It’s been a bad stretch for CNN over the past couple of years. Once they were the beacon of news reporting, able to get the hottest stories before anyone else and bring it to their audience with solid facts and analysis. Today they are getting beaten in the ratings by The Food Network. How did CNN go from the #1 news source in the world to making The Weekly Reader look like they have gravitas by comparison?
Do what Leftists do: blame Donald Trump.
Although Trump’s use of “fake news” to describe CNN has a lot to do with it, there are several other factors that play just as important a role. I hope you brought your hazmat suits because this one’s gonna be toxic!
What the Left thinks it means – a news network targeted by conservatives and Trump supporters for telling the truth about Donald Trump
What it really means – a news network that has lost its way in the pursuit of being liked by Leftists
Although CNN has been around for a couple of decades, people really took notice of it during the first Gulf War in the early 1990s. They had reporters on the ground (including one Wolf Blitzer whom we’ll be talking about here in a bit) giving up-to-date reports on the fighting in Kuwait and how our military forces fared against Iraq’s military. That impressed a lot of viewers, myself included, and it made me proud to be learning the journalism trade at the time.
Shortly after the Gulf War ended, CNN went back to reporting the news, and giving airtime to a certain Democrat President who wowed audiences, ate Big Macs while being seen jogging almost every day, and seemed to echo what the media wanted to hear. Yes, CNN had a serious man-crush on Bill Clinton, and that crush grew into another arm of the White House Press Office. Slick Willie could do no wrong in their eyes.
After Clinton left office, CNN remembered “Hey, aren’t we supposed to be watchdogs against the government?” and went back to reporting hard news. When Barack Obama was elected, those watchdogs went back to being lapdogs and had a new man-crush to impress. Now, we’re back to CNN being watchdogs, albeit deaf, dumb, and blind ones. Although I do hear they sure play a mean pinball.
Today’s CNN bears little resemblance to the CNN of the early 1990s. Here are a few of the current “stars” on CNN.
Wolf Blitzer – a reporter who cut his teeth in Iraq, but got stomped like a new kid in a rough school during an episode of Celebrity Jeopardy where the questions were dumbed down
Jim Acosta – a Sam Donaldson clone washed in hot water, always shouts questions at the President even when told not to, gets threatened by people chanting “CNN sucks” and flipping him the bird
Brian Stelter – host of a program “Reliable Sources” but gets so many facts wrong people are thinking his show is ironically named
April Ryan – a White House correspondent whose questions rival those of Jim Acosta at asking ideological “gotcha” questions based more on fee-fees than facts
Chris Cillizza – a political editor who is concerned about the incivility against the media in this country while unwittingly contributing to it
And there are many, many more. Right now the only passible journalist at CNN is Jake Tapper, and he’s 50-50 at best. Still he has a higher batting average than the bulk of CNN reporters and newsreaders.
Put simply, if CNN were a theatrical production, it would definitely be a Greek tragedy because they keep harming themselves unintentionally while in the pursuit of looking like they’re on top of their reporting game. And they have their enablers…I mean fans who will defend them against any insults slung their way by Trump supporters and other people who don’t think CNN’s doing a good job.
Guess which group I’m in.
And before the Left goes to their default excuse, my disdain for CNN has nothing to do with Trump. It does, however, have everything to do with what I consider to be professional malpractice. I studied journalism in college, so I know how the way reporters are supposed to do their jobs. What we’re seeing out of CNN in 2018 is The Resistance with press passes. Oh, they’ll claim to be doing their jobs and wrap themselves in the First Amendment, but they don’t realize when people tell them CNN sucks or flips them the bird, those people are exercising their First Amendment rights. The same Amendment that gives CNN the right to report on the news of the day gives people the right to react to that reporting, or in many cases the lack thereof.
Just look at how Jim Acosta and his cohorts have reacted to a recent Trump rally in Florida where people were very expressive with their disdain for CNN. They and many others painted those Trump supporters as a hate mob fueled by the President saying CNN was the enemy of the people. Well, here’s a thought: maybe you’ve earned that designation by playing favorites instead of playing fair. There are limits to this, though. The minute you physically attack a CNN reporter, you have taken this disdain too far. Flipping the bird to Jim Acosta isn’t nice, but it’s not violence, nor does it provoke violence (except possibly for the target).
Let me give CNN a piece of free advice. Get back into the reporting business. It’s Journalism 101: the reporter should never be the story. Remember Dan Rather? Although he’s a darling of the Left now, he let himself become the story when he tried to make George W. Bush look like a draft dodger who went AWOL. The problem? The facts didn’t match up with the reporting and Rather had to resign and be forever tainted as a liar. Apparently, lying about a Republican is a resume enhancer to the Left.
Instead of learning from Rather’s mistake, CNN is doubling down and making themselves look foolish in the process. (Which I’m perfectly fine with, by the way.) But if CNN wants to be taken seriously as a news network in the future, it needs to dump the Rather reporting method and go back to what got them to being a respected news organization in the first place.
If not, expect reruns of infomercials to beat CNN in the ratings.