I don’t watch a lot of cable news right now, partly because TFG is out of office and the fate of the world isn’t hanging in the balance all the time, and partly because the vast majority of people hosting shows are Republicans, or closet Republicans. It’s not that I need to live in an echo chamber. It’s just that I prefer facts and, as we all know, reality has a liberal bias.
For years I have been saying that CNN loves TFG and I have been repeatedly told that CNN is a liberal network and anti-TFG. I guess that some people don’t know that Jeff Zucker, the former CNN CEO, is the single person responsible for TFG going from tacky New York businessman to Casino Mussolini. Zucker only sought ratings, and TFG was a ratings getter. All of the sordid stuff that went on during the time Zucker worked on “The Apprentice” was swept under the rug when he realized he could achieve a ratings bonanza by promoting TFG’s candidacy.
And a ratings bonanza it was—empty podiums, inflammatory rallies, and a steady stream of TFG mouthpieces on the CNN payroll…and then off the payroll.
Paris Denard was fired after CNN learned he’d been fired from Arizona State University for sexual harassment.
Jeffrey Lord was fired after tweeting “Seig Heil”.
Jason Miller was fired after allegations he gave a woman an abortion bill without her knowledge or permission.
Corey Lewandowski left on his own accord, but only after poisoning the discourse.
I know there were others floating around too, like Rick Santorum.
Now CNN isn’t the only network to sniff around the GOP—CBS hired Mick Mulvaney, after all. But it is the network going after TFG fans and TFT fan-adjacent viewers in such a big way. It makes sense if you look at the people who are now directing the newly merged Discovery/Time Warner. John Malone, who is the biggest Discovery shareholder, was on CNBC talking about how he hoped CNN would become more like FOX.
And Chris Licht, the new CNN CEO, has said he wants CNN to return to being a hard-nosed news network. Also he wants the hosts and commentators to stop picking on FOX. Hmmm. And then on Wednesday there was this:
If documents are covered by executive privilege (or any other privilege) then, correct, they belong to the federal government, which will keep custody of them — but they still cannot be used against Trump, or any privilege holder, in a case.
— Elie Honig (@eliehonig) August 23, 2022
It’s factually incorrect, but it’s the magical thinking Republicans love.
Here’s the thing about this blatant pandering: if it’s solely for ratings it won’t work. TFG’s fans aren’t interested in store brand versions of their favorites. And they’re not especially interested in the J.D. Vance limited edition of CNN. They remember when he and CNN were anti-TFG. On the other hand, if this shift at CNN is like CBS’s decision to hire Mick Mulvaney, then yet another network has decided to cozy up to the white supremacists and domestic terrorists. And that is bad for democracy. It’s one thing to straightforwardly present the news. It’s another to withhold criticism of monsters because you think you can make a buck off their gruesomeness.
Take it away, Fred: