But What Does Dr. Gupta Think?

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No matter where you come down on the issue of whether President Biden is cognitively impaired, or whether he should continue his campaign for re-election, a number of issues have been raised about how the story is being covered.

One criticism is the media’s insistence on devoting its full attention to Biden’s debate performance while ignoring the questionable performance of former President Trump in that same debate. It might be argued that the media will get to Trump when the Biden story is settled one way or another.

A different issue is raised with the use of medical and political experts to push the “should he stay, or should he go” story in a more newsworthy direction – the use of expert commentary to drive events rather than to comment on them as they happen.

On its website in particular, CNN is a master of this. Nearly every morning the lead headline on the CNN website doesn’t run over a straight news story, but over an “analysis” that tends to push the top story narrative to a place it hasn’t necessarily reached on its own.

Over this past weekend, CNN used its long-time medical expert, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, to call on Biden to submit to a specific medical test and release the results publicly. This can be framed as Gupta expressing his expert opinion, but for the fact that CNN uses Gupta’s commentary as news in and of itself. And when President Biden refused to take Gupta’s advice during his interview with ABC, Gupta was back on the air with reaction, as if he is part of the debate or has some authority over the matter.

Does this cross a line? One way to judge the ethics of any situation is to apply this simple rule: If you have to ask if it’s the right thing to do, it probably isn’t the right thing to do.”

Questions have been raised.

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