Merciless profile of Chris Licht, the dimwit tasked with making CNN more appealing to conservatives

Originally published at: Merciless profile of Chris Licht, the dimwit tasked with making CNN more appealing to conservatives | Boing Boing


Considering that Fox News is no longer considered conservative enough for the taste of right-wingers it is hard to imagine how anyone at CNN ever imagined this could succeed.


The cognitive dissonance which gobsmacked me is the apparent reasoning: “We need to up our numbers! Let’s grab the maga far-rightees which Fox has lost!” without so much as an apparent glimmer of: "But won’t that lose us lots of ‘numbers’ in the middle and left??" Is it really the case that you could rise so high in the media world and remain so clueless about this sort of basic result? (“i blame the ‘rasmussen’ polling they contracted to support this scheme”)


Wow. Just handed him a shovel and told him that he could find the center if he kept at it.


and it’s not even an original plan. the national democratic party has been chasing that dream just about forever now


The only reason to chase the ideological right is, well, ideological. There can’t be any money in it once you’re larger than a Jones or a Newsmax. The MAGAs are small in number and your ads will do nothing unless they are for gold scams or buckets of prepper chow. Then, as others have pointed out, you’ll lose the rest of your audience in the process. You become a Nazi bar.

So if they are serious about trying improve their business, why bother with this?


“More objective and more popular with Republicans” is mutually exclusive.


It’s a very, very common belief among elite media that Republicans are extremely popular and extremely persecuted, and the press needs to give them a lot more positive attention, so they can beat the hated libruls. Polls show conservatives and hard-right priorities are deeply unpopular? The media prefers to ignore those.

It helps, of course, to have ownership and upper-to-middle management in agreement that fascism is going to be fun and cool.


Not only that but the even more conservative TV competitors to Fox were all actively failing before CNN embarked on this.

I don’t know who looks at the cable news space over the last 8 years. And decides another right wing network is a money making idea.


Truth Reaction GIF by MOODMAN


Yeah Fox posts big viewer numbers in the context of live viewers of prime time cable news shows.

But I can’t imagine Cash 4 Gold, fake $100 bills with Trump printed on them, My Pillow, and 5 gallon buckets of instant soup are paying premium ad rates.

Respectable advertisers with actual money keep cutting ties and reducing ad buys. Or keep them off the biggest shows. So they aren’t paying big rates either, when they’re involved at all.


The news should just be the facts, I don’t see how anyone can disagree with that. Now when you have a panel discussion, I like it when you present both the left and right in a reasonable way. I can make up my own mind.

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Atrios’ take on the article:

"The truth is there aren’t any ‘lefties’ - defined as not simply being Republican-skeptical, but actually presenting any sort of left wing policy perspective - on cable news with daily slots (some weekenders sometimes) except for Chris Hayes. The rest of the cable news ‘lefties’ are Never Trumpers, normie Democrats, and journalists who actual cover what Republicans are doing at ‘best.’

“That 'no one; in DC journalism seems to be aware of this unarguable fact is interesting!!! And it’s basically been true, give or take, for decades!”

Any person who expects corporate media to be anything other than corporate, ie capitalistic and congenitally “conservative,” is fooling themselves. The corporate media will NEVER be your friend.


“Right or wrong. I’m not saying he’s a good guy. He’s definitely not,” Licht said of Trump. “But, like, that was the mission Sometimes something should be an 11; sometimes it should be a two; sometimes it should be a zero. Everything can’t be an 11 because it happens to come from someone you have a visceral hatred for.”

I told Licht that while I agreed with his observation—that Trump had baited reporters into putting on a jersey and entering the game, acting as opposing players instead of serving as commentators or even referees—there was an alternative view. Trump had forced us, by trying to annihilate the country’s institutions of self-government, to play a more active role than many journalists were comfortable with. This wasn’t a matter of advocating for capital-D Democratic policies; it was a matter of advocating for small-d democratic principles. The conflating of the two had proved highly problematic, however, and the puzzle of how to properly cover Trump continued to torment much of the media.

Emphasis mine…


The way to deal with a bully like Trump, Licht told his journalists, was to confront him with facts.

And they then proceeded to let him run wild, and confronted him with no facts.


Privileged people safely ensconced in liberal enclaves often fool themselves about these things. The Dem establishment is another example, constantly tacking right in a quest for “moderate” Republican voters who’d never vote for them.

Licht is a good example of this, a flesh-and-blood satirical character who wouldn’t have been out of place on Succession. He’s too dense to realise that Faux News isn’t where he has to be going after viewers, but rather MSNBC and the three main broadcast networks. A good start might be re-instating the 30-minute news wheel at Headline News as a leader to the main network, but apparently it takes a galaxy brain to figure that one out.

The current right wing in the U.S. is anything but reasonable. They don’t care about facts. To believe otherwise is to indulge in a zentrum fantasy that ends with everyone being told they have to give the long-discredited claims of fascists and bigots and Xtianists and economic fantasists a fair hearing and that we have to meet them halfway.


Let’s not bring back Crossfire, even with “reasonable” moderators.

If CNN wants entertaining opinion programs, it should do what HBO and Comedy Central have done: hire comedians.


I’ve come to realize that Licht, former show runner for Colbert’s version of the Late Show, was one of the people who didn’t realize the Colbert Report was satire. I mean, who else would chase after an audience that hated your network?

Colbert apparently told him not to take the job, too. I’m sure he’ll get a nice golden parachute, though.


I would wave a tall stack of cash in front of Jon Stewart

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