CNN treats politics like sports — and it’s making us all dumber

CNN treats politics like sports — and it’s making us all dumber


Trump has made CNN into an unlikely hero. You are fake news. Repeatedly criticizing the network for its
coverage of his administration. Your ratings aren’t as good as some of the
other people. That’s let CNN play the part of the embattled
news network. Are we fake news, Kellyanne? Is CNN fake news? But the truth is a lot of this is theater. CNN plays a really important role in mainstreaming
Trump’s misinformation. And that’s because CNN’s approach to covering
politics often prioritizes drama and spectacle over serious truth telling. If you want to understand how CNN covers Trump,
you have to understand Jeff Zucker, the network’s president since 2013. Zucker came to the network from NBC, where
he oversaw shows like Fear Factor and, yes, The Apprentice. His background is entertainment television,
and to Zucker, politics is essentially a big game. He told New York Times magazine: Can’t believe that’s a real quote. Oh boy. You can see that approach in a lot of how
CNN covers politics: flashy countdown clocks, dramatic graphics, pre- and post-debate panels. It’s essentially become the ESPN of politics. You a big ESPN fan? You know what… But the clearest parallel between CNN and
typical sports coverage is the screaming matches. Turn on CNN, and you’ll almost certainly
see an argument between hosts, pundits, and commentators. Turn on CNN’s primetime shows and you’ll
see that same argument between a much bigger panel of people. [crosstalk] I don’t know what we’re yelling about. These shows are clear relatives of ESPN shows
like First Take, which pit commentators against each other to argue about whatever news story
was happening that day. This is the pro- hold on. This is the problem. You can actually see some pretty clear parallels
in the formats and studio sets of these shows. This type of news coverage, centered around
pundits arguing with each other, makes for cheap, easy TV. It’s loud, it’s dramatic, and it requires
no original reporting. Yeah, unlike you. But in the age of Trump, it’s turned CNN
into a circus of misinformation. It’s created a huge demand for people who
are willing to go on TV and defend Trump, and that leaves CNN booking less and less
credible guests. People in the studio are even laughing. So you end up with arguments between seasoned
political analysts and the “death panel” lady. Stop, stop, stop, or I’m going to have to
cut this interview short. Betsy, where are you getting that from? About 5 million people will lose coverage,
not 24 million. Look, there are so many things wrong with
what you said, I’m not going to have a chance… And it’s resulted in CNN hiring a small
army of paid Trump supporters, people like Jeffrey Lord and Kayleigh McEnany, for the specific purpose of participating
in arguments about Trump. While hiring paid political commentators isn’t
new for a news network, CNN’s Trump pundits are unique in the ridiculous lengths they’ll
go to to defend Trump. Has Trump ever said anything about race that’s
wrong? He hasn’t said that much about race. Oh he can’t stop. They make inflammatory arguments that shut
down entire segments. [crosstalk] They misrepresent Trump’s positions. That’s not what he said, that’s what it’s
being spun into. That’s not what the president said. Again, that’s not what the president tweeted
and alleged. That’s not what he said, and that’s not
what those stories say. That’s what you’re saying! I’m lost now. And they say false and misleading things on
national TV while being paid by CNN. This article does not say what you and other
Trump surrogates are saying that it says. Susan Rice was unmasking American names, disseminating
that information to numerous different agencies— No, no, no, no, that is not true. In a lot of cases, CNN’s Trump pundits are
repeating the misinformation that CNN’s serious journalists spend all day trying to
debunk. We’ve had the reporter on twice saying,
“You are wrong, my article did not say what Sean Spicer and the White House and you are
claiming it says.” CNN does this because they know that fighting
makes for entertaining TV. In a quote that should make your skin crawl,
Zucker told New York Times magazine… Jesus. I know. Zucker sees his pro-Trump pundits as “characters
in a drama.” And they are. CNN’s fighting-based approach to politics
is nothing if not dramatic. But much like on Fear Factor or The Apprentice,
it’s manufactured drama. Side by side, it should be noted. This is about arguments, not insults. CNN books wackadoodle Trump supporters to
make sure that every segment is poised to become a disorienting screaming match. Just look at how CNN reacted when Jeffrey
Lord went on live TV and said this: Think of President Trump as the Martin Luther
King of health care. CNN knew it would get people angry and watching,
so within hours Lord was back on air to spend two full primetime segments arguing about
it. Our very own Jeffrey Lord making a statement
that raised a lot of eyebrows. Let’s discuss it now. CNN hired a bullshit artist, invited him to
say ridiculous things on TV, and then turned that bullshit into its own mini TV drama. We don’t judge people by color in this country. That is racist, it’s wrong. [crosstalk] And it’s drama that Trump directly benefits
from. BuzzFeed recently reported that Trump quietly
pushes his surrogates to appear on CNN, even while he publicly criticizes the network’s
coverage. Jeffrey Lord, oh he fights so hard. This would all be fine and normal if this
was reality television or ESPN. But it’s not. At its most basic level, political journalism
is about keeping viewers informed about how the government is impacting their day-to-day
lives. That can’t happen when CNN treats every
story as a chance to reopen the Thunderdome. When you treat politics like a sport, you’re
going to end up with news coverage that cares more about watching people score political
points than about telling the truth.

100 Replies to “CNN treats politics like sports — and it’s making us all dumber”

  1. It's interesting to see how you tried to say that CNN is technically fake news because the approach CNN uses to present information makes them look like a fake news channel by saying that they present misleading information by these paid surrogates but then you quickly saved your a** by mentioning the hard work of serious CNN's journalists in debunking that same misleading information. Now, let me give you a reality check: THAT'S THE REALITY OF OUR CURRENT SITUATION. They want to show what these people believe in (which is utter bullshit), so people know why they are supporting such stupid ideas, and then they ask for proof or give proof for the opposite. I do agree with you on the unnecessary drama they create, but what you did here is basically give fast pace conservatives two quick words without clearing it up in a perfect manner. Those words were "FAKE" and "CNN". If you don't believe me, read other comments. A for an effort though! I like you guys, try harder next time.

  2. And the reason CNN was targeted and Fox News was not included? I'm all for listening when there is no pre biased. I did find it informative and it did slightly change my view, but I also recognize the examples you singled out are the most extreme cases and far from typical.
    Even you said Trump actively sends his own people on the show, and no doubt they are political studs, which does little to hold up to the ideology that it's fake news. I agreed both CNN and Fox are the news done entertainingly, I see nothing wrong with that since it's still the actual news being debated.

  3. So how do we stop Zucker? Sighting the problem without presenting at least one solution is failingly timid reporting. What's the point of creating a following if you don't lead. Much love, but I need more from Vox.

  4. And then they showed a Fox sports 1 show and pretend led it's eson, not that it changes the message but it does show bad journalism practice in a piece criticizing bad journalism. Pot calling kettle black

  5. Fox News has been doing this since 1996 and quickly became the number one news network in the nation because of it. CNN has unfortunately followed suit. They fell into the Trump trap of controversy equals cash. Still, the misinformation spread by Fox is much more damaging to the nation. They blatantly propagate mistruths and outright lies with serious societal consequences. They have successfully convinced middle America to vote against their best interests under false pretences by misrepresenting the policy agenda of both parties and covering up momentous instances of corruption and negligence. CNN doesn’t treat the news seriously. Fox uses the news as a weapon.

  6. Good video. You probably should have mentioned that CNN is owned by a large transnational corporation which has little interest in informing the people.

  7. Why are you harping on this on CNN? Fox news is just as bad if not worse! And so is CNBC! And just about every other news outlet and social media outlet.

  8. Yeah Jeffrey Lord is awful but his opposite character, Van Jones, is just as bad. Both are just playing as characters representing the stereotypical right wing voter and the stereotypical left wing voter, respectively.

  9. Yeah, the biggest reason I turned to getting most of my news through satire shows is that I can’t understand half of what they’re saying on CNN because they’re always just yelling over each other. If I wanted pointless, stupid screaming over politics I’d go to my family’s house.

  10. So CNN, the cable news network, runs on sensationalism. Yellow journalism goes far back and ofc CNN is trying to make their best buck. It's like Fox on the right. Right snowflakes don't come for me. News needs to prioritize the truth and not drama or bias.

  11. I certainly the upcoming generations are smarter and more intelligent than the dunderheads that are running the country now.

  12. STOP BLAMING CNN as a whole ! Almost all the CNN journalists are respectable and deliver on credible news ! I agree that the hire people for drama but by criticizing everyone you are undermining the good journalists.

  13. if you think about it, between all the warped media and us constantly taking selfies and videos of ourselves and posting them… that WE ARE KIND OF A REALITY TV SHOW NOW. think about it… We are "ON TV" all the time, whether we are the audience watching or the people being watched…. i wanna quit it all…

  14. If watching various viewpoints being debated makes you dumber, you're most likely already dumb.
    If you can't see that they are also showing how insane these Trump pundits are, then you should just jump out of a plane.
    This is a result of the political climate. The Trump side understands nothing but clashes, Trump seems to get away with everything and it's about time to fight them with facts.

  15. What news channel do I watch then? Sorry I’m dumb, honestly just wanna watch the most honest, unbiased channel (that’s in tv cuz convenience)

  16. News programs used to be done at a loss (financially) in order to deliver the news. Then in the late 80s/early 90s (can't remember exactly), someone decided that the news can be profitable. This turned the news into entertainment and not just CNN.

  17. I get my News From CNN and MSNBC and other news Channels and not Fox News…why? because they report what Trump is saying and so on and talk about the Issues that are the Result if Trump..even IF they are Paid by CNN..it does not Matter…they Report on the news and not Sugarcoat anything. Unlike other News sites like OAN and Fox News, they are Propaganda for Trump…teh facts are CNN does News and they Report on things and talk about what is happening while Fox news calls everything an Attack or some Bullshit. SO go ahead call CNN "Fake" News….they report the truth which people cannot handle these days.

  18. 2:00. Admit it. Since you don't have to believe what you are saying, at least some part of you would be open to making silly or outrageous comments on television if it paid well enough.

  19. CNN put The Jerry Springer show out of business. It is disgusting. They pay Republican liars to tell the same lie all day long.

  20. Man, look at that… Even the "SJW" News network: Vox hates CNN… JK, but CNN sucks!
    And for those who say that Vox is "SJW", it's not. Look at their channel, and you'll see that they are just anti trump. With some other news videos of the world.

  21. ronald reagan broke the news when he killed the fairness doctrine: there are photos of him online standing in between roy cohn and rupert murdoch – each of whom were key players in bringing about the end of the fairness doctrine. then came ted turner ~ whose unbridled greed and monstrous ego brought us a 24/7 news cycle, whether we wanted it or not.

  22. Politics is sport, but ESPN and CNN branch into commentaries that some (including me) find saturates the story to fill air time. When news was just at 6 o'clock you would never see things like this.

    If you want a true comparison to politics and sport, think C-SPAN or beIN. You watch these channels to see the players in the arena.

  23. I find my ideologies correspond to my political party which makes me wonder whether I'm being brainwashed or whether there is a defined set of beliefs that all liberals/conservatives happen to follow.
    (I'm a New Zealander so don't @ me)

  24. Which is why I stopped taking CNN as my primary news source since 2 years ago. Even when I occasionally tried to listen to their podcast (Cuomo or Anderson) the shouting match with one side blatantly lying all over the place and the other side racing against time to debunk the lies… It was just unbearable. I prefer to get news from a calmer source. But no, CNN is not the same as FOX. Fox is the conservative propaganda machine that does not show the two sides of the same story, CNN is the fool addicted to the two sides balance, even if one side is complete BS.

  25. Fox News: Epitome of new broadcasting propaganda and treats its audience as dumb sheep

    CNN: Treats politics like a reality television show and treats its audience dumb

  26. You have a point in the title (not watching your video because that would give you money – I'll see you in the streets). Demonetizing your political opponents has made you some very extreme enemies.

  27. I tell people to stop watching Fox and CNN and to watch international news instead; they tell me "they're boring".

    >:-U

  28. Ok but who are you to delegitimize this network? You’re obviously a left wing media and we watch you for that reason but at least they’re not telling blatant lies and siding with all the president says. Distrust in the media is exactly why republicans run the country right now

  29. All of those people on CNN are so tiresome. Trump is all they have and if you agree or not, people are tired of hearing that.

  30. This is exatcly the reason i found american politics so weird. They act like the politicians are battling or something. They shouldnt be attacking each other but they should work together to make a better america. CNN and FOXnews journalism is polarising the political climate in america. I hope people understand that the people you do not agree with arent the devil

  31. So so so so so, CNN is actually helping Trump…and he knows about it?

    Does that also mean that that guy Zucker who helped oversee Trump's The Apprentice…is colluding with Trump?

    Man this is mindblowing

  32. But you have to say that when some hosts and commentators are arguing, they're bringing different views to you. It's not this objective reporting, it's more like a debating club

  33. I learn SO much from this channel. I literally watch every single day. So much to discover and explore. I'm hooked.

  34. Amen! I am sick of this totally bs way of doing tv news. John Oliver on HBO does a better job of helping us understand the issues 🤬

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