TURMOIL OVER TRUMP "TOWN HALL" INSIDE CNN - 5.4.23
EPISODE 193: COUNTDOWN WITH KEITH OLBERMANN
A-Block (1:43 ) SPECIAL COMMENT: CNN's betrayal of journalism, democracy and America by giving Trump editorial control over part of its primetime next Wednesday has actually gotten worse. It is intended by Trump as a precursor to a "jump start" of his relationship with the new management of CNN, and it may be intended by CNN as a precursor to a pronounced lurch to the right in primetime - maybe even an 8 PM show featuring former Tucker Carlson employee Kaitlan Collins.
Barely anybody noticed that the start time for the New Hampshire "Town Hall" next week suddenly shifted from 9 PM EDT to 8 PM EDT and if you think that's trivial, think again. 8 PM is suddenly the Wild West of cable news. There are between a million and a million-and-a-half disaffected Tucker Carlson viewers looking for a new home and the signs are all there: CNN's Chris Licht wants their new home to be CNN. The network's primetime is in disarray (no CNN show is in the Top 25; the network just lost the 'ad demo' ratings to MSNBC for the first time in four years) and there would be no hesitation to shift Anderson Cooper from 8 to some later hour.
There's more bad news. CNN Political Director David Chalian, living in terror of losing another job to Republican complaints, again underscores the network's intent to treat Trump no differently than any other candidate - as if there were true in any universe. And while there are finally blowbacks from within CNN against Licht's looming disaster, CNN Contributor and January 6 victim Michael Fanone says he wrote an Op-Ed for CNN's website comparing giving Trump this time on CNN to giving a deranged person an AR-15 - and CNN won't publish it.
B-Block (15:53 ) POSTSCRIPTS TO THE NEWS: Another News/TV News story continues to unfold. Most people seem to have gotten over the visceral shock of seeing Carlson assert "It isn't how white men fight" and understood that it's not the comment that got him fired but the prospect of Carlson being forced to read it aloud in court (and sending shock waves through the Fox Board and the cable carriers from which Murdoch is trying to get more money). But I'm still hearing two questions: Who leaked the text (and all those Carlson outtake videos) and Why? The Who is obvious: it's Fox. The Why should be just as clear: to dirty Carlson up. And how do I know all this? Because it's been done to me by my immediate-previous employer SIX TIMES in my career: in radio, in local TV, twice in cable sports, twice in cable news.
C-Block (28:00 ) THINGS I PROMISED NOT TO TELL: Since we're on the subject of cable and TV News and Fox and dirtying things up: what I learned from going out on two dates with Laura Ingraham. The second of them was a quarter of a century ago, just about this time of year. I'll let you know when I recover from it.
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