This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, September 5, 2022:
Friday’s exit of CNN’s longtime White House correspondent John Harwood should have caught no one by surprise. He is just the latest, with many more to come.
On Friday, at the end of his last show, Harwood said:
Personal news: today’s my last day at CNN. Proud of the work. Thanks to my colleagues. I’ve been lucky to serve the best in American media — St. Petersburg Times, WSJ [Wall Street Journal], NYT [New York Times], the NBC family, CNN. Look forward to figuring out what’s next.
The exit of key CNN personnel began even before the influence of John Malone, the network’s new head, began to be felt. Last December the network’s “evening star,” Chris Cuomo, was fired for his involvement in his brother Andrew’s sexual harassment scandal that cost him his job as governor of New York.
Following the merger of AT&T with Warner Bros. Discovery earlier this year, Malone’s influence as a board member began to be felt. At the time of the merger, which brought CNN under Discovery control, Malone made his displeasure about CNN’s left-leaning profile known. In an interview on CNBC following the merger, he said:
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.
In February, after the merger, CNN’s president Jeff Zucker was shown the door and replaced by Chris Licht.
A few months later CNN’s heavily promoted streaming service, CNN+, was shuttered after the $300 million investment resulted in just 10,000 subscribers in its first month of operation.
And last month, Brian Stelter and his program, Reliable Sources, were terminated, followed by CNN’s longtime legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.
Licht, whose background includes stints at MSNBC and CBS, informed CNN staffers that there was a new sheriff in town, and to get used to it:
Sadly, too many people have lost trust in the news media.
I think we can be a beacon in regaining that trust by being an organization that exemplifies the best characteristics in journalism: fearlessly speaking truth to power, challenging the status quo, questioning “group-think” and educating viewers and readers with straightforward facts and insightful commentary, while always being respectful of differing viewpoints.
First and foremost, we should, and we will be advocates for truth.
How, exactly, Licht plans to do this is unclear, given his liberal bias that has catapulted him to the very top of the mainstream media. Jon Nicosia, a former managing editor at Mediaite and a former breaking news editor at DCExaminer, predicts that the first thing Licht will do is continue to excise far-left liberals from top positions. In a series of tweets, Nicosia spelled out who’s next to leave CNN:
Once the coming shakeup at CNN is done, don’t expect John Berman, Alisyn Camerota, Jim Acosta, Brianna Keilar, Jake Tapper, John King, and Don Lemon to still be at the network OR have their current show assignments….
The final “stay or go” has not been finalized and more names will be added….
Stelter was a “go” because [quoting one of his CNN sources] “he was seen as working against current management’s goals. Leaking, stirring dissatisfaction internally … he started believing he was the only thing between ‘democracy’ and anarchy.”
Malone is described as a libertarian, serves on the board of the conservative Cato Institute, and donated $250,000 (he’s reportedly worth $9 billion) to help fund Donald Trump’s inauguration in 2017. Hiring a liberal to drain the liberal swamp at CNN may not be the best answer, but ridding CNN of the worst of the voices there (who steadfastly continue to call themselves journalists and not propagandists for the Left) is a good start.