Topic: Media Research Center
When right-wing CNN pundit Rick Santorum rather dumbly declared that "there isn't much Native American culture in American culture" and that there was "nothing here" before European settlers arrived, the first thing the Media Research Center did was, as usual, defend Santorum and attack anyone who dared to criticize him. Nicholas Fondacaro led the defense league insisting that Santorum was totally correct:
Following a long-winded shouting match between CNN Prime Time host Chris Cuomo and former Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) where the latter defended comments he made about the European and Judeo-Christian founding of America, CNN Tonight host Don Lemon lost his mind during the handoff. The irate CNNer was screaming about how Santorum was wrong and how, supposedly, “Europeans did not found this country” but “it was here” before them.
“I’m breathing heavy right now,” Lemon announced after Cuomo finished his pompous and self-righteous handoff smearing Republicans. Huffing and puffing like the Big Bad Wolf, Lemon recounted how he was sitting in his office and fuming at the TV:
Yes, Native Americans inhabited the North American continent before the arrival of Europeans, but it was NOT the United States of America. It was a series of smaller tribal nations. Yes, Europeans conquered the Native Americans, just like those tribes did to other tribes and other races had done to themselves and others. Conquest was a huge driver of human history. In fact, our species was suspected of having driven other intelligent primate species to extinction during our rise to the apex.
Santorum was right to say that it was the Judeo-Christian values and enlightened thinking that helped the Founders craft our current country. That's a fact. And the Native Americans did provide a measure of influence on the founders. Now, that doesn't mean people from non-European backgrounds are excluded from the American experience or discount the principle that all people are created equal.
Fondacaro concluded by asking, "Now, if what Santorum said was so 'wrong,' 'egregious and insulting,' why was he still on the CNN payroll?" Hold on to that thought, Nick.
Jeffrey Lord followed up in a May 8 post declaring that "This dust up isn’t about Native Americans. It is about race. In this case it’s really about the leftist media and race" and the "cancer of identity politics." In his May 15 column, Lord defended Santorum again, this time from websites calling for a boycott of CNN over his remarks, complaining they ignored that "Santorum was straightforward, said that he had “misspoke” and went on to clarify exactly that he “would never…. dismiss what we did to the Native Americans, far from it. The way we treated Native Americans was horrific.”
When CNN eventually did fire Santorum over his remarks, the MRC defended him on that too. Scott Whitlock huffed that "The political commentator apologized for his comments and said he misspoke, but that apparently wasn’t enough for the liberal news outlet," then played whataboutism: "Showcasing the hypocrisy of CNN, the network has REFUSED to punish star Chris Cuomo for the shocking revelation that he participated in strategy sessionsadvising his governor brother, Andrew Cuomo, on how to survive the multiple sexual abuse claims against him."
Fondacaro didn't return to his earlier statement that the fact Santorum wasn't immediately fired was evidence that he was right. Instead, he groused that CNN fired santorum "after he said some clumsy things about Native Americans and the origin of America’s system of government." He then groused further about CNN's alleged lack of conservative views, oblivious to the fact that his employer operates a "news" division tha's intolerant of liberal views.
Like a good right-winger, Santorum ran to Fox News to complain about his firing, touting how Santorum "appeared with Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity Monday night to discuss what happened. And according to Santorum, he had talked with liberals at CNN who were 'concerned' about the network’s adoption of 'cancel culture.'" And Tim Graham whined in his May 26 column:
The substance isn’t the real issue. It’s all about the purge. The only “Republicans” that CNN wants any more are Biden voters like Ana Navarro, who tweeted out video of LeBron James doing a Latin dance and claimed it “is the best thing I’ve seen all day. Except for the news Santorum [is] no longer with CNN.”
Anyone cheering the firing of Santorum better not come to the public square and decry how Americans “retreat to their silos” of one-sided news watching. Liberal journalists seem very comfortable building and reinforcing their one-sidedness, and regularly rain missiles on the conservative “silos,” even thought Fox News is more tolerant of liberals than CNN is tolerant of conservatives.
Graham offered no evidence of that last statement, and the fact that the first place Santorum ran to after his firing was Fox News tells us that getting fired may have been a career move for him.
CNN has an utterly perfect right to hire and fire whomever they want. I certainly never disputed that and Rick Santorum doesn’t either.
The real problem here is CNN pretending that we are not targeted because we are conservatives or Trump supporters.
But as the firing of Rick Santorum -- and, earlier, all the rest of we conservative CNNers -- illustrates, if nothing else it shows just how cowed CNN is by the left-wing mobs. Which is to say, CNN has a conservative problem.
Like Graham, Lord will never call out Fox News for lack of ideological diversity, or raise thte possibility that Santorum got himself fired to make himself relevant again in right-wing media circiles.