CNN’s Chris Cillizza, formerly of The Washington Post, jumped into the shark tank of Reddit for an “Ask Me Anything” session and got chewed to pieces.
After introducing himself as the editor at large for CNN Politics and The Point with Chris Cillizza, Redditors pounced and held nothing back. It was a steady flow of insults, sampled below:
“Chris, have you considered the fact that your reporting style of repeated and absurd focus on completely inane subjects, like "an analysis of the Trump-Macron handshake" not only makes us all collectively stupider, but fundamentally devalues the role politics has in shaping our lives in favor of absurd horserace coverage that focuses on inside baseball to the exclusion of real working families?”
“Hi Chris, I'm curious as to whether or not you feel your approach to journalism can in any way be damaging to the public dialogue. In particular this statement: ‘My job is to assess not the rightness of each argument but to deal in the real world of campaign politics in which perception often (if not always) trumps reality. I deal in the world as voters believe it is, not as I (or anyone else) thinks it should be.’ Seems to entertain the idea that truth is ultimately unimportant in the face of perception. Could it be that this placating of misinformed voters has contributed to the current post-fact predicament? By gliding over the "rightness" of an argument aren't you abdicating the basic tenet of journalism?”
“Hi, I'm Libby Watson, I'm a staff writer at Fusion. Why do you think so many other journalists think you suck?”
“Does the media as a whole (or in your case, CNN specifically) need to do some self-reflection on the way news is reported/covered?”
“You did an emoji analysis of the Republican health care bill. How can you even justify that?”
“Hi Chris, huge fan of your contemporary political analysis here. I am wondering if you would ever consider writing a history book? I think many historical debates could benefit greatly from your patented "both sides are good" centrist wisdom. For example: It seems like most analysis of WWII paints the nazis as bad because they committed a genocide. But they also vastly expanded the autobahn system, which is exciting to drive fast on. With your probing insights, perhaps you could explain how historians painting them as meanies is harmful to political discourse. Thanks!”
“Hi Chris. Do you genuinely believe in your heart that the type of journalism you advance, absent any dedication to discovering truth (as you said), is really in the long term best interests of your profession, your employer, America, or the public?”
“Hello Chris, why is CNN doing nothing to improve the current state of journalism, and instead making it worse every day?”
“Are you worried that the media has created a closed loop feedback cycle with a bloated technocratic pundit class increasingly detached from the lives of working americans?”
“Chris, do you believe in meritocracy? If so, why do you get paid so much? If not, why do you get paid so much?”
“In a naked both-sides-do-it wrestling match, who would win: you or David Brooks?”
“Hi Chris, it's Ashley Feinberg. My question is how could you have possibly thought that this would be a good idea?”
Yeah, that didn't end well.
To read Cillizza’s lame responses, head to Reddit and watch him squirm.