A once-groundbreaking news network has devolved into a safe space for the Republican party’s political extremists.
Shaking off accusations of being “too left-leaning,” CNN will now present “both sides” of “every issue” from now on, says Warner Brothers/Discovery CEO David Zaslav.
The communications conglomerate, which has owned CNN since purchasing it from O.G. owner Ted Turner in 1996, has become the target of sharp criticism ever since Chris Licht was hired to shake things up.
Despite coming from the fairly liberal comedy world, Licht has moved the news channel further to the right.
And that’s all
white right with his boss, Zaslav.
Speaking at the MoffettNathanson Technology, Media, and Telecom Conference in New York on Thursday, Zaslav indirectly defended CNN’s airing of the Trump Town Hall one night after Trump was found liable for sexually abusing and defaming writer E. Jean Carroll.
“He’s the front-runner — he has to be on our network,” Zaslav said evasively. “We’re happy he’s coming on there.”
But it’s not about the truth.
It’s about the money.
It’s ALWAYS about the money.
“Advertisers are interested in CNN again. They don’t want to be part of an advocacy network,” Zaslav said. “We’ve had meeting after meeting and they say, ‘We’re with you.’”
Somehow, I doubt they said exactly that.
Claiming the overall impression of CNN’s brand previously was that it was “too liberal,” the conservative Time Warner CEO says they’re no longer an “advocacy network.”
Zaslav cited a new YouGov poll which showed an 11-point improvement “in U.S. viewers’ trust in CNN” from their digital audience of 150 million.
No one has ever polled me in any of these polls that always end up leaning toward Trumpism.
But whatever keeps your bank account warm at night, I guess.
“Our view is there are advocacy networks on either side. We have the best journalists in the world. We need to show both sides of every issue,” Zaslav said.
This serves as your reminder that CNN gave Trump so much free airtime during the 2016 Republican primary that its former president admitted it was a mistake during the election.
“CNN should be the place that people come for the best version of the truth and for journalism,” Zaslav said.
The “best version” of the truth? Do you mean, like, “alternative facts”?
The truth is the truth, no matter how ugly it is, and herein lies the biggest problem with this hot garbage take.
CNN hosted 75 GOP members during those four ridiculous days of voting for House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. During that time period, 41 of them went on CNN’s new safe space for Republicans before they went on Fox News.
The amount of free MAGA propaganda generated from those CNN appearances alone cannot be calibrated by any real scientific instruments.
Are they going to bring on Nazis, Holocaust deniers, and QAnon Qrazies next?
Where is the line drawn when it comes to presenting what they decide is the truth in a real fair and balanced way?
Maybe ask CNN chief international anchor Christiane Amanpour, who blasted the network’s airing of Trump’s Town Hall said:
“I still respectfully disagree with allowing Donald Trump to appear in that particular format,”
Amanpour added she would have “dropped the mic at ‘nasty person.’”
But the money, Christine.
It turns out Twitterverse wasn’t too happy with those takes, neither.
Warner Bros. Discovery boss, & current owner of CNN, David Zaslav, boasts ‘Republicans Are Back on the Air at CNN' Can't think of a better reason to never watch CNN again. Who's with me?
— Nancy Lee Grahn (@NancyLeeGrahn) May 19, 2023
David Zaslav made them pause Fleabag on a yacht because a sex scene made him uncomfortable. pic.twitter.com/buDhWfUbgb
— Daniel Kibblesmith 👻 (@kibblesmith) May 13, 2023
Veteran CNN journalist Christiane Amanpour yesterday vs. Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav today pic.twitter.com/ag2b5sGfSN
— Max Tani (@maxwelltani) May 18, 2023
*THIS IS AN OPINION COLUMN THAT SOLELY REPRESENTS THE OPINIONS OF TARA DUBLIN. HOORAY FOR THE FREE PRESS!*
Other hot takes by Tara Dublin can be found on TikTok and Twitter @taradublinrocks.