To kick off the new year, the Biden News Network otherwise known as CNN eagerly announced changes today to their daily and weekend programming lineups, as well as some assignment changes for several of their political reporters. Fox News did as well, as my colleague shipwreckedcrew reported earlier.
The major changes at the Jeff Zucker-run cable news outlet involve many of CNN’s high-profile anchors and reporters, including Jake Tapper and Dana Bash:
For starters, The Lead with Jake Tapper will expand to two hours airing from 4-6 p.m. with The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer being cut down to one hour, from 6-7 p.m. Blitzer “will also have a principal anchor role for all major breaking news and continue to host CNN special reports,” CNN says, while Tapper will be the lead anchor for all Washington events.
CNN has also named Dana Bash co-anchor of its Sunday public affairs show State of the Union. Bash will split the anchor duties with Tapper.
Another change being made in who does what at the network involves performance “journalist” Jim Acosta. Known for his frequent sparring with President Trump and Trump’s various press secretaries, as well as his penchant for live reports that are heavy on drama and light on facts, Acosta has suddenly been taken off the White House beat just days in advance of inaugural festivities and now becomes a weekend anchor:
White House correspondent Jim Acosta will leave that beat and become anchor and chief domestic correspondent. He will primarily anchor on the weekends. Kaitlin Collins will become chief White House correspondent, with Phil Mattingly becoming senior White House correspondent.
More: Tapper becomes CNN’s lead anchor for all major Washington events; Phillip named senior political correspondent and Jim Acosta named anchor and chief domestic correspondent; Pamela Brown to anchor CNN Newsroom on Sat/Sun from 6-9 p.m.
— Michael Calderone (@mlcalderone) January 11, 2021
Acosta seemed giddy with excitement, when he posted the news to his Twitter account this morning:
On to the next adventure! After eight years at WH, I’m moving into a new role as anchor on weekends and chief domestic correspondent for @CNN, a new challenge I’m very excited about. Will miss my WH colleagues. But I know they’ll be great covering the Biden admin. See you soon!
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) January 11, 2021
Reading between the lines here, what does moving Acosta from the White House to weekend news anchoring at CNN really mean? That his work as an anti-Trump “Resistance Leader” for the media is all but done, and so CNN is rewarding him with a nice, long vacation from asking tough questions of a president – and will be replacing him with someone (Kaitlan Collins) who will go lighter on a Democratic White House than CNN typically goes with Republican administrations:
Jim Acosta being moved out of the White House as Trump leaves is the least surprising news here. His job has been eliminated. The #Resistance inside the White House beat is over… https://t.co/BZ2EHLkFrP
— Steve Krakauer (@SteveKrak) January 11, 2021
Enjoy the vacation, Jim. You’ve earned it. https://t.co/sq9rltpWJ5
— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) January 11, 2021
Least shocking move ever. Going from rabid lion to Poppin Fresh in the briefing room would have been too obvious. https://t.co/fW0DBQVhkv
— Tim Graham (@TimJGraham) January 11, 2021
CNN has dropped hints like crazy over the last few months that they were eager to get back to business as usual in
covering up for covering a Democratic White House. In October, CNN chief media hall monitor Brian Stelter said the quiet part out loud about how he felt it was the media’s job to “protect the public” from news stories they didn’t think the public should hear about, meaning he felt it was the media’s job to control narratives across the board.
A month later, “Prime Time” anchor and self-styled tough guy Chris Cuomo blurted out a rather candid admission about his employer, stating that “You know, for people like us, we do the job based on who’s in power but this is going to be very interesting.”
Back in November shortly after Election Day, Stelter swooned over the possibility that “normal relations between the president and the press corps would be restored” under a Biden White House.
It could not be more clear at this point what “restoring normal relations” between the White House and the press corps means for CNN, and I don’t think I have to draw too graphic of a picture for our astute readers to get the point.