Tuesday, February 21

Lemon Bombs

No need to wait for 4th of July for your fireworks fix! (Don) Lemon bombs have replaced the cherry variety over at CNN.

Looks like another symptom of the Trump effect.

Even before Inauguration Day, members of the established media have been struggling the very monster they helped create: the Trump presidency. Wallowing in their own hubris, they believed Trump’s run for the White House was an overblown publicity stunt by a billionaire egomaniac with too much time and money on his hands. Only HRC Inc. was more surprised and dismayed at the historic Trump victory. Now the same media folks who enjoyed the ratings and revenue generated by their breathless coverage of Trump’s highly unorthodox MAGA (Make America Great Again) campaign had to face covering the new and now odious President with the same balanced tenderness and deference previously reserved for two Obama terms and the embarrassingly defeated Hillary Clinton campaign.

Any credible denial of liberal media bias disappeared. Forever. Previously venerated major broadcast and cable media outlets along with their print counterparts tore off their masks of balance or fairness; anchors, reporters, editors, and pundits stripped themselves of any pretense of objective journalistic principles in vain attempts to restrain the Trump monster they helped create.

Ratings cellar-dweller CNN, some of whose reporters and contributors were caught red-handed playing dirt ball with the Clinton campaign, is now the big winner in the big loser dept. When tagged repeatedly and accurately with the newly minted Fake News label, hissy fits, mic cuts and ESW (Early Set Withdrawal) by self-assumed news stars Don Lemon, Jake Tapper and others became bigger news than the news itself. “Making yourself the story” is a big Journalism 101 No-No.

Except at CNN where All-Trump-Bashing-All-The Time replaced what was euphemistically referred to as Journalism, now sacrificed on the new altar of Fake News.

But don’t even whisper such things to Don Lemon or members of his CNN family. Unless a guest secretly wishes to be steamrollered, mic cut and pointedly disinvited from future (paid) appearances, the new 4 letter words Fake News must not be uttered much less suggested the subject at hand fits the description.

In a recent CNN discussion fretting about the security cost of protecting the new First family, guest Paris Dennard had the temerity to label the issue “fake news”.

That set off the Lemon Boom!

From the transcript:

Don Lemon: “Paris, what do you think?”

Paris Dennard: “I think this is fake news. This is not…this is not a news story.”

Don Lemon: “What about it is fake, Paris? Are we going down this road again?”

(Here, Lemon lectures the panel and audience on what constitutes fake news)

Paris Dennard: “Yeah we are! The President is not breaking any laws.”

Don Lemon: “…Please stop with that stupid talking point that this is a fake news story!…”

Paris Dennard: ”Don this is a fake news story in my opinion….”

Lemon’s complete melt-down may be endured here.

Reasonable people can reach accurate conclusions as to what specific ingredients may constitute real Fake News. But there may be something Machiavellian about the repeated on-air hissy fits of Lemon, Tapper and other CNN hosts and guests. It follows one of the oldest Journalism maxims:

Planes landing at airports is not news; planes crashing at airports is news.

In CNN’s case, enjoying healthy ratings with news credibility is not news; being ridiculed in last place with revenue-losing ratings is news.

Similarly, news anchors conducting objective interview segments is not news; angrily confronting guests expressing their solicited opinion, cutting them off and abruptly ending the show, is news but only of a sensational type. The predictable rattle and strum of manufactured on-air temper fits may generate an audience of voyeurs and even help ratings short term. It’s just not the credible news product CNN can brag about to advertisers.

Maybe the absence of credibility is the problem. Such is the fruit of the Lemon’s fake news.

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