Did The Cable News Network CNN intentionally cause ethnic conflict between white people and minority groups? CNN’s fixation and wall-to-wall coverage of ethnicity has brought about sever racial hostility and division within society. Some might argue that CNN exploited black and brown people by making racism their business model. I always tell people: If you want to understand structural racism, follow the money. Let’s dive deeper to understand how and why CNN started a race war. Then decide for yourself if CNN traded bigotry and bias to build audience just to sell advertising.
Why would CNN bring a race war into existence?
The Cable News Network CNN ratings started to plummet in the year 2000 as the cord cutting trend grew. Cord cutting is the action of canceling cable television subscription in favor of internet-based service. For this reason, cord cutting posed a serious financial threat to all cable news outlets. The top 3 cable news outlets (CNN, FOX, MSNBC) experienced a significant drop in ratings as a result of cord cutters.
CNN needed a plan to stop the onslaught of cord cutters, so they experimented with bias commentary and opinion reporting, which is an expression of opinions as opposed to factual journalism. Keep in mind that CNN makes money from two main sources; advertisements and subscriber fees. CNN earns commission from cable companies for each home that becomes a subscriber. Increased viewership leads to higher cost of ads per second.
The fact is, cable news wasn’t interesting enough for consumers to keep paying the high cost of cable TV. So opinion commentary was manufactured to make it more captivating. Furthermore, cable news replaced “feel-good stories” with bad news because violent news garner more viewer feedback. The term “if it bleeds, it leads” is based on the fact that fear-based news grabs the viewer’s attention and keeps them hooked.
The CEO of CNN made a striking statement in 2013. He said, “if viewers only come to CNN when there is a big story, make sure there is always a big story”. The statement suggest that if you shine the light on a subject long enough, people will become attracted to it, it will change the viewer’s perception about the subject, and influence their actions towards that subject—or ethnic group. CNN began to hyper focus on race, starting with the Zimmerman trail of 2013.
CNN adopted a wall-to-wall 24/7 coverage strategy of the Zimmerman trial. CNN’s viewership/ratings dramatically increased in the weeks leading up to the trial but plunged after the trial ended. CNN quickly learned that racial content was highly profitable—but they needed their next big story to continue raking in the dough.
Between 1996 and 2012, race motivated hate crimes fell sharply. In fact, between 2000 and 2013 only 4 incidents of civil unrest occurred as a result of race. In 2013 CNN began to heavily focus on race i.e. Zimmerman, Freddie Grey, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Alton Sterling, etc. It was at that moment in time (2013) did racially motivated hate crimes start to increase again.
The CEO of CNN said, "make sure there is always a big story". Shine the light on a subject long enough so people become attracted to it. The constant barrage of race stories will get people attracted to race, it will change their perception about another ethnic group and influence their hostility toward them.
The constant violence portrayed on CNN stokes fear and division in America and creates a perpetual cycle of bad news and “big-stories” leading to a growth in subscribers…money. Simply put, the more CNN “talks” about racism (race-bait) the more racist people on all sides become. Morgan Freeman said it best—"stop talking about it".
Dylan Roof made an interesting statement after he was captured, he said, “why was the news blowing up the Trayvon Martin case while hundreds of these black on white murders got ignored”. Unfair coverage about race is race-baiting. It is an unfair use of statements about race to try and influence the actions of a particular group of people.
Only left-leaning news outlets ignore black on white crime, proof that Dylann was most likely watching CNN. Former CNN executive Sid Bedingfield even suggest that CNN sensationalized a story that picks at America’s racial scabs. He went on to say, "Can we all agree that responsible news organizations should tread carefully when covering a story that evokes such strong emotions of our nation's racial history?"
The bottom line
CNN use fear and hate to divide race because unity could help bring about a perfect world. In a perfect world, highly bias opinion media would not exist. Studies prove that, although we hope and pray for good news, it’s bad news that attracts us. There would be no perpetual cycle of violence and “big stories”. That's why racism became CNN’s business model. They need you to need them.
To make matters worse, to be successful in business you take what your competition is doing and do it better. It’s called being first, second. As CNN’s ratings skyrocketed from their constant broadcasting of racial issues, other democratic and progressive outlets took notice and made race their focal point, too. Eventually, everyone was “talking” and profiting from race.