Monday, October 15, 2012

The CNN Tap Dance

12:42AM EDT October 15. 2012 - CNN, the news network that nobody likes, or watches or can fix, is looking for a new CEO.
Even if you actually believed you could fix it, it's far from clear that anybody would want you to. Although the network is an embarrassment to everybody who works there, as well as to the industry as a whole, it still, confoundedly, makes tons of money — in part because it is so unfocused and ineffectual.
It's the dim and pointless yin to MSNBC and Fox, the sharp and pointed yang. CNN is every cable system's beard. You couldn't have the rancorous networks people really watch without the cover of the middle-of-the-road pallid one whose ratings sink ever further.
So the main job for the new CNN CEO may be just to bear the humiliation of it all.
This isn't a very interesting article unless you're looking for a microcosmic example of how devoted Liberals are to tap-dancing.   I'm being figurative, of course.  Michael Wolff tries to imply that CNN sort of resides right in the middle of the road.  As he puts it, "it's the dim and pointless yin to MSNBC and Fox, the sharp and pointed yang."

(time-step, time-step...shuffle slap-tap) 

No, that's wrong.  CNN is left-leaning, not only in their opinion based shows, but in the "hard" news as well.  The difference between MSNBC and CNN is that MSNBC doesn't try to hide the their ideology.  CNN, on the other hand, tries to deceive the viewer through appearance.
One critique about CNN is that, while it is a cable network, what it really wants to do is news the way networks used to do it. It yearns for a kind of virtuous respectability that no longer seems to exist.
That's exactly right.  NBC, CBS & ABC did the same for years.  The Tom Brokaws, Peter Jennings, Dan Rathers and Walter Cronkites were all avowed liberals.  The news they chose to present to the viewer controlled by their producers and themselves leaned left.   There was no alternative or comparison in which to judge the credibility of the network.  When Fox News showed up and provided a different point of view a number of things happened.  The first and foremost is that the country defined itself of (overall) holding a right of center view.  That, by far, was the most damaging revelation to the Left, because it invalidated all three network's credibility.   By that time, CNN was well established, and their credibility suffered as well. 

That's the thing.  Instead of catering their news stations to the public, the CNN's, MSNBC's, and PBS's defiantly reiterated to the failing networks that had already been shown with their pants down by Fox News and more often lately, the internet.

So here we are today, with Fox News leading in every ratings category no matter what the event or whether it is another rote and mundane day.  Michael Wolff is still trying to convince us that CNN walks down the center line even though the ratings show that not to be the case. 

They take on the philosophy that you, the viewer, must be lacking in education, nuanced thinking, or integrity.  In their opinion, it is their job to educate you, and if you still don't fall under their grasp, you must be stupid.  This is Liberalism.  This is CNN.

CNN makes much of its money internationally.  Their format is available in 200 different countries across the globe.  Domestically, they are getting their posterior kicked.  CNN is profitable.  But, for how long.  Eventually, local news networks in these countries will improve to professional standards that give them a clear choice of programing.  Eventually, another news entity will take on the international market (maybe even Fox as they expand Sky News).  Eventually, even al-Jazeera will start taking market share from CNN internationally.  Then what?    Will they change their domestic ideology to match the majority of the potential viewers in the United States?

Of course not.  They consider the liberal agenda synonymous with integrity.  In their minds, they are middle of the road, and the majority of us are too far Right.  We will need to be reeled back in.  It will never occur to CNN that we were never there in the first place.

(shuffle, shuffle ball change, flap, flap heel, cramproll)

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