Last week CNN aired a town hall with Donald Trump, the twice-impeached leader of a seditionist conspiracy who was recently found liable for rape and defamation, and is currently being investigated for a multitude of crimes, including financial and tax fraud, hush money payments, hoarding classified materials, election interference, and plotting a violent coup.
The town hall was broadly disparaged as an infomercial for Trump’s aspirations to return to the White House in 2024. He was given wide latitude to lie, with only paltry pushback by the moderator, Kaitlan Collins. The audience was stacked with Trump supporters who applauded his most heinous remarks and laughed when he insulted the victim of his sexual assault. The program was so awful that many insiders at CNN were among the harshest critics…
In the days following the town hall, CNN’s ratings plummeted to fourth place, below the ultra-rightist gadfly network, Newsmax. So naturally, this week CNN is rewarding Collins for her hosting of the debacle with a new primetime show:
“On the heels of her performance moderating a town hall with former President Donald Trump, CNN CEO Chris Licht named Kaitlan Collins the new host of the network’s 9 p.m. hour starting in June.”
This schedule change was actually rumored to be in the works prior to the town hall, which was to serve as both an introduction and an advertisement for Collins in her new role. Which, in retrospect, doesn’t seem like it was a very good idea.
CNN appears to be making good on the journalistically inappropriate promise of its CEO, Chris Licht, to make the network “more Republican friendly.” They are replacing the more left-leaning journalist, Don Lemon, with Collins, a former correspondent with the Tucker Carlson founded “Daily Caller.” Never mind that Collins’ primetime debut has garnered mostly criticism and ridicule. One of the few people to praise the show was Trump himself (of course), who credited it with moving Fox News more to the right.
Perhaps Licht thinks that he can scoop up the disaffected Fox News viewers who are rapidly abandoning the network for having fired their High Priest of White Nationalism, Tucker Carlson. If so, then Licht is even dumber than Carlson looks. Fox’s audience has been trained to despise CNN, and they won’t be de-programmed by a one-night special broadcast.
As for Fox News, they are implementing some program changes as well. They just announced that Sean Hannity will be moved into Carlson’s earlier timeslot. And insiders are saying that Jesse Watters and Greg Gutfeld are also going to be given shows in primetime.
This presents a dilemma for Fox. There aren’t enough hours in primetime for everyone currently being talked about to have a show there. Since Hannity isn’t going anywhere, if Watters and Gutfeld get promoted, then Laura Ingraham is either fired or moved out of primetime.
All of these changes are going to inject some chaos into the cable news wars. CNN is driving viewers away by sucking up to the right. Fox News is alienating their followers by terminating their heroes. And all of that is going to create opportunities for MSNBC, whose schedule is remaining relatively stable.
It may take several weeks for all of this to shake out. But if CNN and Fox News continue to battle it out for the wingnut demographic, they will both continue to lose audience share to MSNBC and the various incarnations of “Bachelors” and “Idols” that are being served up on the broadcast networks. Stay tuned.
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