(John Ransom, Headline USA) Progressive media giants the New York Times and CNN have been forced to make panicked changes to their coverage as Democrats face a potentially historic reckoning in the 2022 midterm elections.
CNN’s corporate parent has said that it wants the network to get back to journalism, reporting news and facts, without advocacy, in order to create a more “civilized society.”
“If we get that, we can have a civilized society,” Warner Bros. Discovery boss David Zaslav told Oprah Winfrey in an hourlong interview, according to the New York Post. “And without it, if it all becomes advocacy, we don’t have a civilized society.”
The order includes guidance to Times employees “to modulate” their activism on social media such as Twitter.
“We’re not ordering anybody that they can’t be on Twitter,” Baquet said according to the Guardian. “But we also just want to help people modulate it.”
Baquet is largely responsible for the Times‘s editorial shift into advocacy—after having encouraged his newsroom to cover the Trump presidency differently from any other.
“He lies about small stuff. He says one thing one day and says something different the next day. He insists that things are true that are sort of demonstrably wrong,” Baquet ranted in a September 2016 podcast justifying the paper’s newfound bias.
Many of the things Trump was alleged to have lied about ultimately proved to be validated, however, as it was revealed that the Times had colluded with corrupt members of the intelligence community to leak false information that would undermine Trump.
On Baquet’s watch, the newspaper also increasingly pushed the woke agenda, such as its publication of the debunked “1619 Project,” and generally prioritized identity politics and grievance culture over traditional news values like objectivity, neutrality and accountability.
A Times insider said that Baquet’s replacement, Joe Kahn, has a reputation as an old-school journalist and is less likely to humor the newsroom activists at the New York Times who whine about any semblance of balance at the paper.
“There is a sense—and this makes a lot of people very happy — that he is much less willing to indulge the complaining and the constant cries of activism,” the source told New York Magazine.
But the impulse for less activism and more journalism, likely isn’t an attempt by either CNN or the New York Times for a more civilized society.
It is more likely activated by old-fashioned dollars-and-cents accounting and state and local politics, as the midterm elections threaten to swap the Democrats, who have been led leftward by progressive, social justice warriors.
The CNN pivot comes amid a crisis that has seen the network hemorrhage viewers so severely that it was forced to write off $300 million of a proposed $1 billion investment into streaming service CNN+ just weeks into its introduction.
Famed billionaire media investor John Malone, who sits on the CNN board, has blasted the network for slanted coverage.
“I would like to see CNN evolve back to the kind of journalism that it started with, and actually have journalists, which would be unique and refreshing,” said Malone, who made his bones as a pioneer in the cable industry, according to CNBC.
Reforms also come amid a backdrop of Elon Musk’s takeover bid for progressive social media company Twitter, as report surfaced that Twitter could be ready to accept the rebel entrepreneurs bid.
Twitter’s stock surged 5% in premarket trading on the news, CNBC reports.
Musk, a long time Twitter critic, is attempting to purchase the company to unlock the value that its progressive stances have prevented the company from realizing for shareholders.
Headline USA’s Ben Sellers contributed to this report.