The CNN Propaganda Network is Failing – Viewers Demand Credibility
Liberal news networks like CNN and MSNBC are having difficulty attracting viewers now that former President Donald Trump isn’t around to use as a punching bag.
“CNN and MSNBC were one-trick ponies, and that trick was bashing Trump,” said William A. Jacobson, a law professor at Cornell University. “Now that Trump no longer is president, they have tried to keep up the mania, but it’s hard. The audience has disappeared because it never was loyal to CNN and MSNBC hosts, it was loyal to Trump hatred.”
CNN was a neutral platform until 2013, when former NBC Universal President Jeff Zucker took charge and began introducing partisan content in an attempt to boost ratings. The channel grew increasingly biased and by the 2016 presidential election, objectivity had completely disappeared.
CNN’s dismal ratings are “probably the only good thing about me not being in office,” joked Trump.
CNN’s ratings plummeted by an astonishing 90% from January 2021 to January 2022. Viewership and ratings have continued to decline since, with MSNBC and CNN averaging 847,000 and 654,000 viewers during the second quarter of last year, respectively, compared to Fox News’ 1.2 million. For the “key demographic” (adults between the ages of 25 and 54), MSNBC averaged 115,000 viewers and CNN 160,000; Fox News had 204,000.
“CNN and MSNBC are particularly aggressive in their progressive approaches to news and only true believers want news solely from an ideological standpoint. There still needs to be some intellectual honesty in the approach to journalism, and audiences are sensing that CNN and MSNBC have become too shrill for measured reporting,” explains Jeffrey McCall, a professor at DePauw University. “The departure of Trump from office is surely a factor in the ratings declines at CNN and MSNBC, but their problems go beyond that. There should still be plenty of left-leaning topics to discuss, with or without Trump at center stage.”
Making matters worse is last week’s announcement that longtime MSNBC talk show host Rachel Maddow will be cutting her air time from four nights a week to one.
“MSNBC may find people to succeed Rachel Maddow, but it’s not clear yet that the network can replace her,” said Variety contributor Brian Steinberg.
Maddow has worked as a primetime anchor for MSNBC since 2008 and it could take years for a new host to build an audience.
Fans have responded to her announcement by demanding accountability from Cesar Conde, who replaced Andy Lack as chairman of the network in 2020 following the Harvey Weinstein scandal.
“Cesar Conde should be fired for the embarrassing Maddow deal alone, where she’s paid eight figures to barely work while MSNBC ratings crater,” said a former NBC executive. “‘Today’ show ratings are also abysmal – the worst in its history.”
Indeed, MSNBC’s viewership for the first quarter of 2022 was nearly 50% lower than last year despite its coverage of the Olympic Games in Beijing and the war in Ukraine. Among the key demographic mentioned above, MSNBC now ranks lower than Adult Swim, Nickelodeon, and the Food Network.
“There’s nothing but failure at NBCU News Group, yet Cesar is allowed to spend his time on the boards of Walmart and Pepsi as he feathers his resume for a bigger job,” argues the former NBC executive.
Conde’s relationship with Walmart and Pepsi is rather unprecedented for an individual in his station and has attracted some criticism, especially given NBC’s glowing coverage of Walmart and Pepsi in recent weeks.
NBC (which claims to be nonpartisan) was further criticized this month after its medical correspondent, Dr. John Torres, praised Philadelphia for reinstating a mask mandate. In March, the network was criticized for allegedly editing a photo of transgender athlete Lia Thomas to make her appear more feminine.
Viewers are also demanding action from CNN regarding the abrupt resignation of network president Jeff Zucker in February.
Zucker claimed his departure was due to a consensual but frowned-upon affair with colleague Allison Gollust, but the real reason is far more insidious:
Gollust, a former communications director for former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D), and Zucker are said to have advised then-Governor Cuomo on what to say during his briefings on COVID-19 at the start of the pandemic and on how best to criticize then-President Trump. Keep in mind Andrew Cuomo’s brother, Chris Cuomo, was a CNN anchor at the time.
Aided by extensive interviews with Chris, then-Governor Cuomo was painted by the mainstream media as a hero during the pandemic and wound up securing a $5.1 million book deal despite the nursing home fiasco (click here for more details) and the flood of sexual harassment allegations leveled against him.
Chris, who is said to have advised his staff on how best to evade comments regarding the sexual harassment allegations against his brother, was rewarded by the network with increased airtime before he was eventually let go in December 2021 amid an investigation into his efforts to aid his brother. Governor Cuomo resigned in August of the same year.
It’s very possible that CNN will never win back the public’s trust, says radio host Tim Young.
“They based their entire programming lineup on going after the bogeyman they created in Trump, and now that he’s gone, they have nothing to instill the clickbait-like fear from false stories about him to capture their viewers’ attention.”
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