CNN's Top-Five Credibility Catastrophes of 2013
This was supposed to be a rebuilding year for the former
Most Trusted Name In News. The belief was that CNN's ratings couldn't sink much
lower than its 2012 lows and that newly-installed president Jeff Zucker
couldn't possibly make things worse.
After months of retooling, CNN is still in last place and
its primetime viewership has improbably sunk even further.
So what went wrong? How did Zucker and CNN bungle things so
badly that after hitting what everyone was sure was bottom in 2012, a new
bottom was found in 2013?
Well, in reality, ratings are the least of the network's
problems. Thanks to one breathtaking debacle after another, CNN now has a
credibility problem from which it is unlikely to ever recover. And here are the
top five reasons why….
Tragedy After Tragedy to Push an Anti-Gun Agenda
Piers Morgan is a unmitigated disaster for CNN; a shrill, low-rated,
not-too-bright, carnival-barking leftist and symbol of everything wrong with
the network. But when it came to exploiting the murders of schoolchildren to
push an anti-gun agenda, CNN didn't compartmentalize this to its left-wing
In the wake of the horrific mass-shooting at Sandy Hook
Elementary, there was almost no difference between the gun control push on CNN
and MSNBC -- except of course for the fact that MSNBC is honest about its agenda.
In the days leading up to a largely symbolic Senate vote on tightening
background checks (that failed), CNN was caught
red-handed sucking up to its elite media colleagues with a promise to
devote a full day of coverage to pressure Congress into restricting our Second
Amendment civil rights.
This happened in early April, just a couple of months after
Zucker took over. And any of us who hoped Zucker might work to correct CNN's
bias problems would never make that mistake again.
2. The Great Trayvon
Martin Race Hoax
It is a little unfair that only NBC is remembered for
fabricating evidence to make George Zimmerman (who was acquitted in the
shooting death of Trayvon Martin) look racist. Arguably, what CNN did was just
as bad or worse. In April of 2012, The Most Trusted Name In News told its audience
that Zimmerman had referred to Martin as a "f*cking coon" during a
911 call on the night of the shooting. Other than wishful thinking, CNN had no
evidence of this and once the evidence did come in (Zimmerman said nothing of
the sort), the network
was forced to walk it back.
CNN's determination to push its left-wing race hoax,
however, never waned, and charged right into 2013.
With as much zeal as the openly left-wing MSNBC, CNN used
the Zimmerman trial to pretend the tragic shooting said something bigger about
American race relations. To push a completely fabricated black vs. white racial
narrative, CNN referred to the Hispanic Zimmerman as a "white
Hispanic" and on a daily basis lied through omission by downplaying or
outright ignoring Zimmerman's
color blind past and his being cleared of any kind of a racial motive by a
Justice Department investigation.
To make matters worse, CNN broadcast
Zimmerman's personal information (including his Social Security number),
and had a
grotesque, full-blown on-air orgasm every time their fellow race-hoaxer
Barack Obama exploited the case for his own cynical racial ends.
Nothing, however, will ever top a CNN
anchor breaking down into tears live on the air.
Once Zimmerman was acquitted, the network went on to make an
even bigger fool of itself. It covered the post-verdict protests as though they
weren't total flops, dabbled in the desperate "white
privilege" after-narrative, and then tried to make the Zimmerman case
about Florida's Stand Your Ground law, even though Stand Your Ground had as
much to do with the Zimmerman case as objectivity and competence does with CNN.
With the Zimmerman case, CNN fell on its face in 2012 and then
used 2013 to try and dig itself out by chewing on the dirt.
It was kind of glorious.
3. The Boston
Bombing Debacle - For a very short time, it looked as though CNN had a
chance of moving into second place ahead of MSNBC, especially during the kind
of big news events where CNN once excelled.
That all changed during the coverage of the Boston Marathon
terror attack when we all watched in real-time as CNN melted down before our
CNN wasn't the only network to spread misinformation in the
hours and days after the terror bombing, but no one did it quite as
While number one and two on this list did little to hurt CNN
with a mainstream media that shares its left-wing politics, this surreal
meltdown did, and rightly so.
4. 'New Day': The
Sure-Thing That Wasn't - Jeff Zucker
made his name ushering in the era of "The Today Show's" ratings
dominance. Therefore, if there was anything he should have known how to do it
was create a successful morning show.
"New Day" is by far the most high-profile
investment Zucker has yet to make in his programming changes, and it is an
absolute train wreck. After five-months on the air, "New Day" is
hitting new lows -- lows even lower than last year's lowly lows.
Thus far, in his very own wheelhouse, the new CNN chief is
inspiring only despair.
Junior-Gate - Because CNN is still only one of three cable networks,
and almost everyone in online and print media wants to be on TV, this scandal involving
Jeff Zucker's 14 year-old son did not get a hundredth of the media attention it
would have if it were Roger Ailes' son.
Regardless, New Media still managed to spread the word and
the mainstream media knows -- they know that Zucker's 14-year-old son was put
on the board of a rising Democrat star's shady Internet start-up company.
By virtue of his politics and the clubby narcissism of the left-wing
mainstream media, Zucker dodged having to deal with what might have been the
biggest media scandal of 2013.
But that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.
Recently, Zucker and CNN announced that they have pretty
in the towel on being a news channel. Whether aping the Discovery Channel will work for CNN or not, time will tell. But
you cannot be a successful news network with zero credibility, so CNN really
has no other choice than to try and remake itself.
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