Years ago, American politics left all notion of decency behind in our age of rage. That was evident when the media and liberals celebrated the disgraceful conduct of Maryanne Trump betraying her aunt’s confidence in secretly recording her talking about her brother. The same people reveled in the unethical conduct of former Trump attorney Michael Cohen who not only secretly recorded his client, President Donald Trump, but has been violating any notion of confidentiality in pushing his own tell all book. Now, CNN’s Anderson Cooper has been reduced to shilling for Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, the former assistant and friend of Melania Trump who secretly recorded their confidential chats and is now selling a book by playing embarrassing snip bits.
What is incredible about these people is that, while currying favors as false friends or counsels, they were actively taping people who trusted them in case they wanted to later cash in on their access.
In the latest example, CNN ran an entirely valueless significant in primetime to simply show the First Lady swearing and complaining about Christmas obligations. Melania “bashed” Christmas Decorations! Details at 8! This used to be the network of figures like Bernard Shaw.
As Melania Trump unburdened herself to her friend, Wolkoff kept recording and hoping for something juicy. What she got was this line “I’m working… my ass off on the Christmas stuff, that you know, who gives a fuck about the Christmas stuff and decorations? But I need to do it, right?”
That thrilled Anderson Cooper, who once would have become physically ill at the notion of running such ill-gotten tripe. Instead, he exclaims “Talk about a war on Christmas! It’s funny that she would be leading that.”
Talk about a war on journalism! CNN is now trafficking in material that would make the National Inquirer blush.
By the way . . . funny? Is that the most descriptive term for this story. What about pursuing the utter betrayal and dishonesty shown by Wolkoff in setting up a friend and boss?
There is nothing “funny” about CNN leading with this type of matter, of course.
The most newsworthy aspect of this story was the one largely untouched: the despicable level of dishonesty that motivates this type of banking of secret recordings by people like Wolkoff.
It is the very reason that viewers are abandoning the network and media has plummeted in polling in terms of perceived accuracy and honesty. I still view Cooper as an insightful and intelligent journalist but this is an example of how corrupting the current environment has become for many. There is a new sense of an absolute license to engage in any attack or distort any fact for the greater good. Indeed, we now have leading journalism professors denouncing the very concept of objectivity in journalism.
Next week CNN may be able to air recordings with Baron at his school cafeteria talking trash about Halloween. Better yet, Wolkoff may have new surreptitious recordings of her private chat with Anderson in the green room.
Jean-Paul Sartre said “Better a good journalist than a poor assassin.” It is of course possible to be both a bad journalist and a poor assassin.