Rush Limbaugh: Layoffs, Ratings Slump Mean 'Panic Time' for CNN
A day after CNN's ratings plummeted to even new lows in the Jeff Zucker era and the network laid off more than 40 senior journalists, conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh said it is "panic time" for CNN.
On his radio show Thursday, the conservative icon said CNN has been suffering such a consistent nosedive that "it ought to be panic time" for a network that monopolized cable news just over fifteen years ago.
He marveled that CNN is now "averaging 78,000 viewers for the whole day" for the 25-54 demographic. "Just 78,000," he said. "I would think that they would have that many captive in airports around the country, who have no choice but to watch CNN."
Limbaugh then mocked the network's primetime number in the 24-54 demo of 98,000 viewers.
"We have more than that in a city block in New York City," he said. "This is the one-year anniversary of Jeff Zucker, the 'mastermind' of the Today show and MSNBC, coming in to fix this, and they continue to stick to this template."
He then pointed out that CNN has been tanking because it falsely presents itself as an objective network when nearly everyone there skews to the left.
"They just sit there and lose their audience," he said. "They just keep losing it and losing it – and to those of us on the outside, it's clear why, and apparently it is not clear to them. It's just stunning."
Limbaugh said of CNN that its "ideology must be protected at all costs. Liberalism can never be seen as a failure. Liberalism can never be seen as a drag financially. Liberalism can never be seen in a negative light."
"And so as far as CNN's concerned, there's nothing wrong. This news gets reported and that's it, as far as it goes. They don't react to it," he said. "They don't act on it, and they'll be used by Time Warner as a loss leader, and the losses that they incur will be [absorbed] elsewhere in the company."
He said "Zucker and these guys are heroes for sticking with the cause even though they're losing their shirts," then mentioned again how stunning it is that CNN only had "98,000 viewers in prime time on a national cable news network that, by the way, used to have a monopoly on cable news. Up until 1996 or '7, they were it."
"In the old days of broadcasting and media, this wouldn't have been allowed to get to this degree. There would have been heads rolled and massive changes years ago," he said. "They would not even be permitting this, and there certainly wouldn't be anybody remaining at that place called a star, and there wouldn't be an exec that was considered at the top of his game. It's just... The corruption of everything, achievement-wise, that the left touches, to me is just remarkable."