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Friday, September 7, 2018
Manafort's Conviction, Cohen's Plea Deal Aren't News At CNS

As we saw with its coverage of the latest Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal, the news isn't "news" at -- only the right-wing spin is.

Here's another example. Any news junkie -- and anyone working in the news business should be one -- would agree that Aug. 21 was a big news day. After all, it was the day that former Trump presidential campaign manager Paul Manafortwas found guilty on eight counts of fraud, and it was also the day that President Trump's former attorney, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty to eight criminal counts.

Those stories warrant coverage by any news organization. But CNS is not any news organization -- it's a pro-Trump state media outlet.

The first story CNS did on Cohen's plea deal was spin, a stenography piece by Melanie Arter uncritically quoting White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders insisting that "just because Michael Cohen made a plea deal doesn’t mean that that implicates the president on anything." This was followed by two blog post quoting CNS' favorite right-wing radio host and Trump loyalist, Mark Levin (95 articles on him this year and counting!): The first featured Levin asserting that the media "don't know what they're talking about" in the Cohen plea deal, and the second on Aug. 24 on Levin's desperate rant that Cohen's plea deal is "nothing, nothing, nothing."

Manafort's criminal conviction, meanwhile, didn't warrant a headline story of any kind at CNS. The only mention it received in a "news" story is in the last four paragraphs of Arter's story on thte White House reaction to Cohen, in which she quotesSanders' declaration that "The Manafort case doesn’t have anything to do with the president, doesn’t have anything to do with his campaign, and it doesn’t have anything to do with the White House" and her denial that Trump was thinking about pardoning Manafort.

It's not as if CNS didn't know Manafort was on trial. A June 28 blog post by Craig Bannister touted how the judge in the trial said that "any blind person can see" that the trial was really about getting Trump.

So CNS clearly knows what's going on. It's simply choosing not to report news unfavorable to its favorite president until it can find a way to put a positive spin on it.

Perhaps it's time for CNS to take the "news" out of its name, since that's no longer what it does.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:13 PM EDT

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