Connie Chung, serial offender.
Glenn Greenwald has uncovered this 2002 interview which Connie Chung, then of CNN, did with tennis star/naturalized U.S. citizen Martina Navratilova.
It’s quite a thing to read, how our esteemed American “journalists” behaved in the aftermath of 9/11. It’s been 10 years and while I remember the U.S. media’s effective quashing of any voice that wasn’t full-bore flag-waving and Merka Fuck Yeah, reading this transcript brings it all back in stark relief:
NAVRATILOVA: Well, obviously, I’m not saying this is a communist system, but I think we’re having — after 9/11, there’s a big centralization of power. President Bush is having more and more power. John Ashcroft is having more and more power. Americans are losing their personal rights left and right. I mean, the ACLU is up in arms about all of the stuff that’s going on right now. . . .
CHUNG: Can I be honest with you? I can tell you that when I read this, I have to tell you that I thought it was un-American, unpatriotic. I wanted to say, go back to Czechoslovakia. You know, if you don’t like it here, this a country that gave you so much, gave you the freedom to do what you want.
NAVRATILOVA: And I’m giving it back. This is why I speak out. When I see something that I don’t like, I’m going to speak out because you can do that here. And again, I feel there are too many things happening that are taking our rights away.
CHUNG: But you know what? I think it is, OK, if you believe that, you know, then go ahead and think that at home. But why do you have to spill it out? You know, why do you have to talk about it as a celebrity so that people will write it down and talk about what you said?
NAVRATILOVA: I think athletes have a duty to speak out when there is something that’s not right, when they feel that perhaps social issues are not being paid attention to. As a woman, as a lesbian, as a woman athlete, there is a whole bunch of barriers that I’ve had to jump over, and we shouldn’t have to be jumping over them any more.
CHUNG: Got you. But sometimes, when you hear celebrities saying something, do you ever say to yourself, I don’t care what so and so thinks, you know. Yes, go ahead and say whatever you want to say. But you’re not a politician. You’re not in a position of government power or whatever.
NAVRATILOVA: No. And I just might do that. I may run for office one of these days and really do make a difference. But…
CHUNG: Are you kidding me?
NAVRATILOVA: No, I’m not. One of these days, hopefully. But when you say go back to Czech Republic, why are you sending me back there? I live here. I love this country. I’ve lived here 27 years. I’ve paid taxes here for 27 years. Do I not have a right to speak out? Why is that unpatriotic?
CHUNG: Well, you know the old line, love it or leave it.
Wow. Hey Connie Chung, why not tell Martina Navratilova to just keep her Commie yap shut and be done with it? What an astonishing breach of journalistic ethics. I’m sure Chung would just say she was playing Devil’s advocate.
Even more astonishing: do you even remember this interview? I don’t. Did all of this just happen and there was no push-back?
This was CNN. Not Fox News, not Glenn Beck TV, not Breitbart’s Big TV or whatever they call it. And people wonder how this nation got dragged into the war in Iraq? People wonder how the Dixie Chicks got destroyed? When this was how the “real” “journalists” behaved?
But, ya know, ask Sarah Palin what magazines she reads and that’s a “gotcha” question. Riiight.
You know what else? We on the left have always said the media bears a huge amount of responsibility for pulling us into an unjust war, and this is a perfect example of what we’re talking about. Few in the media have acknowledged it.
It wasn’t just Connie Chung on CNN, it was every fucking day, an endless stream of “shut up you dirty hippie WHY DON’T YOU LOVE AMERICA!” from our esteemed members of the press. It went on for months — years. The nation is still waiting for its apology too, I might add.
I’m glad Glenn Greenwald dug this bit up because even though I remembered it was bad, I’d forgotten exactly how bad.