In a snit-fit that can only be categorized as “embarrassing,” CNN executives decided this week that they would not accept an invitation to President Trump’s Christmas party on Friday, demonstrating once again that they are more interested in playing up this “feud” with the White House than getting back to the principles of real journalism.
“CNN will not be attending this year’s White House Christmas party,” a CNN spokesperson told Politico. “In light of the President’s continued attacks on freedom of the press and CNN, we do not feel it is appropriate to celebrate with him as his invited guests. We will send a White House reporting team to the event and report on it if news warrants.”
Oh a reporting team, you say? Well…that’s “attending,” is it not? We wouldn’t blame the White House for denying your reporting team access to the event. Certainly, they’d better not catch you trying to sneak a cup of punch out of the bowl.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders decided to have some fun with CNN’s petty announcement on Tuesday, tweeting: “Christmas comes early! Finally, good news from CNN.”
As for Trump, he’s been ruthless in his attacks on the network this week. On Saturday, he wrote, “Fox News is MUCH more important in the United States than CNN, but outside of the U.S., CNN International is still a major source of (Fake) news, and they represent our nation to the WORLD very poorly. The outside world does not see the truth from them!”
And the next day, he wrote, “We should have a contest as to which of the Networks, plus CNN and not including Fox, is the most dishonest, corrupt and/or distorted in its political coverage of your favorite President (me). They are all bad. Winner to receive the FAKE NEWS TROPHY!”
CNN has been trying hard to keep pace with the attacks. In an op-ed for their website this weekend, a couple of their staffers made an argument for getting rid of the term “fake news” or at least reserving it solely for obviously-fraudulent stories like the shark swimming in the streets of Houston after Hurricane Harvey. And the network has also been testing out a new slogan: “Facts First.” Which is just…laughable.
When compared to, say, MSNBC, CNN is more even-handed in their approach to Trump’s coverage. But that’s is actually part of the problem. Unlike MSNBC, which does not shy away from being the “liberal” cable news network, CNN is still trying to make people believe that it is an antidote from all of that partisan coverage. It isn’t. Not by a long shot. In fact, we’d go as far as to say that correspondents like Jim Acosta are actually MORE plainly biased than most of the people who work on the air at MSNBC. And this guy’s still presenting himself as an objective journalist! It’s shameful.
CNN, much like the New York Times, had a golden opportunity this year to reclaim the public trust after wildly botching the 2016 election. Instead, both outlets went in the other direction, seemingly in a race to see who could take down this presidency the fastest. That’s not journalism – that’s activism. And if it hasn’t caught up with them in terms of subscribers and viewers yet, it’s only a matter of time.