Skip to main content

CNN just had their lowest ratings in a decade. They are in disastrous shape. When I was on MSNBC, we would beat them with a stick. Even after "pro-CNN" stories like revolutions in Egypt and Libya, Japanese nuclear meltdowns and the killing of Osama bin Laden (CNN does much better when major news or international stories break out), we still beat them. Now they're doing so poorly I might even catch them on Current.

We started at almost nothing on Current, but we have been steadily improving our numbers. Why are we getting traction? Because people want an alternative -- the real news. So, I should just stay quiet and let CNN drive off that cliff. By the way, when I catch Erin Burnett -- which is not that far off because I'm beginning to see her in the distance in the demos -- everyone will know it. Who knows, that might be the event that precipitates CNN re-thinking their entire model. Imagine if a network that started at nearly nothing catches CNN within a year.

But I am not going to wait until then to give them some friendly advice. I know they won't perceive it that way, but I am actually trying to help them. So here it is -- for the love of God, stop doing "he said, she said" crap that doesn't actually deliver the news to anyone. Democrats said this and Republicans said that -- who cares? What is the reality?! Your job is supposed to be to bring us facts, not what official spokespeople told you in their press releases and talking points.

The problem is that CNN doesn't have the courage to do this. They're afraid it might offend some folks if you tell the American people reality. I want to be clear; I'm not saying they should give us opinion. There's plenty of that in other parts of cable, including my show. They're never going to out-opinion me. But if Mitt Romney says his proposal balances the budget, well, why don't you crunch the numbers and tell us whether that's true or not? Of course the reality is that it creates trillions of dollars in deficits just so that the rich can have more tax cuts. But CNN would consider reporting those facts as being biased.

If the Giants play the Cowboys and beat them silly, it is not biased to report that they won. You don't have a pro-Giants bias if you report the score. I'm a progressive but I have no interest in CNN skewing issues in favor of Democrats. By all means, call them out just as aggressively. The Democratic Party takes huge amounts of cash from corporations and unions to vote a certain way. My God, CNN doesn't even cover the role of money in politics. They take politicians at their word. Are you kidding? It seems like the people who work at CNN are the last people in the country who actually trust our politicians. Congressional approval ratings were recently at 11 percent. How well do you think you're going to do on television if you're sucking up to those guys?

By the way, following along with artificially created Fox News scandals doesn't give you balance. It makes you sad and pathetic. There are plenty of real Democratic scandals without falling into the rubbish Fox talks about. How much money does Chuck Schumer take from Wall Street? What favors does he give them in return? Why do Democratic leaders keep writing legislation rigged against the Internet -- could it have something to do with the tremendous amount of cash they take from Hollywood companies? Why does President Obama get a free pass on following George Bush's civil liberties abuses like warrantless wiretapping and indefinite detentions?

In other words, do your job -- report the news. The real news, not dueling talking points and manufactured controversies. My God, where is your investigative team? What's the last story you broke? Of course, the reality is that you don't want to break stories about Washington because that might offend some people. What kind of a so-called news operation is this afraid of their own shadow? "Oh my God, what if we offended someone in power. They might not come on our shows anymore and they might call us biased." Or they might call you journalists.

Sam Donaldson was on our show a long time ago and told us a really cool story about his old boss at ABC News, Roone Arledge. He said when he was covering the Reagan White House (and later the Clinton White House, too), whenever the administration called up to complain about him, Arledge would give him a raise. How far away from that model are we now? When politicians call up to complain now, "news" executives wet themselves in fear. Stand up to them! Do journalism! Challenge government!

And you know something amazing might happen -- people might actually watch you again.

Watch The Young Turks Here and Here

Follow Cenk Uygur on Twitter:

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Meteor Blades, RichM, Alumbrados, paradox, Angie in WA State, Doug in SF, cslewis, Sylv, RF, Chi, filkertom, itsbenj, deben, Sparhawk, assyrian64, glitterscale, Liberal Thinking, left of center, native, daninoah, Danno11, Dave the Wave, karlpk, Shockwave, byteb, CleverNickName, genethefiend, Aspe4, polecat, figdish, LeftHandedMan, recentdemocrat, niemann, Doctor Who, ssgbryan, JLFinch, Dumbo, Addison, TheMomCat, TracieLynn, sponson, Silverleaf, brillig, wonkydonkey, whenwego, Agathena, sparko, themank, chuckvw, fishwars, mkfarkus, rabel, Suvro, pedrito, JuliaAnn, greenomanic, bincbom, Indiana, librarianman, splashy, artebella, Alna Dem, pollwatcher, Texknight, menodoc, dejavu, psnyder, sockpuppet, Dallasdoc, Miss Jones, businessdem, CitizenOfEarth, pat bunny, 2laneIA, wordene, roseeriter, madame defarge, mnguitar, NYFM, Chirons apprentice, On The Bus, RuralLiberal, riverlover, zerelda, solesse413, Jen Hayden, Wizznilliam, thereisnospoon, oortdust, Gowrie Gal, sb, libnewsie, Skennet Boch, bloomer 101, historys mysteries, 3goldens, escapee, tle, Ckntfld, ichibon, elsaf, CTPatriot, Independent Musings, democracy inaction, irate, Erik the Red, sc kitty, PBen, truong son traveler, basquebob, dewtx, ChemBob, Brooke In Seattle, eru, Michael Alton Gottlieb, Dem Beans, jcitybone, Kayakbiker, Ice Blue, most peculiar mama, Carnivorous Plantling, SBandini, LostLibertarian, WisePiper, joeotter, sodalis, bunsk, Brian B, mightymouse, Paper Cup, Jim P, Reality Bites Back, K S LaVida, Sanuk, althea in il, emperor nobody, tarheelblue, tommymet, GreenMtnGirl, cas2, vigilant meerkat, cybersaur, 417els, profundo, Russgirl, Gorette, Dvalkure, victoria2dc, New Rule, rhetoricus, Shakludanto, arlene, anastasia p, blueoasis, DarkestHour, TalkieToaster, MJ via Chicago, The Hindsight Times, agnostic, gooderservice, JVolvo, ZombyWoof, OMwordTHRUdaFOG, middleagedhousewife, onionjim, thenekkidtruth, democracy is coming, Persiflage, suspiciousmind, fiddlingnero, nannyboz, shaharazade, Bernie68, bstotts, AllanTBG, Little, OHdog, cpresley, One Pissed Off Liberal, FlamingoGrrl, pgm 01, out of left field, anotherdemocrat, Habitat Vic, jhecht, Deadicated Marxist, Debs2, EdSF, jds1978, aliasalias, bnasley, jayden, US Blues, jedennis, dankester, SeaTurtle, Librarianmom, christianlsv, uciguy30, GeorgeXVIII, skod, Aynsley, gritsngumbo, Vinnie Vegas, South Park Democrat, Spiffarino, rmonroe, MKinTN, edg, Roger Fox, wyvern, kingneil, MikePhoenix, scooter in brooklyn, bill warnick, dadadata, elwior, Buckeye Nut Schell, wagdog, KJG52, jamess, Therapy, mikeconwell, Greasy Grant, LucyMO, Americans for a Republican Irrelevancy, hwmnbn, pickandshovel, Missys Brother, Jeff Y, mofembot, temptxan, Horsefeathers, elpacifico66, venger, msdobie, BYw, Karl Rover, ihavenobias, Nica24, Old Surgeon, Robobagpiper, pilotmama, scrambler, statsone, Tennessee Dave, JBL55, legendmn, Rhysling, McGahee220, rubyclaire, thorn in your side, lostinamerica, LinSea, Nebraskablue, maryabein, JesseCW, TheOpinionGuy, oxfdblue, papahaha, paintitblue, jimmylutherking, Nonconformist, Laffy, nancat357, Livvy5, Leftcandid, George Pirpiris, ruscle, Railfan, henlesloop, roadbear, fidellio, biggiefries, Crabby Abbey, jakedog42, wvmom, Anak, TimmyB, gulfgal98, pixxer, Puddytat, Betty Pinson, DrTerwilliker, elengul, Floande, DirkFunk, dwayne, fiercefilms, stevenaxelrod, slice, Mike08, Jasel, redlum jak, NJ elitist, Bob Duck, sfcouple, Jazzenterprises, lady blair, UtahLibrul, OhioNatureMom, kevin k, Ace Nelson, Muskegon Critic, smoothnmellow, Yogurt721, SueM1121, floridablue, ajwysocki, rexymeteorite, antooo, MinistryOfTruth, poliwrangler, earljellicoe, Hayate Yagami, Jinnia, joey c, Miggles, zenox, Mentatmark, SouthernLiberalinMD, ChiTownDenny, DEMonrat ankle biter, drawingporno, No one gets out alive, Madrig, mikeVA, quill, Flying Goat, MightyMoe, Williston Barrett, bozepravde15, greenbastard, Citizenpower, IndieGuy, James Renruojos, nellgwen, 420 forever, JGibson, This old man, Mr Robert, pot, Karelin, MartyM, restondem, pittie70, BlackNGreen, AndersJoergensen, lunachickie, FrY10cK, ItsaMathJoke, wasatch, deconite, Buckeye Liberal, pearldive, greblos, Blue Dream, TheMeansAreTheEnd, Economic Maverick, kleinburger, kickthecan, JayRaye, Thornrose, P Carey, goodpractice, averblue, helpImdrowning, bob152, Mannie, Avilyn, InfiniteThoughts, cromagnole, 2fast4u

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site