Archive for the CNN Category

More Sony/CNN Fallout…

Posted in CNN, HLN on December 17, 2014 by icn2

The Wrap’s Jordan Chariton writes about a Turner memo telling its employees to change their passwords…

In response to the Sony hacking cyberattack, Turner Broadcasting is making its employees to change their computer passwords for precautionary purposes, TheWrap has exclusively learned.


An insider familiar with the situation told TheWrap managers have expressed the urgency of employees changing their passwords, speaking with employees across Turner Wednesday.

Not quite sure why Turner is concerned about passwords after the Sony hack. There should be no direct fallout to Turner’s employees because Sony got hacked. Or, to put it another way, there should be no way that the Sony hackers should have any more insight into Turner employees’ passwords because Sony got hacked. This seems more like a knee jerk reaction bordering on paranoia.

“A Cable News Network Gone Astray” “What is CNN Alex?”

Posted in CNN on December 15, 2014 by icn2

Radar Online’s Alan Duke writes about CNN getting dragged into Sony’s hell…(via J$)

CNN chief Jeff Zucker wants to add game shows to his channel’s programming, according to a new leaked Sony email.

Zucker, who headed NBC before joining CNN, approached Sony television executives in late October to propose the company produce a political version of their long-running game show Jeopardy, according to an email sent to Sony Pictures Television President Steve Mosko on November 6, 2014.

“Steve I met with Zucker this week and he asked if we would consider doing political jeopardy show for cnn. I’m guessing it’s a non starter but wanted to ask you how to respond to him,” read the e-mail from John Weiser, the president of Sony Pictures Television Distribution.

What’s next? A politics version of “Around The Horn”? Actually, now that I think about it I wouldn’t mind seeing some of CNN’s political contributors getting the mute button…

Everything Wrong With CNN Encapsulated In A Single Photo…

Posted in CNN on December 14, 2014 by icn2


Oh CNN…let me count the ways…

- Throwing up shows on the air to see if they’ll do anything without any semblance of a strategy.
– Not naming said show.
– Sticking an opinion show inside what my program guide says is a news hour.
– Lack of originality. The View, The Talk, The Five, The Cycle, Outnumbered…they all beat you to it.
– Doing something dumb on the air (see: Lemon, Don)
– Getting more (bad) press for said dumb thing than the rest of the show could generate in total. (again..see: Lemon, Don)
– Reveling in said (bad) press as if anything that generates press is a good thing…the “ratings any way possible” strategy.
– The continued devaluation of your brand.

Bye Bye Kate?

Posted in CNN on November 26, 2014 by icn2

The Wrap’s Jordan Chariton is hearing stories that Kate Bolduan may get taken off New Day.

Two CNN insiders told TheWrap that Bolduan, who has been on the hot seat for months ahead of her leave, will exit due to lack of chemistry with co-anchors Chris Cuomo and Michaela Pereira. Another individual with knowledge of Zucker’s thinking said the news president has not yet made a final decision, but is strongly considering that option.

The show is up 23 percent in total viewers year-over-year from mid-September to now; the time period Bolduan has been on maternity leave after having her first child, Cecilia. She has been co-anchor of the CNN morning show since the show’s launch in June 2013. The show is also up 11 percent in the all-important 25-54 news demographic year-over-year during Bolduan’s maternity leave.


If Bolduan is replaced, it is likely it would not come until after she officially returns to “New Day” from her maternity leave.

I’m not going to say “I told you so”…

well…actually…I am

Whatever problems New Day has…and it has plenty, Kate Bolduan not being up to the task isn’t one of them. Yes there is a chemistry problem between Bolduan and Cuomo and, regardless of who is or isn’t to blame for that, Bolduan will catch all the heat because she wasn’t the high priced talent Zucker poached from another network and those people never catch the blame right away whether deserved or not. It’s not fair for Bolduan but it is the way the rules are played. It’s called a pecking order for a reason you know.

That was written over a year ago and it’s still all true a year later. Bolduan isn’t the reason for New Day’s ills.

But let’s decode this “chemistry” thing, shall we?

To get chemistry it requires more than one person. It takes two (or more). So which is to blame for the chemistry problem?

Well unless there are full blown fireworks erupting on the set and/or the long knives whipped out behind the scenes, the talent probably like each other and get along fine…but it’s just not translating across the TV screen. In that instance you could replace one host, but which one since neither is really at fault here.

And this gets to the heart of the matter. When we hear the words “chemistry problem on New Day” what that really means is “whoever is not named Chris Cuomo is on the chopping block”.

Why? Because, as I said a year ago, Cuomo was Jeff Zucker’s big steal from ABC. He’s the high priced talent. So obviously it couldn’t possibly be him that’s part of New Days’ problems because…




…did I say that he was Jeff Zucker’s big steal from ABC? They pried him off ABC so he must be good and any chemistry problems can’t be him…right?


So of course it’s ABC time again at CNN; Anyone But Cuomo…

And it kind of has to be this way, whether Cuomo is or isn’t part of the problem. He was the big get. He was an early Jeff Zucker hire. Zucker has just too much invested in Cuomo to do anything to diminish him because that comes right back to Zucker’s lap since he went out and got him.

So instead Bolduan gets tossed on the block and Jordan Chariton starts hearing about “chemistry issues” between Bolduan and Cuomo.

Except Zucker can’t escape from criticism with that strategy either because…well he’s a network President and I’m a blogger with a long memory. Network Presidents shoot their mouths off all the time without thinking about the long term ramifications…and that’s where I come in.

Exhibit A:

He added that the lesson he took from the Curry fiasco at “Today” was that chemistry between co-hosts is the key ingredient to a successful show. He said he had tested Cuomo opposite five different anchors before settling on Bolduan.

“When we put Kate next to Chris, you just knew and [the chemistry] was there and as it unfolded, you saw it,” he said.

So…uh…what? The chemistry used to be there but it isn’t now? Or was the chemistry never there to begin with and you went ahead with it anyways and hoped things would improve eventually?

It’s got to be one of the two.

Doesn’t matter. Both reflect badly on Zucker though one is worse than the other.

So now it looks like Bolduan will get the heave ho. The real question is does she land elsewhere at the network or is her CNN career all over now? The follow up question is who will replace Bolduan and what happens if it turns out that Zucker guessed wrong on the Bolduan/Cuomo chemistry issue?

The only thing I know for sure is that this is going to keep me and others busy writing for a while.

More Ferguson…

Posted in CNN on November 25, 2014 by icn2

The Washington Post’s Peter Holley uses CNN’s coverage of Ferguson last night to take some shots at Don Lemon…

It remains unclear which came first — Don Lemon inserting his agitating personal opinion into his coverage or his bosses rewarding him with more air time for doing just that. Either way, the combination has been a volatile one. In a matter of months the one-time golden boy with the charming smile has gone from a talking head to a head that seems incapable of not talking when other people are trying to answer his questions. Not since gaffe-laden Rick Sanchez has a CNN anchor courted this much controversy. It’s difficult to pinpoint the moment “Don Lemon, CNN anchor” became “Don Lemon aggressively subjective CNN polemicist,” but experts trace his emergence to at least as early as last year, when Lemon sided with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly in a discussion about young black men’s social decorum and use of belts.


Don’t expect Lemon to mellow anytime soon. An Associated Press article noted that CNN is in favor of the anchor’s editorializing “so long as he’s not predictably partisan.” “Predictable” might be the operative word there, considering Lemon is proving that he is anything but.

Janelle Rodriguez, vice president of programming at CNN U.S., told the AP that Lemon talks to viewers instead of talking down to them.

“Having a personality is a positive attribute,” she said.

Um..yeah. Tell that to Rick Sanchez…the former CNN anchor whose throne Lemon is apparently trying to lay claim to.

Don Lemon Just Doesn’t Get It…

Posted in CNN on November 20, 2014 by icn2

TVNewser’s Mark Joyella writes about what Don Lemon did last night…

On Wednesday night’s “CNN Tonight”, CNN’s Don Lemon again addressed the fallout from his comments on the same program one night earlier. “As a victim myself, I would never suggest any victim could have prevented a rape,” Lemon said at the top of the broadcast, making his second on-air apology of the day.

I already covered why Lemon did suggest just that yesterday so I won’t repeat myself here. I will say it still hasn’t sunk in to Lemon’s head that he crossed a line he shouldn’t have crossed.

This time, however, Lemon brought back Joan Tarshis, who says she was raped by Bill Cosby, and to whom Lemon made the remark “you know, there are ways not to perform oral sex if you didn’t want to do it.”

“If I offended you, and I don’t think I did, I’m sorry for that,” Lemon told her. Tarshis said despite the uproar over Lemon’s comments, she was not personally offended. “You didn’t offend me at all.”


This is like saying it’s not harassment if you don’t feel harassed.

Who the hell is advising Lemon at CNN? Whoever it is has done a piss poor job of it. They should have put him on air and forced him to do a full unequivocal apology, whether he really felt that way about it or not, and then put a gag order on him talking any more about this subject.

Instead we have not one but two non-apology apologies followed by Lemon bringing back the woman he suggested could have avoided being raped and basically asking her if he had offended her. What was he looking for? Absolution?

It doesn’t matter if she wasn’t offended if the bulk of your audience was offended. Absolution from your guest is of little comfort if your audience doesn’t absolve you from your reckless insensitivity.

Lemon doesn’t get it. CNN doesn’t get it. Every decision, every utterance, since the original interview has just made matters worse.

CNN’s Don Lemon Problem…

Posted in CNN on November 19, 2014 by icn2

Yes, I’m late to this. Sometimes your paying job’s constraints interferes with your ability to be timely and today was one of those days. Anways…as we all know…CNN’s Don Lemon screwed up again. If you thought the MH370 “Black Hole” question was an eyeroller, that ain’t nothing compared to what he did last night…..

LEMON: Can I ask you this, and please, I don’t mean to be crude, OK?

Uh…yeah you do. Saying you don’t mean to be crude and then deliberately “going there”, when you have the option of not going there means you mean to be crude…


LEMON: Because I know some of you, and you said this last night, that he — you lied to him and said “I have an infection, and if you rape me, or if you have intercourse with me, then you will probably get it and give it to your wife.”


LEMON: And you said he made you perform oral sex.


LEMON: You know, there are ways not to perform oral sex if you didn’t want to do it.

TARSHIS: Oh. I was kind of stoned at the time, and quite honestly, that didn’t even enter my mind. Now I wish it would have.

LEMON: Meaning the using of the teeth, right?

TARSHIS: Mmhmm. Yeah, that’s what I’m thinking you’re –

LEMON: As a weapon.

TARSHIS: Yeah, I didn’t even think of it.

LEMON: Biting.


LEMON: I had to ask.

TARSHIS: No, it didn’t cross my mind.

The outrage was predictable…to everyone except Lemon apparently. Today Lemon issued a non-apology apology

“I would never want to suggest that any victim could have prevented a rape. If my question to her [Tarshis] struck anyone as insensitive, I am sorry, as that was certainly not my intention,” Lemon said.

Bullshit and double Bullshit. To try and pull the wool over his viewers eyes by claiming that he never wanted to suggest that any victim could have prevented a rape…when he clearly did suggest it:

You know, there are ways not to perform oral sex if you didn’t want to do it.

…is outright insulting to everyone who saw the clip. You “went there” Lemon. Man up and own it. Don’t try to say that up is really down, left is really right, and your suggestion wasn’t really a suggestion. And to then suggest that his viewers might have felt that was insensitive even though he wasn’t trying to be insensitive is beyond the pale because it clearly was insensitive…to everyone but Lemon apparently.

If I may use Keith Olbermann famously chewing out Bill O’Reilly as a template:

Wrong answer. When you are that wrong, when you suggest that a woman could have prevented a rape and then explain in excruciatingly graphic detail on air how they supposedly could have done just that while ignoring the fact that this supposed “defensive act” still means she’s being raped, you’re supposed to say, “I’m sorry, I was wrong,” and then you’re supposed to shut up for a long time.

Lemon did none of that. And I’m not the only one who noticed. The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple noticed

Whereas Lemon today states that he’d never want to suggest a victim could prevent a rape, that’s precisely what he stated last night as a premise to his question about biting. So that’s a problem. Though induction is very selective, Lemon may just get into the Insufficient Media Mea Culpa Hall of Fame with this one.


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