Gorka Taunts CNN

The Daily Wire reports that during  an appearance on Tuesday edition CNN’s “New Day” Dr. Sebastian Gorka, deputy assistant to President Donald Trump, taunted CNN live on the air and correctly pointed out, “more people watch Nick at Nite cartoons than CNN.”

The fireworks began when anchor Alisyn Camerota, turned the interview to all things Russia. Camerota asked Gorka about Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Russian lawyer during the presidential campaign. Gorka replied by asking why CNN has yet to cover the Democratic National Committee’s meet-up with operatives at the Ukrainian Embassy with the same breathless zeal they’ve covered the nine-month witch-hunt into alleged Russia/Trump collusion.

Here is some of the exchange:

Gorka: Was it a good idea for the DNC to send its operatives to the Ukrainian Embassy? The amount of time you spend in desperation on a topic that has plummeted you to 13th place in viewership ranking across America, more people watch Nick at Nite cartoons than CNN today.

Camerota: “Our ratings are doing just fine. If you want to go there, our ratings are doing just fine.”

Gorka: Nick at Nite is [in 11th place]. More people are interested in cartoons! . . . CNN no longer puts out journalism, but, rather, ‘fake news.’ What about individuals who got half a million dollars to give speeches when their wife was running for president?

Camerota: Is it possible that your team is obsessed with the Clintons?
Gorka: No. We’d like you to actually do your job. You aren’t in the news business anymore. You used to be. You are in the attacking President Trump business. And it’s sad. It’s really sad.

Camerota: Look, I know you have to go, and I didn’t even want to go down this rabbit hole with you. When you take shots at us and at journalism, at CNN . . .

Gorka interrupting: Not journalism, CNN.

You can watch the heated exchange in this YouTube video. The fireworks start at about the 8:00 mark.

CNN is currently ranked 13th out of all the cable networks, behind Nick at Nite, which ranks 11th.

In addition to its plummeting ratings, CNN has other serious problems. CNN has been caught publishing fake news, some of it so bad that three reporters were forced to resign. It’s been busted by James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas, which infiltrated CNN and obtained video of a CNN producer admitting that the network’s Russia fixation is “mostly bullsh**t right now,” but they do it because it brings in the money. And to add insult to injury CNN had to give Veritas a retraction.

CNN is desperate to improve its image after weeks of bad and worse news.

What does CNN do to improve their image? They decide to delete their app in a failed attempt to lose the app’s terrible one star rating.

CNN Wants to Defeat Trump, Can’t Even Beat Yogi Bear

THIS. . .is CNN:

Last week, more Americans tuned in to watch re-runs of “Yogi Bear,” “Full House,” and “Friends” on Nick At Nite than to watch Anderson Cooper and Don Lemon’s shows on CNN.

According to cable ratings from the week of June 26-July 2, CNN’s viewership of its primetime shows was ranked significantly lower than its competitors like Fox News and MSNBC, which place first and second respectively. Clocking in at No. 10 on the list, CNN fell behind HGTV, Nick At Nite, History Channel, and ESPN.

CNN’s ratings nosedive corresponds with the network’s ongoing feud with President Donald Trump. Last week, Trump tweeted out a GIF of himself appearing to pummel a wrestler with CNN’s logo superimposed over the latter’s face. The network has covered the tweet nearly nonstop ever since. It also went after the Redditor who made the GIF and threatened to dox him unless he apologized and promised to never say anything CNN dislikes again — a move that drew much criticism and may have been illegal.

When asked for comment, CNN personality Chris Cillzza got right to the point:

Oh, wait–that was just Cillzza pulling a Lonely Island when he thought that Poland’s first lady gave Trump the cold shoulder, yet another meme spread by the intrepid forces at CNN that turned out to be less than accurate.  Still, it’s illustrative of the troublesome troubles that the troubled network is facing.  Getting killed in the ratings by that Marcel the Monkey episode of Friends is one thing–but Yogi Bear?  Come on, dudes!  That’s well-nigh impossible even if you’re trying to flop.  It’s as if Jeff Zucker knows he’s going to get the sack after AT&T gobbles up Time Warner and so he’s trying to burn the joint down before he leaves.  Either that, or he’s staging his Trump coverage like a production of Springtime for Hitler but instead of getting laughs everybody thinks he’s serious.

Speaking of the Other Zuck, he’s also been doing his best to look on the bright side of things, insisting, Charlie Sheen-like, that his people are starting to get tired of all the #Winning he’s brought to CNN:

“My job is to remind everyone that they need to stay focused doing their job,” Mr. Zucker said on Wednesday, brushing off any suggestion that he was rattled. He added: “He’s trying to bully us, and we’re not going to let him intimidate us. You can’t lose your confidence and let that change the way you conduct yourselves.”

Not wanting to be left out of the fun, Chris Cuomo–host of CNN’s New Day (Same Old Bias)–chimed in, “I’m comfortable going to work in Thunderdome every day.”  Well, that analogy might work–but only if Cuomo is Blaster and Trump is Aunty Entity.

Not to worry, though.  I’m sure Zucker still sees himself as Master.

Anyhoo, with all this going on, it doesn’t look as if the war between CNN and the Trump administration will be abating any time soon–which kind of leaves me feeling conflicted.  On the one hand, I think it’s peachy that CNN has torn off the mask of objectivity, like Peter Parker ripping off the black Spider-Man costume, revealing to everyone that they’re less about covering the news and more about getting digs in against an administration they don’t like–something they also did with George W. Bush, even though Dubya was far too polite to call them out on it.  On the other hand, it would also be great to see them have a “WTF are we thinking???” moment, realize that they’re doing nobody any favors by acting like bias junkies in search of a new fix, and provide an example for other news organizations by cleaning up and going straight.

It’s a drama that even Aaron Sorkin couldn’t have made up.  Anybody got popcorn?

CNN Stars as the Man Who Burned Down His House to Get Rid of Bees

Every once in a while you read a story about someone trying to smoke bees out of their house and burning down the house. The other day there was a story about a man who accidentally burned down his garage trying to use fireworks to kill bees. Now we have the CNN story about the anonymous Reddit troll.

The story is a bit more complex than the 140 character outrage on Twitter.

First, if I understand the story correctly, the guy who did the gif that President Trump tweeted out body slamming CNN as a wrestler is apparently also the same guy who did a picture of CNN employees showing how many Jews were on the payroll. The implication is that Jews run CNN and it was circulated by a bunch of white nationalists.

But most people focused on the gif because that was what CNN mostly focused on as well.

So CNN, through some good reportorial detective work, is able to track down the anonymous troll. Had CNN done a story that mentioned the guy’s name and what he had done, I would have had no problem with the story. Like it or not, the gif tweeted by the President of the United States had news value and who authored it is part of the story. No one in the White House had authored it.

But CNN did more than that. At the conclusion of the story, CNN’s staff wrote it to effectively say, “We know who you are and if you do anything else we don’t like we can out you,” which is an implicit threat.

They are trying to walk it back now and say that’s not what they meant, but that is how any reasonable person would have read what was written. Had they instead just written a story that they tracked down the anonymous troll, who an X years old white male who apologized and deleted his account, end of story. But the reservation at the end went beyond that.

Likewise, if CNN was not going to out the troll, why tell us any of that to begin with?

Let’s not give the troll a pass here. If, as I understand it, he also did the anti-Semitic graphic, I would have had no problem at all if CNN had identified him. Just because one wants to be anonymous does not give one a right to stay anonymous.

And if I had the story wrong and this guy only did the CNN-wrestling gif, so what? It is still a news story.

Unfortunately, CNN did none of that. Instead, the way they wrote the story, they held his identity over his head with an implicit threat. CNN went from taking the moral high ground in a pissing contest with the President and behaving like a troll themselves.

Ted Cruz is Concerned CNN May Have Committed a Felony

In a pair of tweets, Sen. Ted Cruz laid out a troubling development for CNN’s threatened doxxing of a Reddit meme creator who posted a video of President Trump wrestling their logo.

Cruz’s take is that CNN could be open to a felony charge.

OCGA § 16-8-16 reads, in whole:

(a) A person commits the offense of theft by extortion when he unlawfully obtains property of or from another person by threatening to:

(1) Inflict bodily injury on anyone or commit any other criminal offense;

(2) Accuse anyone of a criminal offense;

(3) Disseminate any information tending to subject any person to hatred, contempt, or ridicule or to impair his credit or business repute;

(4) Take or withhold action as a public official or cause an official to take or withhold action;

(5) Bring about or continue a strike, boycott, or other collective unofficial action if the property is not demanded or received for the benefit of the group in whose interest the actor purports to act; or

(6) Testify or provide information or withhold testimony or information with respect to another’s legal claim or defense.

(b) In a prosecution under this Code section, the crime shall be considered as having been committed in the county in which the threat was made or received or in the county in which the property was unlawfully obtained.

(c) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution based on paragraph (2), (3), (4), or (6) of subsection (a) of this Code section that the property obtained by threat of accusation, exposure, legal action, or other invocation of official action was honestly claimed as restitution or indemnification for harm done in the circumstance to which such accusation, exposure, legal action, or other official action relates or as compensation for property or lawful services.

(d) A person convicted of the offense of theft by extortion shall be punished by mprisonment for not less than one nor more than ten years.

The highlighted portions may be of interest to whoever is on Jeff Zuckers “better call Saul” speed dial. CNN would potentially have to show, in defense, that their action as “honestly claimed as restitution or indemnification for harm done.” I’m no lawyer, but I don’t see the harm done by the GIF. CNN’s statement on why they didn’t doxx the GIF’s creator, however, rings of extortion.

Of course, even having a case would require a district attorney, like Dekalb County DA Sherry Boston, to open an investigation and eventually charge CNN.

Just possibly, Sen. Cruz, unarguably one of the more experienced and respected lawyers in America, might have a point here. So DA Boston, you might want to pay attention to it.

Did CNN Threaten The Reddit User Behind The CNN/Trump GIF?

The Twitter world blew up on Tuesday night when CNN announced they had located the Reddit user who created the Trump/CNN wrestling GIF that was shared by the president.

To be clear, the issue wasn’t CNN locating the original creator of the video – that’s fair for a media company to do. Controversy sparked when an official statement by CNN appeared to indicate that they had threatened to dox the Redditor should he repeat his behavior.

Here CNN announced they had located HanAssholeSolo, the Redditor who created the infamous GIF of Trump slamming someone with a CNN logo superimposed over his head:

But now read this statement carefully from CNN reporter Andrew Kaczynski:

https://twitter.com/KFILE/status/882410463983796224

“CNN is not publishing [Redditor’s] name because he is a private citizen who has issued an extensive statement of apology, showed his remorse by saying he has taken down all his offending posts and because he said he is not going to repeat this ugly behavior on social media again… CNN reserves the right to publish his identity should any of that change.”

My god. What was CNN thinking when they published this statement? Actually, the better question is: when did CNN get into the blackmailing business?

CNN was given a gift when President Trump tweeted Sunday a GIF of him body slamming their logo. The tweet made them look like a victim and gave them some sympathy during a time when everything else is going so wrong for the major media outlet. Remember: CNN just had to let go of several staffers after a botched Trump-Russia story published by them turned out to be factual malarkey. Project Veritas has released hidden footage by the day of CNN bigwigs speaking candidly about pushing conspiracies. They also just fired Kathy Griffin and Reza Aslan over impropriety towards the president.

The Trump tweet was a gift, but they decided to royally screw it up. Many commentators took to Twitter to express their disbelief in CNN seemingly blackmailing someone into “behaving” correctly:

#CNNblackmail quickly became the top trending hashtag on Twitter.

Confusion has followed as to who exactly contacted whom first. It appeared CNN (by their own reporting) contacted the Reddit user first – making for more of a blackmail theme. After a tsunami of bad press, CNN reporter Andrew Kaczynski insisted the Redditor contacted them first. However, the internet never forgets:

There are also conflicting statements as to the age of the Redditor. We know through the use of pronouns by CNN that he is, in fact, a he, but we are not sure about his age. Many are saying he is 15 years old, but Kaczynski is insisting the Reddit user is a middle-aged man.

https://twitter.com/KFILE/status/882580334470213632

Whatever the case, it is safe to say CNN did not do themselves any favors by seemingly blackmailing an internet troll into good behavior – then reporting on said blackmail for the world to see.

 

CNN Covers Trump Time Cover and Obama’s Jeans

Jeff Zucker, what are you doing? You guys are getting the snot kicked out of you over a series of missteps. I get to my hotel tonight and the TV in the lobby is on CNN and you guys are covering, still, the fake Time magazine cover at a Trump golf course while on your website you are devoting pixels to fanboy-ish praise of Barack Obama’s jeans selection.

This is CNN?

I hold CNN in fond affection and have a lot of friends who work there. I feel for them in the midst of an all out assault on their integrity. There are a ton of good people who work at CNN. The network does a ton a good and offers a great news package.

But it seems someone at the network has decided to double down on stereotype. The Trump Administration is pounding them for fake news and they’re focusing their attention on a silly story about a Time magazine cover and a former President’s jeans selection. It is utterly ridiculous. It makes the network seem petty and small at a time the network is being accused of being petty and small.

The fixation on the Time cover certainly must scratch the itch of aggrieved reporters who want to hit back at the charge of “fake news.” What’s faker than fake? A photoshopped cover of Time magazine, which will no doubt soon be replaced with an entire wall of actual Time magazines that feature the President.

But no one really cares about this story except the media trying to match the President in a game of gotcha.

CNN ran two stories that have gotten it into trouble. First, it reported James Comey would contradict the President on whether the President is under investigation. That story, given wall to wall coverage, had to be retracted. The second story is the most recent one about Anthony Scarramucci. The three reporters involved no longer work at CNN.

The pivot to focus on the Time cover just looks like a tit for tat. Look, the sad truth is that everyone who engages with the President comes away besmirched. Some because they compromise their values to serve as yes men. The rest because they compromised their values to get in the mud and throw back as good as was given. Neither work out well and this is not working out well for CNN.

There are serious, substantive stories out there. The Time magazine cover is not one of them, nor is the Barack Obama jeans story. CNN has always been about real news done right. Now it’s about obsessing over the President obsessing over CNN. Nobody likes vanity coverage.

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 CNN.com 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.

 

CNN Has to Completely Retract a Major Anti-Trump Story

CNN, you will recall, ran a major story about James Comey claiming that Comey would contradict the President on whether the President is being investigated. They went wall to wall with the coverage of that story. Then James Comey did not contradict the President. CNN had to walk it all back.

Now they have done it again.

On June 22, CNN ran a story claiming that Anthony Scaramucci had dealings with a Russian investment group. As picked up by the left leaning Talking Points Memo and circulating through both the leftwing and mainstream press,

Scaramucci met with Kirill Dmitriev, the [Russian Direct Investment Fund’s] chief executive, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland just four days before Trump’s inauguration. Congressional investigators reportedly want to know if they discussed lifting U.S. sanctions against Russia—a policy shift for which Dmitriev has strenuously advocated, according to CNN.

That story blew up and was just another story designed to suggest both Jared Kushner and the President were tied to the Russians through Scaramucci. CNN has now completely retracted the story after the damage was done.

That story did not meet CNN’s editorial standards and has been retracted. Links to the story have been disabled. CNN apologizes to Mr. Scaramucci.

The press keeps doing this. They keep telling us stories, letting those stories circulate for days, then retracting them completely. Just amazing.