As the cable news networks take stock of their rapidly falling ratings, it appears CNN chief Jeff Zucker is at least one network boss who has finally realized his network is “too liberal.”
Not long ago, CNN’s top man said it was a fair criticism that his news network leaned too far to the left.
In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, Zucker agreed saying, “I think it was a legitimate criticism of CNN that it was a little too liberal.”
Zucker went on to insist that as chief of the operation he had made moves to ameliorate the network’s pervasive leftism.
“We have added many more middle-of-the-road conservative voices to an already strong stable of liberal voices. And I think that we are a much more-balanced network and, as a result, a much more inviting network to a segment of the audience that might not have otherwise been willing to come here,” The CNN boss said.
Indeed, this is a reversal from previous network executives. For instance, in 2013, Tuner Broadcasting CEO (owner of CNN) Phil Kent insisted that CNN was not a liberal news network.
Only a few short years later, it appears Zucker has gotten the message, at least to the degree that he has garnered praise from National Center Free Enterprise Project Director Justin Danhof for making an effort to tamp down on bias.
“CNN deserves credit for admitting its liberal bias and doing something to correct the problem,” Danhof said in a press release after attending the annual meeting of Time Warner investors in Burbank, California on June 17. “While much of the liberal media, including the New York Times, MSNBC, ABC, ESPN, CBS, and the Washington Post all continue to deny their bias or the negative results thereof, CNN has made a deliberate effort to increase conservative voices in its airways, and that decision has paid dividends.”
“I am here to tell you that I now regularly watch CNN,” Danhof added. “For years, myself and many other conservatives wanted nothing to do with the network because it was quite clear that the news and opinion hosts abhorred our views on traditional values and free market principles. The change at CNN is tangible and I am not surprised that ratings are up.”
During the investors meeting, Danhof also put the question of liberal bias to Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes.
Bewkes, Danhof reported, said he was committed to continuing the effort to nix extreme, left-wing views in order to become more “informational.”
Danhof applauded the policy, noting that viewers also appreciate the effort.
“The equation isn’t complex. In poll after poll, most Americans identify as conservative or independent, with the smallest number self-identifying as liberal. This year’s annual Gallup poll on political ideology found 37% of Americans identify as conservative, 35% as moderate and only 24% as liberal. For years, CNN was mired in competition with the vast majority of the mainstream media that tilts to the left and fights for viewers from the smallest segment of American society,” Danhof said. “CNN finally figured out what we have been telling them for years – conservatives and independents don’t want to watch the same liberal views being repeated hour after hour.”
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at email@example.com