CNN Goes There, Tells Don Jr His Dad’s Ad Is Racist

Don Jr.

Joshua L. Jones/Associated Press

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

If you want to understand the relationship between the Trump administration and CNN, you could start with this exchange Saturday morning between the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., and the network’s corporate PR staff, about a racist video tweeted by the president:

Books will be written about cable news networks’ role in Donald Trump’s rise; in their willingness to let Trump, as a candidate and then as president, act as their assignment editor; and in their decision to pay Trump allies real money to willfully mislead their audience, sometimes even about the networks’ own reporting. CNN’s coverage of the migrant caravan is itself worth of at least a dissertation. (Or, fine, a scathing op-ed.)

It’s a big deal that a cable news network refused to run a paid advertisement from the President of the United States because it considered it simply too racist. Not racially charged, not racially tinged, not racially insenstive, racially-adjacent, or some-are-calling-it-racist—just “racist,” full stop. (The ad is also false, for what it’s worth!) And it’s especially notable because the racism was the whole point of the ad—not just because the president and his aides believe a racist message is a winning message, but because with only a few days to go before the election, the racist ad was the president’s best effort at reclaim his dominance of the news cycle.

But if CNN’s corporate PR team is learning, its news team still gave Don Jr. what he wanted. The Daily Beast reported that the network covered Trump’s ad more than any of its competitors, airing it 19 different times last week during its news segments, “totaling more than seven minutes of free airtime.”

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate