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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.

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CNN has a bigger staff, larger reporting budget, and many more overseas bureaus and correspondents than any of the other cable news channels, but the only time it ever betrays any evidence of those resources is during an international crisis. The rest of the time it’s Wolf babbling at a giant TV screen or Piers Morgan obsequiously interviewing a famous person. Take it away, anonymous CNN staffer:

“It’s frustrating to hear our leadership talk about the exemplary journalism we do, then turn on the TV during the day and see CNN doing another story about ‘birthers’ or ‘tips for dining out alone,’” said one staffer.

CNN’s Ashleigh Banfield — who used to report from war zones — today covered the Newtown massacre by asking “where was God?” and interviewing self-promotion expert “celebrity rabbi” and former “spiritual adviser” to Michael Jackson Shmuley Boteach for the answer.

This is an actual quote from Wolf Blitzer about national laughing stock Donald Trump:

“I’ve known Donald Trump for a long time and interviewed him on many, many occasions,” said Blitzer. “He’s an intelligent guy, not a stupid guy or anything like that. I assume maybe it’s an obvious reason. He believes it. He believes that there are a lot of questions out there. He’s read a lot of the conspiratorial theories and believes what he’s saying.”

Do you know what kind of person thinks Donald Trump is “an intelligent guy”? A stupid guy. And Blitzer is not exaggerating when he says he interviewed Trump “on many, many occasions.” Throughout the 2012 campaign season, CNN did not waste a single opportunity to provide free publicity to the racist birther fraud.

Just in case anyone still harbored any doubt as to whether Wolf Blitzer is the dumbest man on television, publishes a Blitzer-penned blog that pretty definitively settles the question.

Also, CNN host Piers Morgan clearly engaged in phone-hacking and then dissembled to the British government about it, but CNN already knew he was guilty of insider trading and printed a hoax on the front page of his newspaper when it hired him so who knows where it would actually draw the line with him.

To make a moron and an unethical slimeball two of your network’s most prominent faces does not scream “the most trusted name in news,” to me. Though CNN changed its motto, last year, to “America’s Choice,” which does neatly sum up the network’s modern identity crisis. CNN: The generic store brand of cable news.


Alex Pareene writes about politics for Salon. Email him at and follow him on Twitter @pareene