August 31, 2015

Former McCain adviser hasn't gotten the memo about Donald Trump. The Republican party is full of people who think Trump is awesome.

Appearing with Jonathan Capehart on Steve Kornacki's show Sunday morning, Franco first said that Jorge Ramos has "crossed a line and is now an advocate for the Democratic Party."

In the back and forth that followed, Capehart pressed Franco on Ramos' contention that there are areas where reporters need to take stands: racism, dictatorships, and more.

In other words, this wasn't a "both sides do it" moment. In Ramos' view, it was a moment to stand for what is morally right, not play weasel with bothsiderism.

Franco then responded by saying "[Ramos] should read the Fairness Doctrine in the United States."

Except, Mr. Franco, that doctrine is dead, dead, dead. Buried by Saint Ronnie back in the 80s, giving rise to right wing media outlets and spelling the death of American news forever. Truly, if you want serious reporting, try Univision or Al Jazeera, both of which are not United States-based news stations.

Compare and contrast this weaselly response with Brian Stelter's conversation with Ramos on Reliable Sources Sunday morning (transcript via CNN):

STELTER: There has been quite a backlash to your exchange with Trump.

Here's a few of the comments I saw on television from some prominent television commentators. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE SCARBOROUGH, MSNBC HOST: The guy was making a political -- you got a question to ask, ask a question. If you want to make a political statement, you can hold your own press conference.

JESSE WATTERS, FOX NEWS HOST: I think Ramos acted like an illegal alien and got treated like one. He cut the line...


WATTERS: ... was disruptive, and then was deported. And Trump let him back in. Isn't that his policy?

BILL O'REILLY, HOST, "THE O'REILLY FACTOR": Jorge Ramos has now become an advocate for people who enter the U.S. illegally. And that's superseded his job as a journalist.


STELTER: What do you make of that, Jorge, given that you're saying our job is to be aggressive and ask tough questions?


RAMOS: Absolutely. And that's -- that's our job. And in some instances...


STELTER: But they're saying it's not. They're saying that you are an advocate. They're saying you are an activist.

RAMOS: In some instances -- Brian, in some instances -- well, in some instances, again, when it comes to human rights -- and immigration rights are human rights -- when it comes to the fact that a presidential candidate is attacking a whole community, when it comes to the fact that a presidential candidate is attacking a whole community, when it comes to the fact that a presidential candidate is stereotyping a community, I think we have the right to ask tough questions. And...

STELTER: So, are these guys that are criticizing you, Bill O'Reilly and Joe Scarborough, are they not real journalists?


RAMOS: Many times, we have to take a stand, Brian.

STELTER: Are they not real journalists?

RAMOS: Excuse me?

STELTER: If they're so critical of you being a tough reporter, are they not reporters? What do you make of these guys going after you?


RAMOS: I mean, they can say whatever they want, and they can -- this is a free country, and I think it's fantastic that we have the possibility of having this debate.

If we were in Mexico, if we were in some countries in Latin America or in the Middle East, we would be dead. So it's great that we have the possibility of having -- of having this debate. But I will continue asking tough questions from the presidential candidate who is ahead on the polls.

Instead of pretending the Fairness Doctrine still exists, how about if reporters take a page out of Ramos' book and start pushing Trump on issues instead of letting him blather on about how much his poll numbers are increasing?

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