For CNN, the embarrassments pile up
First, President Trump refused to take their questions. Later, he tweeted that they were a network of "fake news." Then they got caught in a fake news scandal, of the grossest sort, reporting some of the "golden showers" phony dossier on Trump as straight news and getting caught and discredited. Turned out it was just the product of some disgusting left-anarchist's febrile imagination, and only Buzzfeed made a bigger fool of itself. Then Trump spokesman Sean Spicer refused to call on them or even let them in their prized perches in the press room. The final straw, almost, was when a Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman, the peppery Maria Zakarova, piled on and upbraided CNN as fake, too, telling them to quit spreading lies and fake news. The hits just keep coming...
All of that might be tolerable on the grounds that if you are taking flak, you might be over the target.
Not the case for CNN.
What must smart now is that CNN is losing out on coveted media award nominations to...Vladimir Putin's state-owned Russian network, RT News.
RT crowed as much, hailing how its news coverage nominations for its documentary footage on Syria and the like beat out both CNN and the BBC in the latest round of news awards nominations for New York Festivals, an awards group linked to big money advertisers in New York, Sunday.
It isn't that surprising. Anyone who watches RT knows that despite being owned by the Russian government it does pretty good news and has a sharp eye for the viral, as well as pop culture. It's brave, it doesn't shy from forbidden topics or shibboleths, and it reports every graphic detail – which, of course, enrages the left as RT portrays leftists in an unflattering light – and it takes on some pretty scary assignments. The winners will be announced in April, but the large number of nominations, beating out the bigger legacy media, including CNN, is a sign of something.
Now, a normal American might question why RT should get any nomination at all, given that it is a network owned by the Russian government. The CIA attributed no less than a third of its unclassified report on Russian meddling in the U.S. election last January to the horror of RT, singling it out as the leading problem.
The propaganda aspect is grossly exaggerated. Far from being under the iron grip of Putin, it actually does pretty good TV. Sure, the influence of its ownership on its content is there, and you can see it from time to time – assorted Russian hobbyhorse topics, such as the stupidity of the Ukrainians – but it's not very different from the sort of influence Rupert Murdoch exerts on the Wall Street Journal or Arthur Sulzberger on the New York Times.
That's got to stink for CNN, which is seeing even its awards possibly snapped away by hated rivals, leaving it only with its bias.