As we've noted, The main job of summer interns at CNSNews.com this year appears to have been pestering members of Congress with loaded gotcha questions designed to push right-wing narratives. That's [pretty much how the rest of the summer played out.
In mid-July, CNS served up a few more stragglers for its previous gotcha question about immigration: “Article 2, Section 3 of the Constitution says the president ‘shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.’ Does the president have a constitutional duty to enforce the immigration laws?” This time, Sens. Robert Menendez, Patty Murray, Jon Tester, Angus King and Steve Daines and Reps. Andy Harris and Robert Aderholt got the treatment. With the previous round, that's a total of 21 congressfolk who got the CNS treatment over this question.
Also in July, as budget talks were going on between Congress and the White House, interns were sent out to ask members of Congress a questions almost certainly scripted by editort in chief Terry Jeffrey: “The federal government spent $4.1 trillion in fiscal 2018 and ran a deficit of $779 billion dollars. Does the government spend too much money?” And several responded, mostly Republicans who gave the conservatively correct answer:
- Sen. Thom Tillis
- Sen. Rick Scott
- Sen. John Cornyn
- Sen. John Barrasso
- Sen. Richard Blumenthal (the only Democrat)
- Sen. Mike Braun
- Sen. Mike Crapo
At the end of the month, after a deal had been reached and the House had already passed it, the interns were apparently sent out to try this again to Republican senators with another obviously Jeffrey-penned question: “The recent budget deal passed by the House last week allows the government to borrow a limitless amount of money until July 31, 2021. Do you support that?” They were only able to pin down Republicans Mitt Romney and Rick Scott. (UPDATE: CNS also asked the question of GOP Sen. Mike Braun, but the story wasn't published until four days after the Senate vote was taken.)
For what was apparently their final project -- and the sole question of the summer targeted at Democrats and non-members of Congress -- the interns collaborated on an Aug. 8 article about their latest gotcha question:
Despite the well-documented violence of the radical left Antifa group -- the Department of Homeland Security classifies it as “domestic terrorist violence” – not one of the 23 Democrats running for president would condemn Antifa when repeatedly asked by CNSNews.com over the course of 12 business days.
The Trump administration did respond, within a day, condemning Antifa.
In emails and telephone calls to the press offices and campaigns of the 23 Democrats running and to the Trump campaign, CNSNews.com asked the candidates to answer two questions about Antifa based on background about the group reported by Politico.
CNSNews.com then asked the candidates, 1) Do you condemn Antifa? And 2) Do you believe federal law enforcement agencies should take all lawful steps necessary to prevent Antifa from engaging in ‘domestic terrorist violence’ during the 2020 U.S. election campaign?
Done like a "news" organization that's more interested in pushing a narrative and generating partisan clickbait than actual news. But is that what these interns should really be learning?