Time Warner CEO Blasted Over CNN's Liberal Tilt, Says Bias Is a Matter of 'Perception'

Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes faced a barrage of questions last Friday about CNN's liberal tilt. The National Center for Public Policy Research's Justin Danhof confronted Bewkes at a shareholder meeting. After reading a litany of examples of CNN's bias, The general counsel for the National Center pressed, "...Do you recognize that there is a liberal bias at the network and that may be hurting the ratings?"

Bewkes blandly spun, "We [at CNN] are trying to be independent and objective in these reports...We are trying to be an objective news journalism organization." The CEO called accusations of bias a "question of perception." After making clear that he wasn't "admitting what you ask," Bewkes allowed, "I do, however, take your question and your dissatisfaction as a very constructive thing. I think that is the way we should approach looking at how we are doing every day." 

In May, CNN President Jeff Zucker talked to the New York Times and pronounced that he would not be "shamed" into covering the Benghazi hearings: 

We're not going to be shamed into it by others who have political beliefs that want to try to have temper tantrums to shame other news organizations into covering something...If it's of real news value, we'll cover it.

In the same interview, Zucker conceded that he would be shamed into forcing more global warming coverage onto his audience: 

Climate change is one of those stories that deserves more attention, that we all talk about, but we haven't figured out how to engage the audience in that story in a meaningful way. When we do do those stories, there does tend to be a tremendous amount of lack of interest on the audience's part.

This week, CNN journalists showcased the channel's bias yet again. The network featured a "town hall" with Hillary Clinton. Unsurprisingly, the audience questions included five from the left and only one from the right. 

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org