News and Commentary

CEO Of CNN’s Parent Company Says COVID-19 Crisis ‘Really Good For Ratings’

"It turns out the pandemic is a pretty big part of the news cycle"
A man is seen holding with a smart device in front of a CNN logo in this photo illustration on 2 July, 2017. (Photo by
Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The CEO of CNN’s parent company said Thursday that the COVID-19 pandemic has been “really good for ratings,” adding that wall-to-wall coverage won’t be ending anytime soon.

“It turns out the pandemic is a pretty big part of the news cycle and that’s not going away anytime soon,” WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar said. “It turns out it’s really good for ratings.”

CNN had cashed in on bashing former President Donald Trump for four years, but has flagged since President Joe Biden took office. While the network blamed Trump for hundreds of thousands of COVID deaths, it has not yet declared Biden responsible for the more than 122,000 deaths from the virus since he took office.

Kilar’s comments drew scorn on social media. The Wall Street Journal‘s Joe Flint compared the declaration to one made by former media mogul Les Moonves during the 2016 election, in which he said Trump’s campaign for president “may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS.”

“Careful. That’s awful close to Moonves line that Trump may be bad for U.S. but he’s good for CBS,” Flint wrote on Twitter.

That drew a response from Kilar.

“I agree Joe. I would like nothing more than for this pandemic to be well behind us. I mean that with every fiber in my body. I wish I could go back and be more thoughtful about my communication,” the CEO wrote.

“Thanks for responding and clarifying. Appreciate it,” Flint wrote.

“Happy to. I am sorry for the sentence and for uttering it. My apologies. Thx for highlighting it and holding me accountable,” Kilar wrote.

The pandemic was also good for Biden, according to a new book titled, “Lucky: How Joe Biden Barely Won the Presidency,” by Jonathan Allen, a senior political analyst for NBC News, and Amie Parnes, a senior correspondent with The Hill.

The book says Biden did almost everything wrong during his campaign, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, he was able to “hide his biggest weakness, which is himself.”

Biden spent much of the campaign in his basement in Wilmington, Delaware, holding far fewer events than Trump. One Biden aide told the authors that the strategy was tantamount to putting “your dumb uncle in the basement.”

And top Biden adviser Anita Dunn said that “Covid was the best thing that happened to him.”

One Trump adviser told the authors that Team Biden “used coronavirus as an excuse to keep him in the basement, and it was smart. Biden was able to hide his biggest weakness, which is himself. And he did it with an excuse that sounded responsible.”

Allen and Parnes write that Biden was able to overcome three early losses in the primaries and win the nomination because he was a safe choice, even though supporters were not enthusiastic about him. Democrats “weren’t willing to take a chance” on a newcomer who might not win against Trump.

“Everything else, he’d gotten wrong. He’d run a lousy campaign, flubbed debates, spent so much money on Iowa and New Hampshire that he teetered on the edge of insolvency, lost three straight states to start the primary, and allowed himself to be defined by his frailties,” they write, noting that he ran on a “bland message and a blank agenda.”

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  CEO Of CNN’s Parent Company Says COVID-19 Crisis ‘Really Good For Ratings’