The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

CNN: Failure, Denial and Nostalgia

Posted on | November 10, 2021 | Comments Off on CNN: Failure, Denial and Nostalgia

John Nolte ripped CNN a new one Tuesday, pointing out the laughable bogusness of the failing network’s recent polls, and Ace of Spades did a happy dance over CNN’s abysmal ratings — they don’t even reach a million viewers for most of their primetime shows. There are YouTube podcasters and teenagers on TikTok with bigger audiences than CNN.

Why hasn’t Jeff Zucker been fired yet? Is there any realistic possibility that CNN will get better under Zucker’s continued leadership? If they’ve just decided to accept permanent residence in the cable-ratings basement — literally, CNN is losing to Paw Patrol reruns on Nick Jr. — it probably doesn’t matter who’s running the show, but what’s the point of airing “news” that nobody watches? And what kind of “news” is it?

Yesterday was one of those days when I decided to watch CNN (so you don’t have to) and their Big Story — leading every hour, the subject of breathless “reporting” and multiple discussions with Trump-hating panelists — was that Nancy Pelosi’s special January 6th committee had issued subpoenas to 10 former Trump administration officials.

Very simple question: Who cares?

Maybe CNN’s 600,000 or so hardcore viewers are permanently fascinated with the Capitol “insurrection,” but how is it top-of-the-hour news that Pelosi is continuing her pointless witch hunt into something that happened 10 months ago? I say this witch hunt is pointless because the Justice Department has already investigated and is prosecuting more than 600 people who were involved in the “insurrection.” So what exactly is Pelosi’s handpicked committee investigating? What is the rationale of this inquiry that justifies issuing all these subpoenas? What do Democrats (and their pals at CNN) expect to find?

It’s not my habit to boast about sources, but a person with direct knowledge described it to me as the “fishing expedition from hell.”

Pelosi’s committee is asking all these people to turn over every email, text message and whatever else might relate to the “Stop the Steal” rally despite the fact that none of the people being subpoenaed had anything to do with the crowd rampaging through the Capitol on Jan. 6.

If you are inside the echo chamber where CNN viewers dwell, you know that their fear and loathing of Trump is obsessive, and that they (at least claim to) believe that the “Big Lie” — the belief that Biden didn’t really win the 2020 election — is a Threat to Our Democracy. From their (objectively deranged) perspective, getting to the bottom of Jan. 6 is necessary to driving a stake through the heart of this threat.

But it’s all a snipe hunt, a pursuit of imaginary phantoms. While it may be true that some kooks (including Trump himself, apparently) believed Vice President Mike Pence could thwart congressional ratification of the Electoral College vote, that is a separate matter from the gut-hunch suspicion of many voters — myself included — that Democrat shenanigans of one sort or another tipped the 2020 election to Biden. In other words, even if we don’t believe Biden was really elected president, we have to accept that it was not possible to prove massive voter fraud in a timeframe that could prevent him from being inaugurated.

We don’t want to overthrow the U.S. government for this. We’re not a bunch of wacky conspiracy theorists; we continue our lives as law-abiding citizen, despite our beliefs about cheating in 2020.

Most Republican voters are unhappy with this situation, but we’re not crazy — and that’s something CNN doesn’t want to admit. They want their audience to believe that every GOP voter is a fringe character like that bare-chested QAnon shaman or the militia wackos. As evidenced by CNN dwindling audience, there’s not much market demand for this kind of “news,” but Jake Tapper, Brian Stelter and the rest of their crew are committed to promulgating this paranoid worldview, where the “Big Lie” is an existential Threat to Our Democracy.

What CNN can’t accept — the reason they keep up this mindless Trump Derangement Syndrome drumbeat, despite ratings that indicate everybody’s sick and tired of it — is that Biden’s presidency is a failure of world-historic proportions. No matter how much they hate Trump, that doesn’t change the fact that Biden is demonstrably incompetent (and perhaps, also, incontinent). What they’re doing is a sort of Cargo Cult ritual, an attempt to bring about a return of the Nielsen magic by doing what they did during the Trump years. It’s a nostalgia trip, really, a yearning for a lost Golden Age, when CNN took pride in being leaders of the #Resistance: “Old times there are not forgotten.”

Alas for Jake Tapper, Brian Stelter and their friends, the world has moved on, and CNN’s Golden Age ain’t coming back. Yet they remain huddled inside their cocoon, telling each other how relevant they are, how they’re Making a Difference and Defending Our Democracy.

Their response to cognitive dissonance is denial, which is understandable from a psychiatric perspective, but isn’t much of a business strategy.

But is CNN really in the “news” business anymore? Don’t they function as a sort of ongoing contribution-in-kind to the Democratic Party, proving them with 24/7 free advertising to promote (what they conceive to be) narratives favorable to the party’s political interests?

And one other thing: Remember how CNN (and the rest of the liberal media) kept riding the “Russian collusion” hoax all the way through the 2018 midterm elections? Do they imagine that they can use the January 6 “insurrection” the same way, keeping up the hysteria into 2022?

“Insurrection now! Insurrection tomorrow! Insurrection forever!”

Yeah, well, good luck with that. Nobody’s watching this sad carnival.



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