CNN: Conservative News Network?

Time Werner’s CNN hasn’t exactly had a great past few weeks. Kathy Griffin did them no favors, they have to fire Reza Aslan for badmouthing the President, then they utterly failed at the testimony prediction game with Mr. James Comey and now they’ve had to retract a story about Anthony Scaramucci: (New York Post)

The retracted story was based on a single, anonymous source who claimed the Senate Intelligence Committee was probing ties between the Trump administration and a Russian government-owned investment fund. The story, posted on on Thursday, also claimed the Treasury Department was believed to be investigating Scaramucci over a purported Jan. 16 meeting with the fund’s director general.In an Editor’s Note posted late Friday, CNN said the story had been deleted for not meeting “editorial standards,” with the network later revealing a “breakdown” in pre-publication vetting that typically involves “fact-checkers, journalism standards experts and lawyers.”

Not only did management at CNN retract the story, they issued an apology and then sacked the three journalist involved: (NYP)

The specter of a $100 million libel suit scared CNN into retracting a poorly reported story that slimed an ally of President Trump’s — and forcing out the staffers responsible for it, The Post has learned. CNN immediately caved after Scaramucci, a financier and frequent network guest, cried foul and threatened to take legal action, sources said Tuesday. Sources also said the three journalists responsible for the retracted story — reporter Tom Frank, editor Eric Lichtblau and Lex Harris, who headed the CNN Investigates unit — were urged to resign. “They called them in and said they’d pay out their contracts, but they should leave immediately,” one source said. Scaramucci got an unusual public apology but still hired a top Manhattan lawyer to put further pressure on CNN and “look after his interests in this matter,” one source said.

But was the threat of a huge lawsuit the driving reason for the public apology and very public firings? Or is there another more personal reason? (NYP)

Zucker was afraid of facing a high-profile suit from Scaramucci while the US Justice Department weighs the proposed $85.4 billion media merger. At last week’s Cannes Lions festival in France — where Zucker boasted that viewers “trusted CNN even more than ever”— rumors were rife that he’d be out of a job if the AT&T deal goes through. “It’s not just Jeff Zucker, all Time Warner executives are anxious about if they will survive the merger. One thing’s for sure, there will be a re-organization,” one top executive told The Post.

Time Werner has enabled CNN’s clumsy, prevaricating attempts to unseat the President because of ratings and the belief they are providing what their viewers want. Jeff Zucker long ago traded intellectual honesty for cheap shots and tabloid yellow journalism. They allowed CNN to fall into this trap because they live in the same echo chamber; but, the new management evidently won’t appreciate the constant attacks on the President Trump: (NYP)

“What is interesting is that the AT&T execs who will decide who goes and who stays are AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson and AT&T Entertainment Group CEO John Stankey — who have a very good relationship with the current administration.” (emphasis added)

Maybe this time next year, we’ll see Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity dominating prime time for CNN. Sure is a strange world we live in: Fox News no longer “fair and balanced” and CNN no longer Clinton News Network.


About the author

Wm. P. Fitzhenry

5th generation Texan, 2nd generation reformed Presbyterian, a twin and a serial entrepreneur.

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