The decade's most triggering comedy
CNN’s Christiane Amanpour called for left-wing press unity in opposition to President-elect Donald Trump during the 2016 International Press Freedom Awards on Wednesday.
Accepting an award acknowledging her ostensible contributions to “press freedom,” Amanpour issued her call to arms via a prepared speech.
Amanpour began with alarmism, framing Trump as a dictator-in-progress:
“I never thought in a million years that I would be standing up here after all the times I participated in this ceremony, appealing really, for the freedom and the safety of American journalists at home… Those bits from Donald Trump that were in that video basically show us and remind us of the peril that we face…
As you’ve seen tonight, that is how it goes with authoritarians around the world, like Sisi, like Erdogan, like Putin, like the Ayatollahs, like Duterte in the Philippines, and all of those people…. First, the media is accused of inciting, then sympathizing, then associating, and then suddenly they find themselves accused of being full-fledged terrorists and subversives, and then they end up in handcuffs, in cages, in kangaroo courts, in prisons, and then who knows what?”
“A great America requires a great and safe and free press,” said Amanpour, drawing partly on Trump’s campaign slogan of returning America to greatness.
The news media, said Amanpour, must be vigilant and unified in defending its pretense of integrity while opposing Trump. A “safe and free press,” she inadvertently implied, was predicated on ideological uniformity among its reporters, journalists, and pundits:
“Don’t stand for being called or labeled ‘lying’ or ‘crooked’ or ‘failing.’ We have to stand up together, because divided we will fall.”
Amanpour also inadvertently acknowledged the left-wing and partisan Democrat biases of most English-language news media, describing the industry as having been defeated by Trump. She also lamented the rise of digital platforms facilitating the free transmission of information in the absence of journalistic curation and filtering:
“We have to accept that we have had our lunch handed to us by the very same social media that we have so slavishly been devoted to. The winning candidate did a very savvy end run around us and used it to go straight to the people. Combined with the most incredible development ever, which is the tsunami of fake news, AKA lies.”
According to Amanpour, the very news media she claims was defeated by Trump was simultaneously too tough on Hillary Clinton during the election season:
“I was shocked by the exceptionally high bar put before one candidate and the exceptionally low bar put before another candidate. It also appeared that much of the press, much of the media, was tying itself in knots, trying to differentiate between balance, between objectivity, neutrality, and crucially – the truth.”
Amanpour lamented what she described as the news media’s tradition of commitment to partisan balance. The American media landscape, she said, was plagued by an excessive commitmed to non-partisanship (a false perception shared by left-wing Politico’s Hadas Gold):
“We cannot continue the old paradigm. We cannot, for instance, keep saying, like it was over global warming, when 99.9% of the science, the empirical facts, the evidence, is given equal play with the deniers.”
Amanpour fretted over the diminishing power of left-wing and Democrat-aligned news media in controlling the dissemination of information and over shaping public opinion:
“So I feel that right now we face an existential crisis. A real threat to the very relevance and usefulness of our profession. Now, more than ever, I genuinely believe that we need to recommit to real reporting across a real nation and a real world in which journalism and democracy are in mortal peril.
Never equate victim and aggressor. Never create a false moral or factual equivalence. Because then, if you do, particularly in situations like that, you are party and accomplice to the most unspeakable crimes and consequences.
So I believe in being truthful, not neutral. And I believe we must stop banalizing the truth. We have to be prepared to fight, especially hard, right now, for the truth, because this is a world where the Oxford English dictionary just last week announced its word for 2016, and that is, ‘post-truth’.”
Amanpour attempted to co-opt “American values,” describing them as neither “left” or “right.” All Americans, claimed Amanpour, subscribed to values she refused to articulate:
“Since when were American values elitist values? They’re not left, they’re not right. They’re not rich, they’re not poor values. They’re not the forgotten man values. Like many foreigners, I have learned that they are universal. They are the values of every American from the humblest to the most exalted.”
Amanpour claimed to be “shocked” that “so many Americans” would vote for Trump, who she described as the antithesis of “American values:”
“Like very many people around the world who were watching this incredible election, I was shocked because very few ever imagined that so many Americans conducting their sacred duty in the secret ballot box using their ballot would be so angry as to ignore the wholesale denigration of these values: the vulgarity of language, the sexual predatory behavior, the deep misogyny, the bigoted and insulting views.”
Not only has she neglected to critically reports on left-wing and Democrat efforts to empower Congress to set parameters for lawful political discourse, but she has supported them.
Amanpour has ignored the following moves to restrict political speech through governmental force:
President Barack Obama’s transfer of American control of internet domain registration to an internationalized body – the International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers – controlled by adversarial foreign governments and interests;
Universal Senate Democrat support to repeal the First Amendment and empower Congress to regulate the parameters of lawful political expression;
Universal left-wing and Democrat efforts to overturn the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold protections for free speech and expression as enshrined in the First Amendment in the Citizens United v. FEC case;
Democrat efforts at the FEC to restrict the breadth of press exemptions extended for political messaging;
Left-wing and Democrat pushes for the Fairness Doctrine to empower the federal government to control political commentary on radio and television.
President Barack Obama’s call for a governmental directory of news media outlets its deems illegitimate.
Watch Amanpour’s speech below:
Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter.