Sep 12 2011

CNN Throws a Tea Party

Network aligns with controversial far-right activists

Tonight’s Republican debate might look familiar, with a well-known journalist posing questions to a stage full of candidates. But CNN‘s event is actually a co-production of sorts with the far-right Tea Party Express, raising serious questions about a journalistic outlet’s decision to formally partner with a controversial political group. As CNN explained the relationship (9/8/11): CNN and the Tea Party Express, along with more than 100 local Tea Party groups from every state across the country, will team up Monday, September 12, to present a first-of-its-kind debate from the site of the 2012 Republican National Convention. The CNN statement adds: […]

Mar 16 2010

CNN Scrapes Bottom of Right-Wing Barrel With Erickson Hire

Since Glenn Beck left Headline News for Fox, CNN executives apparently feel that their staff is short on unbalanced hatemongers. To make up the gap, they’ve just hired Erick Erickson as a political commentator. “Prominent conservative commentator and editor Erick Erickson will join CNN as a political contributor,” CNN announced in a March 16 press release. “Erickson will appear weeknights on John King, USA, which launches Monday, March 22, as well as provide perspective and commentary to other programs across the network.” Who is Erickson? Well, he’s a racist who declared that Barack Obama won the Nobel Prize because […]

Nov 12 2009

Lou Dobbs Quits CNN

Immigrant-bashing host eyes next move

TV host Lou Dobbs abruptly quit his CNN program yesterday, bringing a sudden end to a television program most notable for its remarkably one-sided presentation of immigration issues. Since 2003, Dobbs has regularly used his CNN platform to issue misleading and alarmist warnings about the threats posed by undocumented immigrants. Dobbs has spoken of an “army of invaders” scheming to reannex parts of the southwestern U.S. to Mexico (3/31/06), claimed that “illegal alien smugglers and drug traffickers are on the verge of ruining some of our national treasures” (11/19/03) and declared that “the invasion of illegal aliens is threatening the […]

Feb 06 2009

Lou Dobbs Peddles Anti-Union Propaganda

CNN host misinforms on Employee Free Choice Act

CNN host Lou Dobbs falsely suggested that the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) would “end a secret ballot” on his February 4 show. At the conclusion of a report by CNN correspondent Bill Tucker about the Service Employees International Union’s mobilization in support of the legislation, Dobbs said, “The American people voted for lots of things, but I don’t know a lot of people voted to end a secret ballot.” Dobbs’ claim that EFCA would eliminate the “secret ballot” in union authorization elections, which has been a centerpiece in a U.S. Chamber of Commerce-funded anti-union PR campaign (see Nation, 1/26/09), […]

Jan 18 2006

CNN’s ‘Cordial’ Hire

Headline News picks would-be killer Glenn Beck as host

CNN’s Headline News has hired radio talkshow host Glenn Beck to host a one-hour primetime show, according to a Daily Variety report (1/17/06). Variety quotes CNN Headline News president Ken Jautz’s description of Beck: “Glenn’s style is self-deprecating, cordial; he says he’d like to be able to disagree with guests and part as friends. It’s conversational, not confrontational.” But Glenn Beck’s hateful rhetoric tells a different story. Beck, best known for setting up Clear Channel‘s pro-war Rallies for America shortly before the Iraq War, once described how much he loathed anti-war presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich (WABC-AM, 3/16/03): “Every night I […]

Oct 01 2004

An ‘Outrage’–But Is It True?

CNN's Dobbs attacks Annan for calling Iraq War "illegal"

When U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan declared that he thought the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq was illegal (BBC, 9/15/04), CNN‘s Lou Dobbs was outraged, calling it “another incredible outburst by Kofi Annan” (9/16/04). But Dobbs and his CNN reporters neglected to pursue the most important aspect of the story: Was Annan right? Annan told the BBC that the war was “not in conformity with the Security Council, with the U.N. Charter.” When asked, “It was illegal?,” Annan replied: “Yes, if you wish,” adding: “I have indicated it is not in conformity with the U.N. Charter; from our point of view […]

Mar 01 2004

The Ratings Mirage

Why Fox has higher ratings--when CNN has more viewers

Reporting on the ratings rivalry between the Fox News Channel (FNC) and CNN is often misleading–and almost always over-hyped. “Fox Tops CNN as Choice for Cable News,” declared one typical headline (Chicago Tribune , 3/24/03). “Fox News Channel Continues to Crush CNN ,” reported Knight Ridder (Dallas Morning News , 2/3/04) in a column comparing the rivalry to a party primary: “Fox News Channel is winning the Nielsen caucuses.” Last summer (8/17/03), the New York Times Magazine declared, looking back at the period of the Iraq invasion, “Fox was–and still is–trouncing CNN in the ratings.” After exposure to countless similar […]

Jun 01 2000

PSYOPS in the Newsroom

Extra! Update June 2000

CNN got nervous when reports in European publications (Amsterdam’s Trouw, 2/21/00, 2/25/00; Intelligence Newsletter, 2/17/00) revealed that PSYOPS (Psychological Operations) spe­cialists from the U.S. Army had worked as interns at the cable network’s Atlanta news headquarters. The program was ter­minated after its existence was revealed in Trouw, and network president Eason Jordan appeared on Pacifica Radio’s Democracy Now! (3/24/00) to play down its significance. But it was only after hun­dreds of media activists, responding to a March 27 FAIR action alert, wrote to CNN asking for an explanation that the media giant issued a formal statement acknowledging that the intern […]