News Release

“Hawks and Liars” Flying High on Cable News

“Just as they did in the lead-up to the Iraq invasion” 15 years ago, media critic Jeff Cohen writes in an article widely published online this week, “MSNBC and CNN now serve up a steady parade of war-hawks, spies and liars, presenting them as credible and almost heroic as long as they criticize the despicable man in the White House.”

The article — “Why Are Progressives Cheering Cable News’ Parade of Hawks and Liars?” — challenges the credibility of news analysts and commentators who are nightly fixtures on cable news.

JEFF COHEN,  jcohen at ithaca.edu
Cohen is available for a limited number of interviews. He is director of the Park Center for Independent Media at Ithaca College and the author of “Cable News Confidential: My Misadventures in Corporate Media.” Cohen co-founded the online activism group RootsAction.org in 2011 and founded the media watch group FAIR in 1986.

“When it comes to Trump critics,” the article says, “CNN and MSNBC regularly serve up a basket of elite deplorables from the military/intelligence establishment—for example, the appalling ex-CIA Director John Brennan and horrific former acting CIA Director John McLaughlin. The hollowness of their Trump critique on ‘liberal cable news’ was on display last week when both men endorsed Trump’s choice for CIA chief, torture-overseer Gina Haspel.”

Cohen adds: “I’m worried about anti-Trump activists, even some quite progressive, who’ve come to see corporate news channels like CNN and MSNBC as their saviors. It’s a dangerous illusion.”

The piece contends: “Trump is doing enormous damage to our country and the world—but you won’t see most of it on MSNBC or any mainstream outlet that covers the Trump White House as a TV soap opera.”

And Cohen writes: “When you hear nightly on CNN and MSNBC about Putin’s ‘attack on our democracy,’ let’s not forget that—whatever impact Russia had on the 2016 election (evidence so far suggests it was small)—’our democracy’ has been under attack for decades by internal enemies: big money control of both major parties, corporate media dominance, Democratic subservience to Wall Street, Republican suppression of voters of color and youth, an archaic election system protected by both parties, etc.”