By Bill Juneau
Here in the USA, news about Elon Musk and his takeover of Twitter is dominating the airways and headlines. The crash of CNN's new offshoot, dubbed "CNN-Plus" is passing with little public attention, only with sobs from woke journalists.
It was promoted by the station to be the evolution of video news and the start of a new era for the company.
Three-hundred new employees were hired and 150,000 persons signed on as subscribers, willing to pay a monthly fee for whatever new progressive programming would be streamed their way. It was projected that a billion dollars eventually would be injected into the program and in the end CNN would be reigning strong among cable news stations.
"CNN-Plus" went down in flames after 30 days of "streaming." In the purest possible rhetoric, it was a disaster, and there were words of concern from dopey anchors, Joy Reid and Don Lemon. CNN's Lemon said that it failed because it ran into "identity" problems---which apparently must have something to do with racism. To others behind a mike, maybe it was Elon Musk's shadow. MSNBC's Reid saw Musk involvement and asserted that the celebrated white billionaire grew up in South Africa and continues to embrace apartheid.
All in all, it is kind of amusing. CNN dreamers commenced planning for "CNN-Plus" last July. It would provide viewers more woke and marxist theories, and would drive a stake into the heart of its principal cable news competitor, Fox News. Last December, it hired Chris Wallace away from Fox News and he was to be sort of the captain of the liberal extravaganza. "CNN-Plus" went into operation on March 29, and by April 30, had quietly crashed and burned.
In terms of ratings and popularity among cable viewers, Fox News is pummeling CNN. On the world stage, Elon Musk has acquired Twitter and promises free and uncensored chatter on the social network; and that is bad news for CNN. But hey, while billionaire Musk probably considers CNN as a worthless and dishonest purveyor of news, he most likely had nothing to do with the cessation of "CNN-Plus." No evidence from Reid or Lemon that he "cancelled it."
The far left station is crawling and begging for viewers and had hyped "CNN-Plus" as the progressive way of the future. It was charging subscribers $6 per month. Now, with its failure, it is returning the money on a prorated basis. Also, scores of the 300 recruits got pink slips and a token check, and Chris Wallace is walking the plank.
Wallace, 74, who was the streaming guru, now finds himself in some sort of limbo. In an interview a few days ago, he said that he was a "victim" and he didn't know what caused the ship it to go down. Too many rival ideas, he said, and "I don't know who was right and who was wrong." Displaying emotion and maybe even a few tears, he said that he did not know where he would end up, but wherever that is, "I will be okay." It is doubtful that he would ask Fox News to take him back, and even more doubtful that the station would be willing to do so. But then, his return cannot be ruled out.
Also out at CNN is Jeff Zucker, 57, its president for the past nine years, and the station heavy behind the ill-fated "CNN-Plus" . It was Zucker who promoted it with its liberal agenda and progressive appeal, and he importuned Wallace, a registered Democrat, to leave his spot at Fox News in favor of the "new adventure." Wallace's liberal views paralleled those of Zucker's, and colleagues at Fox News and its viewers were said to be pleased with his exit since they saw him as two-faced, masquerading as a down-the-middle journalist,
Zucker's way of covering the news focused on regular denouncing of white Republicans as racists, supremacists, and liars. Not a day passed in which anchors and staffers failed to paint former President Trump as a racist and a xenophobe and a puppet of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Chris Wallace was on board with all of that. He was perfect as Zucker's main engineer.
The CNN story is that Zucker resigned because of pressure brought over his in-house romance with station Vice President Allison Gollust, in violation of house rules. Other reasons circulating about his "reluctant" resignation is that his incompetency and poor decision making, which has brought CNN sewer level ratings among news stations, could no longer be tolerated.
Zucker has been replaced at CNN as President by CBS' Chris Licht, who is considered a top TV newsman and producer. He has been credited with "retooling" the Stephen Colbert show, and making it into a hit. Also he created "Morning Joe" on MSNBC. "Morning Joe" is Joe Scarborough, a former republican congressman from Florida. Licht reportedly had a hand in remaking Joe into a noisy Donald Trump-hating Democrat.
Behind the curtain at Fox, it was said that the mush-mouthed Chris Wallace was green eyed over the popularity of Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham. While Wallace was tweaking President Trump, Hannity, Carlson and Ingraham were pointing to his accomplishments and the good job that he was doing. There was strong applause when he exited Fox, took off the mask and signed on as a woke journalist at CNN.
In leaving Fox last December, Wallace said on his Sunday morning show that he looked forward to a "new adventure," but in private comments, he has been quoted as saying that he was happy that he would never have to spend another elevator ride with that sociopath, Tucker Carlson. His return to Fox where he spent 18 years as a reporter and anchor is not anticipated. More than likely, he will wind up with a microphone alongside Reid or Lemon where he can be himself, castigating Republicans as supremacists and racists, while praising the Biden administration's spending and open border policies.
Free Press International