Did CNN compare journalists to soldiers on Veterans Day?

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On Veterans Day in November 2021, several social media users criticized CNN for posting an article comparing journalists to the military:

This is an authentic excerpt from an article published on CNN. However, this article was not published recently, it was not published on Veterans Day, and the subject of the article was not members of the country’s military service.

This clipping is from an opinion piece written by Joseph Holt on August 3, 2018 – not Veterans Day – titled “The press is not the enemy, it’s the protector.” The article, like all opinion pieces on CNN, began with a disclaimer that the opinions expressed in the article belonged to the author, not the network:

Editor’s Note: Joseph Holt is Professor of Ethics at the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame. The opinions expressed here are those of the author alone. See more opinion pieces on CNN.

Holt’s article had little to do with veterans or members of the military. The article’s aim was to push back against the idea that journalists are “the enemy of the people,” an opinion often expressed by former US President Donald Trump.

Holt wrote:

President Donald Trump stepped up his attack Thursday night at a rally in Pennsylvania, calling members of the press “horrible and horrible people.” This language is dangerous, and calling the press an “enemy of the people” is bizarre. A true enemy of the American people seeking to undermine our democracy would like nothing more than to shut down the press.

One of the reasons Trump’s language about the press is so disturbing is that it suggests that Trump would prevent the mainstream media from criticizing him if he had the power to do so. This is probably the spirit in which the White House banned CNN reporter Kaitlan Collins from a White House press event last Wednesday. Collins, who like Acosta and other members of the White House press conducts herself with a high level of professionalism, has been told she has been banned for asking the “inappropriate” questions that any good journalist in his position would have asked (but that the president obviously did not want to hear).

The only time Holt referred to the military was in the last paragraph of the article, where Holt argued that journalists, like soldiers, “are dedicated to protecting our freedoms.”

“We thank the soldiers for their service as they are dedicated to protecting our freedoms, and we should. But we also have to thank the media for the same reason, especially when the stakes have never been higher. “

This paragraph created some controversy when it was first published in August 2018. Fox News noted at the time:

“While the professor’s last paragraph sent readers flocking to scoff at it on social media, it seems Holt just wanted to acknowledge that reporters render a service with little to no recognition. Although it has been called an opinion piece, the backlash for its exaggerated comparison has at times been severe. “

Although this is a true opinion piece published on CNN, it was not published on Veterans Day, it was not written about veterans and he was over three years old. when it went viral on social media again in November 2021.

Sources:

Flood, Brian. “CNN Op-Ed criticized for comparing the military to the media, says both” protect our freedoms. ” Fox News, August 7, 2018, https://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/cnn-op-ed-slammed-to-compare-the-military-to-the-media-says-the-two-protect-our- freedoms.

Holt, Joseph. “The press is not the enemy, it is the protector.” CNN, August 3, 2018, https://www.cnn.com/2018/08/03/opinions/sanders-acosta-enemy-of-the-people-free-press-holt-opinion/index.html.


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