Should CNN Be Treating Politics Like a Sport?

By A.J. Katz 

CNN president Jeff Zucker has been quoted as saying: “The idea that politics is sport is undeniable, and we understood that and approached it that way.”

But should CNN be treating politics as sport? Carlos Maza of Vox feels the network’s on-air approach to politics has become a significant problem.

Maza writes:


CNN’s fixation on drama and debate has turned the network’s coverage into a circus of misinformation. CNN’s Trump supporters derail segments critical of the president, misrepresent Trump’s positions to avoid tough questions, and peddle false and misleading information on national TV while being paid by the network. In many cases, CNN’s Trump supporters repeat the same lies and talking points that CNN’s serious journalists spend all day trying to debunk.

The network has hired a number of surrogates for Pres. Trump the past couple years to appear on the network’s daytime and prime time programs, most notably Jeffrey Lord and Kayleigh McEnany.

Many of CNN’s shows have become known for having large panels where pundits, contributors and even analysts can often be seen and heard arguing with one another. Anchors like Anderson Cooper and Don Lemon sometimes look as though they’re playing the role of referee.

CNN should not be like ESPN, Maza says, and “when you treat politics like a sport, you end up with news coverage that cares more about fighting and drama than it does about serious truth telling.”

NBCUniversal, which owns rival cable newser MSNBC, has invested $200 million in Vox. This deal includes Vox Media editors and reporters appearing across NBCU cable news outlets MSNBC and CNBC.