Well you don’t see this “view” very often on a liberal network like ABC. Some hosts at The View admitted Tuesday that they were less than impressed by CNN’s new “facts first” ad campaign. In fact, they took it as a joke. Co-host Sara Haines went even further, criticizing the network as a whole for giving in to “editorializing” and lowering their standards of straight news reporting since President Trump has taken office.
While conservative host Meghan McCain agreed with Haines that the ad was “preaching to the choir,” liberal host Sunny Hostin defended CNN as a “trustworthy” news source while Joy Behar justified the snarky ad as CNN defending itself against the president’s attacks.
Host Whoopi Goldberg began the segment by introducing the ad, noting Trump’s war with the “fake news” media, particularly CNN:
WHOOPI: You know, fake news is a favorite topic of a guy who's in the White House right now. And he usually blames CNN fo 90% of it, so CNN has responded with this ad. Take a look.
CNN AD: This is an apple. Some people might try to tell you that it's a banana. They might scream banana, banana, banana over and over and over again. They might put banana in all caps. You might even start to believe that this is a banana. But it's not. This is an apple. [ Cheers and applause ]
The audience applauded, while co-host Joy Behar snarked that the ad was “very elementary” so Trump would understand it.
"I saw that ad and I thought this is ad is on a very elementary like second grade level so that Trump can understand it. That is a very, very simple -- this is a banana, this is an apple, get it?" she joked.
Co-host Sunny Hostin admitted she thought the commercial was a “joke” at first, like something seen on Saturday Night Live.
"Yeah. It's so rudimentary though. I thought it was one of those "SNL" jokes and then I looked at it again and it's real," she admitted.
But then moderate co-host Sara Haines argued that she thought the ad went over the line, and even admitted to turning off the network in recent times because it has “too much editorializing”:
SARA HAINES: Yeah. I thought it was funny but there have been times where I used to always go to CNN for like my objective news source and there have just been times in this heated environment where I find there's just a little too much editorializing that wasn't there before.
BEHAR: Yeah, what's going on? Why?
HAINES: The problem is the people that know that's an apple and not a banana are watching other networks. So don't tell me that it's an apple. I know it's an apple.
BEHAR: They're preaching to the choir.
HAINES: They're preaching to the choir. I just think because they're preaching to the choir it's just a little below them.
Conservative co-host Meghan McCain agreed with Haines, saying the lines had become blurred from straight news and opinion commentary:
I get so upset when people say, ‘you as a journalist.’ I'm like, whoa, whoa, whoa, I'm a conservative commentator. I have a distinct bias. I'm a Republican. There's a big difference between being a commentator and being a journalist and the lines are so blurred right now with a lot of activist journalism and when people get very angry at me it makes me so scared for the nature of journalism right now that people can't delineate between someone who's clearly a biased perspective versus someone who's just a straight journalist.
Haines went back to CNN, saying that “some” of its journalists have “given in” to the desire to expose their political bias, instead of reporting the news. Liberal host Sunny Hostin expressed doubt at that idea:
HAINES: Some of the people that were not biased before that maintained a certain -- they were removed have given into it.
HOSTIN: Have you really seen that?
HAINES: Oh Sunny, [raises eyebrows]
But Behar justified the ad, saying CNN has “been under siege” by Trump and calling Trump out for his “lies” was the “correct way” to go about it:
BEHAR: CNN has been under siege by Trump. They're under siege and they declared war now it seems.
MCCAIN: All networks have had issues in the past two years but they've had to fire three journalists over a story connecting Anthony Scaramucci to an investment fund-- Or I believe they resigned, excuse me. All networks are having this problem. I hate the idea I mean--I've started watching the BBC to get my news because I just sometimes want the news and I want to know what's going on also for policy-wise around the world.
BEHAR: I remember a few years ago no one used the L word, lie. No one used it. Now they're calling him out, they’re saying this is a lie, it's not true, and it's a correct way to go, in a lot of ways.
Hostin agreed with Behar, repeating the ad’s logic. She went on to emphatically defend CNN’s journalists as trustworthy, to audience applause:
If an apple is an apple and a banana is a banana and you call an apple a banana isn't that a lie? I worked at CNN for many years and I trust people like Anderson Cooper and Jake Tapper and Chris Cuomo and Wolf Blitzer. I trust them as journalists. [applause]
Haines pushed back against Hostin’s argument, referencing the loaded chyrons and expressions on the faces of some journalists while reporting:
It's not the article of the lie which I remember when that debate came out, a lie speaks to intention, not misinformation. That’s not what I’m talking about. I'm talking about eye rolls and a lot of the lower third in chyrons. They're almost funny, they almost seem like an SNL skit as well. CNN has always been above that. It’s not all of them-- there’s some people who really have maintained certain objectivity. But they need to remain unscathed because this time will end and when people need to go to them to trust them, you can't play to Trump's hand. You can't give into that.
McCain added that no one’s minds were going to be changed by this ad:
Sara, you made the most valid point that this isn't going to change America's perspective, this ad on CNN. We'll talk about it here in the media and I'm sure people that watch CNN like it but there's not a lot of Republicans that are like I'm seeing this apple ad, maybe I'll switch networks. It's not going to happen.
“I think the fruit imagery shows you what a fruitcake we're dealing with though,” Behar snarked, to end the segment.