CNN Follies: Licht Licked

Well, that was fast:

“Chris Licht, the former television producer who oversaw a brief and chaotic run as the chairman of CNN, is out at the network.

David Zaslav, the chief executive of CNN’s parent, Warner Bros. Discovery, informed staff on Wednesday morning that he had met with Mr. Licht and that he was leaving, effective immediately.

Mr. Licht’s 13-month run at CNN was marked by one controversy after another. He got off to a bumpy start even before he had officially started when he oversaw the shuttering of the costly CNN+ streaming service at the request of its network’s new owners, who were skeptical about a stand-alone digital product. The cuts resulted in scores of layoffs.”

I didn’t see how Licht could survive Tim Alberta’s Atlantic profile and he did not. I haven’t seen anything from the man with a Canadian province for a name as of this writing. Since he didn’t start off to write a hit piece about the hapless Licht, I doubt that he regards this as a notch in his belt. Hell, even Brian Stetler who was fired by Licht expressed compassion for Licht before the fall.

If not for the Trump town hall disaster. Licht might not have been shitcanned by his boss, David Zaslav. FYI,  Zaslav was one of the rivals Roger Ailes dispatched to become the bull goose loony at Fox. That explains why Zaslav was brought in to make CNN palatable to Republican viewers.

I haven’t watched CNN regularly for many years, but I remember their glory days with Bernie Shaw as the face of the network and Christiane Amanpour on the international beat. In 1992, they were my network of choice for political coverage. It’s a pity how far they’ve fallen. Ted Turner weeps.

There’s a terrific opinion piece at the WaPo by Perry Bacon Jr. written before Chris was Licht all over. The title says it all: CNN”s Chris Licht Showed The Problem With Anti-woke Centrism. This is one of many money quotes:

“But all of the harsh criticism is a bit unfair to Licht. In particular, his skepticism of left-wing causes, and his view that people who don’t agree with the left are constantly attacked and shamed, isn’t some outlier stance. These ideas are regularly expressed in many of the nation’s most prominent news outlets. If you spend a lot of time talking to White men in Democratic politics, as I do, you have to nod along as comments like Licht’s are made, even if you don’t agree with them, to signal that you are a reasonable person worth talking to.

Licht’s comments embody an anti-woke centrism that is increasingly prominent in American media and politics today, particularly among powerful White men who live on the coasts and don’t identify as Republicans or conservatives. It’s deeply flawed, and it’s pushing some important U.S. institutions to make bad decisions.”

I’m not a fan of the term woke, but I agree with many of the ideas expressed by those who are. It’s easy for those who live in blue states to be contrarians about kids today. Those of us who live in red states don’t have that luxury. The Louisiana lege is on the same highway to hell as the Florida and Texas legislatures. I prefer to aim my fire at my enemies, not my allies.

If you haven’t read it already, my colleague Jamie O wrote a terrific piece about the Alberta article.

While you’re clicking on links, there’s a swell Trump indictment check list provided by Andrew Weissmann and Ryan Goodman at the WaPo. That’s why I call Andrew The Puppetmaster.

I’m still on indictment watch. Stay tuned.

The last word goes to Train: