In an obvious back-handed compliment, Rachel Maddow started her eponymous Tuesday night program on MSNBC by supposedly praising the Cable News Network, which she said “once upon a time” was the “only cable news network, and they really did have a singular role in keeping people informed.”
However, while the network once had a reputation for providing information “about what was going on, not only around the country, but around the world” in the 1990s, she claimed “CNN today is not what it used to be.”
The staunchly leftist anti-gun Brit is, of course, a frequent target of our criticism and he's still on our radar whether or not he remains with the network. You can read our archive of Morgan's bias by clicking here. Feel free to share your thoughts on the demise of the former tabloid editor's low-rated program in the comments section.
Every Obama fan wanted on the guest list of the state dinner for French president Francois Hollande. So it was an extra-special favor for media figures to get the invite.
On the president’s very exclusive guest list Tuesday night: Rev. Al Sharpton of MSNBC, fake-conservative Stephen Colbert, New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson, CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker, and two White House correspondents: AP's Julie Pace, and Bloomberg's Julianna Goldman. That wasn’t all.
CNN president Jeff Zucker praised MSNBC guest host Michael Smerconish on Tuesday as he announced that the the cable news network would be giving the radio talk show host a weekly program: "We are thrilled to have Michael join CNN...At a time when the cable news landscape has become increasingly polarized, his independence and passion for reasoned dialogue makes him the perfect fit for CNN."
Smerconish's record, especially at MSNBC, actually does not point to independence, but liberalism. Here are the worst examples of the talker's slant to the left from the Media Research Center's archives: [video included below the jump for select quotes]
The people at Fox News are apparentlyserious about being “fair and balanced” as proved on Thursday, when the network hired veteran Democratic activist James Carville to serve as a contributor of political commentary on the channel.
The “Ragin' Cajun,” who led Bill Clinton's successful presidential campaign in 1992 and spent most of the past decade as a political commentator for the Cable News Network, joins such outspoken liberals as Juan Williams, Kirsten Powers and Bob Beckel on the channel's roster.
During a speech on Monday, Cable News Network president Jeff Zucker admitted: “No news organization is perfect, and CNN is not always perfect.”
As if to verify his statement, network reporters that same day covered an appearance by former secretary of state Hillary Clinton with a poorly edited video that made it appear she was laughing about the death of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012. On Tuesday, CNN's Ashleigh Banfield apologized profusely for what she called “a mistake.”
Cable News Network president Jeff Zucker used his keynote address at the RealScreen Summit in Washington, D.C., on Monday to promote his “new vision” for CNN that he said has expanded beyond reporting breaking news while including documentaries and films in its programming, which he described as “more shows, less newscasts.”
“We’re never going to stray from breaking news,” Zucker stated before noting that CNN “provides more news coverage on a daily basis than any other TV network in America” while broadening out “our offerings to the public, and we have moved into the nonfiction world with some success thus far.”
Phil Griffin, head of the MSNBC cable television channel, told Marisa Guthrie of the Hollywood Reporter that he accepts responsibility for recent embarrassments that led Alec Baldwin and Martin Bashir to leave the network and Melissa Harris-Perry to offer a tearful on-air apology.
"These were judgment calls made by some of our people. We handled them. We were transparent. That is our philosophy: Be factual, and step up when you make a mistake,” Griffin asserted. “We took responsibility for them and took action. They were unfortunate,” but “I don't think it hurt us in any way.”
As 2013 draws to a close, Fox News Channel continues to dominate cable television news programming, according to Nielsen data through Dec. 8.
In an article for Variety, Rick Kissell stated that Fox has averaged 1.774 million viewers in prime time -- down 13 percent from last year's presidential election-driven numbers -- while the Cable News Channel fell 15 percent, and MSNBC lost 29 percent.
In an era when newspapers are dying, broadcast evening news programs are shedding viewers, and there's less and less real news being disseminated that isn't just opinion, CNN president Jeff Zucker thinks his network "need(s) more shows and less newscasts."
Zucker also toldCapital New York Tuesday that he wants more of “an attitude and a take”:
After many years of being the channel people turned to for breaking news, the Cable News Network announced on Wednesday that while reporting news is still CNN’s “bread and butter,” the liberal channel will add a heavy emphasis on acquiring unscripted shows by outside producers in the vein of documentaries like Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown and films like Blackfish.
Years of left-wing bias have apparently cost the network its “Most Trusted Name in News” status, along with a series of factual bungles during big news events. But will the new films follow in the liberal footsteps of Morgan Spurlock's Inside Man project or air some films by conservatives as part of its new strategy?
The announcement for Piers Morgan's new book, Shooting Straight: Guns, Gays, God, and George Clooney, states that the liberal host of a Cable News Network weeknight program “is one of the most talked-about, controversial figures in the media today.”
Even though Morgan has been engaged in a years-long crusade to implement extreme gun-control laws, neither he nor his publisher, Simon & Schuster, apparently had any qualms about pushing the book on Wednesday, only two days after the Navy Yard shooting that left 13 people dead.
The all-liberal all-the-time cable “news” channel continues to lose its audience as MSNBC's ratings were down by nearly one-fourth during the past three months from the same period in 2012, according to preliminary data from the Nielsen Company that was compiled from the start of summer through last Sunday.
Making things even worse for the “Lean Forward” channel is the resurgence of the Cable News Network, which had a 21 percent rise in ratings that almost caught up with or surpassed the numbers for MSNBC in several key categories.
The bad news just keeps on coming for the openly left-wing liberal MSNBC channel, which is now in fourth place behind Fox News Channel, CNN and HLN after losing 12 percent of its viewers from a year ago. CNN, meanwhile, had another strong month.
The ratings from April through June brought good news for the dominant Fox News Channel, the resurgent Cable News Network and HLN -- which was previously known as the Headline Network -- but that period saw MSNBC deliver its worst quarterly prime-time showing among total viewers and adults from 25 to 54 years of age since 2007.
According to a report released by Nielsen Media Research, CNN reclaimed the runner-up slot from MSNBC for the first time since 2010. Also, the “Lean Forward” network fell 16 percent to third place in prime-time ratings and nine percent to come in fourth in its “total day” numbers.
After more than eight years since the cancellation of “Crossfire” in June of 2005, the once-popular debate program returned to the Cable News Network on Wednesday as a segment of that evening's “Piers Morgan Live” with a spirited debate about the U.S. Supreme Court decisions regarding California's Proposition 8 and the dismissal of part of the Defense of Marriage Act.
The first new debate between conservatives and liberals featured Republican Newt Gingrich stating that the eight million voters who approved the proposition “have a pretty good reason to feel a little more alienated from Washington than they were yesterday.”
Five months into his tenure as president of the Cable News Network, Jeff Zucker gave a “progress report” on Wednesday by stating that rivals Fox News Channel and MSNBC “are covering politics” while CNN is reporting on “politics and much more.”
“News is how you define it,” Zucker said during a panel discussion in the “All Things Digital” conference in Ranchos Palos Verdes, Calif., and “we define it broadly as news and information. Our competition now is two political channels that have actually left most of the actual news coverage to the side.”
Just when you think you've heard it all, along comes Philip Kent -- chairman and chief executive officer of the Turner Broadcasting System, which owns the Cable News Network – who says that CNN “is a serious news network” that viewers would appreciate more if they would watch the channel “more critically.”
Kent made the laughable comments during an interview published in this week's edition of Broadcasting and Cable magazine, when he admitted that the “biggest misconception about CNN is that it's a liberal news network,” which “drives me crazy” because “it's not.”
When Jeff Zucker became president of CNN earlier this month, some people in the mainstream media feared that this might be the end of “the last bastion of television journalism” since the former head of NBC Universal was expected to make many significant changes in the network personnel and schedule.
Those changes took off on Tuesday, when ABC's Chris Cuomo, who had served as the news anchor on “Good Morning America” from 2006 to 2009 and then moved on to the "20/20" prime-time program, was reported to “have a major role in a new CNN morning show and across the network, anchoring and reporting on major events.”
Broadcasting & Cable magazine's cover story this week was on Katie Couric and her new afternoon talk show (not arriving until next autumn). Her longtime NBC producer and friend Jeff Zucker, axed by NBC in the Comcast merger, is now helping her put the show together. But when asked if Couric was destined to be a failure in the evening news, where the gummy smiles and perky trills aren't in great demand, Zucker tried to say yes in the most diplomatic terms:
That's right. Brian's show has been biased for a long time. But there's more comedy in how NBC News chief Steve Capus tries to suggest it's unfair to see NBC as liberal because of the ever-increasing left-wing shrillness quotient of MSNBC in prime time:
Capus concedes that MSNBC's lefty lineup at night--Ed Schultz, Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow and, as of next week, Lawrence O'Donnell--raises questions about NBC. But cable is "narrowcasting," he says, and "I think the audience gets it, pure and simple."
Fox News, he adds, is "trying to brand us" as a liberal broadcast network because of MSNBC. "It's a classic political tactic -- they don't like Keith Olbermann, they're going to come after us. It's annoying."