CNN is a mid-tier cable news network that provides non-stop breaking news to bored airport travelers and internet journalists. The network has breathlessly covered President Donald Trump's every fart and utterance since 2015 and has contributed to the "national dialogue" through countless interviews with serious public intellectuals. Michael Avenatti, for example.
One of CNN's most recent hires, former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, was found to have lied to federal investigators under oath prior to his firing in March 2018. In addition to his role as CNN contributor, McCabe has a new side hustle: Keynote speaker at Democratic Party fundraisers.
And speaking of the network's keen eye for talent, CNN invited celebrity white nationalist Richard Spencer on in June to discuss Donald Trump's "racist tweets." Brian Stelter, who hosts a show called Reliable Sources, recently nodded along as his guest, former Duke University chair of psychiatry Allen Francis, argued that Trump "may be responsible for many more million deaths" than genocidal dictators Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and Mao Zedong.
It wasn't the first time Trump has been compared to Hitler on the network. CNN host Don Lemon did it in July, which could explain why the New York Times has reportedly banned reporters from appearing on Lemon's show. In addition to interviewing Michael Avenatti dozens of times on his show, Lemon hosted the disgraced lawyer at a party in the Hamptons.
CNN recently defended host Chris Cuomo after he was filmed berating a heckler who called him "Fredo." Cuomo equated "Fredo," a reference to the ne'er-do-well brother in The Godfather, to the N-word. The network agreed with Cuomo that the F-word-that-rhymes-with-Play-Doh is, in fact, an "ethnic slur."
The network is currently focused on 24/7 Zapruder-esque analyses of "Sharpie-Gate," a self-inflicted and self-perpetuated Trump scandal of the utmost national significance.
The point is: Everyone watching TV on Sunday knew Dorian was a Bahamas Florida, Georgia, Carolinas storm. A single glimpse at a map showed that Alabama wasn't going to be "hit." So what does this episode tell us about Trump's critical thinking skills? https://t.co/SdOx3PEayQ
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) September 6, 2019
Of course, it wouldn't be an important national news story unless CNN's ace reporter Chris Cillizza was talking about it as well. (He was!) If you're still not convinced that cable news is merely a collection of social media addicts yelling about the things they saw on Twitter, consider the following clip in which Cillizza attempts to deploy a digital meme in a spoken conversation about "Sharpie-Gate."
On a related note, CNN's public relations department recently "clapped back" at the White House press office on Twitter after it mislabeled a state in a segment criticizing Trump's understanding of geography.
Thanks, Stephanie. Yes, we made a mistake (which we fixed in less than 30 seconds). And now we are admitting it. You all should try it sometime.
— CNN Communications (@CNNPR) September 5, 2019
CNN has contributed to the national dialogue in other ways. For example, the network recently hosted a marathon "climate crisis town hall" during which Democratic presidential candidates discussed the need to limit carbon emissions from air travel, proposed government-backed initiatives to limit the consumption of red meat, and promised to use taxpayer dollars to abort children in poor countries.
In between segments, CNN aired commercials promoting "the world's first luxury travel subscription" and the Golden Corral restaurant chain, where diners can enjoy "endless sirloin and St. Louis-style ribs."
— Zach Parkinson (@AZachParkinson) September 5, 2019
If there's a point to any of this, what is it?