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While CNN did its part in helping the former guy get elected, the other networks did the same. Joe and Mika were besties with the Donald until he turned on them. He appeared by phone on their show numerous times, laughing, schmoozing and chit chatting over bs. Everyone is responsible for this idiot’s election.
A time-honored journalistic alert became a meaningless catch phrase when CNN decided to sell every story as BREAKING NEWS!! That mentality contributed to one of the media's biggest plagues - placing a premium on being first to report rather than being accurate in what you are reporting. When the news is deemed entertainment, accuracy takes a back seat to immediacy and narrative. In Zucker's experience, the audience wanted a dumbed down fantasy when the TV was turned on...hence Trump as a majordomo businessman, and NBC's Today Show getting dumber by the minute while ratings climbed. CNN's brass knew - or should have known - that Zucker didn't have a serious news background. I never thought I'd say, "CNN needs Ted Turner," but that seems true today.
Zucker finally shed the notion that 24 hour news is anything but entertainment. He understood that since it's on the TV in everyone's living room, it is seen as just one more choice for the attention of viewers so it better compel them to stay.
The problem faced by outlets like CNN and MSNBC is that they don't have the same numbers of devoted viewers as does Fox News - the makeup of the audience is different. Democrats are less likely to just let info wash over them because they'd rather be arguing. TV news doesn't allow a two-way discussion and I think that's why you find a hell of a lot more Dems on Twitter. Like me, they like the illusion that the checkmarks actually give a damn what I have to say. Hell, I know the checkmarks don't care about my existence, I just satisfy my need to say something back. Zucker knew that to keep people engaged at all, he had to make it all about one crisis after another complete with Breaking News graphics and the latest smirk-smile report from the White House.
I admit that I'm a cynic when it comes to humans - I just see it as realistic. Whether it's news or sports or yet one more rerun of Law and Order or Guy Fieri (I refuse to roll the R) eating a 4000 calorie sandwich, the TV viewer sees it all as one thing - entertainment. Zucker knew this.
As a non-American who used to watch CNN International on local cable, following Press Run in the midst of the American mainstream media hysteria over Biden's "failure" in Afghanistan opened my eyes to how journalistic standards have fallen so badly in your country for years.
I used to believe your country's mainstream media outlets had higher standards than the ones here in the Philippines. That turned out to be wrong when Tangerine Palpatine was elected as president in 2016. However, I also was one of those viewers who initially followed the reality show trainwreck on the news, but decided that the late night talk show hosts were much better at calling out the B.S.
Press Run has become a helpful resource for me in making sense of the dishonest reporting prevalent in American mainstream media in that its practitioners don't want to do serious reporting. They've decided that creating narratives seems to be the only way for themselves and their employers to stay relevant and financially profitable.
Certainly no one person or group singlehandedly destroyed our democracy. It has been a group effort. CNN and other networks have done their part as well as the so called liberal station MSNBC who just can't seem to step away from some Biden bashing on their own. This morning while touting the much better than expected jobs report on Morning Joe, they couldn't help themselves from exploiting the unemployment rate that went up slightly. You know, there are billionaires on the side of justice. I just wish they would use some of that money to help get progressive networks such as Freespeech.TV to the mainstream and on every cable and satellite outlet. And if "Zucker" is your name or part of your name (right Mark?), I guess democracy is their enemy. What's with that?
Today's economic news "crushing expectations" makes your point. The unnecessary drama of pretending to predict instead of waiting to report.
HBD🎂🎂PRESS RUN !
It's unfortunate that CNN changed from a bona fide news network under Ted Turner into an infotainment outlet. I'm not a big TV fan, and in fact, throughout most of my adult life I didn't even own a TV. I began watching again while living in the middle east because every apartment I rented had a free TV and satellite coverage. I began watching English language shows in earnest (my command of Arabic is rather small), including news. What a shock to see Trump float down an escalator while some knucklehead in a voiceover intoned, "This is great television!"
I hate TV news, always have because it just leaves out too much important info. But during the first year of the pandemic and of course, the 2020 elections, I watched CNN but began tuning out because I think Wolf Blitzer is simply intolerable. But until I did, I began thinking of CNN as not really news, but news constantly being given a slant, news with heavy emotions (Don Lemon, good lord) and a stable of commentators with dependably liberal viewpoints - not news. It's actually remarkably similar to Fox News, and now I know why - Zucker.
I was worried to read about how Chris Cuomo was permitted to "assist" his brother's defense especially when it became clear that his involvement was deep and that Zucker knew about it. I still wonder how Zucker got away with it. When the people reporting the news become just as self-serving and morally questionable as the people in their stories, we're all dragged down. I lost my respect for TV news long ago and watch TV only for entertainment. The visual medium is too powerful and useful for spreading lies.
I'm fairly certain that Kellyanne Conway's repeat 'performances' on Chris Cuomo's show were primary drivers of the narrative of 'alternative facts', which has morphed under Trump, the GOP, and Fox into an alternative reality. "Fake News" was mainstreamed into the bloodstream of the country as much by CNN as by Fox. I wonder whether Zucker's ouster will mark a return to serious news by CNN, or whether our society is simply too far gone.
Interested to note that the front page of today's on-line addition of the NY Times has nothing about the death of the ISIS leader in Syria. The Times apparently has decided to save money by contracting out the production of their newspaper to Fox News
Now that the Reality TV head of CNN is out, I think the real question is what becomes of this journalism graveyard? Lotsa personalities, damn few reporters. Neither fish nor fowl, this is a moment for them to remake themselves or tumble forever into Fox News Lite irrelevance permanently.
I’m sure Zucker is already fielding offers elsewhere, but I wonder who Warner is calling to beg to take it over. I would not be a bit surprised if recently “retired” Andy Lack (ex of NBC News) has gotten a phone call.
Interesting to see so many MAGAts reveling in Zucker's departure when he was so instrumental in getting their guy elected.
Good riddance. Unfortunately I can already picture the "He may be gone but we're not changing anything" meetings that will take place.
" the network’s profits doubled after [Trump] became president. Doubled."
The problem, or one problem, with windfalls is when those getting one treat it like the new normal rather than as a one-time benefit, to be used for an emergency fund or to improve infrastructure.
In the real world, rather than the 24-hour news cycle world, this behavior would result in bankruptcy.
Is this the moment we’ve been waiting for? Will Anderson Cooper start using his God given brains instead of acting like a tool for his boss? If CNN undergoes a reformation will the rest of the big news channels (real news, that is) follow suit? 🤷🏻♀️
Here’s to hope for a brighter future for the state of the news business (but I’m not holding my breath)
Thanks for this, Eric. This is the part of the story the mainstream’s leaving out, maybe understandably (pot/kettle): What Zucker did to CNN. A minor footnote: IIRC, CNN’s ratings drop is much larger proportionately than those of its peers.
That said, I wouldn’t be surprised if Zucker’s brought back after Discovery takes over. He has a good relationship, allegedly, with Discovery’s CEO. Meanwhile, his replacements at CNN are both temporary and his people so maybe benchwarmers?
You would think these people would have anticipated a post-Trump slump and prepared. I mean, he was impeached twice in his first term. They couldn’t possibly have thought he would win a second term. What kind of business model only focuses on the immediate four years? Now, instead of going back to normal, ethical journalism, they are throwing shit at the walls to see what sticks and undermining a good president who is good for this country in the process. Maybe they should focus on going back to the business model that put them on top in the first place in the late 90s and early 2000s, which was good, instead of trying to re-create the Trump model, which is abhorrent and isn’t working for them anyway. Isn’t that the real reason why Zucker was pushed out in the first place, because his methods are toxic and don’t work in the long run?
Speaking of toxic methods that don’t work, here is my latest on PANEM:
Idiot in Alabama - Katie Britt; And the Republican pledge to investigate and defund Dr. Fauci