That’s what Obama said about CNN at last night’s White House Correspondents Association dinner.
Let me explain why that is such a great line. CNN sees itself as “in the middle” between left and right, MSNBC and Fox. Just recently, in fact, CNN president Jeff Zucker praised the middle as the place to be. But CNN also sees itself as a great newsgathering organization that is all about truthtelling rather than ideology. “Keeping them honest,” as Anderson Cooper, face of the brand, likes to say.
Put them together and what do you have? Keep ‘em honest, but stay in the middle. Which doesn’t work. For what happens when one side is BS-ing us more than the other? What happens when independent and honest reporting shows that these people on this side are mostly right in what they’re saying, and those people on that side are distorting the case?
CNN wants to believe, tries to believe and I think does believe that this problem does not exist. Therefore we have to remind them about it, because it does exist. And that’s what Obama did: “cover all sides of the story just in case one of them happens to be accurate” is saying to CNN: Accuracy and truthtelling will be sacrificed to your ideology— the middle, no matter what it takes.
I think my feelings about the speech are this: the Inauguration is supposed to the grand spectrum, the ideal… it’s not the place for policy.
JFK famously stated, “Ask not what you’re country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” In his… which was obviously planning to introduce policy like the Peace Corps and other likeminded policy initiatives.
If this was supposed to be a two-part speech and with the State of the Union address so close, maybe we could have focused on the vision, instead of the policy and put the policy all where it belongs: the State of the Union.
Instead of this muddled mess. I’m sorry… Great ideas in the speech, don’t get me wrong, but when you mix vision and policy it just becomes mud.