CNN Will Report No News Before Its Time

“CNN’s Don Lemon confused by Obama’s Fox News attack,” the Daily Caller notes:

CNN host Don Lemon challenged a Democratic commentator to defend President Obama’s attack on Fox News during a recent interview, asking, “Isn’t the president above that?”

Lemon spoke with liberal commentator Hilary Rosen and conservative columnist Reihan Salam about the president’s comments in an interview with The New Yorker published this week. “The issue,” Obama claimed during that interview, “has been the inability of my message to penetrate the Republican base so that they feel persuaded that I’m not the caricature that you see on Fox News or Rush Limbaugh.”

The CNN anchor seemed perplexed by President’s Obama’s griping. “Can the president really blame Fox News for his problems?” he asked Rosen. “I mean, there are liberal outlets that do the same thing on the other side.”


Nice of CNN to finally getting around to noticing — even if in passing — the Obama administration scapegoating Fox News to hide its own self-inflicted wounds. We were covering the story of the administration attacking its critics back in 2009 and 2010 — during which time CNN was singing chorales in hopes of immanentizing the eschaton via Obamacare, and baking cakes on air to celebrate the “success” of the “stimulus.” (When Tom Brokaw condemned his industry and the White House Correspondents Dinner last year, as “We’re Versailles. The rest of you eat cake,” I wonder if he even knew that CNN was taking Marie Antoinette’s likely-apocryphal advice all too literally?)

Add Lemon’s rare moment of clarity to CNN’s myriad previous sins and its tone deaf anchors, and it’s no wonder, as Rush Limbaugh recently noted, “Nobody is Watching CNN:”

They are now averaging 78,000 viewers for the whole day. Just 78,000.  I would think that they would have that many captive in airports around the country, who have no choice but to watch CNN.  Their prime time number in the demo is 98,000.  We have more than that in a city block in New York City.  This is the one-year anniversary of Jeff Zucker, the “mastermind” of the Today show and MSNBC, coming in to fix this, and they continue to stick to this template.

They assume they’re not ideological.

They’re not liberals in the media. Oh, no!  They are in the center.

“MSNBC? They’ve got the freak left, Fox has the freak right, and we at CNN are right in the middle.  We’ve got the independents. We’ve got the genuine, really smart consumers of the news,” and that’s what they’ve been telling themselves.  The fact is they’re just like anybody else in the liberal media, and they are celebrated, they are honored.  Zucker and these guys are heroes for sticking with the cause even though they’re losing their shirts.

* * * * * * * *

I mean, this is my business and my life.  I’m sitting here in total stunned dismay, 98,000, average prime time for a national cable news network that used to have a monopoly.  It’s just almost indescribable, in a professional sense, how it survives.  And how no heads roll.

I know why.  I know exactly why.  It is the primacy of the ideology.  The ideology must be protected at all costs.  Liberalism can never be seen as a failure.  Liberalism can never be seen as a drag financially.  Liberalism can never be seen in a negative light.  And so as far as CNN’s concerned, there’s nothing wrong.  This news gets reported and that’s it, as far as it goes.  They don’t react to it.  They don’t act on it, and they’ll be used by Time Warner as a loss leader, and the losses that they incur will be ate up elsewhere in the company.

Now, in addition to that, they’re laying people off left and right.  We just learned that 40 senior journalists have been laid off at CNN, including a pregnant producer who is due to give birth I think to twins in two weeks.  It may not be twins, but the birth is in two weeks.  They’ve actually been laying people off since November.  So it’s stunning, to me, it truly is.


If you’re a leftwing news junky, you want the fightin’ lefty stick-it-to-the-man tone of Comcast’s MSNBC, even if it’s all a corporatist pose. If you’re a conservative news junky, Fox News is your place. and Fox Business has increasingly been a haven for libertarians such as hosts John Stossel, Kennedy, and frequent guests from publications such as Reason, including Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch.

There is no apolitical center in America, and there hasn’t been since the 1960 election when Richard Nixon and JFK agreed on virtually every issue. Unless you’re trapped in the purgatory of an airport departure lounge, why should anyone watch CNN?

Related: “The press basically approves of thuggery, so long as it’s aimed at people they don’t like. They only start talking about civility, due process, the constitution, and free speech when they or their allies are in trouble. And the presumption of innocence only applies to Democratic pols and operatives. Elsewise, ‘indicted’ is treated as tantamount to ‘convicted.'”

Update: “Jake Tapper to Hugh Hewitt: Not My Job to ‘Automatically Believe What the U.S. Government Says:’”

“I choose to make it my job to not automatically believe what the U.S. government says.” When Hewitt noted that there are people outside the government who say the same, especially those who used to be in the intel community, Tapper explained why skepticism is a good value for anyone in the news to have.

“My job is to be skeptical. Skeptical of people like Edward Snowden, and skeptical of the U.S. government. My job is to not take for granted when somebody says ‘Oh, this is all just a made-up, phony scandal’ or ‘What this person did put the U.S. government at risk.’”

He concluded, “It’s the exact opposite of my job to take what the government says at face value and say ‘This is the truth because the government says it, and the government never lies.’”


If only there were others at CNN and the rest of the Time-Warner-CNN-HBO conglomerate with that perspective.

Flashback: Early last year I asked, “What’s Gotten Into the Water at CNN?”



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