Maybe we are asking too much from a cable news network that openly calls for riots in poor, black neighborhoods; that points what looks like a sniper scope at the Oval Office; that intentionally creates a climate of hate around President Trump by attacking him as "un-American," "unmoored" and "unhinged"; that jokes about Trump's plane crashing; that openly compares Trump to Hitler … But what CNN did Friday night was still, even for CNN, something that takes the breath away.
My colleague Joseph Curl has the full breakdown. Basically, CNN published another lie about Trump and Russia. This is not news. CNN does this all the time. What is so surprising is that CNN went so far as to retract this particular lie and to apologize to one of the targets of its lie, Trump associate Anthony Scaramucci.
CNN's panic over the weekend is indicative of a network that knows it is now in a credibility death spiral. CNN did not just retract its lie, the leftwing network also tried to save its reputation with strategic leaks to BuzzFeed, "leaks" about how everyone at CNN is angry over what happened, "leaks" about how CNN has put into place new policies to ensure this never happens again!
Sorry, no, not for a second do I believe those are leak-leaks. CNN and BuzzFeed have worked in tandem before to push phony Trump-Russia "bombshells," and my instincts tell me it happened again. By couching it as "leaks," the information CNN wanted out looks more credible; CNN looks as though it REALLY IS angry about spreading fake news and REALLY IS doing something about it.
In my opinion, based on a single source, CNN published what it knew was a lie and was then caught completely off guard when Breitbart News gutted the story like a fake news-fish. Panic then set in at CNN. First the story was memory-holed (something CNN has done before). When that didn’t work, the story was fully retracted and the strategic, face-saving leaks to BuzzFeed put into place.
This debacle could not have come at a worse time for CNN. Earlier this month, the leftwing network was humiliated when another single-sourced Trump "bombshell" backfired. This happened just a week or so after CNN was caught red-handed lying about Fox News.
Worse still, all of these scandals swirled around Time-Warner's (CNN's parent company) support for a Trump assassination play, CNN star Kathy Griffin holding Trump's decapitated head up in effigy, the revelation that during the 2012 presidential election, CNN host (and literal cannibal) Reza Aslan wished rape on a Republican Congressman, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper talking about Trump pooping on a desk, CNN caught staging a protest (and then blaming it on the cops), and something even bigger no one is talking about … CNN's recent dive in the ratings.
In May, and for the first time in more than a year, CNN slipped into last place behind MSNBC and Fox News. And despite all the mammoth news last week, not once throughout the day was CNN able to attract an average of even a million viewers. On Thursday, CNN averaged only 778K viewers, on Wednesday it was 738K, Tuesday 858K, on Monday 880K. This is catastrophic. For context, Fox News usually more than doubles CNN; MSNBC always attracts over a million viewers.
Although polls prove otherwise, CNN chief Jeff Zucker continues to falsely claim that his network's reputation has never been better. Nevertheless, CNN's frenzied panic over the weekend appears to prove that the failing network knows its residual credibility is swirling the drain.
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