CNN Panel Gives Their Opinions About Why Opinion Shows Are Bad

In a jaw-dropping display that was one part a lack of self-awareness and another part hypocrisy, Wednesday’s prime-time Anderson Cooper 360 featured a panel of CNN analysts sharing their opinions about opinion shows like Hannity on Fox News. Their opinions varied but were largely against the mixing of opinion and news. And that was their opinion on the news of the day.

The hypocrisy was so thick you could cut it with a knife.

I mean, personally, I have no problem with Fox News. I'm glad Fox News is out there. I’m glad MSNBC is out there. I personally wouldn't want to do what either of them do,” explained host Anderson Cooper. But his virtue signaling was all talk and no sincerity because his introduction to the segment included a mocking shot from the undersized network:

Hannity’s employer Fox News did what any respectable news organization would do when face the with the knowledge that one of its anchors had gone on the air time after time after time to breathlessly report on someone without disclosing his personal connection to the story. I'm kidding. They don't care. They didn't care.

The first opinion about opinions Cooper asked for was from Washington Post national correspondent Philip Bump, who asserted that Sean Hannity was the sole reason Fox News was popular on the right and why Trump was popular. “So this is a network that Republicans are watching a lot. Sean Hannity is dragging all the coverage to the favorable Trump position. And the net result is it certainly contributes to the fact that Donald Trump is seen very favorably by that same base of people,” he opined.

 

 

Bump also claimed that Hannity only “insists [his show] isn’t a journalistic show, it’s an opinion show,” as if it was anything but. Also according to his opinion, Hannity was “the furthest right outpost on Fox News” and as such he “drags the rest of the hosts with him to match the rhetoric that he is using there.

There is a conflict for Fox News. Cause obviously, during the day they have folks like Shepherd Smith, Bret Baier who are doing reporting. And yet the nighttime is much more opinion based,” Cooper said...at the exact same time Hannity was on the air.

Former federal prosecutor and CNN legal analyst Laura Coates decried how Fox News would dare to differentiate between opinion and news and have people argue to sway others’ opinions via such shows:

Yeah, it's almost too convenient to say, “oh no, no we're going to use a kind of nuanced semantics argument. I'm an opinion journalist not actually a journalist. I’m not to be regarded and have the credibility as others but please believe every single word that I say.”

Apparently, it’s more appropriate (or “ethical” to use her words) to not identify a show as opinion and to only refer to all the shows as news.

Former Fox News contributor Kristen Powers stuck up for her former outlet and suggested that most people understood the difference between opinion and news. “I don’t think nobody thinks that Rachel Maddow, however talented she is, is just giving people the straight scoop. It is a perspective,” she argued. “So, I think most people recognize that what Sean is doing is gifting an opinion.

The serious problem with CNN isn’t that they don’t get that their shows are opinion shows; it’s their pernicious disingenuousness to continuously claim that all their shows are straight news no matter the obvious. Their shows might not all have one host just giving their sole opinion like Fox News and MSNBC (as some do), but what they do is farm it out to their liberal analysts who dominate the programs. So, whenever you see or hear a CNN employee say they’re news and not opinion, they're being misleading.

The relevant portions of the transcript are below, click "expand" to read: 

 

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CNN's Anderson Cooper 360
April 18, 2018
9:38:04 PM

ANDERSON COOPER: In the two days that have elapsed since the President's lawyer Michael Cohen was forced to reveal in court that the mystery client he tried to keep secret was, in fact, Sean Hannity, the consequences have been swift. Hannity’s employer Fox News did what any respectable news organization would do when face the with the knowledge that one of its anchors had gone on the air time after time after time to breathlessly report on someone without disclosing his personal connection to the story.

I'm kidding. They don't care. They didn't care. Here is a statement. (…) It's a dozy of a conflict of interest, one that was kept secret. But it's not even Hannity’s most glaring conflict of interest. New reporting in The Washington Post shows how intertwined Hannity and the President are.

(…)

PHILIP BUMP: Hannity has been an ally of Trump since early in the campaign. Probably even something before the campaign. He essentially endorsed him during the campaign. And he has been able to use his television program which he insists isn’t a journalistic show, it’s an opinion show. But he’s been able to use it to drive the conversation both nationally and at Fox News. He essentially serves as the furthest right-outpost on Fox News and sort of drags the rest of the hosts with him to match the rhetoric that he is using there. (…) So this is a network that Republicans are watching a lot. Sean Hannity is dragging all the coverage to the favorable Trump position. And the net result is it certainly contributes to the fact that Donald Trump is seen very favorably by that same base of people.

COOPER: There is a conflict for Fox News. Cause obviously, during the day they have folks like Shepherd Smith, Bret Baier who are doing reporting. And yet the nighttime is much more opinion based.

LAURA COATES: Yeah, it's almost too convenient to say, “oh no, no we're going to use a kind of nuanced semantics argument. I'm an opinion journalist not actually a journalist. I’m not to be regarded and have the credibility as others but please believe every single word that I say.”

And the conflict is so apparent in my mind, that, of course, I'm like an attorney a journalist doesn't have the same bar admission ethical standards that you would have but you still have credibility and ethics on the line. To me this is a clear violation of what the American people would like from somebody who represents they are actually giving factual information as opposed to not only just opinion but also one tainted by a personal conflict.

(…)

COOPER: I mean, personally, I have no problem with Fox News. I'm glad Fox News is out there. I’m glad MSNBC is out there. I personally wouldn't want to do what either of them do.

(…)

KRISTEN POWERS: Yeah, I mean, look where I would say the evening news shows at Fox, like the evening news shows at MSNBC are opinion shows. They're not -- anybody who think they're turning on the news getting Walter Cronkite, they’re not. And I don’t think nobody thinks that Rachel Maddow, however talented she is, is just giving people the straight scoop. It is a perspective. So, I think most people recognize that what Sean is doing is gifting an opinion. And I don't think there is anything wrong with him being a supporter of Donald Trump. I do think he should have disclosed this.

(…)


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