(Ezekiel Loseke, Headline USA) Facing internal ethics scandals, plummetting ratings and the prospect of a red tsunami in the 2022 election, CNN’s new leadership is desperate to rebrand the network’s image as a purveyor of far-left propaganda.
The network’s new chairman and CEO, Chris Licht, “doesn’t want to necessarily shy away from personality programming, especially in prime time, but he wants to ensure that partisan voices don’t dominate in a way that harms CNN,” noted a recent Axios analysis.
The network brass has reportedly told staff to stop referring to 2020 vote fraud with Democrats’ favorite buzz-phrase, “The Big Lie.”
Last week, CNN announced it was preparing to re-evaluate its partisan talking heads.
Don Lemon’s recent about-face grilling White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on President Joe Biden’s stamina may be one example of the pressure befalling its the network’s hardline left-wing extremists.
“To conservative critics, some on-air personalities, like Jim Acosta and Brian Stelter, have become the face of the network’s liberal shift,” said Axios.
Stelter’s over-the-top bias has long been a source of outrage—and bemusement—among his conservative media counterparts.
After Donald Trump Jr.’s unflattering comparison of Stelter to “Mr. Potato Head” at the 2021 CPAC convention, due to the rotund pundit’s physical resemblance, some have dubbed him “Tater,” further underscoring his lack of gravitas and credibility.
But Stelter’s vicious smears of conservatives oftentimes are no laughing matter.
Among his many egregious hot-takes, Stelter has:
- defended the doxing of the social-media account Libs of TikTok
- proposed relabeling cancel culture as “harm reduction”
- called for Tucker Carlson to be canceled
- compared then-President Donald Trump’s handling of COVID-19 to 9/11
- called a Trump rally a hate movement
- claimed PTSD from Jan. 6
- begged the Associated Press to attack conservatives
- labeled accusations of CNN being biased as fake news
To top it all off, Stelter’s primetime Sunday show, Reliable Sources, this week drew its lowest rating since 2019, according to Fox News.
Even more problematic is that Stelter underperformed his CNN peers. His show lost 13% of the previous program’s viewers, and the program following Reliable Sources saw a 25% boost in viewers.
This was not Stelter’s first time having problems with ratings.
In February, he and Lemon, on average, drew less than a quarter of the audience share of Carlson’s highly popular Fox News show.
Stelter aside, CNN has experienced a ratings nightmare since Trump’s departure from the presidency.
In February, for example, its ratings were the lowest they had been in seven years. During this period, CNN had worse ratings than South Park reruns, the History Channel’s Ancient Aliens and The Real House Wives of Orange County.