ANALYSIS: CNN Has a White Supremacy Problem

Network leases NYC office space from billionaire Trump donor

The libs are up in arms again after learning that billionaire Stephen Ross, owner of the élite fitness institutions Equinox and SoulCycle, is hosting a fundraiser this week for President Donald Trump. Doing what comes naturally, the aggrieved libs demanded a boycott Ross's companies. Anything less would amount to a tacit endorsement of white supremacy — and, as far as the most aggrieved of the libs are concerned, of the actual murder of innocents at the hands of a racist lunatic in El Paso.

Not all of the libs were on board, however, as some of the more rebellious ones pointed out that boycotting every business that could potentially funnel money to someone who supports or donates to Trump would be a lot more inconvenient than most libs are willing to admit.

Case in point:

If continuing to take SoulCycle classes or declining to cancel one's Equinox membership is tantamount to supporting white supremacy, then so is watching CNN, the network that recently invited an actual white supremacist on to discuss Trump's tweets and arguably did more than any other media network—or any American institution, period—to bolster Trump's candidacy in 2016.

Everyone who watched the most recent Democratic debate in Detroit was helping a major Trump supporter's multi-billion-dollar client sell advertising. Patrons of the companies that advertise on CNN are similarly complicit, as is anyone who has ever clicked on a link to a story on the CNN website. Among the network's top advertisers is AARP, the senior citizen advocacy group with nearly 40 million members. Sorry, Games of Thrones fans but HBO is also a tenant of Hudson Yards, among other WarnerMedia subsidiaries, which is bad news if you get phone or internet service through AT&T. And so on…

It might be possible to come up with a coherent argument for why SoulCycle, but not CNN, must be boycotted in the name of social justice, but not without highlighting the inherent absurdity of this particular worldview. Constructing a firm moral framework from which to base all of one's economic activity in order to forestall the indirect funding of individuals who support Trump would be exhausting, and probably impossible.

The alternative — taking a deep breath, logging off for a while, and continuing to do the things and consume the products that add value to our lives and improve our well-being, without insisting that every decision we make must adhere to some indefinable principle of cosmic justice—seems preferable in this case.