Via America’s LawyerMike Papantonio and Trial Lawyer Magazine editor Farron Cousins discuss the shutdown of liberal news outlet ThinkProgress. Funded by DC think tank Center for American Progress, was the site’s termination a form of soft censorship against left-leaning journalists hoping to breach topics BEYOND unseating Trump?


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Mike Papantonio:             The Center for American Progress recently announced that they were shutting down the popular website ThinkProgress, but there’s far more to the story than most people realize. First of all, what a huge loss.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah.

Mike Papantonio:             ThinkProgress. What a, what a, what a huge loss. This story makes me remember the days of Air America when you had the establishment Democrats that Air America, think of what you had. You had, you had Al Franken, Genie Garofalo, Sam Cedar, Chuck D, Bobby Kennedy, this, this great array of commentators that we’re building a national talk radio system. But when we needed to raise money, Bobby and I did a, did a, a show back then. It was the first time we did Ring of Fire. It was, God, I can’t even remember how long ago.

But we were trying to raise money for it. We would go to these folks and if it wasn’t their idea, what I call the snowflake elite, if it wasn’t their idea, or if you weren’t going to talk about only their topic, they wouldn’t give you a dime. Soros was a great example. Here’s this guy spreading money all over the world. And here we were just asking, look, keep this idea of a progressive radio network alive. Couldn’t get a dime. We all raised as much as we could and stayed in business as long as we could. This is exactly that story, isn’t it?

Farron Cousins:                  It is, and what you have is the Center for American Progress, which is the think tank CAP, and think tanks just like CAP, they get funded with corporate money. And ThinkProgress, which started during the Bush administration did great work, you know, talking about the, the torture issues, the endless war. Did great work during the Obama administration talking about the crimes of the bankers and the lack of prosecutions and they’ve been the, the best out there on environmental issues since day one.

But because those didn’t fit in line with what the corporations that fund CAP wanted them to talk about, ThinkProgress suddenly decides, you know what, or CAP decides, we’re going to get rid of ThinkProgress. We’re going to fire the actual journalists. The people in the union, by the way, they only got rid of the union people.

Mike Papantonio:             Right, right.

Farron Cousins:                  And said from now on it’s going to be a voice for the, the think tank.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Farron Cousins:                  They are the ones who get to say what they want to say.

Mike Papantonio:             I don’t know who wrote this New Republic article that explores how dysfunctional what I call the snowflake elite is of the democratic arm, but they talk about the fact and it was so well written. They talk about the fact that if, if it’s not, it, when you go to democratic elite and ask for money to help further a great idea like this organization ThinkProgress, unless, and this particular writer gave an example. He said if it wasn’t all, if everything that you talked about was not perceived as devoted solely to a fulltime basis of unseating Trump, it wasn’t important.

And what, what, what this writer was talking about was the fact that the truth is all of these issues that they’re not talking about can merge and they can converge to bring about change, but you can’t be so simple minded that the only thing that you’re going to talk about is guns. You can’t be so simple minded that the only thing that you’re going to talk about is unseating Trump. You can’t be so simple minded that you’re a one issue organization and don’t understand that all these various parts converged for change.

Farron Cousins:                  Well, and the problem is, and we’ve seen this in a lot of left leaning media that’s really more corporate Democrat than progressive, obviously. They only want to talk about Trump, but they want to treat Trump as if he is the cause of all the problems we have in this country today. They want to ignore the bad things that happened during the Obama administration. They want to go after the people who are saying, listen, Obama wasn’t that great. He did some bad things. You know, we, we get it all the time.

Mike Papantonio:             And that’s what ThinkProgress did by the way.

Farron Cousins:                  Exactly.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah, and they didn’t like that.

Farron Cousins:                  That’s the sin of ThinkProgress was saying, hey, hold up. Obama wasn’t actually that great on the environment all the time. He did some good things. He did some really not good things too, but they don’t want to put any of the blame on him. Bad things only started happening when Trump took office, according to the establishment Democrats.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah, that they were criticized, this group was criticized, ThinkProgress criticized for, for going after Israel when Israel was wrong. They were going after Hillary Clinton and saying she was a loser. Get on a different horse. DNC couldn’t handle that. Thanks for joining me. Okay.

Farron Cousins:                  Thank you.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.