Those who sit atop the commanding heights of American culture and politics continue to treat Donald Trump and his voters with disdain and contempt. To this day, we are told that Trump’s base is powered by “white rage,” Trump voters are moved only by “racism and sexism” as Hillary Clinton told an adoring audience on her book tour, and Donald Trump is in need of psychiatric help.
A new CNN ad is a perfect example of the ruling class’s scorn for Americans. The camera slowly zooms in on an apple while a narrator states in condescending tones that no matter how many people may say it’s a banana—even those who write it in ALL CAPS!—it’s an apple. This is part of their “Facts First” propaganda campaign in which CNN is attempting to re-thread the needle that once fastened them so tightly to the American mind.
The stupidity of this ad is only eclipsed by its irony. CNN is a principal purveyor of lies, distortions, and calumny. CNN reported that Trump “flat-out lied” about Trump Tower being wiretapped—even though it has come to light that members of the Obama administration electronically surveilled members of Trump’s campaign team—and possibly even Trump himself. The network’s inability to report basic facts on guns and their cheerleading of every anti-Trump talking point contradicts the very mission of a free press in the United States.
CNN’s frequent disregard of the facts isn’t limited to Trump. Remember the false “hands up, don’t shoot” narrative widely reported after Officer Darren Wilson shot Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri? Four CNN anchors put their hands up during “CNN Newsroom”—a program that purportedly reports straight news—thereby signifying their solidarity with this narrative and presenting it as incontestable fact. But investigations by the St. Louis County grand jury and Eric Holder’s Department of Justice concluded that it was not consistent with the evidence, noting in their official reports that witness statements touting that narrative were contradictory. As Heather Mac Donald noted, the Justice Department report was filled with “evidence eviscerating virtually every aspect of the pro-Brown, anti-Wilson narrative.”
But none of these facts caused CNN to question the overall notion that our criminal justice system is racist to the core. For them, the progressive narrative is sacrosanct.
Americans, in their eyes, are lemmings who need constantly to be spoon-fed “facts” because left to their own devices, they cannot be trusted to make the right choices. Trump’s victory, according to this view, was nothing more than a temper tantrum by voters that must be dealt with swiftly before the children act out again. Trump voters are, in the words of an associate producer of CNN’s “New Day,” “stupid as shit” and Trump is “fucking crazy”—opinions that were captured in an undercover video exposé by James O’Keefe of Project Veritas.
CNN’s rank paternalism is at odds with the principle of republican self-government—the idea that people have the natural capacity to govern themselves and in turn be governed by those they deem capable of securing their interests. Thomas Jefferson famously wrote that “the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately, by the grace of God.” But according to our betters at CNN, 63 million plus Americans simply aren’t capable of ruling themselves without their beneficent lordship.
The example of CNN shows us that the danger to our nation doesn’t come primarily from those who are indifferent to their fellow man. Instead, it’s from those who think it is their mission to help bring their fellow man to what they perceive as salvation—which in CNN’s case means having every American fully adopt the ruling-class mindset.
As C.S. Lewis once put it,
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
CNN is failing to live up to the definitional meaning of a free press, which is an important bulwark in a democratic society. As Arthur Milikh of the Heritage Foundation has noted, a free press is necessary “to protect and strengthen republicanism” by making “human beings and public institutions…responsible.”
But when the ruling class weaponizes the press in order to ward off any infringements on their influence in modern life, the people must manfully reassert their authority. They must demand the press returns to its mission of safeguarding political debate so that there are real choices in our politics, not merely echoes.