Fareed Zakaria: Fox Viewers Don't Watch CNN - Our Competition is NPR and NYT
CNN's Fareed Zakaria made a bit of a Kinsley gaffe Friday.
On NPR's "Morning Edition," Zakaria said, "The people who watch Fox are not going to watch CNN...Our competitors should properly be The New York Times, the BBC, NPR" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
DAVID FOLKENFLIK, NPR: Jon Klein, the former president of CNN's American network, tried to mint new stars - primetime hosts Piers Morgan and Eliot Spitzer among them. [CNN Executive Vice President Mark] Whitaker says he's high on them but when he looks at the cable news landscape, at the glut of political talk, and he sees CNN, he says unlike its competitors, it need not be largely defined by the ideology of its hosts or by its treatment of politics.
MARK WHITAKER WHITAKER, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, CNN: I think perhaps there have been times in the past when CNN would have people who represented extreme views, let them go at it in a food fight, and then sit there neutrally in the middle and then toss to commercial. Well, we're not going to do that anymore.
FOLKENFLIK: Instead, Whitaker is pushing for scoops, for more in-depth reporting, and for crisper interviews that yield more insight.
So, according to Whitaker, CNN "need not be largely defined by the ideology of its hosts or by its treatment of politics."
Enter Zakaria stage far-left:
FOLKENFLIK: Fareed Zakaria, host of CNN's "GPS" and a former colleague at Newsweek, says Whitaker has already had a profound effect.
FAREED ZAKARIA (Host, "GPS"): CNN is getting smarter, and you can feel it in the stories, you can feel it in the depth with which they're covered, the kinds of people in terms of guests who are brought on air, the way in which issues are discussed.
FOLKENFLIK: And Zakaria argues the channel should ignore Fox and MSNBC.
Mr. ZAKARIA: The people who watch Fox are not going to watch CNN. You know, let's be honest. Our competitors should properly be The New York Times, the BBC, NPR.
For those unfamiliar with the term "Kinsley gaffe" - named after former CNN contributor Michael Kinsley - is when a politician accidentally tells the truth.
In Zakaria's case, the idea that he sees CNN's competition as being the far-left outlets the New York Times and NPR is really all you need to know about the ideology the so-called "Most trusted name in news" is largely defined by.
Thanks, Fareed. We couldn't have said it any better.