Former CNN Big-Wigs Say Network Is Too Political, Part of the ‘Resistance’

Over the weekend two former CNN big-wigs, founder Ted Turner and former long-time analyst Jeff Greenfield expressed disappointment in the direction the network has been heading. Turner thought they were spending too much time on politics, while Greenfield accurately noted that many of the people working there counted themselves as part of the anti-Trump “resistance”.

On September 28, CBS News released an excerpt of an interview Ted Koppel did with Turner to discuss his life after he was diagnosed with Lewy body dementia. In the excerpt, Turner lamented the state of his former network.

I think they’re sticking with politics a little too much. They could do better to have a more balanced agenda,” Turner said. “But that’s, you know, just one person’s opinion.” Seemingly trying to give Turner permission to speak his mind on the subject, Koppel told him he was “the one person who founded the joint.”

 

 

Strangely, this portion of the interview didn’t make it into the final cut which was air on Sunday’s (September 30) CBS Sunday Morning. While Turner’s thoughts didn’t make it to air that day, Greenfield’s did and they were made live and on CNN’s Reliable Sources of all place.

During a discussion with host Brian Stelter about the media’s coverage of the Kavanaugh show trial, Greenfield explained that because of Trump’s combative relationship with the press, they’ve grown increasingly hostile.

I don't think it's surprising, at least in my view, a fair percentage of the press in one way or another thinks of itself as a kind of resistance,” he said. He then addressed Stelter directly, suggesting it was something he had to say “bluntly to a CNN anchor”.

 

 

When I look at CNN, hour after hour after hour, I see panels rather than reporting, exchanging opinions, the overwhelming majority of which on this network I regard as quite critical or hostile to Trump,” Greenfield lamented. Although he said that the coverage might be “justified”, he worried that it was causing the country to split into “two different universes”.

Stelter appeared taken aback that the network’s poorly constructed facade was so easily breached. “What do you think personally? Has CNN taken a side, do you think, in this Kavanaugh debate? Has the press taken a side,” the CNN host played dumb. “Yes, I think if you take the overall coverage, you know, night after night and you said, well, what have I heard that balances out – sure,” Greenfield replied.

While Greenfield tried to calm Stelter down by saying CNN wasn’t as bad as Fox News, he admitted they were obviously opposed to Trump’s presidency: “In CNN's case, it's not at that level at all, but there is an overwhelming perception as a viewer -- I used to be, you know -- that CNN in effect or most of its people have taken a stand about this president and about this nomination."

This is CNN.

The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:

CNN
Reliable Sources
September 30, 2018
11:05:08 a.m. Eastern

(…)

BRIAN STELTER: Jeff Greenfield, do you share my skepticism?

JEFF GREENFIELD: Look, I'm skeptical about almost everything I've heard for this. And to your point, if I can pivot.

STELTER: Yes.

GREENFIELD: I think we're at a point where the whole last two years -- and, you know, certainly since Trump's inauguration has put the press or the press put itself in the position you described. When you have the president of the United States who says to his people, in so many words, ‘don't believe anything negative you hear about me, it is fake, it is a lie, they're our enemies.’ I don't think it's surprising, at least in my view, a fair percentage of the press in one way or another thinks of itself as a kind of resistance.

We have to speak truth to this power. We have to correct his statement about what we do, and in the process -- I mean, I have to say this quite bluntly to a CNN anchor, when I look at CNN, hour after hour after hour, I see panels rather than reporting, exchanging opinions, the overwhelming majority of which on this network I regard as quite critical or hostile to Trump.

Now, that might be justified, it may be these folks have concluded on the basis of how Trump has behaved and the Republicans that they deserve this pushback. But I think what you've described, these two different universes --

STELTER: Yes.

GREENFIELD: -- has only been accelerated. Look, you know --

STELTER: You think the press is exacerbating that feeling of two universes?

GREENFIELD: You know, I think the press in some way is trapped because it's a perfectly legitimate argument to say this president has misled, dissembled, outright lied, more than maybe all the presidents combined and we have to call him to that. But what's happened is, that it's fed the view on the other side of the aisle that, of course, they're critical of Trump because it's all fake news because they don't like what he's doing.

STELTER: What do you think personally? Has CNN taken a side, do you think, in this Kavanaugh debate? Has the press taken a side?

GREENFIELD: Yes, I think if you take the overall coverage, you know, night after night and you said, well, what have I heard that balances out -- sure.

Now, again, I want to be clear to this. It may be that the facts justify that, but I don't -- I can see how you can look at -- anymore than you can look at Fox, say, you know, Fox & Friends and decide it's anything more than state media. In CNN's case, it's not at that level at all, but there is an overwhelming perception as a viewer -- I used to be, you know -- that CNN in effect or most of its people have taken a stand about this president and about this nomination.

(…)

NBDaily Media Bias Debate CBS Sunday Morning Cable Television CNN Reliable Sources Video Ted Turner Jeff Greenfield Brian Stelter Donald Trump

Sponsored Links