On Oct. 16 on his CNN show "Reliable Sources," host Brian Stelter took the denial of liberal media bias to a new level. In the wake of hundreds of emails underlining media-Democrat collusion, he insisted that every American should deny the evidence:
"In Trump's world, journalists are really just (Hillary) Clinton campaign workers in disguise, collaborating with her in an attempt to rig the election. This is not just false. It's ludicrous, and it's damaging."
On what planet does this man live? Even by Clinton News Network standards, this is ridiculous.
A charge of leftist media bias this election cycle is about as ludicrous as claiming that the sun rises in the east. All these WikiLeaks emails give firsthand evidence of the so-called "objective" press acting like badly disguised Clinton campaign workers. If this sort of fraud were illegal, these reporters would be headed for Sing Sing.
What's false, ludicrous and damaging to democracy is the idea that this sort of journalistic betrayal is ethical and permissible.
Start with this: How can a CNN host so blithely dismiss the compromise of a CNN town hall between Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders when Donna Brazile — CNN pundit and professional Democrat — allegedly fed an actual question to the Clinton campaign ahead of time? It doesn't matter whether Brazile grabbed the question from CNN or its partner, the black-oriented cable network TV One. She was a CNN contributor rigging a CNN event.
CNN's Jake Tapper called this Brazile scandal journalistically "horrifying." Apparently, Stelter thinks his colleague Tapper is false, ludicrous and damaging.
If Corey Lewandowski were feeding town-hall questions to Donald Trump, we can guess Stelter would have a heart attack on air.
On Stelter's show, Washington Post media columnist Margaret Sullivan agreed that this whole liberal-conspiracy theory is "absurd." She said, "Nobody is sitting in a room with each other and planning to, you know, do anything evil to a candidate." So what do you call the Washington Post publishing the Trump sex-talk tape in six hours, whereas it sat on the Paula Jones story for months? What's absurd is denying that liberal bias is in full corrosive effect.
What the WikiLeaks email trove is exposing is how reporters individually pandered and plotted and manipulated Clinton's media coverage. They were at Clinton's beck and call. Unsurprisingly, ABC's George Stephanopoulos harshly interviewed "Clinton Cash" author Peter Schweizer on April 26, 2015. In an email, Clinton campaign staffer Jesse Ferguson boasted Stephanopoulos was a perfect servant, saying: "Great work everyone. This interview is perfect. (Schweizer) lands nothing and everything is refuted (mostly based on our work)."
New York Times reporter Mark Leibovich was allowing Clinton Communications Director Jen Palmieri to pick and choose which Clinton quotes to use in a July article, and which to bury. She listed her vetoes, then imperiously announced: "Let me know if that is not clear. Working from an iPhone on the plane so am not able to access the transcript to cut and paste."
Why would anyone try to suggest that treating reporters like drive-in carhops on roller skates is professional journalism in action? Why would anyone deny the irrefutably obvious?
There's an easy guess: because Wikileaks is exposing the media-Democrat collusion that is utterly routine in every election cycle. The Brian Stelters don't want to admit there's anything sleazy about this. Are they doing their part to rig the elections in favor of the Democrats? Of course, they are. Lord knows we don't want those poor, uneducated, easy-to-command types to carry the day.
L. Brent Bozell III is the president of the Media Research Center. Tim Graham is director of media analysis at the Media Research Center and executive editor of the blog NewsBusters.org.