The Fall of CNN: A Cautionary Tale
If you want to see what a company committing suicide looks like, look no further than CNN. Its profits have slipped below $1B for the first time in years and its viewership has fallen below 640K -- about a quarter of the 2.4 million nightly viewers of Big Bang Theory reruns. CNN+ was supposed to be the company’s path to future riches. It was cancelled only one month after its launch -- much to the delight of Chris Wallace critics. It never occurred to the brain trust at CNN that if you can’t get people to watch your drivel for free, getting them to pay for it may not be in the cards.
CNN should have learned that around the clock anti-Trump coverage is not a sustainable programing strategy for a company that claims to be a news network.
CNN’s viewers are leaving, and its revenue is following them out the door. Apparently, it was beyond Jeff Zucker’s understanding of the industry that you can’t sell time on a network that nobody watches. It turns out advertisers are a bunch of greedy capitalists that don’t understand the social importance of the work being done by the Commie News Network.
But those problems are all temporary. CNN has hired Chris Licht to fix it. As his first order of business, he has promised that the network is going to be much more balanced in its coverage. That means that Jim Acosta, Don Lemon, Anderson Cooper, Jake Tapper, and Jeffrey “Hands Under the Table” Tobin are now going to be actual news reporters. They’ll be reporting the facts rather than spinning narratives -- and somehow, they’re going to acquire these new skills without going to a multi-year remedial training program.
The reality facing Licht is that CNN has spent 20+ years trashing its own credibility. Getting it back is going to take a lot more than a declaration from the new CEO.
CNN led the charge in attacking George W. Bush for eight years. Remember the “Bush lied; people died” mantra repeated endlessly? When the country needed to come together to fight a common enemy, CNN and the Democrats did everything possible to divide us.
The network followed that with eight years of willful blindness about the Obama administration -- calling it the most scandal-free administration in history. But it only seemed that way because CNN didn’t bother to cover Fast and Furious, Benghazi, spying on journalists, DoJ corruption, NSA domestic spying, Obamacare deception, and IRS weaponization. “Scandal free” has about as much connection to President Obama as “credibility” does to CNN.
CNN then moved on to Donald Trump, with five years of talking about nothing but Russian collusion. Adam Schiff spent so much time on the network that his image is burned into the pixels of the dozen or so TVs actually tuned to CNN. But there was something CNN left out of its coverage. The only person actually colluding with Russia was Hillary Clinton, not Donald Trump. The talking heads forgot to say anything about that, even though it was obvious from the beginning.
Finally, “the most trusted name in news” has treated us to almost three years of propaganda to drag Joe Biden over the inaugural finish line and keep him there. They accomplished this feat by never mentioning Hunter “Bagman” Biden’s laptop without also including the word “disinformation” in the same sentence.
For a business that trades in credibility, the CNN crew sold theirs on the cheap. They sacrificed it all to push a socialist ideology that is destined to fail, and to get the most lackluster candidate in history inaugurated as President. What they got is a President who is so bad that it’s now obvious to everyone but the most delusional, that CNN was a significant player in one of the biggest hoaxes ever played on the American people. Now Chis Licht is asking Americans to trust him -- CNN has changed.
So, how is Licht going to make CNN credible again? That’s not going to be easy, but he’s working on it.
Last month Licht was at the U.S. Capitol courting Republicans to come back on CNN as guests, because he needs the patina of ideological objectivity that only a few RINOs can provide. Actually “courting” is not the right word. He was begging. Part of his pitch was to assure Republicans that they can trust him to be treated fairly and with respect -- says the guy from the network with no credibility.
I expect Liz Cheney to be the only Republican accepting his offer. Of course, she’s not interested in giving vital information to the American people, or even helping CNN with its credibility problem. For her it’s a job interview, because by now even she must see that Trump hatred isn’t enough to get reelected -- not even with an endorsement from her daddy, Dick “Deadeye” Cheney.
Eventually Licht may learn that credibility is not something that can be acquired through begging. Its value is far too high to be given away like spare change at the street corner. It must be earned. Licht will not have even started earning it back until there are mass terminations among the highly-paid help at CNN. And no, a token Fredo termination is not enough.
CNN’s only chance to survive is to rebuild credibility with its audience -- which is hard to do when the audience isn’t watching anymore. I’m not even sure if it’s possible. It may be, but I’m pretty sure that Licht isn’t going to pull it off.
There are a great many industries that depend on credibility, even though they may not realize it:
- Law enforcement
CNN is a cautionary tale that they should all be paying attention to.
A law enforcement agency cannot convict criminals if the citizens it serves don’t trust it. The public won’t cooperate with crooked cops and juries won’t convict on the basis of testimony from known liars. Has the FBI learned this lesson from their Whitmer kidnapping stunt? It doesn’t appear so.
Scientists can’t influence public opinion if the prevailing public opinion is that they’re all full of crap. That’s a lesson that the climate change priests are going to learn very soon. All of their predictions have been proven false, but the suffering from their solutions has been quite real. Have they seen the news from Sri Lanka? Do they really think that starving people are just going to turn the other cheek in response to being deceived?
Medical professionals can’t steer public policy after they’ve endangered lives with deception and cover-ups. Almost everything the CDC and NIH said about preventing the spread of COVID was wrong, and the Fauci/Birx comedy act knew they were deceiving us the whole time they performed for the cameras. We’ve even discovered that scientists supposedly working for us accepted royalties from the very companies that they monitor. Do they really expect us to trust them on monkeypox? I don’t think so.
Professionals who depend on credibility to accomplish their life’s mission need to take a close look at CNN. They need to decide if that’s the future they want.
John Green is a political refugee from Minnesota, now residing in Idaho. He has written for American Thinker, American Free News Network, and The Blue State Conservative. He can be followed on Facebook or reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.