This must be a slow news week; we’re discussing CNN and its plummeting Nielsen ratings.
In a calculated attempt “to capture [its] lost glory,” Rush Limbaugh has anticipated that the Cable News Network will “move further to the left.”
Question: How will we tell that CNN has made that move?
The Obama Heads at CNN are true believers. Although not as shrill as the MSNBC desperadoes, CNN’s John King, Jessica Yellin, Dona Lemon, Anderson Cooper, Soledad O’Brien, Piers Morgan – all are shifting into campaign mode, as the November election nears.
Especially intense are the pitches coming from the likes of O’Brien (she is the Agony Aunt of the “Black In America,” “Latino In the Same Place” and plain “Boring in America” propaganda series), Yellin (a yelling for her man), Gloria Borges, Suzanne Malveaux and other women.
It’s impossible to miss the sexual overtones. A gleaming flash of dentition, a glowing complexion: When the women folk report on Big Daddy “O,” their fondness is on display, for all CNN’s 291,000 national viewers to see.
O’Brien, by the way, was filmed fist-bumping Roland Martin, another minority-issues commentator at CNN. In the CNN hood, a fist bump is the way you congratulate a comrade on a job well done for Obama.
Under the O’Brien belt is another big production, “Boiling Point: Inside the Tea Party.” In this amateurish effort, a poorly written script and a scary soundtrack were deployed to convey a never-subliminal message: When it comes to the tea party, CNN’s dwindling viewers should run for their lives.
However, the rajah of right-wing radio gives CNN too little credit. The planners at CNN are craftier than Rush thinks.
What do I mean?
The GOP message is not worth much. But for what it’s worth, the political nerve center at CNN is working to shape that message. It does so by presenting to the public Republican commentators who are left-liberals in all but name.
CNN is cleverly crafting the meta-message.
Take Ana Navarro, nascent Republican star on CNN. The verbose Navarro is a Republican identity-politics activist who would have liked Obama to deliver on his original immigration-policy promises. Navarro had been in the employ of Sen. John McCain, known for surrounding himself with, and siring, vapid women.
Yet another liberal Republican who’s been entrusted by CNN with moving the GOP “forward” is John Avlon, former chief speechwriter for one-time New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. On Independence Day, this wolf in bipartisan clothing framed the act of reaching across the aisle in compromise as a supreme act of independence, in the mold of the Founding Fathers. (The reverse is true. Bipartisanship is a euphemism for relinquishing principle for political pragmatism. To paraphrase one hardcore tea partier, the only time you want your representative to reach across the aisle is to grab a Democrat or an errant Republican by the throat.)
Certainly in the incessant babbling of Erin Burnett, host of “OutFront,” it is hard to discern a point of view. But late in June, Burnett let slip, inadvertently, that she, too, holds out hope for socialism.
Burnett was hosting “a valued member of the OutFront Strike Team,” whatever gimmick that stands for. The “striker” was Bill Gross, co-chief investment officer of PIMCO. Gross positively spun the political platform of Francois Hollande by describing France’s manifestly socialist agenda as “pro-growth” and as “a different way forward.”
Together, Burnett and Gross entertained the possibility that President Hollande’s Socialist Party might just “save Europe’s economy and ours.”
I listened to the Gross man live on TV. Gross made a salutary reference to France’s founding principles of “liberté, égalité, fraternité.” CNN’s transcriber failed to transcribe the reference, writing in its place: “(INAUDIBLE)”.
But here is Mr. Gross(out)’s verbatim nod to the blood-drenched, illiberal French Revolution and its legacy:
“I think what [Hollande] is trying to do is favor labor as opposed to capital. Remember ‘liberté, égalité, fraternité’, and you know he’s moving in that direction. To the extent that he moves only gradually, I think that’s a positive. What France needs, what Euro land needs is growth. And to the extent that they can prevent a continuing recession, then the growth is going to be positive.”
Erin’s strike man was conflating France’s vote against austerity with a “pro-growth” agenda!
“The Law” is a pamphlet published in 1850 by Frenchman Frédéric Bastiat. A classical liberal “economist, statesman and author,” Bastiat castigated his countrymen for becoming “the most governed, the most regulated, the most imposed upon, the most harnessed, and the most exploited people in Europe.”
Bastiat saw France as a society that “receives its momentum from power”; a passive people who “consider themselves incapable of bettering their prosperity and happiness by their own intelligence and their own energy.”
The brilliant Bastiat did not share Mr. Gross’s fondness for French “fraternity.” “Enforced Fraternity Destroys Liberty,” he proclaimed.
“In fact, it is impossible for me,” wrote Bastiat, “to separate the word fraternity from the word voluntary. I cannot possibly understand how fraternity can be legally enforced without liberty being legally destroyed, and thus justice being legally trampled underfoot.”
“So long as they expect everything from the law, their relationship to the state [will be] the same as that of the sheep to the shepherd.”
This mindset leapfrogged across The Pond and took hold in America, where agents like CNN help it spread.