Archive for the CNN Category

Karl Penhaul Dropped By CNN

Posted in CNN on June 26, 2015 by icn2

Rick Sanchez
Octavia Nasr
Jim Clancy

You’d think by now that CNN talent would be well aware of just how itchy a trigger finger CNN management has towards anything controversial being mentioned (unless your name is Don Lemon in which case they turn a blind eye). Apparently that kind of blatantly obvious bit of conventional wisdom was not self-evident for one Karl Penhaul…

n the series of tweets, which appear to have been deleted from Penhaul’s twitter page but were captured by the CNNCommentary blog, Penhaul calls Trump a “racist idiot” and asks his children, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump, Jr., if it’s difficult to have “a racist idiot for a dad.”

A CNN spokesperson tells TVNewser, “Karl Penhaul will no longer be serving in a freelance role for CNN.”

All Hands On Deck…

Posted in CNN on June 22, 2015 by icn2

Politico’s Dylan Byers writes about how one tiny little GoPro camera sent CNN’s DC Bureau on full alert…

The intern, Walbert Castillo, had been assigned to serve as “a runner,” relaying the court’s opinions from the building to CNN correspondent Ariane de Vogue, who was waiting in the Supreme Court plaza. The process has become known as “the running of the interns,” given the speed and intensity of the running-shoe clad youth.

In addition to his runner duties, Castillo had been asked to wear a GoPro camera to record the event for an episode of CNN’s digital video series, “Being Moody,” hosted by reporter Chris Moody. Castillo kept the GoPro recording while he was in the press room, which was prohibited — the Supreme Court fears that a recording device may pick up audio of a court decision — and was forced to turn it off. Castillo and other interns were then briefly removed from the room.

Meanwhile, back at CNN, Washington bureau chief and SVP Sam Feist convened a meeting of top CNN editors and executives, including deputy bureau chief Virginia Moseley, managing editor Adam Levine, coverage director Laura Bernardini, politics executive editor Rachel Smolkin, politics managing editor Z. Byron Wolf and spokesperson Matt Dornic. The executives and editors called the Supreme Court to apologize, and also called to apologize to de Vogue. At some point, the legal team was also consulted as a cautionary measure, in the event that Castillo had gone rogue and intentionally tried to disobey court rules.

Castillo’s error was, in fact, an accident. At the Supreme Court, he agreed to turn off his GoPro while in the press room and was allowed re-entry. The Supreme Court’s Office of Public Information declined to comment on the matter.

Fisking “Blackfish”…

Posted in CNN, FBN, FNC on June 13, 2015 by icn2

FNC/FBN’s John Stossel writes on about his upcoming “Blackfish” fisking. I’ve never been a fan of Stossel’s penchant for attacking something while at the same time sticking his head in the sand regarding the issue being raised…

I don’t presume to know if it’s moral to keep animals in captivity. But I do know that the activists distort the truth.

I’ve always considered that a big time dodge by Stossel. I also think if he’s going to do a proper fisking he should point out what, if anything, the people behind “Blackfish” are accurate about. He always seems too caught up in nailing the other side moreso than doing a proper analysis of the issue at hand.

That all said, his article here raises enough questions in my mind that I’m going to watch this special. I never had any interest in watching Blackfish in the first place. But I do care about accuracy in reporting and if there’s weight to be found in Stossel’s reporting, it puts CNN in a difficult position of defending airing a special its own people did zero reporting for; something that is an inherent risk for airing agenda TV without explaining in advance what the vetting process was, if any. (via J$)

I was most disturbed by a Blackfish scene that plays the mournful cry of a mother whale whose baby was taken from her. But it turns out the “baby” was an adult with kids of her own. Blackfish faked the scene by adding “sound effects that aren’t even appropriate to a killer whale.”

Blackfish also claims captive whales’ droopy dorsal fins indicate that the whales are miserable. But whale expert Ingrid Visser says killer whales in the wild have collapsed dorsal fins, too.

The director of Blackfish and others who appear in the film would not talk to me, but biologist Lori Marino, who’d said that “all whales in captivity have a bad life,” did.

I pointed out that life in the wild is rough, too—there’s competition for food, sex, life itself. She answered, “these animals evolved over millions of years to be adapted to the challenges of the wild, not with living in a concrete tank… They need space… and a social life.”

SeaWorld claims its whales are “happy.” But as Blackfish points out, “we can’t ask the whales.”

Dold replied, “While I may not know what my dog is thinking, I certainly know that he’s happy and that we have a good relationship.”

There have been moments when that human-whale relationship wasn’t good. One whale drowned a SeaWorld trainer. But Clark says there’s no evidence that the whale’s behavior meant that he was frustrated because he lives in a tank.

Finally, Blackfish claims that captive whales die young. But Dold points out, “We have a 50-year-old whale living at SeaWorld… Our whales’ life parameters are the same as whales in the wild.” Government research confirms this.

Jeff Zucker Profile

Posted in CNN on June 10, 2015 by icn2

The Hollywood Reporter’s Marissa Guthrie profiles Jeff Zucker…

A primetime lineup that includes documentaries (Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman’s The Seventies) and reality series (Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown) has been fodder for competitors. Fox News CEO Roger Ailes told THR last year that CNN is “out of the news business.”

Zucker laughs at the rhetoric: “It’s absurd on its face. The fact is, we’re doing more news than we’ve ever done. We’re doing more news than anybody else. Part of our strategy has been to mount series programming because you can’t exclusively rely on just what you’d classify as traditional news. And who’s copying us? Fox.”

He’s referring to Fox News host Bill O’Reilly’s Legends & Lies – which had a ten-week run earlier this year – and O’Reilly’s Killing movies, which are produced for Fox-owned National Geographic but also air on Fox News. Adds Zucker: “So not only are they doing series, they’re doing scripted series. They’re doing it with actors. And the fact is, they’ve gone further out of the news business than we have.”

Not in primetime…which is what matters most.

May Numbers: CNN…

Posted in CNN, Ratings Related on June 2, 2015 by icn2

CNN is noting its May ratings…



CNN Remains Firmly Ahead of MSNBC in all Categories; Has Largest Primetime Demo Advantage Over MSNBC in Years

New Day tops MSNBC’s Morning Joe; Erin Burnett Outfront & CNN Tonight Post Triple-Digit Growth

CNN Original Series Momentum Continues

CNN had big ratings gains in May with all dayparts (Total Day, M-Su/M-F primetime, daytime) up significantly from year-ago levels, posting the largest growth in cable news. In Total Day, CNN saw the biggest increase in the demo 25-54 among the Top 35 cable networks. CNN also ranked a solid #2 in cable news this month in all categories, registering impressive growth especially during M-F primetime (Erin Burnett Outfront up +101%, AC 360 up +61%, CNN programming at 9pm up +78% and CNN Tonight up +107% – the most growth in primetime cable news). MSNBC continued to lose viewers, decreasing double-digits among the demo 25-54 in all key dayparts. It registered its lowest Total Day and M-F primetime total viewer delivery since December 2007, and lowest M-Su primetime total viewer performance since June 2007. As CNN remains firmly ahead of MSNBC, the network topped MSNBC for the 11th straight month in Total Day in both total viewers and the demo and in M-Su/M-F primetime among 25-54, the longest streak across these dayparts and demos in over seven years (since Feb 2008). CNN also registered its largest 25-54 advantage over MSNBC in primetime in over seven years (since Feb 2008).

CNN Program Highlights:
Continue reading

Pile on Chris Cuomo…

Posted in CNN on May 8, 2015 by icn2

Politifact weighs in on Cuomo’s provocative tweet from earlier in the week…

Cuomo said, “Hate speech is excluded from protection” under the First Amendment.

The Supreme Court has ruled that certain categories of speech are excluded from constitutional protection, such as a threat or “fighting words.” Sometimes, speech can be both a threat and hate speech, in which case it would not necessarily have First Amendment protection.

But hate speech on its own — such as on a picket sign or a blog — is not excluded from protection. It may only be incidentally excluded.

Cuomo tried to clarify his point after the fact, giving an explanation similar to the examples we hashed out here.

But on his specific claim, the jurisprudence works against him. We rate his statement False.

Data Wars?

Posted in CNN, FNC on April 30, 2015 by icn2

The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple writes about CNN disputing something Pew did in regards to web traffic data…

The sub-headline on the 2015 Pew Research Center study (State of the News Media) is a morale-killer for the folks at “Fox News Is a Leader Online.” Under that section, Pew noted that in January 2015, bested in unique visitors:

Web traffic data taken from a sample month, January 2015, shows leading the other two major cable news brands, according to data from the analytics firm comScore, with a total of about 55 million unique visitors. In the same month, drew around 50 million unique visitors. drew far fewer visitors (about 7 million) than the other two…

CNN doesn’t agree with the methodology and has asked Pew for a correction. Matt Dornic, a CNN spokesman, notes that Pew drew conclusions from one month of data for what’s otherwise a report featuring annual statistics. That’s not the only concern. In a fit of Web-metric geekery, Dornic argues that the data in the report:

Uses a custom entity, [E], for Fox News against raw site-level property metrics, [S] for This is not an apples-to-apples comparison since a custom entity may contain a collection of other URLs that remain hidden. As it turns out, we learned from our inquiry to comScore that Fox News’ custom entity is also comprised of a variety off-site traffic assignment letters (TALs) and, as such, is not truly the audience of but instead is assigned traffic from other sites that is reallocated back to Fox News even though the visitor did not consume said content on

The figure for used by Pew also fails to account for the company’s apps, he says. “The data significantly misrepresents CNN’s digital audience,” he writes.

Basically, CNN is saying FNC’s data lead in the Pew survey comes from the equivalent of ballot box stuffing. It’s an interesting concept but if CNN is going to make the charge, it needs to show exactly how much traffic is being reallocated. For example, if removing the alleged reallocated traffic from the results doesn’t give CNN the lead again then it doesn’t matter whether gets reallocated traffic or not…it would still be #1.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 246 other followers