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Memo To News Media: Consumers Crave Truth, Not Balance

If the last week has taught them anything, let's hope it's taught them this.
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People are awake and realizing there's something very wrong with our news media these days. They're not sitting back and scratching their heads, asking how things that defy gravity can be true. Instead, they're looking for journalists willing to tell the truth. The whole truth, balance be damned.

Over the past few weeks, we've seen an encouraging trend here at C&L. Our most popular clips and posts are not ones where we simply highlight and correct lies people tell on television. Those gain attention for sure, but they're not the ones that people talk about, share, and appreciate.

Our most popular clips are the ones where the host or journalist takes on the lie head-on. Like when CNN's Brianna Keilar refused to allow Trump surrogate and lawyer Michael Cohen bully her.

CNN reporter Kate Bolduan's emotional report on the Syrian boy, Omran, whose family home was devastated by bombs was a moment of truth we all needed to see.

MSNBC's Joy-Ann Reid had several moments this week. The video at the top where she told the Trump pastor he couldn't come on her show and lie was a great one. Or when Trump surrogate Steve Cortes found out she doesn't suffer fools lightly, as did Jack Kingston on Friday. Earlier last week, she also let Cortes have it for whining about "liberal media."

Meanwhile, over at CNN, Brian Stelter took on Sean Hannity's Hillary health trutherism head-on, causing Hannity to squeal like a big whiny baby. He also hit the Trump campaign for relying on "creepy, fringe websites," before Trump announced his merger with Breitbart. Just a week before, Stelter hit Trump for his "coded language painting Obama as traitor." Stelter also wouldn't let Trump surrogate and bigot extraordinaire Jeffrey Lord get away with lying to viewers.

Van Jones, who is no Hillary surrogate but does serve as a CNN commentator, also hit Trump's Milwaukee speech hard for its racist undertones and efforts to divide people of color.

Even Fox News' Dana Perino had a moment of clarity when she scolded Eric Bolling for his flawed thinking.


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All of these moments of truth are some of the most widely shared, commented upon and appreciated of the past three weeks. They all have something in common: Lies were corrected, in real time. Truth was told. "Balance" was never a consideration.

This should serve as a warning to the rest of the squish journalists out there like Chris Matthews, Andrea Mitchell, Chuck Todd, Erin Burnett, and the Fox News crew: People aren't interested in hearing bothsiderist or one-sided bullshit they serve up and call "news."

People want truth. They don't want talking points, or "both sides do it." Donald Trump has broken all of the rules of party politics, and also the cable news formula. Some, like Stelter, Bolduan, Keilar and Reid have taken the cue, choosing to aggressively pursue truth-telling. Others are not.

To those who refuse to pay attention, beware. Consumers have moved on from the political pablum you serve. Only those who are bold enough to speak truth to the professional liars will survive.

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