How CNN Enabled Rick Santorum To Minimize Ethnic Cleansing

On April 23, former GOP Senator Rick Santorum minimized the ethnic cleansing of Native Americans in an address to the right-wing Young America’s Foundation at their “Standing Up for Faith and Freedom” conference.

“We have Native Americans but candidly there isn’t much Native American culture in American culture,” said Santorum.

“We came here and created a blank slate. We birthed a nation from nothing.”

Santorum isn’t just some random conservative who used to hold office after he was humiliated in a 58.6% to 41.3% drubbing against Sen. Bob Casey in 2006.

No, because of CNN, Rick Santorum is prominent face in America who used his white privilege to erase the mass murder of hundreds of thousands of people.

After his failed presidential run in 2012, Santorum was fading out of the spotlight. His career had been filled with serial foot-in-mouth moments, including a disgusting episode where he compared homosexuality to bestiality and saying he opposed welfare for “blah” people.

But this did not deter CNN from hiring him in 2017.

CNN was then fresh off a year in which the network breathlessly covered Trump as he traipsed through the Republican nomination and on to the general election, at some points filling their air with shots of Trump’s podium just sitting there.

The network, chasing that high from Trump-infused ratings, added Santorum to their stable of pro-Trump shills. These people were not on CNN to give their viewers some kind of perspective and insight. They were paid by the purportedly “liberal” media outlet (at least according to conservatives) to talk about how great Trump was.

As if we didn’t hear that enough from the mainstream media reporters like CNN’s own Dana Bash who proclaimed so many times that Trump had changed his “tone” that it became a sick joke.

CNN used its reputation as a venue for real news — and there are still decent journalists working there, sharing a makeup room with Santorum — to expose their audience to a steady diet of pro-Trump shillery.

And now this is what that mindset has wrought.

Fawn Sharp, president of the National Congress of American Indians, called out CNN in a statement on April 26:

Rick Santorum is an unhinged and embarrassing racist who disgraces CNN and any other media company that provides him a platform. Televising someone with his views on Native American genocide is fundamentally no different than putting an outright Nazi on television to justify the Holocaust. Any mainstream media organization should fire him or face a boycott from more than 500 Tribal Nations and our allies from across the country and worldwide.

Make your choice. Do you stand with White Supremacists justifying Native American genocide, or do you stand with Native Americans?

Santorum’s statement is the kind of nonsense that, if it had been said by someone at Fox News or by an elected official (especially a Democrat) that CNN would have lost its mind over.

Instead the network appears to have decided to be silent and just ride it out.

The network’s senior media reporter, Brian Stelter, hasn’t bothered to say anything about it.

CNN built up to this moment and while they don’t control Santorum’s mouth, they gave him the platform that he has chosen to use in this manner. CNN owns this moment.

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