Thursday on CBS Mornings, the liberal newscast gave a whopping three teases and then doled out nearly eight and a half minutes to mocking and then warning about the right’s opposition to wokeness and the term’s embedment into seemingly every aspect of American life.
CBS’s disjointed conclusion? Well, the right slamming the left for going fully woke will lead to more political violence (with the insinuation it’ll be exclusively from the right).
And, naturally, a portion of the segment from socialist co-host Tony Dokoupil took aim at Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) for what Dokoupil complained in a tease was “say[ing] the word” work “a lot.”
In a second tease, he promised to “explore what woke really means” since “Republicans are using the word ‘woke’ in their effort to sum up the battle for America’s future” to only further divide the country by stoking another front in “the culture war.”
“Well, this morning, we are talking about what is at stake in the midterm elections and a buzzword you’ve probably heard a lot recently, that word is ‘woke.’ What’s that all about,” Dokoupil began as he led off his mammoth report.
Adding that “two-thirds of Americans” said in a CBS News poll that they “believe their rights and freedoms are what’s on the line in November” and thus a reflection of Americans having “very different visions of what America is right now and what America should be in the future and perhaps nowhere is that more evident than in the State of Florida.”
Dokoupil then teed off on DeSantis, lamenting that, “in the battle to define America,” the Sunshine State leader “has what amounts to his very own fight song,” “a campaign ad inspired by Top Gun” and the word woke serving as the “one political target he seems to favor above all others.”
Dokoupil then had a sidebar with Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) in which he asked Scott to define the term woke and, following some meandering, Scott argued it has to do with a hatred for the country and dividing Americans by race.
After a Merriam-Webster definition of woke as “aware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues,” Dokoupil shifted to University of Virginia’s James Davison Hunter fretting that the right has co-opted “woke” into being “a kind of dog whistle for anyone on the left and anything that smacked of progressive politics” and the newest culture war dating back to Newt Gingrich’s GOP in the 1990s.
Does CBS listen to itself? How ironic is it that one of the liberal networks hellbent on smearing conservatives and Republicans is feigning outrage about divisiveness.
Dokoupil and Hunter zoomed out further to argue the GOP’s talk of fighting woke culture has dangerous implications (and, namely, the insinuation that the right would commit further violence like on January 6). However, to his credit, Dokoupil interviewed a far-left Florida state representative who was apocalyptic toward the GOP (click “expand”):
DOKOUPIL: And that struggle continues today, worrying Hunter because the fight has gotten meaner, he says, and our ability to talk to one another has broken down. [TO HUNTER] Politics in theory is supposed to be how we work things out.
DOKOUPIL [TO HUNTER]: So we don’t come to violence.
DOKOUPIL [TO HUNTER]: Is politics working anymore?
HUNTER: That’s part of the problem. Our politics is now so driven by culture. When people no longer see a way out politically, they’ll choose alternative strategies to pursue their agenda. I don’t think there’s any question that there will be more violence going forward.
DOKOUPIL: More violence, he predicts, along with more elections in which the results are not accepted by all sides and that is the biggest threat to America, at least according to Democratic Florida State Representative, Ana Eskamani. [TO ESKAMANI] What does woke mean to you?
STATE REPRESENTATIVE ANA ESKAMANI (D-FL): It just means being aware of your history.
DOKOUPIL: Her Orlando office is filled with pictures and slogans that tell you right away where she stands on the issues and hint at why she is so dug in to fight. [TO ESKAMANI] Is there any room for compromise?
ESKAMANI: I mean, it’s very difficult to compromise on a policy that erases the history of people of color. When I’ve had this conversation with Republican leadership on abortion, specifically, of you know, where’s the compromise? And the reality is that, it’s very hard to compromise when you’re basically telling me that I am less than, and I do not have the same rights as — as you.
DOKOUPIL: And that unbending attitude is there on the Republican side as well.
SCOTT: They’re trying to take freedom, and they want control. That’s exactly what they do. That’s what they do in — with socialism. They ultimately take away your freedoms. It sounds really nice, right? But in the end, it’s evil.
Dokoupil pivoted back to hitting DeSantis:
Yet a lot of Americans believe this is all a big distraction and that includes Charlie Crist, who is running against DeSantis for governor. In a statement to CBS News, he says: “Every election, Republicans invent some new boogeyman instead of trying to solve problems and make people’s lives better.”
Before going back live with the exasperated co-hosts Gayle King and Nate Burleson, Hunter again suggested violence was on the way: “If we just think that these are side issues, that these things actually don’t really matter, we are missing what is most combustible about the culture war and most combustible about the moment that we’re living in right now.”
With Americans struggling to make ends meet, Dokoupil used the occasion to have his co-hosts back him up in arguing the fate of democracy (or whatever that means) should be paramount. Obviously, King said she was terrified of what could come in the future (i.e. Republican violence) (click “expand”):
DOKOUPIL: These are sometimes talked about as distractions when what really matters is the economy or healthcare, but these are the issues that are core to who people are, who we are as a country. The word “woke” specifically came out of Black American culture. It was a way to talk about racial inequality. It’s broadened a lot since then, and it has become essentially a byword for all right and wrong in our public life.
KING: Yeah. I love the professor who is actually saying, do not minimize this. This is very important. I hope he is not correct, though, when he says, you can expect more violence going forward. But I see signs of that already, Tony.
DOKOUPIL: Oh, absolutely.
KING: They look very frightening.
DOKOUPIL: So that professor who is at a fancy place at University of Virginia, the Institute for the Advanced Studies in Culture, in the 90s, wrote a book called Before the Shooting Starts. And it was about how culture wars always precede shooting wars, and in particular, he was talking about violence around abortion. And he came up with that title five days before the first right-wing attack on an abortion clinic in America. So he’s very good at anticipating what people internalize as motivation for violence and what he is saying right now is, when there is no compromise, when one side is saying evil and the other side saying you’re not — you’re denying my humanity, those are terms for violence.
CBS’s feigning outrage claiming the right’s been too divisive was made possible thanks to advertisers such as Crest and Nature’s Bounty. Follow the links to see their contact information at the MRC’s Conservatives Fight Back page.
To see the relevant CBS transcript form October 13, click here.