The media has been frenzied in its coverage of the alt-right and its support for president-elect Donald Trump, as well as Trump’s failure to immediately repudiate the group for some of its radical views. While many of the alt-right’s stances are indefensible, it has to be said that the media has employed a significant double standard in its coverage of Trump’s support from the alt-right when compared to its coverage of President Obama’s supporters in 2008 and 2012. Likewise, the media has dissected Trump’s Cabinet choices with a fine-toothed comb but wholly embraced president-elect Obama’s very radical Cabinet choices without ado.
On Tuesday, for example, CNN’s anchor Chris Cuomo criticized Trump for failing to denounce the alt-right movement — which has thrown its support behind Trump — by name.
“It’s about being a leader,” Cuomo said on New Day Tuesday. “You denounce things that are wrong. That’s what leaders do.”
For Cuomo and the mainstream media, Trump’s calls to end hate crimes and his repudiation of all racism is not enough if he does not directly call out the alt-right. Take for example what the New York Times’ Alan Rappeport wrote on November 21:
Mr. Trump has been accused of fanning the flames of hate groups with his hard-line positions on immigration, his hesitance to denounce the former Klansman David Duke and his occasional promotion of white nationalist accounts on Twitter. While Mr. Trump has called for an end to hate crimes and said he wants to bring the country together, he has not been full throated on expressing disapproval of the alt-right, a rebranded white nationalist movement.
But in 2008, the media seemed to take a far more lax and forgiving approach in its coverage of then presidential-candidate Barack Obama and the support he received from liberation theologian and pastor Jeremiah Wright, who was Obama’s pastor for decades and the inspiration behind his book The Audacity of Hope. During Obama’s campaign, Wright was exposed for his radical sermons against whites, the U.S. government, and America itself, and while the media did not necessarily ignore the story, it instead presented a far more accepting view of Obama’s defense that he was unfamiliar with Wright’s more controversial sermons — hard to believe given the close relationship between Obama and Wright — and that the uproar over Wright’s sermons was part of an orchestrated effort to cost him the presidency…