In an apparent swipe at the Trump administration, CNN launched a new ad campaign in a Facebook video post Monday focusing on the slogan “facts first.”
The video focuses on an apple, with a narrator explaining that some may try to call it a “banana.” CNN host Brian Stelter tweeted a graphic Monday morning with more content.
“Once facts are established, opinions can be formed. And while opinions matter, they don’t change the facts.” pic.twitter.com/nWHB57Loup
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) October 23, 2017
In June, CNN health producer John Bonifield revealed in an undercover video from Project Veritas that Jeff Zucker, CNN’s president, encouraged his employees to steer their coverage toward Russia.
“And the CEO of CNN (Jeff Zucker) said in our internal meeting, he said, good job everybody covering the climate accords, but we’re done with it, let’s get back to Russia.
“Because it’s ratings… Trump is good for business right now.”
“I think the president is probably right to say, ‘Look you are witch-hunting me,'” Bonifield admits in the video.
It was this alleged blind devotion to ratings and covering an investigation that CNN political contributor Van Jones called a “nothing burger” and Bonifield himself described as “mostly bulls**t” that led to perhaps the network’s most embarrassing moment.
Just a few weeks after former Trump transition team official Anthony Scaramucci wrote a piece in CNN calling the Trump-Russia probe an “anti-Trump witch hunt,” CNN was forced to retract an article tying Scaramucci to a Russian investment fund under congressional investigation.
CNN later realized it could not vouch for the claims made in the article based on anonymous sourcing, leading to its retraction and the resignations of three journalists responsible for its creation.
Twitter reactions to the rollout of CNN’s news campaign highlight some of the problems it’s had in the Trump era.
Go on… pic.twitter.com/LgKlcz5uc1
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) October 23, 2017
Except when Dan Rather comes on….and Fareed Zakaria still has a show…and on and on
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) October 23, 2017
— Project Veritas (@Project_Veritas) October 23, 2017
Not long before the article was retracted, Kathy Griffin and Reza Aslan were fired for betraying CNN’s impartiality in both word and deed. For this, CNN is to be commended. Recently, however, its policy of impartiality isn’t evenly applied, and at times, it may even be encouraged.
“Ugh, just ugh,” a CNN producer told the Washington Examiner when asked about CNN White House Correspondent Jim Acosta. And it’s not just conservative news outlets taking issue with Acosta’s coverage.
“There is also a view inside the network’s newsroom that Acosta has been given the latitude, perhaps even the implicit assignment, to turn the briefing room into a personal editorial page because it is good television,” Ben Strauss of Politico wrote in September.
“Acosta’s remarks aren’t just blunt; they’re unusual. Reporters are supposed to report, not opine,” The Washington Post’s Paul Farhi wrote in July.
In 2015, in response to the passage of a House bill limiting the number of Syrian refugees admitted into the United States, CNN correspondent Elise Labbot tweeted, “House passes bill that could limit Syrian refugees. Statue of Liberty bows head in anguish.”
At the time, it was enough to earn Labbot a suspension for betraying CNN’s restrictions on exposing partisan biases. After her suspension, Zucker then claimed that its competitors, Fox News and MSNBC are “two partisan networks, that are looking out for their viewers,” according to The Washington Post.
In a 2017 press conference when the Trump administration announced new restrictions on immigration policy, Acosta engaged in a heated back-and-forth with Trump senior adviser Stephen Miller.
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses,” Acosta quoted to Miller before asking if Trump was “trying to change what it means to be an immigrant coming into this country.”
Acosta was never suspended or reprimanded. Instead, there were reports the higher-ups at CNN were considering giving him his own show. This newfound culture at CNN will make its new ad campaign difficult to live up to.
“From CNN’s vantage point, Acosta is standing up to a bully — both for a network that has been under attack by Trump and those who feel disenfranchised in the president’s America,” Strauss continued.