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When I think of CNN—when I watch it, or when I scroll through Twitter, or when I think of what I want to write about it—I think of what Jeff Zucker, CNN president, said in 2017: “The idea that politics is sport is undeniable, and we understood it and approached it that way.”
I think about it when I watch Chris Cuomo bring on bad guests, and when I ponder his half-comprehensible interviews with Rudy Giuliani or Cory Lewandowski. I think about it when I see online skepticism over Jake Tapper’s breaking story that the Ukraine whistleblower was a Democrat, and debate over whether he should have brought on dishonest guests like Rep. Jim Jordan in the first place. I think about it when CNN announces that they tried to get someone from the White House or Republican Senate or House leadership to come on their network but that nobody would—and when CNN is in turn asked why it has been trying to get “reactionary liars” to come on air to lie. And I think about whether at times like these CNN is adding to, not cutting through, the noise and confusion.
But I also know that that’s not all of CNN, and not only because the analysis, during the day and in the evening, is interspersed with straight news. When I covered foreign affairs for BuzzFeed News’ national security desk (RIP), I attended the State Department press
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