Monday, November 03, 2008

How CNN destroyed its last remaining shred of credibility

By Michael J.W. Stickings

Well, okay, it has some credibility left, but much less now that it's hired Weekly Standard conspiracy theorist Stephen F. Hayes as a contributor.

If you don't know Hayes -- and call yourself lucky if you don't -- he's made something a name for himself over the past several years pushing the now-discredited Iraq-al Qaeda link, attempting to prove that Saddam and al Qaeda were in cahoots before the Iraq War. Not even Bush believes that anymore, and the theory, though still promoted by the likes of Doug Feith, has largely been abandoned outside of wacky neocon circles.

And yet, now he'll be at CNN peddling his lies and deceptions. (Thank you, "most trusted name in news." What fantastic standards you have. Please deposit your slogan in the nearest dustbin. Never ever use it again unless it's dripping with irony.)

This move rivals Fox News's hiring of disgraced New York Times reporter Judy Miller a while back, though it's actually much more obnoxious. Everyone knows that Fox News is a right-wing propaganda machine, after all, and Miller will fit right in. CNN, though, claims to aim for balance, genuine balance. It's bad enough that those of us who watch it have to sit through the idiotic ramblings of the likes of Bill Bennett and Bay Buchanan. Now we'll have a neocon propagandist bullshitting right along with the "best political team on television" (another slogan that ought to be ditched for the sake of public decency).

I'd say watch more MSNBC, if it's cable news you want, but, Olbermann and Maddow aside, that's the network of Pat Buchanan, Joe Scarborough, and the oft-objectionable Chris Matthews.

For more, see Yglesias and Benen.

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