, and legitimately going out there and peacefully protesting. Violently protesting is a crime, and you need to separate the two, and they should be separated.
CAMEROTA: How's protesting a crime?
SANTORUM: Violently protesting is a crime?
CAMEROTA: Looting, you mean? You mean looting and defacing buildings.
SANTORUM: Violence. Violence is a crime, Alisyn, whether it's people who are black or white.
CAMEROTA: Understood, but there are so many peaceful protesters. And there's the looters -- they're different than the peaceful protesters.
SANTORUM: Exactly. But what the governor is trying to dealing with and the mayor is trying to deal with and others -- law enforcement is trying to deal with -- are the violent protesters. And they need to be condemned equally with the counter-violent protesters. All violence needs to be condemned, period.
CAMEROTA: Yeah, I understand, but they are not counter-protesters, Bakari. They're armed vigilantes. They say they're guarding their dry cleaning store.