I admire their commitment to cover all sides of the story just in case one of them happens to be accurate.
That’s what Obama said about CNN at last night’s White House Correspondents Association dinner.
Let me explain why that is such a great line. CNN sees itself as “in the middle” between left and right, MSNBC and Fox. Just recently, in fact, CNN president Jeff Zucker praised the middle as the place to be. But CNN also sees itself as a great newsgathering organization that is all about truthtelling rather than ideology. “Keeping them honest,” as Anderson Cooper, face of the brand, likes to say.
Put them together and what do you have? Keep ‘em honest, but stay in the middle. Which doesn’t work. For what happens when one side is BS-ing us more than the other? What happens when independent and honest reporting shows that these people on this side are mostly right in what they’re saying, and those people on that side are distorting the case?
CNN wants to believe, tries to believe and I think does believe that this problem does not exist. Therefore we have to remind them about it, because it does exist. And that’s what Obama did: “cover all sides of the story just in case one of them happens to be accurate” is saying to CNN: Accuracy and truthtelling will be sacrificed to your ideology— the middle, no matter what it takes.
The sad part is, they had all these problems before they hired Jeff Zucker. And then they hired Jeff Zucker, a man whose entire recent career has been built on tone-deaf failures to understand his network’s audience, whatever that network might have been.
CNN is proud of being nonpartisan, and makes a point that it doesn’t take sides like Fox or MSNBC. Problem is, you can’t define a strong network just by what it isn’t. And too often that’s been CNN’s approach: it still has great reach and strong reporting when it matters. But day to day it seems too driven by being the network that doesn’t bother anyone. There’s too much smileyness in its daytime programming, too much reflexive blandness on shows like Wolf Blitzer’s The Situation Room. CNN’s nonverbal message, too often, is “please don’t get mad at us.CNN Picks a New Boss: Will It Be Saved, or Has it Been Zuckered? | TIME.com (via markcoatney)
For me, that chapter’s ending, but for all of you it’s an exciting new beginning. With Comcast, I leave you in good hands and have no doubt that you will continue to do great things. I look forward to following your progress.Departing NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker • In a memo to his employees on the company’s financial performance, the last such report before the soon-to-complete Comcast deal. Zucker, the man probably most responsible for the Jay Leno/Conan mess, is leaving a company he’s worked at for a solid 25 years. Sorry, we’re finding it hard to type. We have something in our eyes. source (via • follow)