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An update on the “new” CNN … and the not so new

An update on the “new” CNN … and the not so new

Less than a year ago, CNN was purchased by media mogul David Zaslav — owner of the Discovery Channel.  It was at a time when the pioneer cable news network’s ratings were tanking.  It had slipped to third place – waaay behind FOX News and even behind MSNBC.

Zaslav announced that there would be changes at CNN to re-commit the network to its original standards of journalistic integrity.  If he was serious, that meant heads would have to roll. 

At the time I made a few modest suggestions to the new management.  Surprisingly, CNN’s actions seemed to follow my recommendations – at least coincidentally.  I suggested that the first to go should be erstwhile media critic Brian Stelter.  Puff!!  He was gone.  Then there was the very biased White House reporter, John Harwood.  Puff!!  He was gone. I specifically suggested getting a new team for the morning show.  Puff!!!  John Berman and Brianna Keilar were gone.  

I suggested a new primetime lineup – getting rid of the Don Lemon show.  Lemon’s show did end, but he was switched over to the morning show with Kaitlan Collins and Poppy Harlow as co-hosts.  In promoting the new team, CNN is casting them as holding a conversation – suggesting balanced reporting. 

They refer to themselves as “friends” – borrowing the collegial approach of their competitor’s “FOX and Friends” theme.  We will have to see how that goes.

Still more work to do.

An unfulfilled recommendation of mine is that they dump arguably their most offensive and biased host, Jim Acosta.  As long as he is engaging in his highly partisan approach, CNN will not make a full recovery from its bias affliction.  There are rumors that Acosta is on the list of the nearly departed.  CNN denies that rumor, but CNN also denied rumors about Stelter before they booted him

Another guy who must go, in my judgment, is John Avlon.  The old CNN management gave him a special feature called “Reality Check”.  It was nothing of the kind.  Instead, it provided an opportunity for the smarmy Avlon to preach biased and bogus narratives on a regular basis. 

Most recently, he used the occasion to attack the Republicans engaged in debates with Democrats as if he was the closing argument for the Democrats.  It could not have been more biased had the Democratic National Committee written the script.  Hmmmm.  Maybe they did.

Another on my adios list is Jake Tapper.  Rather than booting him, it appears that the new management is going to try some remedial training.  I have noted that he has been asking those on the left some of the hard questions.  He has also been interviewing real Republicans – not the false flaggers.

Finally, FOX alum Alisyn Camerota – who was demoted from the morning show to a dreary midafternoon show – is back in good graces.  She is being tried out for a primetime show.

While all this about the on-screen personalities, the real change will take place in the back office and control room.  Those are the folks who write the scripts and select the panelists and guests.  Those changes do not make the news but are critical to the change in direction.  We have already seen some changes behind the cameras.

It is not likely that even the new CNN will please hardcore conservatives, but more balance will be good for Republicans … the country … journalism … and CNN.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. Mike

    Larry, As per usual, your comments don’t line up. You say that CNN has fallen to third place, and they are trying to return to their roots of ‘Journalistic Integrity’. If you take a look at things, it is obvious those two goals are mutually exclusive. Faux news is well known to have the least journalistic integrity of any of the news sources, yet they are on top? Ratings are made by telling the people what they want to hear, which is sad, but unfortunately true. Bottom line-CNN can have the integrity they are based on, or ratings, but clearly not both….

    • larry Horist

      Mike … This comment does not live up to your usual keen insight. I am sure you have not taken up my challenge to empirically study the cable news platforms. you would find that of the three major cable network, FOX provides the most balance content — and also the most non-political news and feature information — by far. Their panels commonly have people on both sides of the issue — and not false flaggers, who say they are Republicans or conservatives, but espouse the anti-Republican, anti-conservative viewpoints of the network. You will see folks from the progressive caucus on FOX — the most liberal senators. Real debates in virtually every news show. That can be proven factually. MSNBC is the worst for one-sided content — a mix of news and mendacious political narratives. Yes, FOX has hardline conservatives in the lineup — in prime time — but their daytime newscasts are very balanced. Some of the most progressive politicians in America appear on FOX. You never see an alternative point of view on MSNBC. CNN has been better, but even the new management has recognized that the network leaned too far to the left in spinning the news. Ergo the changes. You seem to give credibility to MSNBC’s attack has not done the objective research — maybe think FOX is only Hannity and Carlson.

      • larry Horist

        I hope you can tell when I was being facetious. .

  2. Ben is back

    I watched a msnbc interview with FL Crist. DeSantis was invited, but was too scared to turn up. That’s probably happens all the time. They just can’t take the msnbc interview. Chickenshits.

  3. Mike

    Larry, As you are well aware, when faux occasionally speaks the truth, their viewers depart. The only reason they are highly rated is due to their non-news news shows, where you have people tuning in to hear pundits (ingraham, carlson, hannity, piro) telling them what they want to hear. . Nobody watches the other news shows that you mention. At this point in time, few are going to watch a station with journalistic integrity-at least not enough to get high ratings. And of course I know you are being facetious when you talk about those who “claim to be false republicans, claim to be conservatives and then espouse anti-Republican, anti-conservative viewpoints”. We know you meant to say “espouse anti-trump viewpoints”….