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Alex Pareene's Super Hack List: The Sunday Shows, The Drudge Report, CNN

Part II of the list of the worst of political media highlights.

Continued from previous page


Post-election, the Sunday Shows have been devoted to discussions of (and panic about) “the fiscal cliff.” Anyone who watches these shows likely comes away with a wholly inaccurate impression of what the “cliff” is and does, though they will learn that all of our wonderful elected lawmakers are doing their best to avert the “cliff” and seek bipartisan compromise to lower the deficit, even though “the fiscal cliff” was already a bipartisan compromise to lower the deficit.

If you want to learn precisely how insular and self-satisfied and totally deaf to public opinion and outside expertise and experiences Washington is, the Sunday Shows are enlightening. Just don’t expect to learn anything useful about politics or policy, ever.

6. The Drudge Report

Shortly after noon on Nov. 6, Time’s Mark Halperin posted this on Twitter: “When John Harris & I wrote ‘Drudge rules our world,’ we were describing what IS, not what ought to be. Doubters already proven wrong today.” A few hours later Barack Obama won reelection, which I assume came as a shock to people who do get most of their news from Matt Drudge.

Here’s a brief tour of 2012 as the Drudge Report covered it.

Here are a couple things you might have missed this campaign season, because Drudge — who “rules our world” — did not cover them, at all:

  • Mitt Romney was secretly videotaped insulting 47 percent of Americans for being dependent on handouts.
  • Basically every poll that showed Obama beating Romney.

Drudge wrapped up 2012 by posting a banner headline that consisted solely of the slightly censored epithet “N*GGER” seven times in a row and leaving that headline up all day.

Matt Drudge: Truly still the Walter Cronkite of our time.

5. CNN

Maybe we beat up on poor CNN too often. I have previously bemoaned CNN’s inability to get breaking news right, offered advice on how to save the network and offered constructive criticism of their decision to hire Jeff Zucker. CNN was also well represented in 2011′s Hack List, with Wolf Blitzer, Piers Morgan, Erick Erickson and Erin Burnett all making appearances.

But it deserves to be criticized because so many of the things it does wrong could be so easily corrected. (Say, by firing Piers Morgan and cutting back on Wolf Blitzer’s hours.) And not only that, but CNN the institution is clearly capable of doing better, as it shows every day on CNN International, the sober (and profitable) overseas arm. Instead, it chooses every time to go harder on “personalities” and gimmicks. It has hired, to run its whole operation, the man who took NBC’s “Today” show and turned it from a regular news broadcast to a celebrity chat show and concert showcase. (He then proceeded to destroy all of NBC.)