Donald Trump may be one of the largest purveyors of misinformation in the United States — states that he has tried so fervently to disunite with his condemnations of actual facts as “fake news” — but his latest press release reports some true information about the premature closure of the CNN+ streaming service launched less than a month ago by his least favorite media opponent.
“Congratulations to CNN+ on their decision to immediately FOLD for a lack of ratings, or viewers in any way, shape, or form. It was like an empty desert out there despite spending hundreds of millions of dollars,” Trump crowed insincerely.
Trump used the opportunity of the remarkably swift decision to shutter the just-launched streaming news platform made by the new CEO of Warner Bros Discovery Inc. — the company formed after AT&T decided to divest itself of its media assets — to both gloat over the parent company’s massively expensive failure and to further his attacks on CNN and its journalists.
Trump went out of his way to mention one journalist in particular: Chris Wallace, who left his position at Fox News to join the nascent new streaming service, only to see the bottom pulled out from under him unexpectedly.
The former president went for Wallace’s jugular, calling him “low-rated,” lacking “talent,” and accusing him of failing to measure up to his legendary father, Mike Wallace, one of CBS News’ and 60 Minutes’ most famous correspondents.
Trump can revel in his schadenfreude all he wants, but the fact is that at least the new executives in charge of the newly merged Warner Bros Discovery had the good sense not to continue throwing money at a venture that had little hope of recouping its investment despite a rollout that was creatively and operationally sound.
Chris Licht, the newly appointed chairman and CEO of CNN Worldwide, said in a statement Thursday:
“This is not a decision about quality; we appreciate all of the work, ambition and creativity that went into building CNN+, an organization with terrific talent and compelling programming, but our customers and CNN will be best served with a simpler streaming choice.”
Contrast that bold executive action reversing his predecessors’ faulty business strategy with Trump’s behavior surrounding Truth Social, the failing social media platform that he launched to much fanfare earlier this year.
After a disastrous launch that found potential subscribers to the service unable to register accounts for days on end, Truth Social is floundering so much — both technically and in its usage levels — that Trump himself has failed to post to his own platform with any regularity.
If Trump had any real business sense, he would have already followed CNN’s lead and shut down his expensive failure before it continued to waste millions of dollars.
Unfortunately for his own bottom line — or, more likely, that of the investors he bilked into putting up the money for Truth Social — Trump’s ego won’t let him admit to failure as his continued promotion of the “big lie” that the 2020 election was stolen from him so certainly proves.
Someone with Trump’s track record of failure should really keep their trap shut rather than point at others’ misfortunes.