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CNN's White-Whale Russia Obsession

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

The media's sudden explosion over a meeting last summer at Trump Tower between Donald Trump Jr. and an alleged "Kremlin-backed lawyer" (she wasn't Kremlin-backed) has spawned a whole new feeding frenzy. Every miniscoop gets inflated into the latest contender in the urgent liberal question: "What will finally get trump impeached?"

The liberal-media obsession was palpable, even when you pull your cell phone out. On the night of July 11, the CNN mobile app was all ablaze with the junior jeremiads. One after another, the headlines were panicky and tabloid-ish. They read:

--"Trump's Web of Russian Ties Grows With Miss Universe Links"

--"The 6 Most Troubling Parts of Don Jr's Emails Exchange With Rob Goldstone"

--"Kaine: Trump Jr. May Have Committed Treason."

--"Donald Trump Jr.s Emails Undermine What the White House Has Been Saying"

--"Trump Jr.'s Latest Email Explanation to Sean Hannity Doesn't Make Any Sense"

--"How Much Legal Trouble Is Donald Trump Jr. in?"

--"Trump Jr. Releases Bombshell Email Chain"

In the midst of this stream, down in the fifth spot was breaking news with the headline "Special Ops Forces Among 16 Dead in Marine Corps Plane Crash." Way down in the eighth spot was the headline "Earth's Sixth Mass Extinction Is More Severe Than We Thought." But alleged mass extinctions are boring next to Russia. The next headline was "Tapper to Trump Jr.: Why So Many Lies?"

This is why Trump fans have undertaken a campaign to give the CNN app a one-star rating in app stores, and the average of Apple reviews for the app did plummet to one star. Then, the rating mysteriously disappeared and was replaced by a very questionable note that said, "We have not received enough ratings to display an average for the current version of this application."

The Daily Caller reported, "Out of 3,215 total ratings awarded to the CNN on the app store, 3,063 of them were one-star ratings." CNN critics had launched a political attack on their credibility.

The website Big League Politics reported the same thing happened on Google Play -- a burst of negative reviews followed by a disappearance. "Nearly 20,000 one-star reviews of the CNN App disappeared overnight on Google Play, boosting CNN's ranking on its system," it said.

The same people who criticize the Trump White House for eliminating the camera from press briefings are wiping its online ratings clean. Transparency is not their strong suit.

The same Moscow-on-the-brain syndrome was dramatically obvious on CNN's airwaves on the morning of July 12. Our news watchers counted up the minutes on the "New Day" morning show that were devoted to Russia and other news. The result was jaw-dropping: Ninety-three percent of the news, or two hours and almost 16 minutes, was spent on Russia, and only 10 minutes were spent on the rest of the world. Eight minutes were set aside for the health care debate, and two were for the MLB All-Star Game. That was it.

Not only that, in the next half-hour, before going to live coverage of confirmation hearings for FBI Director nominee Christopher Wray, it was 100 percent Russia, Russia, Russia.

Obviously, the left thinks Russia is its silver bullet for Trump's impeachment, and CNN is its channel for obsessive round-the-clock prosecution. That's why it's laughable that The New York Times recently reported CNN is lagging in the ratings behind "the more ideologically driven coverage of Fox News and MSNBC."

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