CNN's New Day is Opinion, Not News

The New New Day The new New Day debuted last week on CNN. Brianna Keilar is now the co-host alongside John Berman . The show’s rebo...


The New New Day

The new New Day debuted last week on CNN. Brianna Keilar is now the co-host alongside John Berman. The show’s reboot comes with a new attitude as they chase audience share. And that attitude suggests a more fitting name for the day starter, though it must have ended up on the cutting room floor: Owns Day.

The show’s objective, contrary to the pitch given by Berman ahead of its launch, seems two-fold. First, to unseat their competitors. Second: Rethuglican Tearz. Which in modern news is almost saying the same thing twice.

“I think we’re just going to have a very direct approach to the news. I think it’s going to be blunt,” Keilar said of the show when speaking with The Daily Beast. Keilar’s ‘Roll the Tape’ segments are something of a known known in cable news. Loved by the MSM and liberals, not so much by conservatives or Fox News, they are self-contained rants, heavy on commentary, aimed almost exclusively at one side of the political aisle, and always with a tone I’d describe as “Twitter thread IRL.”

That’s the essence of the “blunt” and “direct” approach to the “news” that Keilar and Berman have brought to the cable table’s morning war. It was described more strangely and less accurately by Berman.

“Look, there’s a certain amount of space we can now occupy in the news universe because there’s no one else doing a straight news show in the morning, at the time that we’re doing,” he said. “The news is our jam. So there’s a huge amount of leeway, we have to do what we do inside that space.”

The pitch, the sell, is that they’re bringing straight news to the morning show space.

But are they, though? Let’s roll the tape(s), shall we?

Like any good (or bad) CNN show, this one hit Fox News right out of the gate. The premiere Keilar pwnage, first day, first hour, in fact, was a Fox News blast furnace.

I’ve included the entire rant but divided it into 5 clips.

Keilar teases her segment by referring to the “Fox Propaganda Machine”. She specifically mentions the on-screen messaging, the chyrons, and headlines. When they come back from the break, Keilar says Fox’s coverage during Biden’s presidency has been a “carousel of conspiracy theories and fearmongering.”

“So really what I’m saying is not much has changed,” she jabs, adopting her ‘Owned’ face.

It’s quite a charge. It’s the sort of accusation you’d want to make from a really solid place of unimpeachable integrity, on a platform with a pristine reputation. So really what I’m saying is, not so much on CNN.

Par example? Her first chyron complaint is about the ones questioning Joe Biden’s mental competence. She is outraged beyond words by the effrontery, incensed by the unprecedented line of attack that has heretofore been wildy off limits, the sort of diagnosis from afar that no reputable …. oh alright, you know what I’m about to do so let’s just do it.

Nobody ever questioned mental competence before. Except…

Well at least it’s just that one time thought, right?

Wrong, of course. Obviously we all remember the endless questioning of Trump’s mental capacity and competence. It started before the election in 2016 and continues today. I know I’ve done it plenty of times. I still do. And I’m sure a lot of you have, too. I mean, you’ve probably never made it the highlight of your “straight news” show where doing news is your “jam.” And me? I’m just some Twitter jerk with noisy opinions. But could there be more examples from the news loving news shows on the news network doing news jams?

Uh. Yeah. A few.

CNN’s New Day on Trump’s Mental Fitness

CNN’s New Day on Trump’s Mental Fitness

CNN’s New Day on Trump’s Mental Fitness

CNN’s New Day on Trump’s Mental Fitness

CNN’s New Day on Trump’s Mental Fitness

CNN’s New Day on Trump’s Mental Fitness

CNN’s New Day on Trump’s Mental Fitness

CNN’s New Day on Trump’s Mental Fitness

CNN’s New Day on Trump’s Mental Fitness

CNN’s New Day on Trump’s Mental Fitness

Okay, a lot. And that was just a taste. Oh and, interesting historical note? Those are all from CNN’s New Day!

So is this.

Awkward!

You may be thinking, now, that is just “butwhatabout”ing. Hardly. We’re talking about an ostensible organization attacking its competitor and claiming that they are propaganda. Keilar argues that Fox News isn’t news because there is bias, opinion, “editorializing” in their chyrons and story selections. It’s more than germane to whether New Day is itself propaganda or news — by their standard — by asking if they practice that which they condemn. And they do. Relentlessly.

A liberal friend would tell me here that the difference is that with Trump it’s fair, with Republicans it’s fair, because they are the bad guys. For example, it’s okay to question Trump’s mental well-being because he actually is crazy, while it is unfair to do that to Biden because Biden isn’t.

The response to that, friend, is A) that’s dumb. B) MSNBC disagreed not that long ago. And C) it’s a logical fallacy. It’s called Begging the Question, and it means you have assumed the conclusion is true in your premise.

CNN is big on fallacies, it’s their bread and butter. Appeals to authority, appeals to probability, and especially appeal to the stone.

CNN takes a lot of credit, as often as they can work it into a conversation, for their Covid coverage. They are so proud of it that Brian Stelter did a story about how evil and suspicious it is that Fox News on-air personalities aren’t posting obnoxious videos of themselves getting the vaccine. Seriously I’m not kidding, a media reporter did a news story about how bad it is that other news people aren’t doing hokey TikToks of getting a shot. I’d love to talk right this minute about how deeply ingrained and rationalized as virtue our American habit of self-promotional nonsense has become, but let’s leave that off for another 29,000-word article.

Back to this wildly popular Fox News attack.

Keilar goes on at length with cherry-picked chyrons to make her propaganda case, frequently using banners shown during Fox’s opinion shows. Shows which, unlike CNN, are identified as such and treated separately, rather than starting out as an afternoon news show before moving to the morning in order to get a head start on tanking the ratings.

Oh snap did I just do an own? Snarky, you think? Snotty, even? (To be fair, New Day’s reboot debut last Monday pulled almost, but not quite, half the viewers that Fox & Friends posted.) But yea, let’s keep the words snarky and snotting in mind as we go into the remainder of the clips, shall we?

She mocks the culture war headlines, as progressive leftists love to do when they aren’t engaging in cultural warfare. Sometimes resulting in gobsmackingly buffoonish predictions of era endings. During the first week of new New Day Dana Bash joined the hosts in mocking cultural issues for being distractions from “real” ones. CNN wades in on issues of culture routinely, though, as all politics must. Usually it ends with mockery rather than engagement. Like I said, bread and butter.

Keilar emphasizes in this part how Fox News “editorializes” through word choice in their chyrons, and how there’s no question where they stand on something. Right right riiiight. But hold up tho, could there be OTHER examples of that in OTHER chyrons from NON-FOX cable news networks?

You know what’s coming next. Honestly, you and I are really getting to know each other, today. It’s nice.

Anyway, this animated gif which you should feel free to use kind of speaks for itself.

Keep watching, it goes on for a WHILE.



That’s just comparing chyrons to chyrons (not apples), which is the ground on which New Day set their opening day salvo. Keilar opened with chyrons, specifically relating to Biden, and used both opinion and news shows.

Keilar adds that Fox News promotes conspiracy theories and falsehoods. Again, good thing that CNN doesn’t have such marks on its record, so it can be a nice clean hit. How embarrassing would it be if they’d misled, misinformed, covered-up, inappropriately covered, run cover, dodged for cover, covered-up covering-up, misinformed, shilled, hacked, or did propaganda before? Yikes. (No question mark.)

Although speaking of clean hits…

Welp.

I mean, being right does not equal doing it right, of course. That’s kind of central to my argument. But still. Got em.

Anyway, Keilar closes it out then, with just a few more flourishes. And some irony.

Telling on themselves, huh?

I have spent over a week pulling old clips and screenshots from CNN. You’ve spent almost a week reading it already. I would love to take each segment, each clip, and break it down for you, but we just don’t have the column space. My editor would argue I should have been doing that all week anyway, which is probably true. But Keilar argues from chyrons and headlines. Looking at last week’s format debut, ask yourself what you see.

Do you come away thinking straight news is their “jam.” Do their chyrons editorialize? Do the story selections reflect bias? Those are, after all, the standards she just outlined for determining whether something is propaganda.

You know what is amusing to reflect on? Some 20 years or so ago, there was a controversy about news anchors wearing or not wearing American flag lapel pins. Some worried it would violate their impartiality.

Nowadays, a news channel can call itself impartial by giving softball interviews to Kamala Harris and doing straight fire montages ripping Ted Cruz. That’s because the standard for journalism, now, which got a growth spurt when Bush beat Gore, hit puberty when asking Barack Obama what “enchants” him, and became a fully grown and angry but mostly peaceful adult during the Great Blip of the last four or so years, holds that it’s okay to be sloppily one-sided if you’re super-duper sure you’re, like, totally right. (Totally right being a mathematical value determined by a complex algorithm involving Twitter gif reactions and sexually aroused Raw Story posts.)

And if you get an Aaron Rupar share? ZOMG.

Rupar is a Twitter guy who drives big social sharing and, theoretically, viewers to a show. He’s not the only one, but Rupar is the ne plus ultra of the hellbent activist online media elite, feverishly spitting out clipped, chopped, warped tidbits of embeddable spew, a type of gift-wrapped catnip that media sites and news outlets can barely contain their frenzy to tear into and share triumphantly, absolved of having to add the snark and snot themselves. No mischaracterization is too far, no covert cut or selective edit too deep or far for Rupar.

Getting his Tweeted share of approval, or that of the many like him, is like winning a daytime Emmy for a scrappy cable news show trying to make it big. You’re almost guaranteed to go viral. Of course, you can’t feel the love if you’re on the “wrong” side.

That social media love is intoxicating and can propel the ambitious. CNN’s Jim Acosta mastered using and appearing on Twitter so he wouldn’t have to master journalism or appearing professional. Now he’s got his own show. A true CNN success story.

Now New Day wants to get in on that sweet, sweet clip game. They brought in Keilar, a rising star among Twitter sharers in her own right for her “roll the tape” rants trashing Trump or Cruz or McConnell or DeSantis or evangelicals or [insert non-leftist identifier here.] John Berman, who like liquid mercury is shapeless and without form until you pour him into a mold, is trying his hand at emulating her. Watch that painful “good try” here.

Obviously, my take is slightly different from the linked article. Berman, who is not a doctor, pulled together straw man arguments, thin reasoning, and poorly executed burns aren’t quite ready all-caps tweet stardom. He should have done a liquid mercury dunk. Now those burn.

Still, like most of the week’s worth of “straight news” on the retooled show, it demonstrated that their actual “jam” is bolstering whatever argument Democrats are making and attacking whatever Republicans are saying.

Fox News is propaganda, CNN says. Their chyrons are bad, they say. They told on themselves, Keilar said.

It wasn’t just the “roll the tape” style segments, either. Packages attacked Lindsey Graham, Ron DeSantis, Fox News, Tucker Carlson and — well you get the idea — were the week’s content.

A quietly nodding, zero challenge interview with someone bashing the Arizona GOP, followed later in the week with a combative, argumentative, attack interview with the Arizona GOP. Friendly interview for the hater, beast mode for the hated. Or not even that much, as with the anti-riot legislation in Florida they trashed all week, giving friendly interviews to opponents that had all the authenticity of an infomercial.

They did a whole breakdown of Biden’s latest approval numbers, which are historically low in comparison to every modern president save Trump. This was spun as a positive, with Berman introducing it by saying maybe they aren’t the highest but gosh they’re just so STEADY, you know.

Notice the little green arrows showing you how much better he is than Trump. Stable, too. Did they mention his numbers are stable? That HE is stable? That’s important.

Now, the new New Day did go a little out of the format in order to search their souls over whether they’d been too quick or too hype about reporting the death of Officer Brian Sicknick as having been murdered by the insurrection mob. But, no doubt with some relief, they concluded that in fact the REAL disingenuous ones are the picky viewers.

What, am I being snarky again? Mean, even? You should screenshot it and share it, maybe I can get my own CNN show.

That is how we do things now, you know. Fanatical devotion to the cause is treated as talent and substitutes for personality. It’s a fanaticism peculiar to this online era, condoning everything but rarely stepping out from behind the keyboard to do those things. Made worse by a year indoors.

The virtual mob is real. We have read the horror stories of its wrath, usually from people who were victimized by the right. But the mob has many interests. The one that TV hosts chase is obsessive, hyperactive, and insatiable. Nameless lurkers lashing out at every slight, mass sharing every wicked burn, offended by everything and nothing, flitting from one adrenaline rush to the next. Dunk junkies waiting for their next fix. Voracious, committed, and most of all, not too sharp.

It’s a potent aphrodisiac to shows with sagging ratings or hosts who haven’t made the “invited to late night talk shows” level of news fame yet.

Before the launch of the new New Day, John Berman insisted the show has its own identity and lives in a unique space among the morning fare. They’re about “straight news” he said. But “blunt” Brianna Keilar added. It’s blunt alright. But whatever they want to call what they do, it’s not news. It’s biased, it’s opinionated, it’s obsessed with a competitor, and it’s chasing the hallowed halls of immortal memedom.

As for the ratings? Yeaahhhhhhh not seeing it. Maybe the next all-caps tweet with “DESTROYS” in the headline will put y’all over the top.

Sorry, was that another dunk? Was that a dick move? I can’t even tell anymore. After all, I watch CNN all day.

This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.



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Newsrust - US Top News: CNN's New Day is Opinion, Not News
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