CNN claims to be nonpartisan while announcing new streaming service: 'We're not an opinion network'

Media top headlines July 20

In media news today, reporters hit President Biden for walking back sharp criticism of Facebook, MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell made eyebrow-raising remarks about crime in Washington, D.C., and the Washington Post lightheartedly mocked Hunter Biden’s art.

CNN announced its new CNN+ streaming service on Monday, claiming that the platform starting next year will be free from partisan agendas despite the network’s well-established liberal lean.

In promoting the subscription service, CNN chief digital officer Morse claimed the venture would not be ideological and CNN is “not an opinion network.”

don’t think anyone who’s looking for ‘deep lib’ would seek out CNN,” Morse said on the Variety podcast “Strictly Business.” It’s just not what we do. No, it’s not going to be ideological. We’re just not in that game. We’re not an opinion network, we’re a news network.”

His remarks raised some eyebrows.

“So you’ll be able to watch Kamau Bell ask giggly softballs to Antifa or the CNN Films love letter to RBG, but “it’s not going to be ideological,'” wrote NewsBusters executive editor Tim Graham about the new service.

CNN’s primetime lineup consists of nothing but left-wing commentary from hosts Anderson Cooper, Chris Cuomo, and Don Lemon, but CNN’s editorializing is also rampant among its news hosts and reporters. “New Day” co-anchor Brianna Keilar was accused of patronizing her guest Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., last month, suggesting that he was not admitted to the Congressional Black Caucus because his ideals were “incongruous” with their mission.

Reflecting on the contentious interview on Sunday, Donalds told Fox News that CNN has “a political agenda.”

“The people at CNN, they have an agenda, they have a political agenda,” Donalds said. “Let’s be very clear. They have a political viewpoint, the political viewpoint moves forward on everything they report. And it’s not just the anchors. It’s the producers and it’s the people at the top of the organization.”

Under CNN President Jeff Zucker, the network has taken a sharp left turn over the past eight years, particularly when Donald Trump began his run for president in 2015. 

Left-wing weekend anchor Jim Acosta became well-known over the past four years for his bombastic, feverishly anti-Trump coverage, where his melodramatics annoyed even some of his mainstream contemporaries. He declared once that journalists should march in front of the White House and chant “We are not the enemy of the people,” and he parlayed his style of journalism into a weekend gig for CNN once Trump was out of office. His current pinned tweet is a monologue comparing the former president to a clown.

CNN White House correspondent John Harwood has not troubled to hide his liberal political preferences in his either, cheering Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20 and frequently fawning over the new administration.

Other liberal figures like media correspondent Brian Stelter, a staunch defender of establishment journalists, recently returned legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, and outspoken anchor Jake Tapper also belie Morse’s claim.

It doesn’t stop on the news side.

Cuomo was forced to apologize this year after revelations that he offered political advice to his brother New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D., on sexual harassment allegations against him. That came after CNN was sharply criticized for allowing Cuomo to do chummy interviews with his brother during the outset of the coronavirus pandemic.

In April, Lemon was called “incredibly dishonest and openly partisan” for claiming President Biden simply misspoke about a Georgia voting law when he falsely said the measure “ends voting hours early.” In May, Cuomo vented about the Supreme Court‘s decision to hear a Mississippi case that could prohibit abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy, condemning the pro-life movement as catering to “the far-right white-fright vote.”

Journalist Glenn Greenwald was among the critics who sarcastically celebrated the network’s new streaming service announcement, questioning CNN’s use of the phrase “much-anticipated.”

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