CNN’s Brian Stelter: ‘There Was Not Enough Talk About Racial Resentment in 2016’


CNN host Brian Stelter offered a warning to political journalists covering the 2020 presidential election by noting that there was not enough focus on “racial resentment” during the 2016 campaign.

On Sunday morning’s edition of CNN’s Reliable Sources, Stelter asked his panel about the coverage of Democratic leaders like Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).

“Are reporters repeating some mistakes made already? Is sexism creeping into the coverage?” Stelter asked.

Democratic strategist Karen Finney noted that “This will be the third time in a presidential where we have women running, and where we have a diverse group of people running from different ethnic backgrounds, and a much more diverse electorate.”

“How the media cover candidates, we can’t be afraid to call out things that are racist or sexist,” Finney said, adding that journalists should not be “afraid to call things out.”

Finney also pointed to a focus on “polls reporting on economic anxiety. We were missing what was driving that. Fear of change, racism, sexism. That whole conversation was missed…”

“There was not enough talk about racial resentment,” Stelter agreed. “We focused on a lot of financial anxiety and not racial anxiety.”

There were plenty of journalists focusing on racial resentment in 2016, including in these pages, but the mainstream media focused on “economic anxiety” to such an absurd degree that the term became a joking shorthand for the racial anxiety that studies show drove Trump’s success.

The implication from Finney and Stelter is that reporters and pollsters should not fall into the same trap as they cover the diverse slate of candidates that the Democrats are likely to produce.

Watch the clip above, via CNN.


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