The state of American journalism: Exhibit A
If you’re among the dwindling number of Americans who watch the legacy network Sunday shows you saw this past Sunday a prime example of what’s wrong with what we call, with ever increasing derision, “journalism” in America.
House Speaker Mike Johnson was interviewed on CBS’s Face the Nation by Margaret Brennan. She was trying to discredit Johnson as an election denier for having spearheaded the filing of an amicus brief in the case filed by Texas in the United States Supreme Court following the 2020 election.
Here is an edited transcript of the exchange:
MARGARET BRENNAN: Back in 2021, you were the lawmaker who circulated the legal brief known as the Texas amicus brief, challenging the 2020 election outcome in a number of states, which by CBS editorial standards, makes you an election denier.
SPEAKER MIKE JOHNSON: That’s nonsense.
BRENNAN: Can I get you on the record on that?
JOHNSON: I’ve always been consistent on the record. Did you read the brief? Did you get a chance to read what we filed with the Supreme Court?
BRENNAN: (awkward laugh) Well, I have read extensively some criticisms of that, but…
JOHNSON: You read commentary about the brief, but not what we submitted to the court, right?
BRENNAN: But you recognize that President Biden won the 2020 election. Can you just put that…
JOHNSON: President Biden was certified as the winner of the election. He took the oath of office. He’s been the president for three years. The argument that we presented to the court, which is our only avenue to do so, was that the Constitution was clearly violated in the 2020 election. It’s Article II, Section 1, and anyone can Google it and read it for themselves. The system by which you choose electors to elect a president of the United States must be done by the individual states, and the system must be ratified by the state legislatures. That is language, plain language of the Constitution.
BRENNAN: So, you still have issues with the validity of the 2020 election…
JOHNSON The Constitution was violated in the run up to the 2020 election. Not always in bad faith, but in the aftermath of COVID many states changed their election laws in ways that violated that plain language. It’s just a fact.”
Give Speaker Johnson credit. He could have annihilated Brennan. He chose instead to be a gentleman and to patiently explain, as if showing a child a card trick, what the case brought by Texas was really about.
The amicus brief is all of 17 pages. I’ve read it. You can, too. It’s right here.
But the moderator of the once-great Face the Nation can only bother to read bias-confirming “criticism” before interviewing the third highest-ranking elected official in the U.S. government. This is what now passes for journalism at the highest levels.
One big reason that we in America are at each other’s throats is that we have no longer have any reliable, commonly agreed and accepted news sources by which to inform our opinions. Margaret Brennan of CBS just showed us why.