September 30, 2019

Media people. Please do better. Do not give legitimacy to these debunked, fake stories. Stop with the right-wing framing. And give the voting public more credit.

Alisyn Camerota had Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker on her show to talk about why voters should care about impeachment, if they don't already. Like it or not, the vast majority of people in our nation don't live and breathe politics, and don't have the luxury of delving into the details even if they had the desire. With the Ukraine phone call, though, we have the perfect opportunity. The bully. The extortion. The selling of our nation for political gain. "You want the money/weapons we promised you? Do me this FAVOR first."

Camerota asked Sen. Booker about Speaker Nancy Pelosi's remarks over the weekend. For all the frustration with how long it has taken Pelosi to endorse formal impeachment proceedings, we who have been begging for it are beyond relieved. Especially because when she lands there, she lands hard and sticks it. (HUGE shout-out and RESPECT to the Black and brown women in Congress who have been calling for this for the longest, placing themselves both in danger and at the forefront of doing what is right.)

Speaker Pelosi said that it is worth losing the House in 2020 if that is the political cost of impeachment. (YOU GO, NANCY!) Camerota asked if he agreed. Booker educated her.

BOOKER: I think politics be damned. We all swore an oath, Speaker Pelosi and I did, to uphold and defend the Constitution. This is going to be something that people look back in history and said what did you do when the president of the United States potentially betrayed his nation, really national security, in order to pursue his own personal gain, his own personal benefit. This is serious stuff and this is time to do the right thing, not the political thing.

Yet, Camerota continued to press him on how they could possible convince voters of the importance of impeachment, by implying they don't seem to be thinking about it. She cited a town hall in which only one voter asked about it, and as part of a multi-pronged question. She called it a "problem," implying impeachment was unpopular.

ALISYN CAMEROTA: The problem with that, if there is a problem, voters may not be where you are.

MORGAN FREEMAN NARRATING: It's NOT a problem. Voters ARE where Booker and Pelosi are.

So, why on god's green earth would Camerota be pushing this narrative that most voters will have to be dragged along, if not for the purpose of reinforcing the right-wing priorities?

BOOKER: I'm not worried about the politics of this moment.
CAMEROTA: I'm not asking about the politics. I'm asking about what if voters think that your focus and priorities aren't right?

MORGAN FREEMAN NARRATING: She was, indeed, still asking about the politics.

Booker's answer was fire. You do your JOB. You explain why you're doing it. You do what's right. You protect the thing with which you were entrusted.

BOOKER: When you're elected to the position, it's a position of trust. You do what's right, not what's popular. You do what is urgent at the time, not necessarily what's going to tick you up in the polls. And this is really one of those moments. Now that I've read the intelligence reports about what the Russians were trying to do to our elections, the whistleblower report, I've read so many things that lead me to believe one of the great urgencies of our moment, it may not be top of mind of people, is Russia's efforts to undermine western democracy and ours, and here they're attacking the Ukraine, and I've met with soldiers, under attack, they've lost lives over there, and we we're withholding aid for the president's petty political ambitions? That's UNACCEPTABLE. That's a violation of our Constitution.

To top it all off, Camerota made a lame attempt at false equivalency by bringing up rumors about Biden's son's business — which has been debunked by EVERY MAJOR NEWS OUTLET for years — but for some reason, she felt the need to ask Sen. Booker if he thought it was legitimate to question Joe Biden about this. Why, Alisyn, WHY???

Media people, every time you bring this up, you are cementing the story as legitimate in the minds of people who don't have the time to break this down. Even after Booker slapped down the question, she pressed further on, implying Biden's son benefitted from NEPOTISM.

Stop it. Just stop. Reporters are not tape recorders. Journalists are not transcribers. We are supposed to exercise judgement about our questions before we ask them, and consider the impact of our words. If you're going to ask if Biden's son benefitted from nepotism, don't you DARE do it without mentioning all the ways in which Don Jr., Eric, and Ivanka Trump are rolling around in Daddy's money. Media has power, too, and without the accountability of being elected. We should use it wisely, and for good.

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