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HORIST: Is CNN still an American news agency?

HORIST: Is CNN still an American news agency?

The headline question is not meant to be provocative or to make scurrilous political accusations.  It is a serious question which, of course, requires some explanation.

It is a matter of fact that CNN – of all the American television news services – has the greatest presence overseas.  It is seen in airports and waiting rooms around the world. It is generally the only American news outlet to be found on the television menu of hotels in foreign lands.

Many American corporations have become global enterprises at an accelerating rate following World War II.  They are often criticized for losing their domestic interests in favor of worldwide business strategies.  Amazon, Facebook, Walmart, McDonald’s are all such global enterprises – just to name a few.

That is also true of CNN.  More than any American news service, CNN has the greatest impact in shaping world opinion about the United States.  The network is influenced by both domestic politics – taking up the cudgel for the political left – and the need to expand international viewership.  While CNN American viewership often falls below its other liberal organization partner, MSNBC, and they both trail the enormously more popular FOX News, CNN tops the field in foreign viewership.

This raises two concerns.

CNN is shipping out extremely biased reporting on American affairs – especially its mendacious reporting of all things Trump, Republican and conservative.  To the extent that the peoples of foreign nations have a negative opinion of America, CNN can be considered at least a contributor.  They may even have greater – albeit undeserved – credibility because they are the voice of America overseas.

There is another side of the coin.  CNN also brings foreign perspectives to its American audience.  More than any American network, it secures interviews with foreign leaders – especially those not necessarily friendly to the United States.  As a trade-off in getting interviews, CNN becomes a key conduit of anti-American propaganda.

This issue became evident in a recent interview with Irani Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif conducted by on-the-scene reporter Frederik Pleitgen.  It was a propaganda broadcast from beginning to end.  Zarif accused America of terrorism and the perpetrator of war crimes.  He referred to Iran as a law-abiding and peace-loving nation.  He talked about the pain of having their number one “war hero” killed by President Trump.  He promised Iranian retaliation, but only proportionate.

Zarif denied Iran’s control or influence over the various terrorist groups outside of Iran – the very organizations that Soleimani developed and directed. Zarif claimed that all that terrorism by Hamas, Hezbollah, et al, was just people expressing themselves.  Zarif even ran the litany of Democrat talking points against Trump.  He said Trump was breaking laws, violating the American Constitution.

Pleitgen lobbed one softball question after another.  He never challenged anything Zarif said – even the Foreign Minister’s most outrageous assertions.

At the end of the recorded interview, CNN “New Day” co-host, Alisyn Camerota, congratulated Pleitgen for conducting an informative interview.  Therein lies the problem.  It was NOT an “informative interview,” but an orchestrated screed against the United States – an Iranian propaganda harangue that CNN was complicit in producing.

In such cases in the past, news reporters have agreed to certain limitations as a condition of gaining an interview with such a prominent person – things they are not allowed to ask or subjects not to be raised.  For example, that was a controversial issue in the past with an interview of Libya’s former despot, Muammar Gaddafi.

Whether that was the case with Pleitgen and Zarif, I do not know.  But I can say that there were no tough questions from Pleitgen.  He did not ask Zarif any questions about Soleimani’s established reputation as a terrorist and mass murderer; or about Iran’s violations of the nuclear deal BEFORE Trump pulled out; or about the recent attack that killed an American contractor.

On the same day, CNN’s Christiane Amanpour interviewed American Defense Secretary Mark Esper.  Unlike the Pleitgen interview, Amanpour asked challenging questions – and offered counterpoints to Esper’s statements.  It was more of a cross-examination than an interview.  The Amanpour’s interview was followed by responses (refutations) from … Pleitgen

These interviews could not have been carried out more beneficially to Iran if the mullahs in Tehran had staged them instead of CNN.  While it was an outrageous assault on ethical journalism and the free press, it was not an outlier.

CNN’s main Middle East correspondent, Richard Engel, has been constantly reporting stories slanted to the anti-American (anti-Trump) perspective with local critics and adversaries.  In fact, Engel has been the featured reporter in hour-long “specials” that promote deeply biased left-wing narratives and anti-American propaganda.

Left-wing perspectives that are overwhelmingly critical of the United States is the standard fare on one of CNN’s major programs, “GPS” hosted by Fareed Zakaria.  The show is a pretentiously intellectual platform for the hypocritical liberal diplomatic establishment.  Zakaria is also a frequent guest panelist on any number of CNN programs — and a weekly columnist for the Washington Post.

It should concern every American that a major domestic news outlet is being used – wittingly or unwittingly – as an international propaganda vehicle by America’s enemies – and the enemies of the civilized world. It is unfortunate that CNN’s anti-Trump, anti-Republican, anti-conservative perspective has turned CNN into an international anti-American communications agency.

It is true that NBC, CBS, ABC and MSNBC are biased in their reporting, but at least they are not being seen by millions of people around the globe.  CNN may claim to be “the most trusted name in news,” but it really depends on who you ask.

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. Dale Morris

    I agree and have thought that for many years and certainly has increased since Trump became president.

  2. Leverett Anderson

    you may not remember, but during the first Gulf War, CNN went to great pains to say that CNN was NOT a USA news agency, but rather an INTERNATIONAL news agency headquartered in the U.S. They have never been a pro-American news agency, and now they are not even a news agency. They are now just an obsessed anti-Trump propaganda agency-more like Pravda orTass

  3. Russell Newell

    I’ve not listened to CNN since our guys were dragged through the streets of somolia stink hole. For weeks CNN drummed up USA has to do something to stop the starvation… Billy boy wanted us under UN command ..refused sendi ng armored vehicles. He did not want it to look like an invasion. Then ordering an assault in the center of town. All the while CNN pumped us to go , then rode or ass to get out. No one’s helped since and CNN moved on to other things.
    They are certainly not American.

    • Tony

      You can’t handle the truth aired by CNN. It always have a defender of trump in their panelists. Trump would love to censor and control public news casts and have them air the thousands of lies smacking our faces on a daily basis. And you are promoting his intent to be a commie like oligarch. His reliance of a supremist for advise also smells of fascism.

      • Tony's Friend


        • Tonys Friend

          You wouldn’t know a fascist if s/he taught you a class. Tony smokes a lot of dope.

      • Larry Horist

        You are dead wrong about CNN. They do not always have a Trump defender on their panels — although the do so more than MSNBC. Most panels have only Trump, Republican, conservative critics. CNN and MSNBC use false flag Republicans who parrot the same anti-Trump narratives. I have actually done an objective analysis of the cable networks and — believe it or nots — FOX offer more time to both sides than MSNBC and CNN by a longshot. Take out paper, pencil and a stopwatch and you can do your own analysis.

  4. Rivahmitch

    I’m confused. As a ‘Nam vet, my question is “Was CNN ever an American news agency/”

  5. Tom Oakley

    Trusted name in propaganda,CNN,communist news network

  6. Reginald Lamb

    Credibiliity Never Necessary.

  7. Robert L. Kahlcke

    The “COMMUNIST NEWS NETWORK” a/k/a CNN, is part and parcel of The Democrat-Communist-Islamic-Nazi Terrorist Organization.

  8. Dsw

    Why does anyone watch a far-left conspiracy network like CNN?

    On 10/15/19 Jeff Zucker, head of CNN News was recorded saying that CNN is pushing the impeachment narrative. Zucker has been filmed and recorded making comments showing his personal vendetta against and campaign to take down the President with biased reporting. So why bother to watch CNN when you know what CNN will report today. And the same tomorrow. And more of the same the next day. Why waste your time watching?

    And why is CNN the only network broadcast in so many locations overseas, and even here in airports?
    We need another news organization to go overseas and compete with CNN. Any organization would be less biased. So that people overseas can see what the majority of people here think. And that is not what CNN is reporting.

    According to multiple sources, the people overseas, like our president. They have the same problem with biased media and elites, just like we have here.

    Not sure how CNN can afford to stay in business. CNN’s ratings in the US are abysmal. Cable TV companies here force customers to purchase packages where users are FORCED to pay for subsidizing CNN. If not for the cable company subsidies, it is doubtful that CNN would be in business at all, due to their poor ratings. And even though customers are subsidizing CNN through their cable company’s packages – only a small percentage of the customers actually watch CNN. What a waste of money!

    CNN is NOT the trusted network it was 25 years ago.
    It lost its dominant position to Fox news and bet its future on the Russia Hoax and lots – big time.
    Today CNN is just a far-left conspiracy network run by a bigot.

  9. Valdemar

    CNN has long turned into an international mouthpiece of deceitful propagandists who sow hatred of the United States, and are actually accomplices of all kinds of enemies of our country. And there is no need to watch this shameful source of lies. It is better to bypass it, just as people bypass a stinky cesspool.