Rough Week for CNN Culminates in ‘Daily’ Skewering

By Andrew Gauthier 


The network has been under scrutiny since it decided to fact-check an SNL skit about President Obama last week, and a classic skewering from Jon Stewart on Monday made it official: CNN is in the doghouse.

After “Saturday Night Live” opened with Fred Armisen channeling Obama and admitting that he had accomplished “nada,” CNN fact-checked the skit. The decision drew criticism, and even became a twitter meme.


Over the weekend, CNN’s ‘Reliable Sources’ scored an interview with White House director of communications, Anita Dunn, but, unfortunately for CNN, much of the segment was devoted to talking about Fox News. Although Dunn attacked CNN’s cable rival, saying that the White House would treat it like an “opponent,” it was still an implicit admission of Fox News’ clout airing on CNN. (Video here).

Next came the dust-up over CNN’s new ‘AC360′ promo. Time magazine’s Michael Scherer accidentally misreported that is was a one-sided pitch for the show from a woman identified as a “lifelong Democrat.” CNN contacted Scherer to correct him, and explained that the promo contains two voiceovers in sync, one from a Democrat, one from a Republican, both claiming they choose Anderson Cooper’s show for its balanced reporting.

Finally, on Monday night, Stewart aired a segment titled “CNN Leaves it There” in which he berated the network for fact-checking the SNL sketch. He went on to cite several CNN segments that included unsubstantiated figures and claims, which managed to escape the network’s rigorous fact-checking. He also provided numerous examples of CNN hosts ending interviews, saying they’ll “have to leave it there.” Stewart marveled that a cable news channel could run out of time: “You have 24 hours in a day! How much more time do you need?” As CNN tries to differentiate itself from Fox News and MSNBC, it can use all of the time that it can get.