CNN has been fumbling the ball since 1991. But lately, it’s been incredibly well documented by the proliferation of computational devices and publishing networks.
We’re all in this together, so let’s see what we can do to help CNN’s probably well-earned complete lack of faith in itself. Forget about the ratings for a moment.
It is about creating a document that will exist forever in the archives of all planetary consciousness, a vast, hyperlinked, multimedia document, in real-time, with real-world effects as it’s created and published, and that document is our lives.
Another flub at CNN over the weekend anchor Jim Acosta, a Trump and Obama White House press corps guy, gave a snide soliloquy for Senate Democrats on Saturday, urging them to remove the filibuster (Hat tip: Sam J. at Twitchy):
“Democrats could think about it this way: If Mitch McConnell were in their shoes, what would he do? Given what we know, would we see him letting the filibuster stand?”
Before plucking that delicious, low-hanging fruit of the fact that McConnell did precisely that, why? Why even make Acosta take a firm stance on the filibuster when you guys have to make him take the opposite stand soon enough for the archive to catch up with him and CNN?
Is there any regard for the consistency of the product, for the company’s risk that audiences will increasingly care about that while finding it even more accessible as time goes on to become apprised of inconsistencies? That risks damaging trust in the brand’s sincerity and at least a good sense of fair play if not partisan neutrality.
One may as well find themselves on a public broadcast urging that the entire Solar System be redesigned because they can’t with certainty predict the timing of transits of Mercury to within a minute.
Of course, Republican communicator Matt Whitlock slam dunked on Acosta’s filibuster segment after Jim Acosta passed him the ball and motioned to his team to all stand off to the side of the court, handed them pom-poms, and said, here cheer for CNN’s destruction. In contrast, I stand under the hoop for this Republican Party operative to scalp me with his gym shorts as he goes flying over my head to slam dunk on our broadcast:
“As @Acosta plays Dem strategist here trying to invent an absurd pretext to destroy the Senate, remember that CNN bills this as straight news, not opinion. You’d expect a top political reporter to remember that McConnell was in D’s shoes a YEAR ago, didn’t nuke the filibuster.”
Bro, Ramen noodle kid, didn’t punish CNN enough for Chris Cuomo’s question about whether the Constitution forbids violent riots?
Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) even said a couple of weeks back that it would have been unfortunate if the filibuster hadn’t been when Donald Trump was president and Republicans controlled the Senate.
If you let it, mission creeps in the newsroom is going to end with interns handing you their not-aborted babies as you board the helicopters to withdraw from this operational theater and flee to Denver, Phoenix, and Miami to live out your years in dull ease and comfort reading books to your grandkids on the tablet over Zoom, wondering what you would do if you could give it all up to come back here to this moment on the timeline, and read the Constitution and brush up on basic American civics.
So that you, CNN, a fully-equipped international news corporation, don’t keep getting clowned by YouTubers with Cheetoh dust and Mountain Dew stains on their t-shirt. Do you want to go out like that? Have you ever looked back on what you did with all this you have?
Why not instead take inventory of all the magnificent assets you have, as one of the most valuable companies in the news, and all the liabilities, and take ownership of the documents you help produce and come to grips with the growing immortality of the archive.
Thanking the reader for reading thus far, here’s a question from Acosta’s segment with an answer: “Is the filibuster more important than election rights, women’s rights, is it more important than the lives of our teenagers, the safety of our schools?”
Yes, Mr. Acosta. It is more important than all of those things.
Because without it, the next group that comes to power that you are sure will not push those matters down the priority list or even actively threaten them with some policy they’re pushing for will not be constrained by the filibuster as they pursue their agenda.
So the filibuster is more important than those things, or, excuse me, it is not more important than them, but it is essential to them.