Just when you think you've heard it all, along comes Philip Kent -- chairman and chief executive officer of the Turner Broadcasting System, which owns the Cable News Network – who says that CNN “is a serious news network” that viewers would appreciate more if they would watch the channel “more critically.”
Kent made the laughable comments during an interview published in this week's edition of Broadcasting and Cable magazine, when he admitted that the “biggest misconception about CNN is that it's a liberal news network,” which “drives me crazy” because “it's not.”
During the cover story by Andrea Morabito, the magazine's programming editor, Kent said new CNN president Jeff Zucker agreed that changes to boost the audience of the low-rated channel will not be “done overnight, not short-term. He and I both know this is a marathon, not a sprint.”
The CEO's remark was reminiscent of the unbelievable statement CNN weeknight talk show host and anti-gun crusader Piers Morgan made when he stunned his audience by claiming with a straight face: "I'm not saying I'm the liberal media. I don't park myself in liberal or right-wing at all.”
Meanwhile, one of Kent's goals for CNN is to “get the fans back” to the once-dominant network, which “has to be deemed essential by more people again.”
What that’s going to do is not only get the ratings up the right way through the acquisition of getting back old fans and getting new fans, but also in the affiliate side, which again, half our revenue comes from advertising, half comes from affiliate revenue.
“I think the biggest problem that CNN has had over the last couple of years is the ratings go up and down with the news environment,” he noted. “We lost fans because of inconsistency.”
When asked about a comment he made that the problem with prime-time programming was largely operations and not the on-air “talent,” Kent tried to downplay his earlier remark.
“I think we have a number of fantastic producers at CNN, but we need more,” he replied. “A lot of attention was given to on-camera talent, but probably not enough commensurate attention to producing talent."
Kent then asserted that if people watch the network “more critically” and “not just listen to what others think of it,” CNN's viewership will again start growing.
Another of his goals is to “make sure we have the right balance of voices on CNN. That we have good conservatives, good liberals, experts in all areas. It’s a serious news network.”
That ridiculous comment quickly drew fire from John Nolte of Breitbart.com, who issued a challenge for the executive.
Kent should turn on CNN right now -- this very second -- and what he'll see is what I've been seeing for over a week now, a network on a pro-same-sex marriage crusade that gives zero time to anyone credible or thoughtful on the other side of the argument.
The Turner Broadcasting executive should also “turn on CNN anytime in the morning for a look at the trifecta of awful that is Soledad O'Brien, Carol Costello and Ashleigh Banfield,” Nolte continued.. “This Coven of Horribles has all but stopped trying to hide their pro-gun control, pro-gay marriage, pro-Obama leanings.”
NewsBusters has been exposing CNN's extreme left slant for many years, but it only takes a look at postings over the past month to show that the channel obviously does not have the “right balance of voices” Kent imagines.
On Friday, March 8, Soledad O'Brien and guest Jay Tomas of Sirius radio ganged up on conservative Joel Pollak from Breitbart.com, who was slammed when he connected then-law student Barack Obama to radical Harvard professor Derrick Bell.
CNN commemorated the 10th anniversary of the start of the War in Iraq on March 21 by bringing in legal analyst Lisa Bloom, who asked: “Should Bush officials be tried for war crimes?"
When the Conservative Political Action Conference started that same day, CNN devoted multiple segments to mocking and criticizing the people attending the annual event, which always draws hundreds of young (and some not-so-young) Republicans.
And just when it seemed the network couldn't sink any lower, a panel on March 27 compared traditional marriage supporters to segregationalists and slave owners.
Perhaps the channel's most egregious failing is its lack of conservatives among the network's guests -- and hosts. Even if RINO David Frum is considered a conservative, that still means liberals almost totally dominate any discussions on the air.
Why should people watch a channel when we already know what's going to be said by everyone there? Even though Zucker has been in place for almost three months, most of the changes he has made have been to move morning people to later in the day and vice versa, reminiscent of re-arranging the chairs on the deck of the Titanic.
And just to show how far the mighty CNN has fallen, one of the network's goals is to catch up to and surpass low-rated MSNBC, another network that's “all liberal, all the time.”