It’s been decades since CNN had any real credibility. During the period of President Bill Clinton’s impeachment in the late 1990s, the network’s left-leaning bias was seeping through as they did their best to pooh-pooh Clinton’s various Oval Office shenanigans. During the 2000 election uncertainty and the Bush V. Gore case, we could plainly see who the network was pulling for, and their dislike of Bush was obvious throughout his presidency.
By the time Barack Obama made it to the White House in 2009, the network still tried to portray itself as a neutral news outlet, but for the next eight years, CNN’s schtick was merely a charade; and it was obvious. And once Donald Trump was nominated by the GOP in 2016, CNN took off the gloves and lifted their skirt. They are leftists, they have no use for the truth or anyone who disagrees with their propaganda, and they are Democrats through and through. And they don’t care who knows it.
But then CNN’s world began to fall apart as bad news for the network began to take its toll.
– In late 2020, CNN’s top legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin was caught engaging in self-intimacy during a Zoom call with various colleagues.
– Months earlier, the network had been holding up disgraced former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo as America’s Governor, as Andrew and brother Fredo did their slapstick routines on the air at CNN.
– As it became increasingly clear that Governor Cuomo had thoroughly botched COVID rather than master it, stories of the governor’s fondness for sexual harassment began to emerge and he was on his way to resigning his office.
– We then learned that not only had CNN facilitated the ‘Andrew Cuomo Is Great’ ridiculousness, but brother Chris “Fredo” Cuomo was actively advising his brother on how to handle his crises while simultaneously working on air for the network. Chris Cuomo was eventually fired.
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– Then in February, CNN President Jeff Zucker was forced to resign after it was learned that he was sleeping with a subordinate.
– And let’s not forget the remarkable plunge in the network’s ratings, which may be greater than all of their other sins from a business perspective. CNN’s ratings often rival those of late-night infomercials.
CNN needed a change, and that change needed to be dramatic. From the start, when the network announced that former NBC and CBS executive producer Chris Licht would be taking over the reins at the network, they signaled that Licht was intent on a complete refurbishment. Licht, so the story went, recognized the network’s loss of credibility due to its unabashed leftism and was committed to stopping the bleeding. This brings us to Licht’s current efforts to court Republican lawmakers.
According to The Washington Free Beacon, last month Chris Licht had “camped out” in a private room on the Senate side of the Capitol Building as he tried to convince GOP senators to once again come on the air with CNN:
“Licht’s message, according to one of the lawmakers who sat down with him as well as to several sources briefed on the exchanges: ‘We want to win back your trust.’
The CNN chief spent between 45 minutes and an hour cajoling GOP lawmakers who no longer appear on the network to come back on the air — and assuring them he’d praise producers for inviting them and communicate his displeasure if he doesn’t believe they are treated fairly.
‘I think he does genuinely want that to happen,’ one Republican lawmaker told the Washington Free Beacon. ‘Put aside ideology, I think he thinks CNN sucks.’”
If that anonymous lawmaker’s assessment is true, and if Licht does indeed recognize how much of a joke his network has become, then that mindset would be a good start. And we have to assume that if Licht is willing to spend time trying to win back favor with key members of the Republican Party, he may indeed be sincere.
Ultimately, the proof will be in the pudding. Saying you’re going to change the culture within a radically left-wing news outlet is one thing, but achieving that goal is quite another. There have already been some firings at CNN, but not nearly enough. If Chris Licht truly wants to shift gears at the network, he’s going to have to start cutting out the cancer – and not with a scalpel but with a chainsaw.
The leftwing corruption at CNN, and other networks as well, runs deep. If Licht genuinely wants to turn his ship around, he can’t have clowns like Don Lemon, Wolf Blitzer, and Brian Stelter on the payroll. They’re toxic. They’re synonymous with leftism, voters know it, and the amount of baggage they bring is exceptional. Additionally, the producers and writers for those shows need to be sent packing as well. Licht can’t change the culture in his new company if he still employs culture warriors. No one to the left of John King should remain, and new, intellectually honest journalists need to be brought in.
We should all be highly skeptical that there will be any fundamental change at CNN. Chris Licht has already been at the helm for over five months, and we haven’t seen any noticeable difference in their coverage. They’re as leftist as they’ve ever been. But what if? What if Licht is on the right path, and what if he genuinely wants to move CNN to the center? And what if he succeeds?
We must all put our disdain for the current CNN to the side to consider such an impact. If CNN became a reliable source of accurate information, and if they were at least balanced in the opinion portions of their programming, such a scenario would be a monumental win for the American people.
We need straight-shooting news outlets. We need real journalists serving as the unofficial fourth branch of government: holding elected officials accountable, shedding light on the real goings-on in our bureaucracies, and providing the public with untainted facts regardless of what impact it might have on one’s favorite party and politicians. We need a vibrant, healthy press, and we need newspeople we can trust. And if CNN can become such a player, America will be a better place because of it.
P.F. Whalen is a conservative author at TheBlueStateConservative.com. His work has appeared in multiple publications, including Human Events, the Western Journal, and American Thinker. Follow him on GETTR; he does not do Facebook and Twitter.
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