I want to start off this column by stating clearly that there was a time in my life when I really respected the work of CNN.
I grew up with Wolf Blitzer and Crossfire playing on constant repeat in the background noise of our kitchen.
Their coverage of breaking news, numerous wars and international events such as the Gulf War, 9/11 and the Iraq War deserve recognition for the groundbreaking work of the journalists, who bravely covered them.
Those days seem very long gone and no one is more sad about the festering demise of one of the most prestigious news networks than I am.
Let me also state, as I have stated clearly in the past, there are very good people who still work at CNN.
There are incredible journalists and commentators whose reputations are being hurt by the overall reputation of CNN — people like Dana Bash, Jake Tapper, S.E. Cupp and Van Jones.
These are all people who are well-regarded and respected in our news and political commentary industry.
The vast majority of CNN however is failing to uphold either its journalistic credibility or ratings.
The recent firing of CNN President (and apparent cult leader to his employees) Jeff Zucker has elicited bizarrely and confusingly emotional and over the top reactions from anchors and talent.
First and foremost he was apparently fired for failing to disclose having a consensual relationship with a woman named Allison Gollust, a deputy executive who remains at the network and has worked under his leadership for decades at numerous networks.
The recent firing of CNN President (and apparent cult leader to his employees) Jeff Zucker (third from left) has elicited bizarrely and confusingly emotional and over the top reactions from anchors and talent. (Above from the left: Chris Cuomo, Alisyn Camerota, Jeff Zucker, Christine Romans, John King, John Berman)
I thought sleeping with your staff was something frowned upon in the era of #MeToo, but I guess there is another standard if you are running the most liberal cable news network in the world.
Numerous reports came out alleging several highly-paid CNN stars were extremely upset and emotional behind the scenes at his firing. They reportedly demanded explanations and mourned the ousting of the only man they apparently believe capable of running CNN.
It was also reported that Alisyn Camerota complained about the impact on the ‘mental health’ of employees in a meeting with the CEO of CNN’s parent company WarnerMedia.
Some talent were even unable to contain their emotions while they were LIVE on air.
Alisyn Camerota, Brian Stelter and Don Lemon actually choked-up when offering messages to Jeff Zucker that came off more like eulogies than the changing of the guard in leadership.
It is interesting to see the staff at CNN worshipping Zucker in the same way that so many Republicans and Fox News personalities worship Trump.
And for a network of people who are absolutely consumed and obsessed with Fox News, it’s quite ironic.
The phenomenon of the cult of personality in politics or in the media is dangerous and deranged no matter who does it. The sanctimonious progressive left should be able to see when they are repeating the same behavior they rail against daily on the other side.
CNN has changed from a news network that once delivered just the news, to a network that is left of ‘The Squad’ and has played an integral part in dividing our country, even if they won’t see it or take any responsibility for it.
In return they have lost a significant majority of their audience.
At the start of 2022, CNN averaged 548,000 views during the week of January 3rd, an 80% decline from the same time in 2021.
Or, around the same viewers garnered by the mid-level YouTube makeup reviewer my nieces watch, who creates videos from her guest room using a ring light and an iPhone.
Alisyn Camerota, Brian Stelter and Don Lemon (above left) actually choked-up when offering messages to Jeff Zucker that came off more like eulogies than the changing of the guard in leadership.
The CNN viewership is so bad right now, I am dumbfounded as to how they are actually making any profit let alone sustaining the sanctimonious self-righteousness in their reporting.
They believe that everything they say is gospel and the rest of America — particularly conservatives — are morons. No one in the country trusts these media elites anymore and nobody outside of their echo chamber is watching.
Any network who continues to employ a man, who openly masturbated on a Zoom call (leading to one of the most uncomfortable interviews in television history when Alisyn Camerota interviewed him about the incident), or allows someone like Chris Cuomo to routinely breach any and every journalistic standard known to man doesn’t deserve to have an audience anymore.
All Zucker did was lead CNN to the proverbial slaughter and although it may be difficult for members of the CNN cult to see it, we as Americans are all better off without him running any networks.
So what is the network to do?
The vast majority of my friends and family are opting out of cable news in its entirety.
They are instead looking for more independent, less corporate outlets, journalists and commentators from which to consumer their news.
They are looking for figures who are more interested in facts, data and giving fair analysis than simply vomiting up the hard-left or hard-right talking points.
And those independent spaces are becoming more and more of a threat to the establishment media and media figures, which is probably why people like Joe Rogan are being targeted so vociferously.
CNN has dedicated hours of air time to discussing why Joe Rogan deserves to be deplatformed for misinformation.
None of this is changing anytime soon.
So here is my advice CNN — as a former viewer: The shelves are running empty in grocery stores across America, our supply chain is decimated, crime is out of control, inflation is at a historic high, the pandemic doesn’t seem any closer to ending, and our political leaders continue to let us down across both sides of the aisle.
How about covering these things properly and thoroughly? Because these are the issues that truly matter to Americans and this is where you will find an audience.
And P.S. – maybe remove some of your extremely polarizing progressive figures and promote some phenomenal journalists like Dana Bash into your primetime talent lineup.
You might find people will actually come back.
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