Having earned the reputation as the media outlet most closely associated with “fake news,” CNN looks more like a farce than a credible resource after the ridiculous antics and gamesmanship of its Democratic party primary debates.
After hosting a two-night debate that showcased the vast field of Democratic party presidential hopefuls, CNN was best remembered for technical errors, soft-ball questions, and a meme-bomb dropped on Twitter by President Trump.
The June Nielsen ratings placed the cable network in a familiar third place behind Fox News and MSNBC among “news” organizations. It was not a close third in the field of three. Rather, CNN finished the year’s second quarter ranked 15th in Prime Time among cable stations.
Its viewership loss compared to the second quarter of 2018 was a staggering -34 percent among adults 25-54 during prime time, and a stifling -34 percent in total daily audience.
“The numbers warrant concern, yes. Q2 was a particularly news-rich quarter highlighted by the release of the Mueller report and all the aftermath and controversy following it, plus the launch of several high-profile Democratic candidacies including Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg to propel 2020 coverage into high gear,” The Hill media reporter Joe Concha reportedly stated about CNN’s viewership purge.
“It may only get worse in Q3 given the numbers we’re already seeing. Losing nearly 40 percent of an already third-place audience must be a primary topic in internal meetings, with immediate remedies not readily apparent.”
The mass exodus of viewers has reportedly caused CNN to significantly reduce its employees. But its recent game show-like debacle previewing the second round of Democrat debates has even the liberal-leaning news media industry mocking the network. Critics recognize a sense of desperation at the last-place media station.
“Democracy, as a certain other news outlet has famously observed, dies in darkness. But if you just want to beat it up and humiliate it for an hour, simply stick it in a box,” New York Times columnist James Poniewozik reportedly wrote.
“Or two boxes, to be more precise. The devices that CNN deployed Thursday night, in a prime-time live drawing for the … Democratic debates, turned a momentous and fraught election into a farcical combo of the N.B.A. draft and a Lotto drawing.”
The decision-makers at CNN apparently tried to add some weird drama to the next two-night debate selection process. The station held a bizarre segment with personalities Brianna Keilar, Victor Blackwell, and Ana Cabrera manipulating bulky placards with Democratic party hopeful names on them. The New York Times writer called it “the world’s wonkiest three-card monte game.”
“You could say the whole stunt was harmless and silly,” Poniewozik reportedly stated. “But that’s exactly the problem. The election isn’t meaningless. It isn’t a harmless laugh.”
It’s difficult to have some semblance of industry credibility when even politically aligned media resources such as the New York Times throw CNN under the bus.
But critics are going further than that in criticizing the low-brow variety show promotion. Some are suggesting that CNN is deliberately shielding Creepy Joe Biden from head-to-head debates with Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth “Fauxcahontas” Warren, and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. Both candidates have been rising in recent polls.
The conventional thinking is that pitting the Obama-era number two against California Sen. Kamala Harris will provide Biden an opportunity to rehabilitate his waning popularity. Biden’s likeability and fundraising efforts took a beating following the first debate after Harris took Biden to task over his pro-segregationist remarks and voting record. The rematch is also likely to draw increased viewers to buoy CNN’s tragic ratings.
Many also recall that CNN reportedly sent the questions to Hillary Clinton’s campaign before a 2016 presidential primary debate. The network appeared to have thrown its support behind Hillary proving yet again the network is a biased news source.
Polls still show former VP Joe Biden as the current frontrunner. There are also indications Biden, among the crowded field of Democrats, has the best chance of winning against President Trump in 2020. Even CNN’s own reporting points to Biden being given an opportunity.
“On July 31, the second night, he will be standing between New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and California Sen. Kamala Harris,” CNN’s Harry Enten reportedly stated. “Biden’s placement could be seen as high risk, high reward, in that it could help him regain footing he lost from the first debate.”
If the network synonymous with Fake News didn’t lose all credibility during the run-up to the 2016 elections and its erroneous reporting since, its current lack of professionalism should snuff out the few viewers it has remaining.