by Scott McKay
Back in the early 1980s when cable TV was bursting on the scene, there were four channels everybody wanted.
ESPN was one. The USA Network was another. HBO was worth paying extra for.
And then there was CNN. You didn’t have to wait for David Brinkley or Dan Rather to find out what was going on in the world; you could just tune in and get informed.
CNN was the brainchild of Ted Turner, an Atlanta-based entrepreneur who revolutionized the television industry and would have been known as a true hero of capitalism but for his unfortunate taste in women (nobody who marries Jane Fonda can truly be embraced by American conservatives, after all).
One wonders what Turner thinks of what his news channel, now in the clutches of megacorporate suits from AT&T, has become.
CNN is an embarrassment. It might be the single most dishonest media entity on the planet. Even the Korean Central News Agency, the mouthpiece of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, doesn’t pretend to be objective as it blasts out propaganda to the world. But CNN does.
None of that is news, of course. It’s been two decades since CNN gave up on attempting to be objective. They just lie and say they are these days. But what makes CNN’s corruption noteworthy is that it has branched out beyond the airwaves.
Now is when we bring up the Jussie Smollett trial.
Smollett is connected to CNN, and not just because both are in the practice of serial fabulism. It turns out that Smollett, who is black and gay, and CNN anchor Don Lemon, who is black and gay, have some sort of “emotional” attachment to one another. We won’t speculate on what that means, but what we do know is that while Smollett’s intelligence-insulting race hoax was causing a stir among media outlets large and small, Lemon was playing newsroom lawyer for him while covering the case:
Jussie Smollett may have just thrown Lemon under the bus during his testimony today. Smollett testified that he’d been in contact with Don Lemon during the early part of the Chicago Police Department’s investigation into the phony attack on him. He testified that one of the reasons he didn’t want to turn over his phone to the police during the investigation was because Don Lemon texted him that the Chicago Police didn’t believe his account of what happened. Lemon has already said that he was in constant contact with Smollett early on in the case and that the story was “personal” to him.
Was it “personal” because Don Lemon likes to personally invest in every race hoax he can, or for another reason?
That’s hard to say.
But Lemon was on the air trashing the Chicago Police for their inaction in finding out who beat up Jussie Smollett, while the Chicago Police knew, as any intelligent people would, that Smollett’s story was ridiculous and that a hoax was afoot. Meanwhile Lemon was warning Smollett that the Chicago cops were on to him.
A news anchor in cahoots with a race hoaxer.
Of course, Lemon’s Smollett misbehavior isn’t the only mud on his escutcheon. There is this, in case you don’t remember it:
The man who accused CNN host Don Lemon of a sexually charged assault said the liberal network is “a predator protecting machine” but he’s happy to see accountability with the dismissal of Chris Cuomo.
It’s been over two years since Dustin Hice filed a lawsuit against Lemon — who is openly gay — accusing the CNN host of sexually charged assault and battery at a bar on New York’s Long Island during the summer of 2018. The case is expected to end up in court early next year after a prolonged legal process. Meanwhile, CNN terminated Cuomo — a good friend of Lemon’s — on Saturday amid a series of sexual misconduct-related scandals of his own.
“They’re a network rife with predators and perverts,” Hice told Fox News Digital. “Lemon will have to testify under oath in the near future, but it’s good to see that there’s finally some accountability happening.”
Hice maintains he is looking for closure and peace of mind after what he says is a horrific encounter that included Lemon allegedly putting his hand down the front of his shorts, “vigorously” rubbing his genitalia, and shoving the same hand into Hice’s mustache area while asking a vulgar question.
CNN has stood by Lemon, much like the liberal network stood by Cuomo until damning revelations from the New York attorney general’s office about his involvement in protecting his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, finally forced CNN to take action. CNN also reportedly learned about a new sexual harassment allegation against Chris Cuomo, unrelated to his brother, before making the decision to terminate the “Cuomo Prime Time” namesake after months of keeping him on air amid multiple scandals.
“This is who they are. They’re a predator-protecting machine, they slander and smear victims with impunity,” Hice added.
Oh, yes. Chris Cuomo. We certainly haven’t forgotten about him. But you know all about Cuomo and his denouement at that network.
Here’s the thing. Everybody at CNN knew what Cuomo was doing. Everybody there knew all about Lemon and his antics.
Nobody at CNN gave a damn that its two most prominent hosts were not just predators — it turns out that Cuomo is apparently a sexual harasser just like Lemon appears to be — and of course just like his disgraced brother certainly presents as. With Cuomo threatening to sue CNN, we’re going to find out just how little the suits at that cable channel cared.
Discovery is a bitch, you know.
Nobody cared that Cuomo was playing political operative in an attempt to save his brother’s political career, and nobody cared that Lemon was trying to save Jussie Smollett from the consequences of his race hoax.
Why would they care? Why would these actions be disqualifying? CNN isn’t a news organization; it’s an advocacy and propaganda shop. It exists to push narratives favored by its corporate overlords or the petty middle managers who run its newsroom.
Or the pet causes of its on-air talent.
Another CNN host, whose current employment isn’t explicable based on his laughably small ratings footprint, is the bulbous Brian Stelter. Stelter has a job at CNN because he’ll do what others won’t — and based on the suspect character of Lemon and Cuomo given what we can read about them, that seems to be saying a lot. Stelter has a job, in the kindest framing of the situation, because he’s willing to push the newsroom’s party line.
And that party line is that Chris Cuomo Was Very Naughty and Thus Had to Go. Stelter and his fellow sock puppet Oliver Darcy peddled the narrative, in an article on CNN’s website last week, that “new documents” surfaced showing the extent of Cuomo’s scheming with his brother on the CNN company dime.
It’s laughable. It’s insulting they think anybody believes any of this.
CNN’s ratings are barely above cable access TV shows at this point. Cartoon reruns get more of an audience, as does the Hallmark Channel. But there is more integrity and truth in a sappy Hallmark Channel Christmas movie than you’ll ever see on CNN.
There is no way to fix any of this. Firing everyone and starting over won’t even fix it, because the stench of CNN’s corruption will take years to recede.
It’ll take a total rebrand under new ownership. But who would buy CNN other than just for the spot on the dial?
And how did the corporate executives who were supposedly in charge of managing this formerly respected brand allow things to become this septic?
Only in an industry in pronounced, irreversible decline could something like this disaster happen. And legacy corporate media is in such a decline. CNN is merely the leading edge.
Change is coming, though. As Charles Krauthammer said, that which cannot continue will not continue. And CNN, just like the rest of the corrupt legacy corporate media, cannot continue.
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Scott McKay is publisher of the Hayride, which offers news and commentary on Louisiana and national politics. He’s also a writer of fiction — check out his three Tales of Ardenia novels Animus, Perdition and Retribution at Amazon. Scott’s other project is The Speakeasy, a free-speech social and news app with benefits – check it out here. He is a contributor to American Spectator.
Photo “CNN Center” by Ken Lund CC BY-SA 2.0.