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CNN’s Brian Stelter is canceled

CNN’s Brian Stelter is canceled

It almost seemed inevitable after CNN was purchased by media mogul David Zaslav – whose media empire is the Warner/Discovery conglomerate.  Controversial media critic Brian Stelter would be shown the door.

It was widely rumored that the new owners believed that CNN’s plunge in viewership was due to becoming to politicized – tracking too far to the left.  Reports state that John Malone – a major investor in Warner/Discovery — was a significant influence in changing the direction of CNN.

As one of the more strident left-wing voices on CNN, there was immediate conjecture in the industry that Stelter would be booted.  It comes as no surprise.

In addition to firing Stelter, CNN management cancelled his show, “Reliable Sources” –at least for the time being.  That leaves FOX News’ “Media Buzz” with Howard Kurtz as the only show on cable news focused on critiquing the media.

The canning of Stelter is not the end of changes at CNN.  CEO Chris Licht told staffers that there would be more to come as the network tries to turn around its freefall ratings by moving reporting away from the doctrinaire left.  That will not be swift or an easy job since the lean to the far left is fully integrated without the workforce – and still popular among some remaining viewers.

Zaslav, Malone and Licht avoid using philosophic terms to explain their new policies.  Rather they call it “a return to traditional journalism.”  

Some of the anchors, producers and guests have shown evidence of the shift.  There are more stories and more guests who represent a more conservative viewpoint.  Some, however, may not be able to adjust – and they will have to go if the new management is to be successful in repositioning the network.  

If Licht were to ask my advice – and he will not – I would tell him that he needs a new lineup for the morning show to compete with both MSNBC on the far far left and FOX on the right.  The surly Jim Acosta and the whiny Don Lemon would also have to go.  There are others.

How to restructure the networks depends on whether CNN’s best shot is taking viewers from FOX or MSNBC.  Maybe both.

Obviously, a shift to the right would have more appeal among conservative and independent views.  But there is anecdotal evidence that MSNBC is losing those on the not-so-far left.  I have an increasing number of liberal friends who have abandoned MSNBC because of the constant drum beating on a few narrow one-sided issues.  Moving to CNN would be an easier jump than to FOX.

CNN dumped its superstar Chris Cuomo – ostensibly over integrity and accusations of inappropriate behavior. But there also seemed to be an unspoken desire by the new management to drop him for other reasons.

Stelter is the first major casualty of the new regime at CNN – but not likely to be the last.  And that is a good thing.

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. Tom

    If CNN wishes to increase their audience, they will find that Independents and moderates in general will gravitate to programming that is neither far left liberal MSNBC nor far right conservative FOX. We often wish to hear both sides and understand the roots of both views, and then have a deep discussion on the merits and pitfalls of both points of view and where the compromise points are that would lead to a successful direction that does the most good for the most people. CNN’s new direction can play an important role in helping moderates and Independent’s to give them what they need to shape their views on issues before 2022 and 2024 elections.

  2. Mike

    I guess this can legitimately be called “cancel culture” huh?

    • Larry kuhn

      CNN should be canceled

    • larry Horist

      Mike .. Some things should be cancelled — like your anti-Semitism. I hope you will refrain in the future. And in terms of Stelter, it was the viewers who cancelled him by walking away from CNN.

      • frank stetson

        Is it anti-Semitism or free speech? If the former, why does Joe allow it? If the latter, why is Larry upset? Just a little free speech, get over it.

        • larry Horist

          Frank Stetson … Anti-Semitism is just “free speech? Yes, it is free speech — but it should condemned and not condoned. You apparently do not understand free speech and hateful prejudices. Yes, they are covered by free speech — and that is why they appear on this site. But that does not mean approval or agreement. I am shocked that even you would stoop to defending anti-Semitism. No, Frank … I am not Jewish, but I will not just “got over” anti-Semitic expressions or any hateful speech and prejudices. If you want to be the defender of anti-Semitic comments, go for it … live with it … and be known by it.