Why CNN is failing
LOS ANGELES, December 13, 2013—The collapse of the liberal media has affected television, radio, newspapers and magazines. Ratings have nosedived and revenue streams are evaporating. One entity hit hard by the liberal media decline is CNN.
Founded by liberal billionaire Ted Turner, the world’s first Cable News Network thrived when it was an original. Now with hundreds of channels and plenty of competition, CNN frequently becomes an afterthought. Trounced in the ratings by Fox News Channel (FNC), CNN even suffered the indignity of trailing far-left opinion network MSNBC in viewership.
CNN’s decline has come from self-inflicted wounds.
The network does get some things right. Unlike MSNBC, CNN does not suffer from a lack of professionalism. Wolf Blitzer is respected, and John King and Anderson Cooper are harmless.
Many problems still remain.
One problem with CNN is a persistent liberal bias. Bernard Shaw was the gold standard for hard news. He delivered the news without political bias. The show “Inside Politics” with Shaw and William Schneider featured a look at politics that kept viewers guessing as to their views. Republicans were treated fairly. When Shaw retired, CNN became more openly liberal.
CNN tries to convince viewers that it is neutral, but it has become a stealth version of MSNBC. CNN is liberalism without the raving lunacy. Candy Crowley shattered her reputation by bailing out President Barack Obama in his second presidential debate against Governor Mitt Romney. While her intentions were not malicious, she should have stayed quiet and let Obama fend for himself. Some credit her intervention with rescuing the Obama reelection campaign after his miserable first debate.
CNN does try to be neutral, to its own detriment, in covering global affairs. CNN prides itself on being a global leader favoring no nations over others. With apolitical stories, CNN shines. CNN was at it very best when one billion people worldwide watched the rescue of Chilean miners. People of all stripes cheered, hugged each other, and laughed together when each miner was rescued. This uniting event represented humanity’s best.
Where CNN gets hurt is during events like the 2003 Gulf War. FNC took an unabashedly pro-American stance. CNN stayed neutral out of fear of being seen as jingoistic. At that time, Americans wanted a pro-American viewpoint. FNC surpassed CNN in the ratings at that time and has never looked back.
This foreign policy chasm also exists when covering Israel. Most Americans are pro-Israel, and FNC opinion programs reflect that viewpoint. CNN as a global network has as its main foreign correspondent Christiane Amanpour. Her reporting ranges from indifference to Israel to outright hostility bordering on anti-Semitism. Her series on “God’s Jewish Warriors” and “God’s Muslim Warriors” (she had a Christian series as well) attempted to create moral equivalence between Israelis trying to defend themselves and Islamist homicide bombers. Like the Islamists, her series bombed. In most cases, Americans prefer news that supports America and its allies.
The biggest problem with CNN is personality. It lacks one. Attempting to be less bombastic than FNC and MSNBC, CNN has gone in the other direction. Frequently it is just downright boring. Cooper and King are non-descript, inoffensive, and absolutely bland. MSNBC hosts are constantly getting in trouble for being controversial. CNN is non-controversial to the point of being in a coma.
CNN wants to see itself as above the fray. Fox News and MSNBC are arguing children, while CNN is the adult delivering news in a cold, sober way. This strategy would work if CNN was a non-partisan network with top talent. Again, Bernard Shaw was. Now it is just a liberal network too biased for many on the right and too sane for many on the left. By trying to be all things to all people, it has become the network of choice for virtually nobody.
Failed NBC executive Jeff Zucker took his “talents” to CNN. His recently announced solution is to move away from hard news and create more “shows.” This would take the best of CNN and replace any semblance of quality with cheap attempts to gain ratings. If there is anything broadcast network executives know how to do, it is race to the bottom so that quality and ratings remain equally destroyed.
CNN still has a respectable brand in many parts of the world, particularly in areas unfriendly to America and its allies. It has a globally known name. In a world still dominated by America, it would help CNN to have its luster restored in the American market.
Brooklyn born, Long Island raised, and now living in Los Angeles, Eric Golub is a politically conservative columnist, author, public speaker, satirist and comedian. Eric is the author of the book trilogy “Ideological Bigotry, “Ideological Violence,” and “Ideological Idiocy.” Eric is 100% alcohol, tobacco, drug, and liberalism free.
Follow Eric on Twitter @TYGRRRREXPRESS.
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