“The message Licht’s firings send to CNN journalists is crystal clear: Too much criticism of the right, which remains united behind Trump and champions the election denial that triggered the January 6 insurrection, may cost you your job.”
Though there has been plenty of understandable skepticism from Republicans that CNN’s new head honcho Chris Licht would follow through on his promise to move the network away from its rampant liberal bias, recent actions by Licht indicate that the overhaul is already underway.
For starters, the Brian Stelter-hosted Sunday show “Reliable Sources” was literally canceled last month. Along with it, Stelter – the network’s resident Biden comms staff cheerleader – was handed his walking papers. Then there was their White House correspondent John Harwood, who abruptly announced on Friday that it was his “last day at CNN.” Harwood was undoubtedly one of the most blatant Democrat apologists at staff. His apparent ousting has been portrayed by some in the media as a calculated “strategy shift” by Licht.
Along with those moves, we’ve seen some shifts in how some of the on-air “talent” at CNN conduct themselves. “New Day” co-host Brianna Keilar took heat from the woke left last week for criticizing President Biden’s use of U.S. Marines in the background for his viciously partisan primetime address. CNN correspondent Sara Sidner, who covered the BLM riots of 2020 as though she was a sister in solidarity with the “protesters,” also faced backlash from the same outrage mobs when she noted on her Twitter page over Labor Day weekend that there were “legitimate questions” to be asked about Hunter Biden’s international business dealings.
Naturally, the changes Licht is instituting have greatly triggered Very Online leftists, who now routinely call for the boycotting of CNN, as well as the rabid left-wing hacks at Media Matters, who are now giving CNN the Fox News treatment for having the nerve to try and turn what’s effectively become state-run TV for Democrats into something more palatable for average American news watchers who are sick of being told what to think:
The message Licht’s firings send to CNN journalists is crystal clear: Too much criticism of the right, which remains united behind Trump and champions the election denial that triggered the January 6 insurrection, may cost you your job. And to inoculate themselves against that critique, some at the network are seemingly going out of their way to channel right-wing attacks against President Joe Biden.
Licht’s goal may be to make CNN more “neutral” and less “partisan.” But it is very difficult for CNN’s reporters worried about losing their jobs to project a nonpartisan mien, particularly given the naked radicalism of the right and the inclination of its propagandists to smear any reporter that doesn’t hew to its own standards. It’s easier, however, for them to simply provide some false balance by leaning into the talking points Republicans use to attack Democrats; fill their panels with conservatives willing to defend the worst excesses of the Trumpian right; and maybe offer some breathless reporting of the speeches of Trump or his successor.
The translation here, of course, is that any deviation from the Democrat narratives CNN has become notorious for pushing over the years is tantamount to treason. Apparently, Media Matters either doesn’t understand or subscribe to the notion that mainstream media news outlets are not supposed to operate like an arm of any political party, much less the one that controls the White House. Then again, Media Matters figures were frequent guests of Stelter’s, where the talking points about how Fox News was supposedly a danger to America were frequently spouted, so maybe that explains at least some of their hostility to the changes being made.
In any event, one has to wonder whether a call from MMFA to start boycotting some of CNN’s advertisers – a tactic they’ve tried over the years on Fox News and Rush Limbaugh (whose very first tweet was to link to a Legal Insurrection piece on MMFA’s astroturfing tactics) – is on the way, even though Licht’s moves have barely made a dent in the deeply-embedded partisan leanings of CNN, where the Resistance philosophy still reigns supreme:
Now that a Democrat politician has been arrested for the suspected murder of a journalist who wrote stories critical of him, let’s see how far I have to scroll down the CNN homepage to find this story. Hmm. Nothing so far. Let’s keep scrolling. pic.twitter.com/K46zqoYNB6
— Leon Wolf 🇺🇦 (@LeonHWolf) September 8, 2022
That being said, though Licht still has a long way to go to clean house, CNN staffers are “terrified” at not knowing what the future holds there.
It remains to be seen if any of them who are rumored to be next on the list – including Jim Acosta and Don Lemon, among others – will try to conform or go down swinging. All I know is that I’ve stocked up on the popcorn in preparation for whatever happens next.
— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —DONATE
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