Ed Driscoll

CNN Does Spinal Tap One Better

There’s no confirmation yet that Soledad O’Brien herself has been fired by CNN, despite some headlines yesterday saying just that. But her morning show is being cancelled according to industry publication Media Bistro. It’s being clobbered in the cable ratings not just by Fox News’ morning show and MSNBC’s Morning Joe* , but on some days, even the morning show on Headline News, CNN’s own spin-off network, as Stacy McCain writes:

When I say Soledad O’Brien is “unpopular,” here’s what I mean — Monday’s Nielsen ratings:

Fox & Friends …………………………………….. 1,003,000
MSNBC “Morning Joe” ………………………….. 412,000
CNN Headline News “Morning Express” …. 247,000
CNN “Starting Point” …………………………….. 193,000

Soledad O’Brien is not merely behind Fox and MSNBC, she’s even drawing 50,000 fewer viewers than Robin Meade on Headline News.

Naturally though, Media Bistro decides to bury the real story 11 paragraphs into their article:

Many staffers were stunned when Feder constantly complained that the viewership of “Early Start” and “Starting Point” was “too ethnic,” based on the high concentration of minority viewers. This common complaint worked itself up through the company, to CNN’s Diversity Committee, and to other staffers, who were mortified that a CNN executive was squabbling over attracting minority viewers. *Update below.

The update was piped in from CNN staffers in full damage control mode:

UPDATE: To clarify, Feder’s issue with “Starting Point” was that the audience was too small and happened to be predominately comprised of minorities. A source close to the show insists that the ethnicity of the audience was never the issue, it was the size. Feder in no way meant to imply that the audience was too ethnic.

Hey, whatever gets you through the night, fellas; Stacy McCain translates the above dissembling to read:

Translation: “We can’t fire Soledad, because she’ll sue us for discrimination. Also, we resent the inference that we would cancel a show just because it doesn’t draw the audience of high-income young white professionals that adverstisers prefer!”

As Jim Treacher writes, “CNN is canning her show because it’s ‘too ethnic.’ If this were Fox News, we’d be hearing a lot of screaming about ‘dog whistle terms’ right now.” At Hot Air, Allahpundit adds:

To think, on the very day that O’Brien was all but accusing Joel Pollak of racism for objecting to Critical Race Theory, CNN honchos might have been having the “too ethnic” conversation in the executive washroom.

And to think, Spinal Tap merely had to worry about their appeal becoming “more selective.” In any case, I guess you could say that Soledad’s show wasn’t considered a home run at CNN:

[flashvideo file=http://pjmedia.com/eddriscoll/files/2011/11/CNN-Wright-to-Wright-Free-Zone6-7-09-rev-1.flv width=315 height=251 image=http://pjmedia.com/eddriscoll/files/2009/06/cnn-wright-to-wright-free-zone6-7-09-title-cardiii.jpg /]

Meanwhile, Twitchy rounds-up Ace’s awesome series of tweets yesterday employing “concern-troll tactics” (as he put it) to discover if Rev. Wright’s other acolyte at CNN, the ascotted Roland Martin, had any thoughts about the worries from CNN’s management that its audience was “too ethnic.” Read the whole thing.

* A particularly favorite show of the Obama White House.