On the way out the door, CNN's Brooke Baldwin disses her employer of 13 years
In her final month on CNN before leaving her job (apparently her own decision), anchor Brooke Baldwin gave an hour-long interview to a Ms. Magazine podcast that criticizes the cable news network that has employed her in prominent roles since 2008. As my source who tipped me to the story commented, "it's a pretty interesting perspective from someone on the inside of the network and shows that things must be bad if she's willing to speak out while still employed there."
Ms. Magazine tweet promoting Brooke Baldwin's interview.
In fact, things are bad at CNN — and getting worse. After a bump in the ratings between last November's election and early this year, things have returned to normal with CNN way back in second or third place, far behind the traditional cable news leader Fox News. Meanwhile, as the scandals involving Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) continue to roil, his brother Chris's role as the governor's #1 cheerleader on CNN has hardly enhanced the network's flagging reputation for credibility.
Baldwin's interview with Michele Goodwin, part of her series of Ms. Magazine podcasts called On the Issues, was titled "Who's Telling Our Stories? CNN's Brooke Baldwin on Women and Media." It was posted on Monday, the day before the publication of Baldwin's first book, Huddle: How Women Unlock Their Collective Power, published by Harper Business.
The introduction to the Ms. Magazine podcast describes Baldwin's book Huddle as
... examin[ing] the phenomenon of 'huddling,' or what happens when women lean on one another — in the arts, activism, politics, Hollywood and everyday friendships — to lift up each other and to provide empowerment, support, inspiration and the creativity and courage to enact change and solve problems.
That sounds positive enough in a woke way, but Baldwin's comments about CNN strike a different tone.
Well, let me lift the curtain a little bit, and again, this is only my experience here at CNN, but you know, in my...so, I've been anchoring for 10-plus years, the majority of that time two hours in the afternoon, and in that time, you know, the most influential anchors on our network, the highest-paid, are men. My bosses, my executives are men. The person who oversees CNN Dayside is a man, and my executive producer for 10 years is a man.
So, I have been surrounded by a lot of men.
The solution, of course, is more diversity.
By having women in power, I would argue behind the scenes, not just in front but behind the scenes, that is how you have stories that reflect who they are. And not only white women. We talk about being intersectional. There is no way we will have progress if a bunch of white women are winning. It's brown women, Black women, Asian women, it's across the board. We have to see them reflected in our stories. It's getting better, but we still have a bit of a ways to go, I think. ...
I want more women in the room.
Interestingly, it is Fox News — a favorite target of CNN news and opinion shows — that features far more women in prominent hosting, reporting, and contributing roles than CNN ever has. Meanwhile, the CEO of Fox News is Suzanne Scott — the first woman to run a cable news channel. Prominent on-air personalities on Fox include Laura Ingraham, Shannon Bream, Harris Faulkner, and Martha MacCallum (who co-anchors the channel's special programming with Bret Baier), and contributors or frequent guests Kayleigh McEnany, Candace Owens, Mollie Hemingway, and many others.
Baldwin's interview is a classic example of Wokeness 101, as when she commented:
Gosh, why am I leaving my family [CNN] and my home? It's a great question. I actually think the biggest part of the answer is because of this book and because of these trailblazing women, who I have had the privilege of interviewing, kind of like when you finish this journey of holding space with women like Gloria Steinem, and Stacey Abrams, and Megan Rapinoe, and Indigenous women fighting, you know, for the planet, or the women cofounders of Black Lives Matter ...
In terms of what's next for Brooke Baldwin, in addition to promoting her book, she has plans to launch a streaming documentary series.
I am working with a production company to create what I will hope will be part of my next dream, which is an unscripted doc series that, you know, people can binge and be inspired by on fill in the blank, I'm not there yet, streaming network, where I can tell these stories of these huddles. You know what was so hard as a journalist, as a TV journalist specifically, was crisscrossing the country and having these amazing conversations, and it's all on the beautiful pages of my book, but I would love it to come alive on camera, and so that is my dream, essentially, to create Huddle the book into "Huddle" the docuseries.
Best of luck, Brooke. Don't let the door hit you on the way out.
Hat tip to a bright young media watcher who wishes to remain anonymous.
Peter Barry Chowka is a veteran journalist who writes about politics, media, popular culture, and health care for American Thinker and other publications. He also appears in the media, including recently as a contributor to OANN, BBC World News, The Glazov Gang, and Fox News. Peter's website is http://peter.media. His YouTube channel is here. For updates on his work, follow Peter on Twitter at @pchowka.
To comment, you can find the MeWe post for this article here.