Since former President Donald Trump’s departure from the White House, CNN has struggled to pay the bills as a result of consistently pathetic post-Trump ratings and too many scandals to keep track of. But the legacy cable news network now faces an enemy within — in the form of its once-loyal and now-spicy viewers, and the collective power of their Twitter accounts.
On Monday evening, the hashtag “#BoycottCNN” made Twitter’s coveted trending list, which means a lot of people are seeing it. I nearly brushed it off thinking it was probably just a typical conservative-led boycott of the network.
I was wrong. It was way better than that.
The backlash from the apparent shift to a moderate editorial direction under new CNN chairman and CEO Chris Licht has clearly struck a nerve with its diehard, shrinking progressive audience. They’re absolutely steaming mad.
You don’t have to take my word for it.
When I watched Brian Seltzer’s last broadcast & hearing Chris Licht, CNN’s new leader, met with Republican Congress to see what CNN could do to gain a larger Republican audience, well, I haven’t watched since…UNTIL they REMOVE Chris Licht I will not be watching!#BoycottCNN
— Dawn Rochelle (@DawnRochelle12) August 30, 2022
What few viewers the news network managed to retain are now running away faster than a prairie fire with a tailwind.
Kristen Browde, reportedly one of the network’s original staffers, as she claims on Twitter, pleaded with her former network colleagues “to express their serious concern” with recent changes made at the network, presumably changes related to editorial direction and a shift back to the middle from the radical, far left. Her plea was retweeted thousands of times within a few hours.
As an original staffer at CNN, I’m asking all of my former colleagues to express their serious concern with the new editorial direction the network is taking. It’s horrifying to thing the #BoycottCNN folks have a point. Remember when Ted and Reese said “The News is the star”?
— Kristen Browde 🏳️⚧️ (@ChrissieSeeB) August 29, 2022
Not only are those former viewers tuning out for good, but they’re also using their Twitter accounts to tweet and retweet the hashtag as a call to arms to other once-loyal liberal viewers to trash the network for good, with many claiming MSNBC is the only source of news left to be trusted.
If I wanted to watch right-wing propaganda, I’d watch Fox. So for now, it’s ONLY @MSNBC for me.
— Jon Cooper (@joncoopertweets) August 29, 2022
Only in 2022 would liberals be leading the way in trending a social media campaign to boycott CNN.
In their numerous rants included with the trending hashtag, countless CNN viewers pointed out a few recent events that confirmed rumors that the network would make a move to the middle or even to the right in an attempt to cash in on Fox News’ lucrative demographics.
One of those events was the shocking and sudden firing of Brian Stelter, the former host of Reliable Sources. CNN’s viewers made clear on social media that they weren’t happy with that particular move. Viewers also previously expressed their anger with the usually White House-friendly network when host Don Lemon questioned White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on the subject of President Joe Biden’s mental fitness.
A few other instances of some of CNN’s hosts taking it easy on Republican guests has also seemingly triggered the network’s steadfast viewers, all culminating on Monday night in a call to boycott that’s continuing to pick up steam.
CNN was already struggling in the ratings department, and the network is consistently swallowed up in nearly every timeslot by Fox and MSNBC in the weekly rankings.
As PJ Media’s Rick Moran previously reported, CNN also stands to lose big money:
Licht discovered, to his horror, that the network was massively dependent on Donald Trump for ratings. Without Trump to headline CNN’s news coverage, no one was very much interested in the biased commentary and left-wing slant to the news that became CNN’s hallmark.
CNN’s profits are expected to fall below $1 billion for the first time in many years. And its prime-time coverage is drawing less than 700,000 viewers a night. Clearly, Licht had to do something.
Licht appears to be attempting a course correction, to some degree. It’s not surprising, as he is a businessman, and he presumably wants to helm a business that makes money. Garbage radical progressive propaganda won’t get him there.
It definitely feels like one of those situations where it’s going to get a whole lot worse for the network before it gets better, if it even manages to survive the metamorphosis.