Friday, January 29, 2016

Breaking news: CNN proposes to Donald Trump!

Source: NewsBusters
For three days now I haven't seen anything being discussed on CNN but Donald Trump. I know the news network must have covered some other things, but every time I've flipped over to the channel, the topic has always been Trump. Always. Morning, noon, night, one round table after another of the well-heeled intelligentsia has been discussing the impact of Trump's refusal to participate in the latest GOP debate.

And CNN spent most of yesterday pimping Trump's counter-event, both on the air and on it's website. From what I understand, CNN also carried much of the event live (I didn't watch; you couldn't have paid me to). Today has been no different so far, with all of CNN's morning-after-the-debate coverage seemingly focused on whether or not Trump magically "won" the debate by having his own event. Which, on its face, is quite ridiculous, given that FoxNews routinely massacres CNN in the ratings. With a GOP debate, the numbers are going to be even worse than usual, I'll wager.

Of course, this is the real gambit for CNN: a roll of the dice with the non-stop Trumping, a hope that somehow this will translate into big ratings for the network. That's all there really is here. CNN has basically dropped the idea of being a news network completely, in favor of being what amounts to 24-hour reality show starring Donald Trump and a cast of hundreds of pseudo-intellectuals.

If FoxNews is a faux news organization that serves as a mouthpiece for the Far Right (it actually is not), then CNN is little more than an empty vessel seeking nothing but ratings (it actually is).

To be clear here, though, I don't fault Trump in this particular instance at all. He's out there, doing his shtick. No one has to pay attention to him, no network is required to provide him with nonstop coverage. The decision to do so was wholly that of CNN's management, I am sure.

Full disclosure: CNN has always been my news network of choice, not because I like the talking heads there (I don't), but because the crawl is well done and breaking news is generally well-handled. But I can't stomach non-stop self-promotion, which is exactly what was going on here. CNN was pimping Trump in order to be cast as the go-to source for Trump news. It's shit TV, shit journalism, shit reporting. So I won't be watching anymore, at least until CNN cleans up its act or Trump implodes into a fog of dandruff and snark.

For point of comparison, I've had to adjust my radio listening habits for similar reasons now and again. I used to listen to the Glenn Beck Show (because I found it entertaining) many years ago. Then, the show became a non-stop infomercial for some stupid sweater book Beck had written. I turned it off and have never looked back. More recently, I had to stop listening to the Rush Limbaugh Show (again, I listen because it's entertaining). Why? Just like Beck, Rush started pimping his books non-stop. In this case, the books were Rush's children's series: Rush Revere and the somethings or others. Not entertaining. In both cases, it was shit radio. So I stopped listening.

As bad as the above two were, though, CNN is worse because Beck and Rush never claimed to be news sources. Both recognized that they were entertainers (Beck eventually went off the deep end). CNN actually still claims to be a news org. But it's not. Not as long as it persists in this extended romance with Donald Trump.

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