CNN: Where News Goes to Die

“This is CNN: Network Honcho Jeff Zucker Says He Won’t be ‘Shamed’ Into Covering Benghazi, But Defends Flight 370 Coverage,” Ace writes:


He scoffed at the story as being a non-story dreamed up by political fabulists.

We’re not going to be shamed into it by others who have political beliefs that want to try to have temper tantrums to shame other news organizations into covering something,” Zucker reportedly told The New York Times’ Bill Carter, who interviewed him for the event. “If it’s of real news value, we’ll cover it.”

“That want to try to have temper tantrums…?”

Tell us how you really feel about it, politically, Jeffey.

On the other hand, he says he’s “incredibly comfortable” with his network’s Black Hole coverage of Flight 370.

There is some good news here:

It’s only CNN.

You know, CNN has sort of deemed itself to be an enormously prestigious institution despite the fact that they were merely the first crappy little cable news start-up.

They’re always acting as if CNN is some name brand.

It isn’t. It was just the first of many cable news outfits. Having started in 1986 (or whenever) and x number of years before other outfits really doesn’t mean you’re some prestigious institution.

As Jonah Goldberg once noted in a Ricochet podcast, CNN’s day to day product stinks, and they have to know it; their business model is built around making CNN ubiquitous so that it’s every viewer’s go-to first choice when there is a gigantic breaking news story,  a la 9/11 and a Space Shuttle explosion. (That and annoying every airline traveler in the country.) Which is why their day-to-day ratings are so anemic; Fox puts out a far more watchable product, and Comcast’s MSNBC has the hard left base covered — effete coastal leftists who when forced to watch CNN think it’s too conservative. And which is why CNN tried to milk Flight #370 for a long as possible, even as their ratings and credibility spiraled into a black hole of absurdity.


“OK, so . . . forget about politics,” Stacy McCain writes. “What does Zucker’s bias mean for CNN’s ratings?”

In a word: brutal. After running the numbers, Stacy adds:

Averaged over prime time (8-11 p.m.), the three major cable news networks had a combined audience Monday of 2.7 million viewers, and here are the percentage shares:

Fox ……………… 65%
MSNBC …………. 24%
CNN …………….. 11%

Now, let us stipulate that politics is not the only factor that influences cable TV news ratings. However, the news junkie — the kind of person who prefers cable news as a prime-time viewing habit — is also usually a political junkie. Because of a general perception that most news media have a liberal bias, Fox News dominates cable news ratings by delivering news and commentary from a standpoint that is decidedly not liberal. In a distant second place, MSNBC caters to an audience of left-wing news junkies whose political appetites are not satisfied by a half-hour of biased news nightly on the Big Three broadcast networks. And CNN . . .

Jeff Zucker’s network is a f***ing asterisk, is what they are — an irrelevant afterthought in the TV new business, of interest only as an example of how not to operate a cable news franchise.

Stacy suggests, “The most obvious play for CNN would be to try to peel off some of the conservative viewers — two-thirds of the cable-news audience — who are now regularly watching Fox. One can easily imagine how this could be done.” But CNN will never take that advice — their internal office politics, literally and figuratively, simply won’t permit it. It would be like asking the people who produce the 700 Club to program shows for Al Jazeera, MTV to program CBN, David Suzuki creating programming for NASCAR fans, or an even better analogy involving multiple conflicting worldviews that I can’t think of right now. But in any case, CNN simply cannot accept that a conservative worldview exists, is a legitimate one, internalized by a large swatch of Americans who don’t want to be insulted, and seeks programming that reflects its sensibilities.


So instead, as Iowahawk tweeted in February, this is what the leftwing network is left with:

See also: The collapse of another Time-Warner-CNN-HBO product in recent years, one with a much more conservative pedigree than its TV opinion network.


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