Anticipating this brutal column, CNN has just fired Chris Licht. If the next chairman plans to last any longer, he’d better implement these changes right away!
At the risk of raising a topic even more boring than Ukraine, let’s talk about CNN. There was a major article (i.e., long) in The Atlantic this week about the civil war erupting at CNN over the new CEO, Chris Licht, and his attempt to turn the network into one that people want to watch.
The point of the article was to show that Licht is failing — CNN employees don’t like him, no one understands what he’s trying to do, and ratings are worse than ever.
But what the article actually illustrated is how completely out of touch the media are with normal people. Any effort undertaken by these dolts to reform themselves is doomed to failure.
Licht and his bosses aren’t idiots. They know what the problem is. Their idea is to move CNN away from doomsday MSNBC-style reporting where “everything is an 11” and appeal to a “broader viewership that crave[s] sober, fact-driven coverage.”
Good idea, right?
But Licht has no idea how to do it, and no one else in the media does either — not The Atlantic, not CNN employees, not The New York Times.
They all seem to believe it’s a binary choice: Either left-wing zealots hysterically announcing BREAKING NEWS about Trump 24-7; or … a one-hour interview with Jill Biden.
Wait — what?
Yes, that was one of Licht’s ideas for raking in the viewers. As the Times explained:
“Since Mr. Licht’s 9 p.m. experiment, ‘CNN Primetime,’ … viewership has fallen below what the network was drawing in the time slot just a few months ago.
“At 9 p.m. on March 8, more Americans watched ‘Homicide Hunter: The Man With No Face’ on the Investigation Discovery cable network than CNN’s exclusive interview with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine. Two days earlier, an afternoon broadcast of ‘Ancient Aliens’ on the History Channel drew a bigger audience than a 9 p.m. interview with the first lady, Jill Biden.”
Say, does anyone at CNN know any actual human beings? How could a one-hour interview with Jill Biden not be ratings gold?
Why is our only choice Rachel Maddow or Watching Paint Dry?
The problem isn’t so much how news is covered, it’s what news is covered. Licht should check out Twitter sometime — also the U.K.’s Daily Mail, if he ever wants to know what’s happening in this country.
Here are a few good stories that I’ll bet CNN didn’t mention at all, certainly not with the lavish coverage given to Ukraine, a country of absolutely no relevance to any American’s life (until we get into a nuclear exchange with the Russkies, thanks in part to CNN’s warmongering).
At a congressional hearing last month, House members heard from the mother of 20-year-old Kayla Hamilton, who was raped and murdered in Aberdeen, Maryland, last year by an MS-13 member from El Salvador. He entered the United States as an “unaccompanied minor” despite a lengthy criminal history in his home country, which our government never checked.
Also last month, Washington state enacted a law allowing minors to hide out from their parents at private homes and homeless shelters in order to undergo gender transitions.
How about a report on the total destruction of Portland, Oregon, by a “progressive” district attorney? Also San Francisco, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Has CNN aired any stories on skyrocketing crime in America? There are armed robberies and homeless people on Rodeo Drive!
Would anyone be interested in finding out who was funding Jeffrey Epstein or why Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman gave Jared Kushner $2 billion six months after he left the White House?
Like the rest of the media, CNN seems to have traded “If It Bleeds, It Leads!” for “If It Bores, It Scores!” Just because it’s boring doesn’t mean it’s important.
Licht told The Atlantic: “Americans were starving … for a network without perceived partisan loyalties; for a source of authoritative, follow-the-facts reporting.” But we don’t get the facts from CNN — unless how often Jill Biden talks to her husband is a crucial fact missing from the public dialogue.
Here’s some “follow the facts” reporting CNN absolutely refuses to do. The network provides breathless bulletins whenever there’s a mass shooting, but as soon as the suspect turns out NOT to be a straight white male, it’s back to Ukraine.
Somewhere in the media right now (probably MSNBC), someone is talking about Dylann Roof, the monster who murdered nine people at a black church in South Carolina. That happened eight years and three presidents ago. But mass shootings this year keep mysteriously disappearing from the news.
January: two mass shootings of Asians in California just days apart, including the deadliest shooting in Los Angeles history. Eighteen killed in all. Gunmen in both cases Chinese immigrants, Huu Can Tran and Chunli Zhao.
February: Active shooter at Michigan State University kills three students, sends five to hospital. Gunman: Anthony Dwayne McRae, a 43-year-old black man.
March: mass shooting at a Christian school in Nashville, killing three 9-year-olds and three adults. Gunman: Audrey Elizabeth Hale, a transgender.
But she left a manifesto!
Media: Go away. We’re not interested.
April: horrific shooting at a 16-year-old’s birthday party in Dadeville, Alabama, leaving four dead — three of them teenagers — and wounding 32 others. Arrested: Johnny Letron Brown, Willie George Brown Jr., Wilson LaMar Hill, Travis McCullough, and Tyreese McCullough.
Last day of April: slaughter of five family members, including a 9-year-old boy, all shot execution-style, in Texas. Arrested: an illegal from Mexico.
Would covering stories like these turn CNN into a “right-wing” network? Only if facts are “right-wing.”
Instead of providing news that might be of some slight interest to viewers, Licht’s other idea for bringing back viewers — aside from boring them to death — is to balance out left-wing fanatics (representing 10 percent of America) with right-wing fanatics (also representing 10 percent of America).
Thus, two weeks ago, Licht produced a town hall with Donald Trump that he purposely stacked with an “extra Trumpy” audience, as he told The Atlantic.
Gee, thanks pal. It’s like trying to appeal to Muslims by holding a town hall with Mohamed Atta.
Is there no television network for people who want exciting news stories, but aren’t endlessly fascinated by either Trump or Jill Biden? A network that showed nothing but paint drying would be better than this.