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HORIST: CNN, start telling the truth!

HORIST: CNN, start telling the truth!

While media bias is rampant, those I dub the Big Seven – CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC, the New York Times and the Washington post – are the vanguard of politically deceptive reporting.  Those following my commentaries know that I am not a fan of the term “fake news.”    There is a difference between making up stories out of whole cloth and using prosecutorial and editorial skills in the selection or elimination (censorship) of information; the prejudicial interpretation (analysis) of facts; claiming opinion is fact; and using grossly lopsided panels of parroting pundits to reinforce the preconceived narratives and conclusions. 

CNN’s so-called expert panelists are mostly reporters from the Big Seven media giants being put forward as some sort of experts.  Biased reporters interviewing biased reporters rarely produces any new information.  It simply serves as an echo chamber that makes CNN’s one voice seem like a chorus.  In far too many instances, they are not reporting facts, but merely gossip.  The primary product of CNN is not … repeat, not … news.  It is speculation of the worst kind based on wishful thinking.

In recent days, the narrative de jure is that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was about to be fired by President Trump or be quitting out of frustration and policy disagreements with the boss in the Oval Office.  The reports were filled with speculative opinions and unnamed sources describing (or misdescribing) the situation in great detail.  Not only was Tillerson’s departure imminent, but names of his potential successors were being bandied about by reporters who obviously had no idea what they were talking about.

After days of scurrilous speculation, both the White House and Tillerson put the kibosh on the story, with Tillerson calling the reports “laughable.”  This is not the first time the CNN and others spent considerable time and space to advance a bogus story of a rift between Trump and Tillerson – nor are these flights of political fantasy limited to Tillerson.

You need to recall CNN’s speculation that Trump planned to end sanctions on Russia and to return the compound that President Obama had seized from Putin’s spies.  After an extended period of speculative criticism of the President, and when it was obvious the reports were wrong, the story slipped out of the headlines like that proverbial thief in the night without so much as a correction of an apology.

Contrary to the media-driven narrative of a palsy walsy relationship between Trump and Putin, Tillerson and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley delivered scathing public statements against Putin.  CNN talking heads, in what can only be described as a through-the-looking-glass interpretation, saw that statements as evidence of conflict within the administration even though the strong condemnations were the official words of the Trump administration.

You can also recall all the negative stories about Trump firing Special Counsel Robert Mueller.  This was such a favored narrative that it kept popping up like weeds in the garden.  No assurances to the contrary by White House officials or the President himself put an end to these bogus reports.  This type of groundless speculation also kept various stories about presidential pardons in the news.

One of the more disturbing characteristics of CNN is Chris Cuomo’s habit of recasting opinion as facts.  You can hearken back to CNN’s Cuomo’s claim that voter fraud is nonexistent in America.  I put that denial right up there with the late Mayor Richard J. Daley’s claiming that there was no organized crime in Chicago. (Yeah, he really denied it.)  Cuomo cited an obscure study (one professor’s opinion) as factual evidence while ignoring the thousands of media reports across the nation over many recent years of actual voter fraud.  Cuomo’s embarrassingly ridiculous claim comes close to legitimately earning the appellation “fake news.”

While CNN has blazed a long and wide trail of dubious news narratives based on their preconceived commitment to all things liberal and Democrat, their reporting of the proposed tax reform legislation has them deploying every trick of the trade without regard to honesty, fairness and that anachronistic standard known as journalistic ethics.

They say that the rich gain most because of the corporate tax cut.  As I have reported on several occasions, corporations do not pay taxes.  Taxes are an expense to the corporation and they pass that on to the consumer – and in that context, they are a regressive tax that impacts hardest on the poorest shoppers.  Corporate taxes increase costs of goods and services.  Lowering taxes will reduce costs because of competition … period.   

The left alleges that the trillions of dollars that will be brought back into America from overseas will not create jobs, not be invested in capital equipment (which creates jobs) or provide economic benefits for average citizens.  In making this dubious claim, Cuomo and his CNN colleagues serve less like newscasters and more ventriloquist dummies for the Democrat talking points.   

They claim the money will mostly be used to give stockholders more money in the form of dividends.  In fact, some money may go into dividends, but business growth will mean more hiring and capital purchases.

But, what about that money that flows to stockholders?  The Bernie Sanders school of economic socialism and the opinion of CNN’s reporters parading as professional economic analysts give the impression that the word stockholder is synonymous with rich person.  In fact, hundreds of millions of middle class Americans are stockholders — if not directly, they are through pension funds and mutual fund investments.  The extra dividend dollars they receive will be spent on goods and service which will require more workers to provide.  CNN and all those other reporters are either clueless as to how the economy works or they are simply lying to promote the obnoxious class warfare narrative of the Democratic Party.

The media claims that the new legislation will result in a tax increase for the middle class – a theoretical increase that is ten years in the future.  This tax increase argument is served up by CNN even in the face of statistical evidence that every taxpaying American will have an actual reduction in their taxes immediately.    

They claim that in 2028 the middle class will then have a big tax increase.  Not only is that pure speculation, but it runs contrary to all likely outcomes in that distant future.  It is possible and even more likely that the tax cuts will be extended by a future Congress, maybe even reduced further.  

The complaint about the ten-year provision is itself the subject of grossly dishonest reporting.  The Cuomo crowd refers to the ten-year termination without explaining that it is required …mandatory … because of the arcane rules of the Senate.  The tax relief does not end because the Republicans want it to end but because to pass the bill by simple majority, they can only extend the tax cut for ten years.  With the Democrats playing blocker, there can be no tax relief if it depends on a supermajority vote and Senate Minority Leader Schumer is given the opportunity to filibuster.  

The reason for the ten-year limitation has been explained to the media on several occasions that I have seen and read.  Yet, the Democrats and the media continue to ignore that FACT in order to leave the impression that the Republicans are willy nilly favoring the rich over the average American.  It is their lie and there are sticking to it.

CNN & Co. uses the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis that suggests a $1.3 dollar addition to the national debt if the Republican tax plan is passed.  Even though this two has been explained to the media, CNN continues to offer up the ten-year projection (opinion) of the CBO as another Cuomo fact.  The CBO has not been a perfect prognosticator of the future and an accurate ten-year prediction is impossible and irresponsible.  

(Seems strange that congressional Democrats should be so exercised over that dubious $1.3 trillion increase over ten years when they supported Obama-nomics that increased the national debt by $1.3 trillion PER YEAR.)

CNN refuses to report a significant problem with the CBO projection even though they have been told frequently.  It is based on a static analysis.  That means it does not take into consideration any changes in the economy over that time.  They completely missed the housing bubble caused by the Affordable Housing Act that resulted in the 2008 Great Recession.  Their static model failed to foresee the impact of regulations that retarded and prolonged the recovery.  You need to recall that President Obama promised that his stimulus plan would have the economy growing at 6 percent in less than a year, and the CBO did not see a problem with that.  

In the case of the current tax bill, the CBO’s static model does not factor in economic growth.  If the economy increases from the current three percent growth to a four percent growth, that predicted trillion dollars shortfall largely disappears.  

For the better part of eight years, the Washington-based liberal economists have seen a two-plus percent economic growth as the new norm.  They said more than three percent was unachievable in the short run.  Under Trump’s pro-jobs, less taxes and few regulation policies, the economy jumped over the 3 percent mark in just a matter of months.  Still, CNN continues to report the highly questionable forecast of the CBO as an unquestionable fact.

First prize for the longest running no new news story goes to CNN (on behalf of the class) for the obsessive and excessive coverage or the elusive Russian/Trump collusion narrative.  Now let’s be honest here.  No one – not me, you are any of those palaverers of the Fourth Estate – knows the truth.  There has been no concrete evidence of illegal collusion in more than a year of intense investigation by the FBI, the Justice Department, the Congress and now a Special Counsel – only one-sided speculation by the media.

Despite this FACT, CNN has spent thousands of hours of airtime and innumerable column inches creating condemnatory hypotheses and theories that border on outright slander.  Even those unconnected meetings between various officials and various Russian characters within and apart from the campaign have been knitted into a series of fact-challenged sinister innuendoes.

Perhaps there was illegal collusion.  Perhaps Mueller will uncover it.  Perhaps people close to the President – or even the President himself – will be exposed. It is upon these perhapses that the elite east coast media has predicated their biased narrative of illegal conduct.  Even if illegal collusion is proven, it provides no justification for the months of dishonest reporting.  It would not prove the media to have been correct and responsible, only lucky.

Despite all this evidence, the CNN continues to lead the pack in misinforming the public by sticking to false political narratives in opposition to factual reporting – or at least giving reasonable access to those people who point to FACTS (alternative facts?) CNN purposely omits.  To understand the shallowness of news in the so-called news reports, make a mental note of how many times an anchor, reporter or panelist uses the phrase “we don’ know” and then goes on a prolonged speculative journey, transforming their ignorance into yet another attack on Trump, Republicans and conservatives – their three favorite targets.


About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.