For years, CNN has enjoyed the status of being arguably the most respected and prestigious cable news network despite palpable insincerity and a notorious leftist bias. Regardless of where one chooses to get their news from, if you’ve spent any significant time in an airport lobby, reception area, or other public space whose management has chosen CNN as their supposedly neutral and supposedly innocuous programming choice, you will have a general grasp of the flavor and intention of the product.
Recent developments give hope to CNN critics, such as myself, that the conventional wisdom about, and public opinion of, the organization will never again be what it once was. Their reputation in the public eye continues to plummet as scandal after consecutive scandal arise, causing a cumulative, discrediting effect on the perception of their journalistic integrity.
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Most recently they have stooped as low as to threaten to dox a 15-year-old Reddit user who mere days ago created a now viral video meme depicting Donald Trump handily out-wrestling a wrestler with the CNN logo superimposed over his face. The meme has gotten nation-wide attention since being tweeted by President Trump himself on Sunday morning.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 2, 2017
One could make the argument that tweeting such a thing is immature, inappropriate, perhaps even unpresidential, but CNN‘s unwillingness, or inability to take the higher ground by allowing a kid on the internet the liberty to creatively criticize them is not going to do them any favors as far as salvaging their reputation. It is ridiculous at best, and Orwellian and tyrannical at worst, to suppose that a major cable news network can or should attack an underage internet user for merely mocking them. This incident is only one in an ever-increasing series of recent foibles by CNN.
From one-off shockers such as the staged Muslim Anti-Isis protest in London, and the recent retractions due to libel without evidence concerning president Trump, to the longstanding extreme bias for democratic candidates, to the gross, amateurish irresponsibility of publishing a National Enquirer article without checking the title, to the debacle surrounding footage published by Project Veritas that shows CNN staff talking very flippantly about the unsubstantiated nature of the coverage of alleged Russian election interference, the nails in the CNN coffin have been coming in rapid succession.
Although the footage released by Project Veritas may be the most eye-opening as far as dropping the proverbial curtain protecting the non-existent journalistic integrity and respect for their audience, personally the things John Bonifield and Van Jones have been filmed saying come as no surprise to me at all. For as long as I have been aware of CNN I have despised and distrusted their plastic smiles and false enthusiasm, as well as their feigned confusion whenever faced with a non-canonical –read conservative or libertarian- point of view. It is not uncommon for news television personalities to have an android-like artificial air, but for CNN these obnoxiously, saccharine-fake qualities seem to be part of their company policy.
Bonifield´s admission that the stories run have more to do with ratings than their potential relevance is probably not as disturbing for most as his fast-and-loose attitude while talking about how foolish and easy to deceive they consider their own audience to be. Bonifield’s comments demonstrate, unequivocally, the disdain and disregard that I have long suspected CNN of having for the public. Playing devil’s advocate, one could dismiss Bonifield’s comments as being his personal feelings, and not representative of a CNN mentality as such. After all, Bonifield is a mid-level executive, a mere supervising producer. Enter Van Jones.
Van Jones, on the other hand, is a more iconic exemplar of the CNN approach to news at large. And while the term ¨nothingburger¨ may not factor into my own regular vernacular, I believe its connotation is clear enough to anyone for whom this news is relevant; the primary story that has dominated CNN programming for weeks has been predicated on deliberate deception, a hallmark of the “fine journalism” practiced on a regular basis at CNN.
CNN appears to have abandoned its attempts to appear unbiased, and jumped on the anti-Trump hysteria bandwagon, bolstered by the ratings that his presidency have garnered for Trump critics, apoplectic over the brash billionaire.