The mindset to arrive from a collection of media reporters is amazingly obtuse.
Where is Brian Stelter or Oliver Darcy reporting breathlessly about a news network presenting false information on the air? Well, since the lie took place on CNN they clearly did not catch it, as they were too busy watching Fox News.
As Sister Toldja mentioned this morning, over at CNN they made a big production out of their primetime anchor Chris Cuomo completing his coronavirus quarantine. They filmed the supposed event in his home, showing Cuomo emerging from his basement lair as if he were exiting from a tomb like some media savior.
At issue with this ‘’event’’ are two factors, both of which calls into question the veracity of The Apple Network as a journalistic institution. The first is the staging of this non-news story like it was a reality TV show. There used to be a time when journalists would bristle at the idea of making themselves a part of a news story; at CNN the ‘’journalists’’ actually revel in making themselves the center of a story, in a Hollywood-like above-the-headline fashion.
The other matter apart from the staged dramatics is the absolute sophistry at play with Cuomo’s emergence. As the network tried to sell the idea that Chris had been entombed in his bunker for weeks we know for a fact that he was not properly quarantining himself. For starters, his wife ended up contracting the coronavirus from him. But even beyond that non-surprising transfer, he confirmed himself as not having been sequestered at home the entire time. There was a story, from him, about encountering a bicyclist outdoors during his supposed lockdown.
Cuomo had ventured out in public, while afflicted, and went to his other property where the encounter took place. So CNN is blatantly lying in its dramatic presentation inside the Cuomo domicile. The most galling aspect of this — the network does not mind being called out on the lie.
In a series of comments from a number of journalists the normally bothersome practice of numerous people calling a news outlet a source of lies is not so bothersome. Ben Smith at BuzzFeed noted the un-journalistic display of the filming, with only a light reference to the falsified details of the video.
The extent to which CNN has adopted reality TV values here is pretty remarkable. Including eliding the controversy over Cuomo's travel. https://t.co/AOS1spHYSR
— Ben Smith (@benyt) April 21, 2020
This nabbed the attention of the media analyst at MSNBC, Dylan Byers. He responded to Ben with a bit of a surprising analysis. He stated CNN is possibly happy with the fact that people are simply talking about them…even if it is from a standpoint of mockery and derision.
Not going to weigh in on “news” vs “self referential reality TV” debate, but will add this: So long as people are talking about CNN the mood inside CNN is that CNN is winning, or at least doing something right. Cable news is a business and it measures itself on ratings/engagement https://t.co/rlGdI6h6XU
— Dylan Byers (@DylanByers) April 21, 2020
This is rooted in the old entertainment maxim regarding Public Relations, except that it does not apply when it comes to a news outlet — saying ‘’There is no such thing as bad news’’ is completely inaccurate when applied to a journalism source. But even if what Byers is saying is proven accurate, it only raises another question, and it is one that steers us back to Stelter and Darcy, a.k.a. Tater, and Tater Tot.
To suggest that people talking about a news network is a sign of winning then what does Dylan Beyers consider to be happening in reference to Fox News. Stelter and Darcy have elevated their focus on Fox to near obsession levels. Beyond those two, CNN and MSNBC have been leveling perpetual accusations at Fox for weeks now. Following suit, there are numerous other media figures and journalists who have expressed their vocal scorn for Fox over garbage claims regarding the coronavirus coverage.
If winning is based upon ‘’people talking about’’ a news outlet then it is beyond fair to say that Fox News has already won. The ratings have certainly indicated this to be the case.