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.