Column: Amanpour Hits Graduates with 'Speak Truth to Power' Baloney

May 19th, 2023 6:08 AM

All the applause inside the liberal media bubble is going to “profiles in courage” like CNN host Christiane Amanpour. At the commencement for Columbia Journalism School, Amanpour slammed her bosses for providing a “town hall” platform for Donald Trump. Ex-CNN media reporter Dylan Byers said CNN is currently “a seismic mess” of “depleted morale” because “these are journalists: it’s their job to speak truth to power, even when it’s their boss.”

But that’s just baloney. Journalists like Amanpour don’t think it’s their job to “speak truth to power.” It’s their job to “speak truth” against the evil Republicans. She openly said her job was “activism” and “when we do it well, we can be a force for change and improvement in the world." She said the job was "advancing human rights and democracy and defending both.”

Therefore, it’s their job to use their power to editorialize to win elections for Democrats. Amanpour plainly laid out that the people “have voted three times against Trump and Trumpism” – in 2018, 2020, and 2022 – which shows, “We have done our duty. We have told the story. We have put that in everybody’s awareness.”

There’s no courageous pushback where Democrats are challenged and “fact-checked in real time.” CNN organized and aired a pillowy pile of town hall events for Democratic presidential contenders in 2019 and 2020 and by now, no one remembers a moment from any of them.

In 2014, that heroic resistance fighter Christiane Amanpour hosted a town hall for Hillary Rodham Clinton. She didn’t ask “speak truth to power” questions. She asked Hillary if Obama’s Republican critics were racists. Senator Jay Rockefeller “suggested basically that some of the political opposition to President Obama could have something to do with the color of his skin. Do you agree with that?”

Perhaps Amanpour threw one “hardball,” but as usual, it came from the Left, with a voter concerned with Hillary’s “anti-marriage equality stance in the 1990s-early 2000s.”  

Some leftists were calling the recent CNN bickerfest with Kaitlan Collins a “Trump rally,” which certainly qualifies as misinformation. Left-wing partisans like Amanpour expressed alarm that Trump would get to be surrounded by supporters and cheered when he’s such an evil man.

But in 2014, CNN didn’t just assemble a friendly crowd for Hillary Clinton. Washington Post media critic Erik Wemple reported at the time that in the hopes of creating “energy” on screen, CNN had an “enthusiastic stage director” coaching the crowd to applaud Mrs. Clinton, which they did with great vigor, especially when Amanpour raised the prospect of Hillary running for president in 2016. In other words, it sounded like a Clinton rally.

Consider that when you hear Amanpour insisting “Maybe less is more. Maybe live is not always right.” For them, live coverage is never right for those misinforming right-wingers. Especially now, we can guess CNN won’t be handing out “town hall” programs to Nikki Haley, Vivek Ramaswamy, and Ron DeSantis. There are no puffy platforms for them.

Amanpour ably represented the sickness of arrogance that’s destroying trust in CNN and the liberal media writ large. There’s no time for “bothsidesism,” she announced. Conservatism is dangerously wrong. “There is a 100-percent connection between a robust, independent, free and fair press and a functioning democracy and the advance of human rights and justice.”

But the media are only “robust” in one direction. It’s only “independent” in crushing any resistance to “bothsidesism.” It’s only a “functioning democracy” if democracy means not letting conservatives have any opportunity to speak and persuade. “Democracy” is far too fragile to allow....democracy.