CNN Column Blasts Trump For Seeking Black Votes While Opposing Voting Rights For Felons

Screen Shot 2016-08-21 at 2.20.40 PMI have previously written that I believe that Trump supporters have a legitimate complaint about some of the coverage on the mainstream media. I say “some” because Trump has clearly generated the majority of bad press on his own and the media has merely covered the controversies. However, there has been some valid objections to how media has jumped on Trump statements, even positions that mirror those once held by the Clintons or currently held by significant numbers of Americans. Critics insist that media is unrelenting on Trump coverage and interviews while far less aggressive with Clinton or her controversies in coverage or interviews.

CNN has taken the brunt of much of the criticism from Trump supporters who commonly dismiss the network as the “Clinton News Network.” That is unfair in my view but a recent article on has raised this issue again. Entitled “Trump wants GOP to court black voters — then slams voting rights for felons,” the column suggests that Trump was somehow hypocritical for making a pitch for African-American votes while opposing voting for felons. Moreover, the assumption that felons are somehow synonymous with blacks went by without any apparent objection or question. Had Trump made such an association, I am fairly certain he would have pilloried. Moreover, the highly negative coverage given his pitch to the black community raises valid questions of the balance in reporting analogous pitches from the Clinton campaign.

495px-Donald_Trump_by_Gage_SkidmoreThe media response to Trump’s speech was rapid and at times rabid. Trump called on black voters to ask what they have really achieved from decades of their overwhelming support for Democrats.

“No group in America has been more harmed by Hillary Clinton’s policies than African Americans. No group. No group. If Hillary Clinton’s goal was to inflict pain to the African American community, she could not have done a better job. It is a disgrace.

Detroit tops the list of most dangerous cities in terms of violent crime, number one . . . The only way to change results is to change leadership. We can never fix our problems by relying on the same politicians who created our problems in the first place. A new future requires brand new leadership . . . Look at how much African American communities are suffering from Democratic control. To those I say the following: What do you have to lose by trying something new like Trump? What do you have to lose? You live in your poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs, 58 percent of your youth is unemployed. What the hell do you have to lose?”

That would seem to me little different from Hillary Clinton campaigning in black neighborhoods based on the promise of economic and legal reforms to benefit their community. Yet, Trump was attacked for the pitch for black voters and the speech called possibly the “worst ever” appeal to the black community.

However, the column by CNN seems to do precisely what the media has accused Trump of doing: associating blacks with crime. The column states “Donald Trump acknowledged Saturday that the Republican Party ‘must do better’ in appealing to African-Americans. But in the same speech here, he again slammed an order by the state’s Democratic governor, Terry McAuliffe, to restore voting rights to some convicted felons who have completed their sentences, a move McAuliffe says could help African-Americans who were disproportionally affected by laws that put lifetime bans on felons.”

I happen to favor voting rights for felons. If we want people to rejoin communities, we should be encouraging their participation in civic institutions. However, there is no reason in my view to treat Trump as hypocritical in seeking African-American votes while also opposing voting rights for felons. There are good faith arguments on both sides of the voting rights for felons. More importantly, blacks and felons are not synonymous terms. The irony is that Trump was heavily criticized for linking illegal immigrants coming over the Mexican border with crime. It was an association widely denounced as racist.

The point is not that rights for former felons will not have an impact on this community or that this is not a legitimate issue to be discussed in the context of rebuilding African-American communities. Rather, the issue is one of fairness to the Trump camp in the treatment of analogous associations made by his critics in the past. It is also true in my view that there is nothing inherently ridiculous or hypocritical in Trump maintaining these two positions.

What do you think?

50 thoughts on “CNN Column Blasts Trump For Seeking Black Votes While Opposing Voting Rights For Felons”

  1. Nick, I said this would be open to debate, scrutiny and a lot of discussion. This would probably fly on a case by case scenario.

  2. Few need doubt MSNBC & CNN are in the pertinacious Clinton camp! Both are playing at recess when covering Clinton. Both are polluted, partisan, networks!! Any questions?

  3. @Sandi

    re: “….because I live in CA and Hillary will win it.”

    Don’t despair – that’s what the MSM wants you to do. There are lots of Bernieorbusters in CA who will be voting for Jill Stein – and some of them for Trump.

    We are aligning to defeat the Beast.

  4. It is typical in most countries, including the US, for newspapers to lean one way or the other. If the US was a more evolved democracy with four parties, there would be four major papers or other media sources, one for each party. In France, Great Britain, Canada, and most other countries this is the case. The best example in the US is the Washington Post and the Washington Times. The main news stories are pretty much of the same temperament. However, the editorials lean left in the case of the Post and right in the case of the Times. Having said all that, the degree of lean is close to 180 degrees in the right wing rags, way more than the left. But, as our sleuth illustrates the left does fall on its face from time to time. The right seems to rarely get up.

  5. I stopped watching CNN after hearing their version of a campaign stop with “W”. I had watched that on CSpan earlier. They said things never talked about, changed some answers to questions, and I haven’t watched CNN since. Except for debates. I’m one of the “Never Hillary” people. I would support whoever the Republican Party nominated. And will vote for Trump, which won’t matter because I live in CA and Hillary will win it. We have celebrities making commercials about Hillary. I don’t think they pay much attention to facts. Just read what’s written on the TelePrompTer. Obama has screwed this country. Hillary will only make it worse. Annoy the meda, vote for Trump.

    1. Happily, well said! Is it not amazing, with 58 million African-Americans out of work or unable to make a living wage, some blacks continue to allow themselves to be hoodwinked by Democrats? Under Obama, food stamp recipients has climbed by approximately 36%. 13.8 million Americans have dropped out of the labor force! Our nation debt, under Obama, exceeds $20 TRILLIONS WHICH IS MORE THAN ALL PRESIDENTS COMBINED! Still, voters support, as stated by FBI Director, an “extremely careless” progressive, Clinton. Is it not unbelievable? In short, we no longer need cosmetic politicians while we do need a business man named Trump!

    2. Eason Jordan worked for CNN for 21 years, essentially his entire adult life until he was compelled to resign for his mendacity. Candy Crowley worked for CNN for 27 years. CNN revived Daniel Schorr’s career in broadcasting some years after CBS had fired him for near-criminal misconduct. Ya think the place might have a rancid institutional culture?

  6. I really don’t understand why anyone still watches TV news.
    “I know this is all just propaganda, but I can’t stop watching.”

    Why not just admit you’ll do whatever your handlers tell you?
    You’re on a leash and you like it.

  7. Once the courts decided that Fox News had a legal right to lie, all bets were off. Fox has taken this to every possible extreme.

    Now folks are upset because it turns out CNN does the same? Oh No! Someone drag out the fainting couch. Again.

    The major news outlets are owned by giant corporations. That is the slant. There may be liberal reporters on TV, but the stations, the leadership and the networks or corporatists. Nothing more.

    To repeat my earlier headline:

    Trump Campaign Furious That News Media Is Reporting Things He Said.

    Also, sad to report that GW Law grad Kellyanne Elizabeth Conway is off to a disastrous start, being called out for changing her position about Trumps taxes with not so much as a shred of rational, logical thought. Oh well. She had to have seen that coming.

    1. Once the courts decided that Fox News had a legal right to lie,

      I take it you fancy Fox has some special exemption from defamation suits no other media outlet has or that you fancy Democratic pols should be permitted to shut down Fox because it ‘lies’ (i.e. frames stories in ways inconvenient to partisan Democracts).

  8. Mr Turley, you write “CNN has taken the brunt of much of the criticism from Trump supporters who commonly dismiss the network as the “Clinton News Network.” That is unfair in my view . . .”

    We’re in agreement. Clinton News Network is way too limited. Other possibilities include Crooked News Network, Corrupted News Network, Contorted News Network . . .

    One need not have a Masters in Journalism to know that this 24-hour news cycle focus on Trump accomplishes the aims of the Crooked, Corrupted, Contorted Clinton News Network. It stops all coverage of Hillary Clinton’s TREASON committed while Secretary of State, her contempt for US law despite herself having practiced law, her corrupt selling of US Dept of State favors in exchange for donations to the Clinton Foundation. You, as a leading CONSTITUTIONAL legal mind and scholar, should be shouting this from the rooftops, not being snootily dismissive of Trump supporters who see the OBVIOUS bias in the CNN presstitute coverage.

  9. Here’s a proposal. The Dems, who push these horse manure Voter ID lawsuits, give up that fraud enabling in exchange for giving felons the right to vote.

    Can’t make deals with Democratic pols. They welsh. The lawyer left will file suit and a faux-impartial judge will impose their policy preferences through judicial decrees.

  10. CNN has not given two minutes in the last two years to tell us what the Clinton Foundation does around the world.

    The % of donations devoted to program expenditures is approaching single digits. They’re not doing much.

  11. News flash. Liberal discourse largely consists of unprincipled improvisations in a never ending set of status games and malicious attacks on normal human beings.

  12. I do agree, Jon, but I don’t have the energy or inclination to defend Trump. CNN’s bias against Trump is pretty well baked in, given what I’ve seen of CNN this year.

  13. CNN has not given two minutes in the last two years to tell us what the Clinton Foundation does around the world. Yet they constantly blather about the Clinton Foundation donors and lying Hillary. Now they want to shut down the Foundation. The poor who were benefiting from the Foundation around the world can thank CNN. Black Labs Matter. Remember that.

  14. Agree with all y’all who posted that felons voting rights should be restored after they have served their time and have committed no further crimes for a few years.

    As far as the MSM – of course they are in the tank for Clinton – they report to the same corporate owners. And now we see even so-called alternative/progressive media such as Thom Hartmann, Benjamin Dixon and Cenk Uygur (TYT) coming to heel.

    Good news is after this election once HRC is defeated the MSM will fade away into obscurity as well!

  15. Sick of hearing CNN say whether or not Trump is going to pivot. Let’s get this disastrous campaign year over.

  16. Matt Taibbi’s latest article focuses on the MSM. It is a really a good article.

    Since I watch CNN only on an involuntary basis, I’m not in a position to offer a detailed critique of their coverage. Based on what I’ve seen, however, I agree with Nick that their biased coverage is likely to help Trump pick up votes.

    The MSM act as “pack animals.” That was evident in their support for the Iraq War under Shrub and it is evident today. Many reporters, if they try to go against the pack, risk losing their job or worse.

    That is one of their key biases, along with sucking up to their friends in power, whether those friends have an R or a D after their names.

    We need many more Reporters like Seymour Hersh

  17. I could be persuaded to deny voting rights to uninformed people. Having been around too many to count, I know just how stoopid some of them are. Only informed, rational-thinking people should be allowed to hold their breath and vote…for the Clinton of their choice.

  18. Independent Bob, I could be persuaded to deny voting to felons. Having worked w/ too many to count, I know just how bad some are. Here’s a proposal. The Dems, who push these horse manure Voter ID lawsuits, give up that fraud enabling in exchange for giving felons the right to vote.

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