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GOP tea party debate
Did CNN's partnership with the tea party diminish their (cough) credibility? American Journalism Review:
[T]eaming up to sponsor a debate is not the problem, says Kelly McBride, senior faculty for ethics reporting and writing at the Poynter Institute. Instead, it's the Tea Party Express's status as a PAC.

"They've partnered with the League of Women Voters and lots and lots of organizations," McBride says. "That's all well and fine. But a political action committee is expressly created to influence a process and further the agenda. That might be the difference." [...]

[J]ournalists such as Haynes Johnson, a former Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist with the Washington Post and now a professor at the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism, say the partnership was out of line. "I think it's a terrible precedent for any legitimate news organization to partner with a political group, especially one that takes such a strong stance as the Tea Party," Johnson says. "I think we shouldn't do it, and I think it's wrong."

He adds, "I think it's a bad idea for news organizations to partner with political groups, period. I think it's even more egregious to bring in someone as polarizing and ideological as the Tea Party and give them a voice."

Obviously, networks partner with groups all the time: Thursday's debate featured a (rather spurious) partnership between Fox News and Google, for example. But partnering with a group that is so unabashedly divisive seems a rather odd call for any outlet that is concerned with "credibility."

I think the short answer is that CNN, like other outlets, is much less concerned with "credibility" these days than in currying favor with different ideological groups. There is no actual news value to be gained by, say, hiring an Erick Erickson, but CNN has seemed to edge closer and closer to Fox News territory in an apparent attempt to ... well, what? Siphon off Fox viewers, perhaps, or perhaps their management has taken the Fox News success as a lesson that the hard right is the only available large audience, if you tell them what they want to hear.

It seems part of an ongoing process, for all the network outlets. After the debates, we get to hear "analysis" by people who either work directly for the candidates or are otherwise allied with them or against them: This counts as news for no discernible reason. It is the continuation of the Crossfire phenomenon, in which ideological debate is gradually degraded into mere partisan slapfight, and the goal of "news programs" is not to convey a firm truth, but to present a series of people who will purport to tell you what their truth is, and if the audience wants to find out which "view" most accurately reflects the real truth then they can go to hell.

I think partnering with an extreme ideological group (and one that is generally disliked by the rest of the public) made CNN look foolish, if nothing else. Whether or not it damaged their credibility hinges upon how much of it you believe the network had to begin with.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Like the Teabaggers are going to start liking CNN (11+ / 0-)

    For God's sake, the Teabaggers wouldn't even watch CNN when they aired Glenn Beck.

    •  If Fox keeps shoving Mitt Romney down… (11+ / 0-)

      …the throats of protestant evangelicals who would never in a million years vote for cultists, like Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman, then there is an excellent chance that those wingnuts will start seeking alternatives.

      The question is whether CNN, Fox, and MSNBC will stick to reporting the news rather than making it. Given the heavy editorializing without disclaimer, I say no.

      Teh stoopidTM, it hurts. Buy smart, union-printed, USA-made, signs, stickers, swag for everyone:

      by DemSign on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 05:46:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's one thing I have in common with the Baggers (11+ / 0-)

      I wouldn't watch CNN when they had Beck either, and I still don't.

      •  Can't stand em (6+ / 0-)

        Wolf Blitzer is whiny, ignorant, superficial and unbearable.  

        Anderson Cooper is fluff that insists it is not.  Insufferable, insipid, uninspired.  Boring and, of course, with the sexist appendage of a bitchy babe to make snide comments about stuff as a way of making Anderson the fool look cool.  

        Pierce Morgan is so awful words fail me.  I couldn't watch the bootlick Larry King except if his guest was worth something.  I tolerated perhaps 12 shows in the last 15 years.  Honestly.  But the new guy is so bad that if he interviewed Mandela I would be unable to watch it.  Its really that bad!

        Candy Crowley is a tool.  Gupta as well.  

        Their Sunday morning lineup I can stand only until I've had enough coffee to get up and find the remote.  Not a moment more!

        CNN has become a right wing network.  Not as overtly as FOX, but more covertly.  Its what they don't say.  Who is not allowed to speak.  Its the way they ignore the D theorists and concentrate on the aspirations of the R party all the time.  

        Its sickening and unwatchable and I recommend a total boycott of the network after their Tea Party response to the state of the unions addy, and now their Tea Party debate.  

        F U CNN!

        The robb'd that smiles steals something from the thief. -- Shakespeare

        by not2plato on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 06:49:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Wolf lacks scruples. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dirtandiron, citizenx, Palafox, wyvern, Matt Z

    He looked like a jackass, and should have known better.

    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." -Benjamin Franklin

    by hotdamn on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 05:37:34 PM PDT

    •  He just is a jackass! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      msmacgyver, hotdamn, Matt Z

      Several years ago now they went to that format with The Situation Room.  

      What a DUMB innovation.  

      Within weeks it was obvious how stupid it was.  Then some months later the "Situation" was that a former coke-whore model who married billionaire was found dead in her motel room OD'd in the Carribean.  For days, that was "the situation"  !!!!

      Its so damned DUMB!

      Who can stand it?

      Rubes in Peoria who happen to be female and on Valium?  

      I think those ladies would rather look at the internet

      The robb'd that smiles steals something from the thief. -- Shakespeare

      by not2plato on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 06:53:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hey, now... (0+ / 0-)

        Even people in Peoria know how crappy CNN is.

        dissent not only welcome... but encouraged

        by newfie53523 on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 07:10:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Blitzer is more than just a CNN hack, (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        drmah, not2plato, JGibson, Matt Z, jds1978

        he has a long term relationship with Pat Robertson.

        Wolf used to work for Pat Robertson's CBN way back when Pat was setting up his news bureau and Wolf was the 700 Club’s reporter from the Middle East. He was a lot younger in those days, but in those beginning days Pat exposed Wolf Blitzer to a viewing audience that topped the Nielsen ratings at 28.7 million monthly viewers! That’s a great way to launch one’s career. But Wolf Blitzer likes to keep that part of his career kind of quiet. He doesn’t list the 700 Club’s news bureau in his biography. He doesn’t tell CNN’s audience that Pat was like an angel to him when he was just an independent reporter starting out. But those of us who watched Pat’s show could never forget Wolf Blitzer’s reports. He was presented to us as such an expert—we were just so proud of him! And look how high he’s gone. You’d think he’d give Pat a little credit. No doubt he says “Thanks” by inviting him on CNN!

        May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house. George Carlin

        by msmacgyver on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 07:42:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Dwindling Credibilty At Best... (7+ / 0-)

    I watched because I like to think I have an open

    Not true I watched because I can't believe that these people live on the same planet I do...though I know I was born here not sure about all of them.

    I became a cable news junkie because of CNN way back when but it started losing my attention years ago...

     Hosting the Soapbox Debates only proved that they are getting sadder and going the way of FOX pimping for viewers of questionable intelligence and appeasing those they think have power.

    “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and consciencious stupidity.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by JMoore on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 05:46:32 PM PDT

  •  Why not the Green Party, then? (5+ / 0-)

    Hey CNN, next time there's a Democratic primary election debate, why not have the Green Party partner with you to host it? Or, how about the Socialist Party?

    Hell, for your next Republican debate, what about the Libertarian Party?

    No? What's the matter?

    Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

    by Simplify on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 05:47:02 PM PDT

    •  well if the green party was part of the democratic (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      party you'd have a point.  The tea party is the Republican party.  Want a "progressive party" debate.  Well then, let's get some t-shirts and clothes, primary the crap out of Obama with a progressive and act like lunatics who are going to tank the party.  We'll get our debate.

      "Foolproof systems don't take into account the ingenuity of fools."

      by overclocking on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 05:54:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  credibility has nothing to do with it (5+ / 0-)

    viewers do, viewers mean anything to these companies.  So to the extent they will tolerate crap and even let it slide so as to gain or not to lose viewers they will.  This is a problem with news for profit, it sucks.  

    "Foolproof systems don't take into account the ingenuity of fools."

    by overclocking on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 05:47:10 PM PDT

    •  No, not viewers.. product. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wyvern, jds1978

      In this case, political ideology is a product.  This is no different than Chevy sponsoring a NASCAR race.
      The networks are selling conservative ideology because no one pays them to sell liberal ideology.  That is why there are tons of market and business shows, but not one labor show.  That is why they will spend so much time pimping Republicans, will cover Tea Party events with a dozen people, but will ignore the takeover of Wall Street.

    •  and who watches news channels?? (0+ / 0-)

      now it makes sense..
      at least to me..
      they want viewers, and who watches news channels??
      i mean if fox news can be voted the most trusted source for political news...
      (i'm kind of a luddite, & kinda lazy, so i'm gonna cut/paste link here)
      i'm not vouching for this polls validity-
      but the fact that it exists says something
      so that's their world...
      following a strict business model, they have no reason to even try to attract an audience that just doesn't exist...
      and their world begins to shrink...

  •  Wait a minute (6+ / 0-)

    CNN is a news organization? Who knew?

    This is what we've come to? That we applaud at executions?
    Patti Davis on the Republican presidential debates

    by bramish on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 05:50:48 PM PDT

  •  CNN lost any credibility with me by the time (6+ / 0-)

    of the Iraqi invasion.  Interestingly they've all been gradually moving further right.  I don't think it's so much to capture audience for an individual network or outlet, as it is to control the national narrative which will continue to gain revenue for the holdings of all large corporations now and in the future.  So criticism as well as sense and logic have become the least of their concerns with top down management.  But they have to pretend to play the game; they're certainly not going to be honest about their motivations by not covering each other.  Much like the politicians today.  Facts are fine if they can be manipulated; truth is another matter entirely.

    It is not all books that are as dull as their readers. Thoreau

    by blueoasis on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 05:51:06 PM PDT

    •  They Have to Become the Organ of Global (5+ / 0-)


      They're global corporations, they're sponsored by global corporations, some are owned by other global corporations, and they're Constitutionally exempt from content regulation and obligation.

      None of this would be any mystery if the Bill of Rights specified Freedom of the Used Car Dealers. Everyone would understand exactly what to expect.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 05:55:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Oh, a *legitimate* news organization? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    "I think it's a terrible precedent for any legitimate news organization to partner with a political group..."
    Well in that case it's okay... it's just CNN.

    I support torturous regimes! Also, I kick puppies.

    by eataTREE on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 05:54:08 PM PDT

  •  If there is only a lineup of buffoons (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    citizenx, bythesea, msmacgyver, Matt Z

    there truly is no need to have any credible source/mediator  to run a debate.  Google now seems more ridiculous than ever and the 4.5 sane Republicans in the U.S. feel like Otto:

    Ok, I just used this video clip elsewhere but it seems appropriate here as well.

    Vi er alle norske " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 05:54:43 PM PDT

  •  CNN partners with the Tea Party, (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wyvern, NYCteach, msmacgyver, Matt Z, jds1978

    FOX partners with Google.

    Curiouser and curiouser, sez I, on my way down the rabbit hole.

    It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

    by Radiowalla on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 05:56:00 PM PDT

  •  It used to be a serious endeavor, at least. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wyvern, msmacgyver, drmah, Matt Z

    Monday is the anniversary of the first televised presidential debate.

    •  Who knew tricky dick wore boxers? (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dharmafarmer, beltane, wyvern, Matt Z, jds1978

      Or that JFK's favorite philosopher was Jeebus?  
      Ooops, they didn't get asked those questions.
       Nixon is bragging of how much infrastructure spending Eisenhower has done, and talks of increasing wages.  
      I wish they would have a debate between TV Nixon and the current Republicans.

      •  Today's GOP is fine with infrastructure spending.. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        drmah, Matt Z

        as long as they thought of it first and it's outside the US.  Remember Bush and Co. expecting us to be impressed with how much they were spending on Iraqis (without paying for it, BTW) while infrastructure at home crumbled and domestic needs went begging?

  •  Further proof of CNN's liberal bias. (5+ / 0-)

    Putting the Tea Party out there is the most liberal-friendly thing that any media outlet could do.

    The Rent Is Too Damn High Party feels that if you want to marry a shoe, I'll marry you. --Jimmy McMillan

    by Rich in PA on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 05:58:47 PM PDT

  •  why is TeaParty a "legitimate" political group? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wyvern, Odysseus, Back In Blue, Matt Z

    is the KKK a legitimate political group?

    80 % of success is JUST SHOWING UP! How many times does Lucy have to pull the football away before Charlie Brown (Dems) gets a clue?

    by Churchill on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 05:59:22 PM PDT

  •  Just looking at that picture (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wyvern, Matt Z

    Mitt Romney is so slick i almost see oil coming off him. Is he actually a real person or, as I suspect, a Ken doll candidate manufactured by Mattel?

    Hey Mittens! Anybody home?

    Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07.

    by anastasia p on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 06:01:08 PM PDT

  •  Tea parties.... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wyvern, msmacgyver, Matt Z

    are for little girls with imaginary friends. Oh wait a minute, Michelle Bachmann and Rick Perry DO have an imaginary friend. It's just strange that this "friend" would tell them both that, despite being severely mentally deficient and infinitely unqualified they both were ordained to become "Leader Of The Free World". It seems that God has a truly twisted sense of humor. Let's just hope the jokes not on us.

  •  Yeah, that was a misstep by (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wyvern, Back In Blue, Matt Z


    Obviously, networks partner with groups all the time: Thursday's debate featured a (rather spurious) partnership between Fox News and Google, for example. But partnering with a group that is so unabashedly divisive seems a rather odd call for any outlet that is concerned with "credibility."

    Yes, I know what you meant. But how could you criticize CNN for partnering with the 'divisive' Tea Party, while giving Google and Fox 'News' a pass as if Fox is legit?

    "We come on a peace thing. White flag?" "White flag!"

    by VictorLaszlo on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 06:08:29 PM PDT

  •  is dingleperry sticking his chest out (0+ / 0-)

    trying to look bigger?

    smash the chair, break the needle!

    by stolen water on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 06:09:03 PM PDT

  •  It's Time Warner, after all. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Good old Ted Turner wouldn't have tolerated this shit.

  •  "...if you tell them what they want to hear," (0+ / 0-)

    they will cum.

    Sorry, couldn't resist.

    We Will NOT Compromise On Fairness.

    by franklyn on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 06:25:42 PM PDT

  •   Fox News success... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wyvern, beltane, jds1978

    is the only available large audience, LEFT ON TV.  Tv has become just another show as Janes Addiction once sang. It's a dying medium and they'll do anything to stay alive.

    •  Only if by... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jayden, jds1978

      .."success" you mean 4 million viewers on your best days.

      Outside of political junkie land (like Daily Kos, for instance), nobody gives a shit about Fixed News, CNN or MSNBC.

      If a typical MSNBC show can draw 2 million viewers, then the whole network throws a party & begins bragging about their  "unprecedented success."  In a country of 350 million people, this is unspeakably pathetic.

      If it weren't for Jon Stewart constantly using the stupidity of cable news as constant punch lines for jokes, cable news (Fixed News included) would enjoy 0  ubiquitous status.

      I agree that TV is a dying medium.  It's dying for the same reason newspapers are dying:  It constant trafficks in ridiculous bullshit that offends the intelligence of its audience.

      When Fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in excess body fat and carrying a misspelled sign.

      by wyvern on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 06:45:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  They are, mostly, followers. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Back In Blue
    the hard right is the only available large audience, if you tell them what they want to hear

    They follow and NEED to think they are backing a powerful team. They lap up all the cues given them...and that is the sum of their existence.

    -- We are just regular people informed on issues

    by mike101 on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 07:06:50 PM PDT

  •  I'm losing interest in MSNBC too. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Al Sharpton at 6 p.m. Pathetic. He can't even read. And, like Wolf Blitzer, his voice is really grating.

  •  Hate CNN.Sterile/generic. ONLY watch Fareed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Zakaria GPS - probably the best show on cable news - right up there with Rachel Maddow. Otherwise NEVER watch CNN.

  •  CNN = shark hurdling its way into irrelevance (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:


    In the sea, Biscayne, there prinks
    The young emerald evening star,
    Good light for drunkards, poets, widows,
    And ladies soon to be married.

    by looty on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 08:33:33 PM PDT

  •  Yet, FOX now exercises power over who is in (0+ / 0-)

    the Republican nomination debates it "sponsors."  It has and can literally over ride party officials.

    Where have these journalists been on that issue?

  •  Wolf Blitzer was one of the few (0+ / 0-)

    interviewers of Iran's Ahmadinejad at his press conference where he stated again that there were no gay or lesbians in Iran......

    CNN is becoming worse than Faux Newss.....and Wolf is trying to hard to get that best interview, maybe with the Devil himself.....that will play over and over again, maybe so he can retire on the looped earnings.....

    Please do not tell me you are involved by being a member of DK4.... really get involved...... The goal is not to bring your adversaries to their knees but to their senses. -- Mahatma Gandhi

    by Mindmover on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 11:27:59 PM PDT

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