CNN's 'Random' Interviewee Turns Out To Be Dem Candidate's Mother, You Can't Make This Stuff Up


CNN apparently takes extreme umbrage at being called “very fake news,” claiming that this is an unacceptable attack on the free press that deposits our beloved democracy on the slippery slope to fascism or despotism or some sort of very bad -ism.

I’ve found this argument endlessly interesting for several reasons. First and foremost, the reason we have a free press is the First Amendment … which is what gives me the constitutional right to call CNN “very fake news.”

There seems to be a bizarre conceit behind the liberal media’s argument — that CNN and the mainstream media are somehow analogous to the Vatican of the Church of the First Amendment.

But if you’re going to set up a Holy See of journalism, you could at least pick a less poxy college of cardinals than The New York Times’ Paul Krugman or CNN’s Brian Stelter to formulate the catechism behind what kind of criticism is valid.

Beyond that, however, there’s something much more basic that bugs me. If they have a very big problem with being called “very fake news,” why are they so often very bad at making very real news?

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Take CNN’s coverage of an Andrew Gillum rally in Florida, where the Democratic gubernatorial candidate was speaking.

Gillum, as regular readers may know, has hit a bit of a rough patch of late because he allegedly likes to accept free stuff from FBI agents that he didn’t know were FBI agents. Happens to the best of us, I say, but I digress.

Anyway, Gillum’s poll numbers have been trending slightly downward recently, which meant it was time for the media to start running some favorable pieces about the Tallahassee mayor who wants a bigger office in the Florida capital.

So, what they did is, they went to a rally for the candidate — with Barack Obama as the featured guest, no less — and found a completely random, completely unbiased person to talk to about the Florida Democrat.

Would CNN have aired this clip about a Republican's supporter?

“Will Barack Obama’s presence in this race and here today influence your vote?” the CNN reporter asked the random person.

“Um, I believe that it will,” she responded.

She continued, but the voiceover noted that something was awry. When the reporter asked the “random” person’s name, things took a turn.

“What’s your name?” she asked.

“My name is Frances Gillum,” the woman said. “And as a matter of fact, my son is running for governor.”

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Hi face, this is palm. Have you met? No? Well, let me let you two become acquainted.

The CNN reporter, laughing, asked, “Why didn’t you tell me that to begin with?”

“That is hilarious,” the reported continued. “Now that changes everything.”

It changes everything, but its hilarity eludes me.

No, this is not “very fake news” in the sense that this was all made up or set up. However, CNN did decide to air this segment as a funny little aside, which seems a little biased toward the Gillum camp. I don’t see them doing this if the “random” person in the audience was a Republican voter — or, for that matter, one of the FBI agents involved in the Gillum sting.

While it’s not literally “very fake news,” it’s sort of an illustration why conservatives might call CNN that. How bad does this look? Moreover, how little self-awareness does CNN have that someone, somewhere on the payroll didn’t realize how bad this would look?

Oh, and by the way, Andrew Gillum’s mother’s vote was influenced by Barack Obama showing up?

How little faith must she have in her son that she needed an Obama appearance to sway her vote? And where were the CNN reporters asking about that?

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture