CNN has begun to get hammered in the ratings, in the midst of a policy change that has the venerable cable news staking out novel ground: it is being objective. This used to be known as “journalism.”
CNN has been tilting leftward for many years, and its open support of the Obama administration, reaching ridiculous depths with its reporters displaying open hostility at Tea Party rallies and news anchor Anderson Cooper adopting the slur “tea baggers” to describe participants, put it in a large group including the broadcast networks and MSNBC. Viewers began to detect a different slant—known as “integrity”—at the end of last year, as Candy Crowley, always one of CNN’s most trustworthy, grilled Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano unmercifully as she tried to spin the near-miss underwear bombing of a plane in flight as proof that “the system worked.” Since that time, CNN has been more ready to criticize Obama and Democrats while being less prone to cheap shots at conservatives and Republicans, all while Fox News has moved more openly to the Right, MSNBC more brazenly to the Left, and alphabet networks have continued to be cheerleaders for the White House.
Naturally, CNN is losing viewers. What is this thing called “objectivity”?
Jim Walton, president for CNN Worldwide, part of Time Warner, has said, “We’re the only credible, nonpartisan voice left. And that matters.”
It does matter. Based on what I’ve seen, CNN is serious. This may be the American public’s last chance to reverse the current trend and to start encouraging reporting and journalism we can trust. We encourage companies to do their work the right way by rewarding them for it. Announcing that you are no longer going to preach to a partisan choir, but really try to tell it like it is, is a courageous and risky move in hyper-partisan America.
CNN is an Ethics Hero, and it deserves our support.