Wtf does she even mean by “woke”. Literally—what does that mean? Our political reporters are frequently pretty awful. https://t.co/9ExOgh1eyT— Soledad O'Brien (@soledadobrien) November 7, 2021
Senator Warner's complete answer on CNN"s "State of the Union" was
Listen, I don't support defund the police.
Matter of fact, I think you saw Democrats all around who were successful -- the new mayor of New York, who you're going to have on, has talked about investing additionally in our police forces. Are there ways that we need to make that policing more community-based?
Absolutely. The notion of what happened in Virginia -- there is not a school in Virginia that teaches Critical Race Theory. But the governor-elect, Governor Youngkin, stirred up the cultural pot there.
Youngkin did stir up the cultural pot and there are ways in which policing can be made more community-based. However, Bash didn't ask Warner whether he supports defunding police and "I don't support defund the police" is a lousy answer .
It was a lousy answer because Democrats do not publicly support defund the police. (I'm getting tired of writing that sentence.) By responding to the "woke" question by stating at the top "I don't support defund the police," the Virginian is implying that Democrats, who are frequently excoriated as being "woke," do support defunding the police.
The best reply would have been, as O'Brien implies, "what do you mean by 'woke,' Dana?" When reporters confront a Democrat with a gotcha question, the proper response is to throw it back at them. That's especially important when a colloquialism like "woke" is invoked. It may mean one thing to Bash, another to her viewers, still another to Warner. We simply don't know.
Yet, there is yet another reason to turn the question around on the inquisitor. The dirty little secret is that the dominant factor in "wokeness," is race. Thus, if Bash were asked what she meant by "woke," she'd probably shrink from answering. If she instead did acknowledge that race is the primary component, she'd be in the uncomfortable position of appearing to question the importance of racial justice. That is a hole no one from CNN would dig herself. No one.
There seems to be an understanding between broadcast media and Democrats. Reporters and talk show hosts are expected to ask whatever questions they wish, sometimes to the effect of reinforcing the media's Democrats in Disarray theme. They allow Democrats (as they do with Republicans) plenty of time for an answer. In return, Democrats are never to question the validity or objectivity of the question or the questioner, while they are permitted to repeat politely their talking points.
These are the talking points of the individual, not of the Party, lest a member of Congress such as Mark Warner suggest that Democrats, as a whole, oppose defunding the police. That must not be done- it might be viewed as partisan, impolite, and, well, God forbid.
Newsmen and newswomen realize they are not allies of the Democratic Party. Too few Democrats realize that and until they do, they still will refuse to defend their Party against media personalities more interested in soundbites than in clarity.