What a MMA Star and a CNN Anchor Taught Us About Bias
By: Kathleen Murphy
Politics without hyperbole would probably be pretty boring.
Politics with hyperbole is pretty boring, but every once in a while an overwrought advocate unleashes a hot-take that gives us all a good jolt.
And the fact is, people of all political stripes get emotional, put their foot in their mouth and make mistakes.
However, the media’s reaction to these statements is drastically different depending on the political persuasion of the person making the provocative comments.
An MMA Star and a CNN anchor made the contrast crystal clear last week.
Gina Carano, a former MMA fighter and actress, was fired from her role on a StarWars spin-off because she was outspoken in her conservative ideas. Her most controversial message — and the one that seems to have been the last straw — was an image of Nazi Germany, comparing it to today’s overheated political climate.
It shouldn’t have to be said: Holocaust comparisons are always wrong. They diminish the horror of six million Jewish people murdered in concentration camps. And there is nothing in modern America that even remotely resembles post-World War I Germany and the conditions that gave rise to the Third Reich.
That said, Carano is FAR from the first American to make an uninformed Holocaust comparison. By the way, the hashtag campaign to fire Carano started when Twitter realized the actress was conservative, not after her controversial tweet. When LucasFilms dropped the axe, the media made sure you knew. The story was covered by CNN, PBS, The Hollywood Reporter, VOX, The Guardian, Forbes, PageSix, Salon.com, and the list goes on and on.
Meanwhile, over on CNN, Anderson Cooper, in a conversation with Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger, compared Trump supporters to the perpetrators of the genocides in Rwanda and Bosnia. Watch.
For his part, Adam Kinzinger, a man who has set out to save the Republican Party, just nodded along... Off to a great start. This should have been an easy pushback.
In just 100 days in 1994, 800,000 people were slaughtered in Rwanda. Another 8,000 people were murdered in the Bosnian genocide over the summer of 1995.
Five died as a result of riot at the Capitol. And Anderson Cooper made no such comparisons regarding Antifa protestors after several dozen Americans died when violence broke out during their demonstrations in cities across the nation last summer.
There is no evidence that Republicans are planning to commit genocide. It’s an absurd statement.
Yet, Anderson Cooper was not fired. No one started a campaign calling for his job. Aside from a handful of conservative outlets, there have been no headlines about Cooper’s hyperbolic statements.
Sometimes, what isn’t said speaks volumes. Media bias isn’t only found in what they broadcast. It’s revealed in what they keep quiet.
For Breakthrough Ideas, I’m Kathleen Murphy.