Jugglers and singers require applause. You are a journalist.
The line, humbly taken from the Game of Thrones and sneakily modified to suit narrative purposes, is too harsh. There is no need for cynicism about Chris Hayes’ recent segment covering allegations of sexual assault against Joe Biden.
ICYMI, here’s the segment.
Chris Hayes covering Tara Reade’s allegations against Biden pic.twitter.com/zs5BJEZGVb
— Ibrahim (@ibrahimpols) April 30, 2020
(*Video in tweet belongs to MSNBC)
For many reasons, this segment marks a significant shift in the Tara Reade story. For many weeks now, mainstream media has been trying to dismiss the charges being levelled against Joe Biden. The New York Times, a bastion of the liberal media establishment, was the first to question the validity of the allegations levelled against Biden. The Times claimed these allegations lacked merit.
Evidence that has emerged now is pointing to the contrary. A former neighbour of Reade has come on the record and stated that the former Biden aide did indeed discuss the event with her a few years after it happened.
The pressure is now mounting on the University of Deleware to release Senate documents which could corroborate Reade’s allegations.
The story is being taken seriously.
It is needless to state that Chris Hayes covering the story lends it some much-needed heft. For better or worse, mainstream media seems to control the political narrative of the country. Hayes covering the allegations on Joe Biden and not dismissing them outright could initiate responsible coverage of the story.
Fire Chris Hayes Trends. Progressives Find a New Hero
Progressives need to stop gushing every time a mainstream media personality treats a news story fairly.
When Hayes covered the allegations on Joe Biden, #FireChrisHayes began trending on Twitter. Naturally, a group of liberal Clinton and Obama Democrats were pissed old Joe had to answer some questions.
Progressives were quick to defend Hayes, showering him with praise and treating him like the reincarnation of Murrow.
Let’s call a spade a spade. Hayes took a risk by covering the Tara Reade story. The liberal establishment he is a part of does not appreciate outliers. Phil Donahue is a case in point.
If you’re a journalist on MSNBC, taking on Trump doesn’t take any real courage. When you do so, you neither risk losing your audience or stand the possibility of losing your job. Hayes and Maddow, both MSNBC stalwarts, have spent much of the Trump presidency covering ‘ORANGE MAN BAD’ stories.
Taking on Trump is not wrong. It is necessary to question power. However, if you’re MSNBC, real courage lies in questioning those on your side, which in this case is the Democratic establishment.
Tucker Carlson is hated in the progressive universe for many valid reasons. However, he is not someone lacking courage. When he feels Trump is wrong, he dedicates a segment calling him out on the same. This is why Tucker is more effective at his job than Hannity, who is a Republican mouthpiece.
Chris Hayes showed courage taking on Biden. He questioned the man his friends and colleagues believe is the best hope in taking out Trump.
There. Hayes did a good job. Now stop calling him a progressive hero.
Fair Coverage is Right. Not a Luxury
Chris Hayes covered the allegations against Joe Biden in a fair journalistic process. He offered fair coverage to an important story on a network not known for doing so.
He did his job.
Progressives watching Chris Hayes were ready to hand him a Peabody. This excitement comes from a lack of expectation. When mainstream media grants a slice of fair coverage to a story which hurts the establishment, progressives celebrate as if Medicare for All was signed into law.
The tragedy of low expectations plagues progressives. Perhaps another way of looking at this situation is asking why Chris Hayes doesn’t question the Establishment more often. What are the complications he faces when doing a story which asks hard-hitting questions of the Establishment? Why do we never see Hayes do a segment on the poor leadership of Nancy Pelosi in the House?
Both Chris Hayes and Rachel Maddow are smart journalists. They have the intellectual prowess to take on the Establishment and the platform to do it. Rather than praising them for one good segment, let’s demand more. Fair coverage is not a luxury news channels afford their audience. It is a fundamental right, but only applicable if you demand it.