“This is CNN”

Hysterical, obsessive, self-important and biased.

Redacted from a informative detailed article by Charles C.W.  Cooke 

National Review, December 31, 2019

As a child, I was aware of CNN in part because its introductory bumper featured the sinister voice of Darth Vader, and in part because it was both the prototype and the stereotype of the 24-hour news channel. CNN showed up in movies, either as itself or in parodies that imitated its role. It was on in the airports and the hospitals and the hotel lobbies, and in the waiting room at the dentist’s office. When something bad or exciting was happening, you would tell your friends, “Turn on CNN.” 

CNN was careful and self-consciously nonpartisan—or, at least, it was keen for viewers to believe that it was. 

Its slogans were “This is CNN”—well, yes—and “The most trusted name in news,” and it cultivated its position within the firmament in much the same way as does Wikipedia today. It could be sensationalist and intrusive at times, but it was sensationalist and intrusive in the way that the paparazzo is rather than in the way that protesters who bang drums in your face and insist that you give up gasoline. 

It is difficult to convey in words just what the candidacy and then presidency of Donald Trump have done to CNN, but one can organization that has largely maintained its sanity: the New York Times. 

In short, it was what it said it was: a news network. It is no longer that. These days, CNN is a peculiar and unlovely hybrid of progressive propaganda outlet, oleaginous media  apologist, sexless cultural scold, and frenzied Donald Trump  stalker blog. When news breaks, it is no longer useful or appropriate to tell someone, “Turn on CNN,” because if he did, he  would be as likely. to be presented with a wall of advocacy and obsession as with the headlines of the hour.

The first column of CNN’s homepage, by contrast, featured—in order: “77 lies and falsehoods Mueller called out”; “What’s in the try to defend the indefensible”; “Barr gave his version of the report. Then we read it”; “Democrats ramp up Trump financial probe, make new hire”; “Prosecutors seek to block Stone from seeing un-redacted portions of Mueller’s report”

To find some actual news—that there had been an uprising in Venezuela—one had to go all the way over to the third column. April 30 was twelve days after the release of the Mueller report. This has been typical of the network’s monomania. 

On August 14, the New York Times ran with the news that protesters had taken over Hong Kong’s airport; that Nicolas Maduro was torturing his foes in the Venezuelan military___sometimes to death; and that the White House was delaying its proposed tariffs on China. 

With the possible exception of the hallucinatory MSNBC, no other institution in American life spent more time and effort indulging the false idea that President Trump was quite obviously guilty of treason, collusion, and bribery, and insisting that the impending Mueller report would not only reveal this guilt, but would prompt Trump’s removal from office and, possibly, his arrest. 

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