On Sunday, CNN’s “Reliable Sources” Host Brian Stelter invited the editor of a socialist magazine onto his show to defend socialism from critics such as economics writer and political pundit Ben Stein.
“The way that hosts on Fox talk about socialism is fascinating to me,” Stelter told Bhaskar Sunkara, the founding editor of the socialist magazine Jacobin. Stelter then played a video clip “example from economics writer Ben Stein,” in which Stein warns that Socialism’s goal is to subjugate people:
“All these ways of Socialist thinking are ways to control the American people and to take away their freedom to choose, their freedom to do what they want to do with their lives. Socialism is about maintaining government control over people.”
Asked by Stelter to refute Stein, Sunkara claimed that “Socialism is actually about freedom,” because “basic things need to be provided” to the populace by government, “as a right”:
“I think Socialism is actually about freedom. It's about freedom to be able to determine the destiny of our own lives. So, when I think about my relationship with my health insurance company. I'm not thinking about my freedom to choose between different health insurance providers. I'm thinking of the premium that I have to pay every month. I’m thinking about the fact that, if I lose my job, if I'm out of work, that I’ll have to find a new provider or go uninsured. And if I'm uninsured, I might have to pay a fine at the end of the year.
“You know, this is the status quo. I think that Socialism in the United States, Democratic Socialism, really means that there are certain things in life we don't actually want to be held hostage to the market.
“And, in fact - healthcare, education, child care, housing - these basic things need to be provided, at least on a base level, as a right to ordinary people.”
As NewsBusters reports, a CNN graphic promoting the segment asked:
“DOES THE NEWS MEDIA COVER SOCIALISM FAIRLY?”