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CNN President Admits His Network is More About Entertainment than Journalism

by Thomas A. Hawk, published

Vox released a scathing video on CNN broadcasting Monday that essentially shows how CNN intentionally makes its reporting more about entertainment and the "spectator sport" of politics, rather than serious journalism.

Really, the video simultaneously takes a shot at CNN and Trump defenders, claiming that by paying Trump supporters to come on to defend false or misleading claims, they are "making us all dumber."

The focus on Trump defenders and supporters aside, there is an important message about the hypocrisy that is prevalent in cable news. In this case, at CNN.

"CNN's approach to covering politics often prioritizes drama and spectacle over serious truth telling," says Vox's Carlos Maza.

Those who watch cable news don't really need Vox to tell them this. Politics and news on current affairs in general are treated as spectator sports by CNN, with countdown clocks, intense music and graphics, and shouting matches -- lots of shouting matches.

And the network's president, Jeff Zucker, is not even ashamed to admit this:

"The idea that politics is sport is undeniable, and we understand that and approached it that way," Zucker told the New York Times on April 4.

This creates a demand for people to provide the counterargument to anything, no matter what the position or statement is or how far from the truth it is. Vox uses Trump defenders as an example, but all bias aside, this has been going on way before Trump announced his candidacy for president.

Clearly, this is not about serious journalism. Set personal feelings about President Trump aside and this is still clearly a network that openly admits to putting entertainment above serious, hard-hitting journalism. It doesn't matter if something is true or not, CNN pays pundits solely to get a shouting match -- for the drama that it can produce.

Again, from the same NYT article: "As Zucker sees it, his pro-Trump panelists are not just spokespeople for a worldview; They are 'characters in a drama,' members of CNN's extended ensemble cast."

What else would you expect from someone who was a top exec at NBC? From someone who oversaw shows like Fear Factor and -- you know it -- The Apprentice?

Photo Credit: Rob Hainer /

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