On Monday, CNN premiered an online ad touting its supposed commitment to the facts. Here’s what it looked like:
Aside from CNN paraphrasing my catch phrase, there are some serious problems here.
First off, CNN’s commitment to the idea that apples are apples and bananas are bananas is somewhat weak. In fact, when I said this exact thing on CNN HLN two years ago, I was physically assaulted by one of their guests:
Second, if a news outlet has to tell you how committed it is to the facts, it often isn’t. Such as this headline, for example:
In this case, an apple was apparently a banana.
For months, we heard nothing but the story from CNN that the Russians had “hacked” the election. That wasn’t fact, but narrative. The problem with CNN isn’t that they’re fact-free — they’re not, and many of their reporters are excellent — but that they have a bad habit of conflating their opinions with the facts in the same way as any other outlet. The only difference: they fib about doing so, as many in the pseudo-objective media do.
So no, the ad doesn’t work. An apple is indeed an apple, but CNN has been in the business of slicing, dicing, juicing, and mixing that apple with bananas in order to fit its preferred political outcome.