Major mainstream media outlets now have some explaining to do after the latest Wikileaks email release reveals reporters, editors and contributors not just advocating for Hillary Clinton but apparently colluding with the campaign.
Emails show Univision Chairman Haim Saban urging the Clinton campaign to hit Donald Trump harder over immigration, the New York Times giving the campaign veto power over which interview quotes could be used in a profile of the candidate, the Boston Globe trying to time a Clinton opinion piece to do the most good in New Hampshire and CNBC's John Harwood urging Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta to watch out for then-GOP candidate Dr. Ben Carson.
The documents also show Democratic National Committee official and CNN contributor Donna Brazile tipping off the Clinton campaign to a potentially difficult CNN town-hall question on capital punishment during the Democratic Party primary season. Brazile adamantly denies doing that.
Mainstream media outlets are often accused of siding with Democratic Party candidates and policies, but evidence of active collaboration takes the concern to a new level.
"It's the smoking gun," said Independent Women's Forum Senior Fellow Gayle Trotter, who is also a regular panelist on the Fox News Channel's "Media Buzz" program.
"These revelations from the Wikileaks information show at the highest echelons of the New York Times, the Boston Globe, there is an effort to collude or give an assist to Hillary Clinton, which shows that these institutions are not unbiased. They are using their positions of power to influence the voters," Trotter told WND and Radio America.
She said the biggest surprise may be how much Democratic Party officials and the media worked behind the scenes to favor Clinton over primary rival Sen. Bernie Sanders.
"This goes beyond the partisan nature of Democrats versus Republicans," Trotter explained. "These stories show there's even collusion among the candidate choices on the Democratic side."
Listen to the WND/Radio America interview with Gayle Trotter:
Trotter said there has always been good reason for the public to be wary of the mainstream media, and these revelations just validate that suspicion.
"Definitely take everything with a grain of salt," she said. "Any of this breathless reporting of any of the candidates and what they say and what they do, they should understand there is a real effort behind the scenes to influence people's votes."
Trotter continued, "Regardless of what you think about the different candidates or which policies you favor, I think all voters should be aware they are not getting straight news. They are getting news with an agenda."
Trotter said Sunday's presidential debate is a clear example of media bias, where moderators Anderson Cooper of CNN and Martha Raddatz of ABC interjected to challenge Trump far more than when Clinton was speaking. But she said actions like those, by themselves, don't prove collusion.
"It wouldn't necessarily show there was an active effort to assist a certain candidate. You could just think, 'Anderson Cooper and Martha Raddatz have their biases. It comes out in the way they do their jobs, but it's maybe subconscious for them. They're not actively doing it,'" Trotter said.
However, she said the lid is blown off that supposition when you see the New York Times agreeing to spike a Clinton quote in which she frets that the gay rights movement got results a lot faster than civil rights and the feminism movement.
"You can see through these emails that it's not just subconscious bias, but it's an active effort on the behalf of these favored candidates by the media elite," she said.
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Trotter believes media figures would be wise to admit their mistakes and vow to do better instead of issuing denials like Brazile's. Trotter urges people to email or tweet the reporters or editors involved and let them know their conduct was unacceptable. She said Americans must demand better.
"This should be unacceptable from a profession whose job it is to inform the democratic public, so that we can exercise our most cherished freedom to vote," Trotter said.