CNN analyst Jeffrey Toobin reminded his fellow panelists on the network this week that they all needed to have “a lot of humility” when making predictions about President Donald Trump given the legacy media’s disastrous performance in the 2016 election cycle.
While covering the 2016 presidential election between Trump and Hillary Clinton, legacy media reporters completely failed to understand the concerns of the working-class Americans who powered Trump to one of the greatest upsets in history.
“We sat around that table for years [dismissing Trump] … and he proved all of us wrong, and he won the presidency,” Toobin said. “And who’s to say that he’s not going to win it again.”
Toobin was discussing politics on Wednesday evening with guest-host Breanna Keilar and panelists Rebecca Berg, Philip Mudd, and Nia-Malika Henderson.
“All of us in the news media need to have a lot of humility about predicting anything about Donald Trump since we have a record … of underestimating him, and we should keep that in mind,” Toobin said.
CNN has been under siege after three of its top editors and reporters recently resigned after the embattled network published a “very fake news” story smearing Anthony Scaramucci, who was recently named Trump’s communications director. On Saturday, Americans protested outside of CNN’s Atlanta headquarters and accused the “fake news” network of “destroying our culture.”
Joshua Green, author of Devil’s Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump and the Storming of the Presidency, told Breitbart News’ Matt Boyle on Breitbart News Daily on Sirius XM Patriot Channel 125 this week that he was man enough to admit that he did not think “Donald Trump was going to win” and had actually “prewritten a story about how Hillary Clinton had won” that he “wound up tearing up at about 10 p.m. on election night.” Green said he had no shame admitting that and added, “I tore it up and started writing ‘Trump Wins.'”
Green then told Boyle that Steve Bannon, the former Breitbart News executive who was the executive chairman of Trump’s campaign, called him the day after the election to let him know that everyone in the legacy media had gotten the election wrong from the outset:
We talked and he said ‘dude do you understand what happened?’ This is a scene in the book. He said ‘do you understand what happened?’ I said ‘what do you mean?’ He said ‘you guys’ Hillary Clinton and Democrats, ‘you guys,’ meaning me like in the mainstream media and the left, ‘you guys all missed it. You got so trapped in your own narrative about Hillary and how Donald Trump was unacceptable that you couldn’t see the forest through the trees. You didn’t get it.’ I put that in the piece and I thought about it and thought about it. The question I got as a political reporter and still get from everybody is ‘how on earth did this happen and nobody saw it coming?’ And, looking back, over my reporting over the last three or four or five years—and as you know, Matt, I’ve been writing about Breitbart and I’ve been writing about the rise of the populist right. As I looked back, you know, Bannon’s analysis was really the right one, that we just missed the story of the kind of the rise of the nationalist right forces. And that in turn caused us to miss Donald Trump. I thought that looking back I could tell the full story of Trump’s rise, of Bannon’s rise, of Breitbart’s influence, and weave those threads together in a way that provides the fullest explanation of how Trump became president.
Keilar—who may be one of two anchors on the network worth watching—does not have her own show, and is a textbook example of CNN’s inability to put its talent in the right spots. But even one of CNN’s few talents could not see through the legacy media’s myopic groupthink in 2016 and was involved in one of the most indelible moments (“says who?”) of the legacy media’s complete failure in understanding Trump’s voters when she, unaware of the strong social desirability bias that was in play, pestered Trump lawyer Michael Cohen about all of the polls that had Trump trailing.
Cohen deservedly ended up getting the last laugh and even an apology from some in the legacy media who relentlessly mocked him and made the above clip go viral.