Cable News in a Nutshell (or Tweet)

Welcome to The Conveyors. Since this is the first column in this series, let me introduce it. The Conveyors is a weekly column here at CNN Commentary which will focus on news organizations, or the conveyors of news. These columns will usually have something to relate to CNN, but not always. As is usual at CNN Commentary, there will be occasionally be criticism of CNN if warranted. Although, I do it out of love!

Earlier this week, CBS News’s Mark Knoller tweeted out what was leading the 6 PM broadcasts on Fox News, MSNBC, and CNN. He did not include HLN, but right how that channel is like the student who takes a year off of college to “find himself.” Although interesting at the time, the tweet is unsurprising now.

MSNBC was leading off with the Republican calls for impeachment and Fox was talking about Congressional action on the scandal at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Now credit where credit is due, Fox News’s lead was actually news. MSNBC’s top story was meant to stir the pot and boil up their viewers. Cable news is often good at that. While there has been the occasional Republican to call on President Obama’s impeachment, there has been no real action on it and the Speaker has denied that he will impeach the President. Fox News isn’t totally off the hook, though. Their story, albeit an actual one, is easily used to bring shame to President Obama. Whereas MSNBC is very out and open with their bias, Fox’s works it in subtly. They show their side through chryons, pictures, story selection. Rosie O’Donnell, a frequent foe of Fox’s Bill O’Reilly, is often seen in an unflattering light when they show her picture. The VA story, which CNN’s Drew Griffin brought to national attention, is used to paint President Obama as an ineffective leader, incapable of caring for our nation’s veterans and leading the federal government. The VA story can also be used to take a dig at government-run health care, so the story is a gold mine.

CNN, on the other hand, led the 6 PM hour with international, hard news. The Gaza conflict is complex and is best told with television. Newspapers and radio can only go so far when they paint vivid pictures with their words. Television cameras can show the destruction, sometimes they even show the bombing in action! CNN has been going all out on the Gaza story, as they often do with international stories. CNN Worldwide is a truly international organization, although many of their correspondents aren’t even seen on CNN US. However, many CNN International personalities have been seen on domestic CNN. For example, John Vause was seen as part of a CNNI simulcast. Now, he is seen reporting from Gaza and has been co-anchoring CNN US’s CNN Newsroom. Wolf Blitzer has been in Jerusalem for the past few weeks and has anchored his two shows from there. In addition, he has been doing a Saturday edition of The Situation Room. Although, CNN hasn’t forgotten about other stories. They have struck a careful balance between all the stories that deserve our attention: ebola, MH17, Ukraine, Congress, the border crisis, and the Israeli-Hamas war.

Fox News and MSNBC are duking it out for political points.

But if someone actually wants the news, they need to watch CNN, and the good news is that CNN has been live almost 24/7 between special editions and CNN International simulcasts.


Bonus: This was tweeted while I was wrapping up the article. Ryan Sloane has included his often-ironic #Journalism.

Tyler is an employee at, helping to run @TKNNPolJungle. His views are not necessarily held by his employer.

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