CNN stands for the “Cable News Network.” There was a time that name was accurate – they are on cable, they delivered the news, and they’re a network. But that second “N” no longer applies, and it’s about time they drop it the way they’ve dropped any semblance of journalism.
You can watch CNN for an hour, any hour, and come away dumber and less-informed than you were beforehand. That’s some kind of accomplishment, I guess, exactly what kind remains a mystery.
Without news to fall back on, they have to fill 24 hours a day with something. The something they’ve chosen is a mix of anchors reading Democratic National Committee talking points as if they were original thoughts and having paid contributors recite them as well. It’s a bland mix of repetitive blather coupled with one-upmanship from guests designed to get more bookings for themselves. It’s like a Debutant Ball for ugly people who can only get a date because their family has money.
The belle of the ball is noted human potato and top-ranked Weeble cosplayer Brian Stelter. He’s supposed to be their “media reporter,” but his show – ironically named “Reliable Sources” (he inherited the name and the show when Howie Kurtz escaped the network for an actual audience on Fox) – is nothing more than an hour-long conga line of leftists complaining that conservatives exist. It’s a whine fest with a teleprompter, budget, and occasional cameos by Carl Bernstein and Dan Rather to drive home the point that the audience is being conned. Stelter’s show has more clips of Fox News than Fox News has.
Sunday news used to have Tim Russert, now it has a Russet.
Last Sunday “Tater” sat silently as a guest said President Trump is responsible for more deaths than Mao, Stalin, and Hitler. Adding that calling Trump “crazy” was an insult to crazy people.
Throughout the rant, Stelter sat staring into the camera with his patented “Please don’t let anyone hear this fart” look on his face as he desperately tried to cover up the fact that his inner monologue is “duh.” He said nothing to challenge the absurd claims, nothing to refute them. He’ll probably win a Pulitzer for it.
Later, on Twitter, he tried to claim technical difficulties caused him to miss the statement. “I agree that I should have interrupted after that line. I wish I had heard him say it, but I was distracted by tech difficulties (that's why the show open didn't look the way it normally does, I had two computers at the table, etc). Not hearing the comment is my fault,” he tweeted.
Was his earpiece not working, or did the echo of what it was stuck in to distract him? It doesn’t really matter because no television show occurs in a vacuum. A control room full of producers and directors all heard it and could have whispered into his ear that his guest had declared the president of the United States responsible for tens of millions of deaths, but they didn’t. Even CNN employees who routinely ignore hundreds of murders in Chicago would have noticed that many deaths.
After his lame tweet, Tater posted a piece to CNN’s website reiterating the idea that the president is mentally unfit for office. The only thing it proved was the lack of editorial standards at CNN extend to the written word as well.
“I spent the week talking with major media figures at networks and newspapers. And that was the consensus: President Trump's behavior is getting worse in type and in frequency,” Tater wrote. The “sources” he cites were tweets from Trump Derangement Syndrome poster boy and Kellyane Conway husband, George, Anthony Scaramucci, world record holder for most disastrous and shortest tenure working in a White House on his media “redemption tour,” and a couple of writers for left-wing outlets.
His conclusion cautions, “There are legitimate ethical questions about having this conversation. Journalists in newsrooms like The AP and CNN are trained to tread very carefully when entering the realm of speculation. The goal is to gather facts, not advance a political agenda.” It was as if he wasn’t aware of the rest of his own piece or the entirety of his own network. Then again, like the rest of America, maybe he doesn’t watch CNN. Who could blame him?
I don’t care what CNN does or what their personalities say, their ratings rank up there with the test pattern network and the bulk of their audience is stuck watching them on mute while paying inflated prices for food in airports. I do have a problem with them calling it “news.” Actual news, real news, is important. Finding any on CNN is impossible. It’s about time their name reflect that.