Archive for the CNN Category

CNN vs. Morning Joe…

Posted in CNN, MSNBC on October 20, 2016 by icn2

In the latest in a long running battle, CNN’s Dylan Byers takes aim at Morning Joe yet again for the “favorable” coverage it gave Donald Trump…

Scarborough provided several pieces of evidence to back up the claim that they had been tough on Trump, including that, “I said from the beginning I would never vote for him, I said I was voting for Jeb Bush then I said I was voting for John Kasich” and that in early December 2015 he and Brzezinski had compared Trump’s proposed ban on Muslims to Germany in 1933.

Those limited examples are a fig leaf for the months of positive coverage and support that Scarborough and Brzezinski gave to Trump in the period of time Kristol was referring to: late 2015 and early 2016.

As CNNMoney and others have documented, Scarborough and Brzezinski — who visited privately with Trump on multiple occasions during the primaries — were overwhelmingly supportive of the Republican candidate during that time, consistently praising his unconventional campaign and defending him from his critics.

Scarborough, especially, spoke about Trump in glowing terms, praising him as “a masterful politician.” The Washington Post wrote that Trump had received “a tremendous degree of warmth from the show,” and that his appearances on the show, in person and over the phone, often feel like “a cozy social club.”

In February, several NBC News and MSNBC journalists, reporters and staffers told CNNMoney there was widespread discomfort at the network over Scarborough’s friendship with Trump and his increasingly favorable coverage of the candidate.

There’s a reason why this charge can still be hurled at Morning Joe…just as it could be hurled at Fox and Friends…just as it could be repeatedly hurled at CNN itself…

There’s more than enough available evidence to back up the idea that the media became obsessed with Trump that it lost its perspective for much of the primary season and into the summer. While I rarely agree with the usually wrong Bill Kristol, he’s right here; any attempt to say that Morning Joe was tough on Trump in late 2015 and early 2016 is essentially an inaccurate characterization of history.

Not that Byers should be the one squawking here. CNN’s hands are much more dirty than Morning Joe’s when it comes to their coverage of Trump. Byers knows this, of course…yet he throws darts at Morning Joe anyways. Lame…

The Brazile Email Controversy Explained?

Posted in CNN on October 13, 2016 by icn2

We may have an explanation for what happened with the Donna Brazile debate question email fiasco and it comes from Jake Tapper. NewsBusters’ Matthew Balan spotted it

On WMAL’s Mornings on the Mall on Thursday, CNN’s Jake Tapper revealed his “understanding” about what happened surrounding the leaked town hall question to the Hillary Clinton campaign: “This was a Roland Martin follow-up. So, my understanding is that he, or…somebody on his team got that question to Donna Brazile.” Brazile apparently then sent the question to Hillary Clinton’s campaign, as revealed by Wikileaks’ release of John Podesta’s e-mails on Tuesday.


The journalist repeated his condemnation of the whole Brazile leak near the end of the segment: “People at CNN take it very, very seriously; and to have somebody who does not take it seriously — to have us partner with that person; and then, they do something completely unethical and share it with Donna Brazile, who then shares it with the Clinton campaign, it’s horrifying and very, very upsetting, and….I condemn it in no uncertain terms. It’s awful.”

If Tapper’s version of events is correct this wasn’t CNN’s fault at all. But, if it wasn’t CNN’s fault at all and the question that got leaked to the Clinton campaign wasn’t even one of CNN’s questions, why lack of candor and a proper explanation of what happened? This wasn’t CNN’s doing so it’s most definitely in CNN’s interest to get it out there that it wasn’t their doing. And yet, days after this erupted, CNN, as an organization, wasn’t the one who was forthcoming, it was one of the moderators of the debate.

Why, CNN? Why? You could have nipped this in the bud quickly but your weak opaque public comments on the matter only made it worse. The network just made life more difficult for itself when, apparently, it wasn’t at fault.

CNN Should Investigate Brazile Email Ramifications…But It Won’t…

Posted in CNN on October 12, 2016 by icn2

The Hill’s Joe Concha writes about the Donna Brazile debate question email…

A few more questions: If Brazile has access to questions from time to time — again, her words — does Paul Begala have the same access, who runs a pro-Clinton super PAC? Does Ana Navarro, a Jeb Bush supporter and one of Trump’s harshest critics?

An internal investigation and some actual attempts at accountability would go a long way in solving this obvious breach. Remember, an internal investigation was conducted by the law firm of Paul, Weiss soon after the Roger Ailes sexual harassment suit by Gretchen Carlson over at Fox News. Will CNN do the same? Will anyone else in media outside of this space even demand one?

Sure. I will.

This is a no brainer to investigate. I don’t claim to have any inside knowledge of how this went down but there’s more than enough circumstantial evidence that optically points in one direction and one direction only. If that direction is invalid, the only way for it to be properly invalidated is to do an investigation.

But CNN won’t do that and even if it did the outcome would leave us with whetted appetites and nothing more. We can safely assume CNN is not interested in getting to the bottom of this and certainly isn’t interested in doing due diligence here. How can we be so certain of this? Two words: Fareed Zakaria.

The Zakaria investigation, and I use the term very loosely to describe that whitewash, set a benchmark for CNN. A bad one, yes…but a benchmark nontheless. The case against Zakaria was more solid than the case against Brazile here. With Brazile we have conjecture and assumption based on what her email said but what we don’t necessarily have is a smoking gun. With Zakaria there were numerous smoking guns in the articles he wrote and the transcripts of his show which at the very least showed Zakaria was guilty of patch writing. Some would argue the evidence was substantial enough to point to an even worse offense.

And yet despite all the available evidence, the best CNN could do is suspend Zakaria while it did an investigation, not release the results, and conclude they were satisfied with the way things stood.

Given all that does anyone believe CNN is going to do anything with Brazile?

This plays out in one of two ways:

A) CNN informs Brazile she’s no longer welcome back at the network and proceeds to hire an outside firm to dig into this situation to find the culprit or culprits.

B) The network ignores it, and by doing so, tacitly states it has no issue with collusion between its employees and presidential campaigns.

That’s the choice.

No. There’s a third option…

C) CNN informs Brazile she’s no longer welcome back at the network at some point down the road but does not launch an investigation. In effect CNN passive aggressively runs out the clock on Brazile while not publicly appearing to take any action.

This is the route I expect CNN to take.

Monkey See…or…If You Can’t Beat ‘Em…Steal ‘Em…

Posted in CNN on October 3, 2016 by icn2

Let’s see…Jeff Zucker said Buzzfeed isn’t a legitimate news organization. So of course he goes and hires away a bunch of those “poseurs”…as the Huffinton Post’s Michael Calderone scooped today…

BuzzFeed’s Andrew Kaczynski and his scoop-driven political research team are joining CNN during the final, frenetic stretch of the 2016 election and beyond.

Kaczynski, 26, has been one of the standout reporters of the campaign season as his K-File team has consistently broken news through deeply mining candidates’ past statements and actions. Three other members of the team ― BuzzFeed deputy politics editor Kyle Blaine and reporters Nate McDermott and Christopher Massie ― are making the jump with him.

The hiring of Kaczynski and company is a major coup for CNN and follows a recent spat between network chief Jeff Zucker and BuzzFeed editor Ben Smith. In August, Zucker said BuzzFeed wasn’t a “legitimate” news organization, prompting Smith to criticize the network for boosting Trump in the pursuit of ratings. The mini-exodus also comes amid questions about BuzzFeed’s commitment to original reporting following a recent reorganization.

CNN Takes To The Air…

Posted in CNN on August 18, 2016 by icn2

CNN announced a new drone program today. I am very curious how this will be utilized given the restrictions and limitations of drones and the redundancy of news helicopters in a world of 24/7 breaking news.


As the news industry leader in the development of technology used in newsgathering, CNN announces today the launch of CNN Aerial Imagery and Reporting (CNN AIR). For the first time in the company’s history, CNN will have a designated Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) unit with two full-time UAS operators to fully integrate aerial imagery and reporting across all CNN networks and platforms, along with Turner Broadcasting and Time Warner entities.

“CNN’s cutting-edge development of technology to enhance the way we tell stories is a part of our DNA,” said Terence Burke, Senior Vice President of National News. “We are proud to continue the tradition with CNN AIR, and to establish a unit that will expand our technological capabilities for newsgathering.”
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Ashleigh Banfield Jumps to HLN…CNN fills void with John King Election Show…

Posted in CNN on August 18, 2016 by icn2

HLN announced that Ashleigh Banfield is moving to HLN where she’ll take over the 8pm slot being vacated by Nancy Grace.

HLN Executive Vice-President Ken Jautz made the announcement this morning…

I’m very pleased to announce that Ashleigh Banfield is joining HLN.

Ashleigh’s new show will air live, M-Thu, 8–9 pm ET, and will premiere on Monday, October 17. She will bring her legal experience and views to HLN prime, tackling the day’s most pressing social and legal issues mixed with her own passionate point of view and spirited conversation.

Ashleigh and her distinct journalistic style is the perfect fit as we continue to refocus on our news roots and increase our live hours of programming.

Please join me in welcoming Ashleigh to the HLN family.

To fill the 12 noon hour CNN will be slotting John King for an election related hour that will run…wait for it…through the election.

Fisking The Fisking…

Posted in CNN on August 14, 2016 by icn2

NewsBusters’ Tom Blumer writes about a difference in reporting between Reuters and CNN regarding whether the Secret Service talked to Trump or not regarding his “Second Ammendment, people” comment.

Well, since I have written “Second Amendment people” here, I guess I need to fire up the coffee pot for the imminent Secret Service visit. What rubbish.

Unfortunately, both outlets are spinning the Trump campaign’s response to make it look as if the campaign acknowledges that Trump’s comments have the potential to “incite violence,” even though they didn’t “mean to.” Horse manure. The campaign has recognized no such thing, nor should it, nor should any person who understands English. The words “Second Amendment people” don’t incite violence any more than the words “First Amendment people” or “Constitution-following people” would.

The press and the Clinton campaign (but I repeat myself) are engaging in yet another attempt at language suppression. It’s another example of what George Orwell’s 1984 referred to as Newspeak, the modern version of which in this instance is trying to brainwash people into believing that any time a person says the magic words “Second Amendment,” that person is himself or herself violent or is encouraging others to take violent action.

Don’t wait by the TV waiting for CNN to retract its report about what Reuters has asserted didn’t happen.

I wasn’t originally going to write about this until I saw this story make it out like Reuters totally and completely invalidated Scuitto’s account.

It didn’t. Not even close.

The problem here, which Newsbusters conveniently fails to pick up on, is that both the Reuters story and Sciutto’s account can be true. There is enough of a delta between both accounts to make them accurate.

I’m going to quote the part of Sciutto’s reporting on the air which NB highlighted which gets to the heart of the CNN account.

An official from the United States Secret Service tells me that it has contacted, has spoken with the Trump campaign regarding those comments, those comments yesterday on the Second Amendment. In fact, I’m told there has been more than one conversation with the campaign since the candidate made those comments. In addition, I’m told by the Secret Service that the Trump campaign’s response was that Donald Trump did not mean to incite violence.

And here’s the Reuters version…

a federal official familiar with the matter told Reuters that there had been no formal conversations between the Secret Service and the Trump campaign.

I highlighted the word “formal” because its use is probably not an accident.

Sciutto’s reporting never said there were “formal conversations”. All Sciutto said was that someone from the Secret Service spoke with someone in the campaign about it…more than once.

The difference is, in this case, a legal one. A formal discussion means one in an official capacity with official notes and a record of the contact. “Speaking with someone in the campaign” about it could mean anything from the verbal equivalent of a nudge in the ribs to a finger wag.

So Scuitto could be right…and Rueters could be right. The Secret Service or some element of the Service could have had a backchannel discussion with elements of the Trump campaign to the effect of “Hey, knock that off…that’s not good” and it would not rise to the level of a “formal” investigation of the matter the way the Service would traditionally handle a potential threat to a presidential candidate.

It’s hardly the open and shut final say Newsbusters makes it out to be.