CNN is a cable news network in its death throes. As ratings return to near-historic lows, CNN chief Jeff Zucker is obviously making terrible decisions while in panic-mode. Just-released ratings show that CNN’s stupid, wildly hypocritical and hysterical rampage against Ted Nugent last week led to a disastrous Friday.
Narratives are all about momentum. You want to build interest as the viewer wonders where the story will go. Across almost every one of its shows, CNN’s stable of mostly left-wing anchors — especially Wolf Blitzer, Carol Costello, and Ashleigh Banfield — drove the phony Nugent story using every trick in the book. This story defined CNN last week and it can now go down as yet another dismal failure. I’ll explain why after the numbers:
Total Friday viewership at CNN averaged a paltry 254,000 viewers with only 70,000 in the 25-54 age group. Despite all the energy poured into CNN’s phony outrage over Nugent, this is actually down a little from last week. Zucker and his tribe didn’t make public fools of themselves for a full week in the hopes holding on to the dismal ratings from the prior week. The idea was to stoke an increase in ratings through ginned up national outrage.
In the 25-54 demo, here is how catastrophic Friday was for specific CNN programs:
- New Day 77k
- Wolf Blitzer 52k
- Crossfire 25k-
- Wolf Blitzer 49k
- Erin Burnett 58k
- Anderson Cooper 83k
For context: Fox News beat CNN with three and four times as many demo viewers. The gap is even wider with total viewers. MSNBC was much closer to Fox News than third place CNN.
CNN not only made an objective fool of itself last week, the network was once again exposed as something as far-left as MSNBC, but without MSNBC’s integrity to admit it. Bill Maher calls Sarah Palin a c**t and he’s invited to guest host a CNN primetime hour. But Nugent (who said something just as indefensible about President Obama) is used by almost the entire CNN staff to boost Texas Democrat Wendy Davis.
The American people see through this. And even if you are ideologically aligned with CNN, no one likes to be lied to.
With its increasing left-wing bias, this shrill, phony, obnoxious “attitude” Zucker has asked for, and the non-stop violation of trust for those viewers looking for straight, intelligent coverage of the day’s events — CNN is turning viewers away in droves
This week is looking just as bad as last. It’s only Tuesday and the network is already on an anti-Christian rampage against an Arizona bill guaranteeing religious freedom. The coverage has been ignorant, biased, hysterical, and intentionally misleading. I personally oppose the Arizona bill in its current form, but I can still see what CNN is doing.
Let me sum this up as simply as I can: For the past two weeks, as far as editorial balance, intelligence, and scope of coverage, MSNBC is beating CNN.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC