The cable news industry is a vital part of our democracy. The heroes who perform journalism at the professional level care about two things: exposing the truth and informing the American people.
That is why CNN anchor Anderson Cooper decided to interview Mike Lindell, the founder and CEO of a pillow company, about a plant extract, oleandrin, that Lindell claims is a "miracle" that could cure the coronavirus.
What followed was an epic shouting match between two grown men, neither of whom is a medical doctor, about peer-reviewed studies, toxins, infomercials, and what Jesus wants. It is one of the most courageous cable news segments produced in the Trump era, which has been defined by exceptional displays of journalistic courage. To watch it is to understand the true meaning of democracy.
Lindell is only of interest to the media because of his friendship with President Donald Trump and because of his quirky personality traits—believing in God, for example. Lindell praised Trump and invoked religion during a March press conference at the White House. "Our president gave us so much hope," he said, while urging Americans to read the Bible.
Cable news networks covered the story with professionalism. "Trump fluffs MyPillow in Rose Garden coronavirus talk," read the headline at NBC News. But it was CNN that ultimately landed an interview with Lindell, which allowed the network to inform its viewers by exposing the truth and proved that Americans are wrong to have such widespread distrust of the national media.
CNN has also produced a series of courageous segments in which host Chris Cuomo interviews his brother, Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York, who recently spoke at the Democratic convention and is writing a book about his courageous leadership during the height of the coronavirus pandemic. More than 32,000 New Yorkers have died from the virus, including more than 11,000 nursing home residents. The state has one of the worst deaths-per-million rates in the whole world. Cuomo will presumably appear on CNN in the near future to plug his book.
Watch the entire interview if you dare.