Bozell & Graham Column: CNN's White-Whale Russia Obsession

The media’s sudden explosion over a meeting last summer at Trump Tower between Donald Trump Jr. and an alleged “Kremlin-backed lawyer” (she wasn’t Kremlin-backed) has spawned a whole new feeding frenzy. Every mini-scoop gets inflated into the latest contender in the urgent liberal question “What Will Finally Get Trump Impeached?”

The liberal-media obsession was palpable, even when you pull your cellphone out. On the night of July 11, the CNN App was all ablaze with the Junior jeremiads. One after another, the headlines were panicky and tabloidish: 

– “Trump’s web of Russian ties grows with Miss Universe links.” 

– “The 6 most troubling parts of Don Jr.’s e-mail exchange with Rob Goldstone.” 

– “Kaine: Trump Jr. may have committed treason.” 

– “Trump Jr.s e-mails undermine what the White House has been saying,.” 

– “Trump Jr.’s latest e-mail explanation to Sean Hannity doesn’t make any sense.”

– “How much legal trouble is Donald Trump Jr. in?”  

– “Trump Jr. releases bombshell email chain.”  

In the midst of this stream, down in the fifth spot, was this breaking news:  “Special ops forces among 16 dead in Marine Corps plane crash.” Way down at the number eight spot was this: “Earth’s sixth mass extinction is more severe than we thought.”But alleged mass extinctions are boring, next to Russia. The next headline was “Tapper to Trump Jr.: Why so many lies?”

This is why Trump fans have undertaken a campaign to give the CNN app a one-star rating at app stores on the web.  The average of Apple reviews for the CNN app plummeted to a one star rating. Then the rating mysteriously disappeared, replaced by a very questionable note: “We have not received enough ratings to display an average for the current version of this application.” 

The Daily Caller reported “Out of 3,215 total ratings awarded to the CNN on the app store, 3,063 of them were one-star ratings.” CNN critics had launched a political attack on their credibility.

The website Big League Politics reported the same thing happened on Google Play, a burst of negative reviews, followed by a disappearance: “Nearly 20,000 one-star reviews of the CNN App disappeared overnight on Google Play, boosting CNN’s ranking on its system.” 

The same people who criticize the Trump White House for eliminating the camera from press briefings are wiping their online ratings clean. Transparency is not their strong suit.   

The same Moscow-on-the-brain syndrome was dramatically obvious on CNN’s airwaves on the morning of July 12. Our news-watchers counted up the minutes on the morning show “New Day” devoted to Russia and to other news. The result was jaw-dropping: 93 percent of the news, or two hours and almost 16 minutes on Russia, and only ten minutes were spent on the rest of the world. They set aside eight minutes for the health-care debate, and two for the All-Star baseball game. That was it.

Not only that, in the next half-hour, before going to live coverage of confirmation hearings for FBI director nominee Christopher Wray, it was 100 percent Russia, Russia, Russia. 

Obviously, the Left thinks Russia is their silver bullet for Trump’s impeachment, and CNN is their channel for obsessive round-the-clock prosecution. That’s why it’s laughable the New York Times recently reported CNN is lagging in the ratings behind “the more ideologically driven coverage of Fox News and MSNBC.” 

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Brent Bozell's picture


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