The 'New' CNN: No Bias, No Bull?

CNN’s recent attempt to reinvent itself as the centrist news source, with “no bias, no bull”, has died an early death. True, CNN has added Bill Bennett to offer the ‘Republican/Conservative’ view (realizing somehow that the ideologically labile David Gergan has zero credibility in that role). But Bennett is usually the lone voice of reason on panels dominated by the likes of Gloria Borger, Wolf Blitzer, and Campbell Brown. True, Bennett is given his 30 seconds every so often. But the truth is quickly drowned out by endless hours of liberal bias and bull.

According to Bennett, CNN made the corporate decision earlier this year to become the “no bias” network. Seeing MSNBC as ‘in the tank’ for Obama, and Fox clearly favoring McCain, CNN decided to pursue higher ratings by attempting to be truly ‘fair and balanced’. CNN made a few half-hearted attempts to be more balanced, including hiring Bennett and introducing the new slogan, “no bias, no bull”.

But last week something went haywire at CNN. The reporters and pundits were unhinged and uncontrollable. In fact, the selection of Sarah Palin apparently sent CNN’s Obamaphilic ‘journalists’ into the abyss of bias and sleaze the likes of which even CNN has never seen before. On Monday, as Gustav was blowing in, CNN kept the breaking news banner, ‘Palin’s 17 y.o. daughter Bristol 5 months pregnant’. Despite pundit after pundit agreeing that Bristol’s pending motherhood should be ‘off-limits’, Wolf Blitzer, Campbell Brown, Gloria Borger, David Gergen and various rotating guests (Democrat party strategists and their ilk) kept the pregnancy ‘scandal’ ball rolling.

Stung by the pushback on that issue, CNN’s liberal stars were uncharacteristically subdued, immersed in self-analysis, for the next several days. But by Friday, they were back with vengeance, more determined than ever to somehow derail Palin and McCain and to do their foreordained part to elect Barack Obama POTUS. Wolf Blitzer filled the post-convention “Situation Room” with 3 hours of compelling news stories, beginning with an in-depth look at the green screen and Walter Reed HS background during McCain’s speech, followed by a sympathetic interview with the trooper in ‘Troopergate’. The teaser hinted that Sarah Palin ‘abused her power as governor’. Even though the former brother-in-law admitted, among other things, shooting a moose out of season and tasering his eleven year-old son, the reporter never once questioned his self-serving excuses (his son requested to be tasered, he said). Instead, there was the ominous conclusion that, ‘with all these questions surrounding Sarah Palin, one wonders how she will hold up’ under intense media scrutiny? There was no substantive analysis of the convention or issues in the entire 3 hours; only salacious rumors and ominous hints of ‘babies, lies, and scandal’.

Blitzer was immediately followed by Campbell (‘how can Sarah Palin be VP and take care of her special needs baby?’) Brown’s post-convention special. The ominous teaser had Brown telling Blitzer that, ‘Sarah Palin and John Mccain aren’t exactly telling you the truth when they say that she put the state jet on ebay’. In a true triumph of investigative journalism, Brown then reported that the jet was in fact put on ebay, but it did not sell there. They had to sell it later “at a loss”, Brown said, with no evidence whatsoever to prove that it was sold “at a loss” (was there any depreciation?). Brown quickly followed with the same green screen and trooper interview segments, with nothing at all about the substance of the convention or the candidates. It was clearly the last gasp of the NEW CNN, all bias and bull.

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