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Ear to the Ground

Is CNN the Least Trusted Name in News?

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Posted on Oct 26, 2009
Flickr / jarrodtrainque

The original cable news network has slipped to fourth and last place with prime-time viewers between ages 25 and 54, trailing Fox News, MSNBC and HLN. The conventional wisdom is that Americans prefer their news with a heavy dose of opinion, but CNN could be losing viewers because, as the “Daily Show” points out, the network is just bad at gathering news.

While we’re talking in broad strokes about what Americans like and don’t like, let’s take a minute to point out that the cable news networks measure their viewers in the hundreds of thousands. In a country of 300 million, it’s probably ill-advised to draw conclusions about the national character based on Sean Hannity’s 659,000 viewers.  —PZS

The New York Times:

CNN, which invented the cable news network more than two decades ago, will hit a new competitive low with its prime-time programs in October, finishing fourth – and last – among the cable news networks with the audience that all the networks rely on for their advertising.

The official monthly numbers will be finalized at 4 p.m. Monday and will include results from Friday. CNN executives conceded that will not change the competitive standing for the month. CNN will still be last in prime time.

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By Sepharad, October 27, 2009 at 11:52 pm Link to this comment

samosamo, True, but they can’t do it if the advertisers aren’t making enough money. And advertisers won’t buy in literally if people are hostile to the content they are hawking. Probably would help if individuals contacted every advertiser on Fox and said because of their support for Fox we aren’t buying their products. Not an organized boycott—just the kind of feedback these guys hate to get.

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By samosamo, October 27, 2009 at 3:25 pm Link to this comment

By Sepharad, October 27 at 3:25 pm
By scotttpot, October 27 at 12:27 pm

The msm, especially fuxu and cnn,  is the main tool of use by the neocons and
will be one of the last things they will give up in order to maintain a grip on their
agendas and a grip on citizen america’s mind for further manipulations.

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By Sepharad, October 27, 2009 at 12:25 pm Link to this comment

I hope the advertisers who support broadcast garbage read these comments.

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By Bill, October 27, 2009 at 11:48 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I knew something was bad wrong with CNN back in 2003 when Wolf Blitzer’s report on the demonstrations against the invasion of Iraq devoted more time to 200 window breakers in New York City than to the 10 million people marching in cities around the world.

Wolf Blitzer:  Is that a real name?

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By KDelphi, October 27, 2009 at 11:05 am Link to this comment

You mean FUX is actually “number one”?? Are you sh**ting me?? I thought they were just talking…I cant believe that anyone spends much time watching any of these…but it helps explain why things are so screwed up.

FUX and MSNBC are two sides of the same coin, with FOX being more obnoxious because thats the way neo-cons get viewers. But, Matthews and “ed” can be pretty histrionic, too. I havent watched any of them for more than a few minutes for awhile, but, for cnn, gawd, look at Lou Dobbs and “wolf”—people actually watch that Nancy Grace crap? Course, as some have said, these stats are from those who lke to give the impressions that people watch this stuff..BBC or Amy Goodman—thats about all I can handle anymore.

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By scotttpot, October 27, 2009 at 9:27 am Link to this comment

The entire corporate media led us into Afghanistan,Iraq,the war on terror,the
legitimization of torture,wiretapping,and corporate bailouts.They are well-paid
shills and lie, omit, and distort for corporations . FOX is only the worst and most
obvious, CNN is a close 2nd.

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By Joe, October 27, 2009 at 9:08 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

First of all ratings should not be taken at face value as they are still based on volunteers and neilsen boxes, as opposed to hard data, which is most certainly available now that everything is digital,but kept secret due to fear of lost ad revenue

It should also raise eyebrows when they take those estimates and add qualifiers to them like “in prime time” and “viewers ages xx-xx”  I know for instance that CNN runs ads claiming that they have more “unique viewers” than Fox and MSNBC.  Couldn’t say whether it was true or not.  But I suppose target demographics are what the Neilson ratings are all about.  And I wouldn’t be surprised if Fox does get more ad revenue

It is the advertisers who’s opinions matter, not the viewer.  Think of it from their perspective.  If you have some useless product you want to sell, and you want to buy add space somewhere wouldn’t you rather find an audience that you already know is susceptible to propaganda?  If you sit there watching Bill O’rielly thinking “yes I agree with everything this guy is saying” then chances are you might buy whatever they are selling. 

As For CNN, they are mainstream media, nothing more nothing less.  Completely interchangeable with both Fox and MSNBC.  The only difference is that Fox is a bit more tabloidy and low-brow but the policies advocated are the same.  The object is to get through the day with as little substance as possible and to keep within the democrat/republican paradime.  Frankly I find that FOX breaks the paradime more often than the others, which I guess is why they get pushback from the rest of the mainstream media.  So for instance through all the BS and rhetoric, Fox probably ended up covering the bailouts much better than CNN did.  And would probably rather see a Brit Hume interview with Obama as opposed to Wolf Blitzer.  Obviously I would rather have Amy Goodman get the interview but that ain’t gonna happen


I do remember once, a long time ago, it must have been 1992, when CNN was still young; they actually had on on air debate of a policy issue.  It was between Al Gore (VP candidate at the time) and Ross Perot (Third Party candidate) on the subject of NAFTA.  It was supposedly the highest rated program in their history, and they never had another debate of a policy issue ever again.  I suppose they got negative feedback from their advertisers.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, October 27, 2009 at 9:04 am Link to this comment

montanawildhack,

Attacking Zionists in such a way, raises red flags of bigotry. Though the basic premise towards the wars may be correct in my mind and emulates my opinion towards the wars, is it instead possible the Military complex may be the culprit? 

Agreement or disagreement may be in technique rather than the issue.

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By montanawildhack, October 27, 2009 at 4:27 am Link to this comment

Whether CNN is first or last is a moot point my friends….  Fox, ABC, CBS, PBS, you name your alphabet soup, they’ll all controlled by the Zionists…  The proof of this lies in the converage by ALL the American media in the runup to the Iraq WAR!!!  What was the ONLY country to benefit from that war—-Israel….  And are their soldiers dying over there??? Hell no!! Let the fool goyem die…. And now we have Uncle Barack scatching his wooly melon on whether to send 39,999 troops over to Afghanistan or 40,000….  That’s your choice America!!!  The majority of Americans want OUT of that war but what the majority wants means shit!!!  What matters is what Tel Aviv wants…. That little pimp Joe Lieberman is the most vocal mouthpiece for the Zionists and what he wants he gets… You watch….  America it’s time to take our country back or come to terms with reality and rename this country New Israel….  Have a super day….

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By Sepharad, October 26, 2009 at 10:48 pm Link to this comment

Since the decline of the Ed Murrows, broadcast news information has been and always will be inferior to good newspaper journalism—am talking reports and analyses, not the op ed pages. CNN, BBC, Fox—the bias is approximately equally slanted; it’s just that the BBC’s syntax is so much better. MacNeil-Lehrer is pretty good, also Amy Goodman, and in newspapers Tom Friedman.

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By samosamo, October 26, 2009 at 10:09 pm Link to this comment

I never knew how fast and easy the msm was able to veggetize the masses and
next in line for the worse and non-news source is cnn.

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By ApprxAm, October 26, 2009 at 9:06 pm Link to this comment

FauxNews, the NY Times and then CNN.

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By Aaron Ortiz, October 26, 2009 at 8:56 pm Link to this comment

I never realized how skewed reports could be on CNN until I witnessed the misinformation following the events in my country after June 28. I sift both sides of the local news or the turn BBC for information nowadays.

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