Perhaps symbolizing why CNN’s ratings are tanking, a senior producer for CNN’s The Situation Room on Wednesday either mocked conservatives or showed his ignorance of a website that caters to those outside the D.C.-NYC bubble when he asked, “What’s breitbart?”
After a writer for the liberal The Huffington Post tweeted a screenshot of Breitbart’s homepage in disbelief that there were six stories related to the feud between Donald Trump and BuzzFeed’s McKay Coppins, Vaughn Sterling, the CNN senior producer, asked the question via Twitter:
@elisefoley what’s breitbart?
— Vaughn Sterling (@vplus) February 19, 2014
Breitbart’s coverage of the author of a hit piece on Trump has focused on how Republican officials grant extraordinary access to liberal journalists who are often out to gut them.
Sterling was either publicly mocking a conservative website or displaying his ignorance of one of the most trafficked news websites in the world; Breitbart News, at the time of this writing, is the 49th-most visited news site according to Alexa figures, which places it ahead of The Chicago Tribune, U.S. News & World Report, and Politico. Breitbart News also recently opened up bureaus in Texas and London. In so doing, Sterling displayed two of the network’s biggest problems.
Purportedly objective CNN, even after admitting it did not have any evidence whatsoever, suggested Sarah Palin’s political rhetoric may have been a cause of the attempted murder of Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-AZ) in 2011.
If Sterling was actually ignorant of Breitbart, he may want to pop his head outside D.C.’s “Boomtown” culture from time to time and meet some of the unwashed Americans that populate the rest of the country.
Breitbart News has previously written that CNN’s prime time ratings hit a 20-year low last year. The network has also reduced hours for The Situation Room. Viewers are apparently tired of a network that dismisses flyover country and non-legacy outlets–like Sterling did Breitbart.
Sarah Palin’s message to Trump was to never “ever give [the BuzzFeed writer] attention again.” It is worth repeating because it applies just as well to mainstream media and left-of-center reporters who either view conservatives as the enemy or exotic species in a remote rain forest — like Sterling.