Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Andy, say it ain't so. CBS + CNN?

I knew CNN was struggling, but is *this* really necessary?

Rumors of CNN partnering with another broadcast network are old news, but New York Magazine's Gabriel Sherman reports that CBS News and the cable network are in "advanced negotiations" at the moment. It appears, according to some, that negotiations have been going on for months now - which may be why the New York Times reported in February:
CBS executives, mindful that Katie Couric’s contract expires in a little over a year, have talked to Anderson Cooper of CNN about an anchor job, according to two TV veterans informed of the meeting.
A spokesperson for CNN later denied this... and then we all gave a collective eye roll.

Friendlies, this is not completely out of the realm of possibility. This is probably the reason why, as I have been hypothesizing for quite some time, CNN has moved more toward the Right as of late. It's in order to get in-step with CBS.

More on CBS as a conservative news organization, later.

I used to be an avid CNN watcher... it was a little bit of an obsession. But, during the 2008 Presidential Campaign and shortly thereafter, I got the sense that in their zeal for remaining "the most trusted name in news", they decided to veer Right in order to buck the Right Wing's charges of "being in the bag for Obama".

Am I the only person to clearly see the following: the Conservative Right hollers and shouts about the media being too liberal and in order to prove them wrong, many media outlets move to the right as if to say, "SEE! We're not liberal."

Do I think that the media should cater to the Left? No, certainly not. Our country is about differing opinions and I fully support that. I am all for balance, though - *true* balance. And, no ... FauxNews is NOT balance. Nor is it fair. Nor is it news. It's Right Wing entertainment.

Let's get back to the item at hand and discuss CBS catering to the Right Wing and CNN following suit.

In 2005, CBS officials refused to air a commercial for the United Church of Christ that promoted inclusion of gays, racial minorities and people with disabilities because they considered it "unacceptable for broadcast," noting in particular the Bush administration's endorsement of the Federal Marriage Amendment as part of their justification for not airing the ad.

Fast forward to 2009 when CBS allowed Tim Tebow's anti-abortion commercial to air during the Super Bowl. This commercial, I might add, was paid for by the conservative Christian group Focus on the Family.

But wait! There's more! A 2005 Media Matters for America analysis of CBS Evening News broadcasts since the 2004 presidential election found that the program featured Republicans and conservatives more often than Democrats and progressives. Their bracketed tables are particularly helpful.

Yet, conservative members of the media say that CBS is the most liberal of the TV networks. You want to know how they come to that conclusion? According to the Media Research Center, a Conservative "watch dog" group, CBS news is generally considered to be more liberal because they constantly tag people as 'conservatives'.

That's right, Ladies and Gents - they're liberal because they call conservative people "conservative" too much.

From Media Research Center:
...the CBS News team managed to apply the "conservative" label at least 44 times -- in several instances beyond anything about the conservative split with McCain -- yet never once uttered the term 'liberal' during a night when two liberals faced off on the Democratic side. Jeff Greenfield and Bob Schieffer each tagged the same Senator, 25 minutes apart, with Greenfield calling Oklahoma Republican Tom Coburn the "most conservative Senator" and Schieffer referring to him as "very conservative."
Uh... here's a news flash for the Media Research Center: Senator Coburn *IS* conservative.

Let me break it down for you: what's clear to me after looking at the Media Matters and Media Research data is that CBS overloads with conservative commentary ... they call conservatives "conservative" ... and evidently, that makes them liberal because they use the word "conservative" too much.

Hello? It doesn't take a genius, folks.

And *this* is who CNN want's to get into bed with? A source told NY Mag:
CBS News and CNN are in advanced negotiations about signing a news-gathering partnership, according to executives familiar with the discussions. The talks revolve around how the two news divisions can combine operations in a bid to cut costs and expand audiences on both sides. While such conversations have occurred over the last decade, the current news-business climate -- plummeting CNN ratings, ever-shrinking evening-news audiences, major layoffs at ABC -- make a deal more logical than ever before.
Also noted was the fact that CBS anchor Katie Couric "might be a good replacement" for 322 year old Larry King.

There are already a lot of ties between the networks. Erica Hill, Betty Nguyen, and Elaine Quijano all left CNN for CBS earlier this year, and Anderson Cooper regularly contributes reports to CBS 60 Minutes. So, reaching a deal on this "news-gathering partnership" would only legitimize what has been going on for a while now - CBS and CNN are cavorting with one another.

We need to get Mr. hard-hitting-reporter Wolf Blitzer on this, STAT!

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