CNN was criticized on Thursday for an on-screen graphic that critics say editorialized news of the Senate preparing its vote to block President Trump’s border emergency declaration.
Under a red breaking-news banner, CNN said, “SOON: SENATE TO EMBARRASS TRUMP WITH ‘EMERGENCY’ VOTE,’” during the network’s 1 p.m. ET hour, hosted by Dana Bash.
NewsBusters Managing Editor Curtis Houck captured an image and shared it on Twitter with the caption, “CNN wants you to take them seriously as a news organization.”
The on-screen graphic caught the eye of The Hill and its media reporter, Joe Concha, who responded with his take.
“These chyrons would be fine, or at least par-for-the-course, on a cable news opinion show. This was presented during a news program. And said chyrons are never snarky when involving the other party,” Concha wrote.
CNN’s 1 p.m. hour, “CNN Right Now,” is listed as a straight news program, according to the network’s website, which has other shows listed in an “interview and debate” category.
CNN largely bills itself as a just-the-facts network, but detractors say it's become increasingly partisan since Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.
The network’s prime-time lineup is replete with outspoken critics of the president; some media watchdogs have said CNN should come clean regarding it having a clear agenda.
“They should be honest and simply admit what the whole country already knows: They are liberal commenters, not objective reporters,” Fox News contributor Deroy Murdock recently said. “That's perfectly fine, so long as their audience, such as it is, enjoys some truth in advertising."
On-screen graphics controversies are nothing new for CNN, which in many ways has deployed an anti-Trump programming strategy. But the strategy hasn’t worked in the ratings department, and the network is regularly trounced by Fox News and CNN rival MSNBC.
During the week of March 4-10, Fox News averaged 2.3 million prime-time viewers to finish No. 1 among all of basic cable, while MSNBC averaged nearly two million viewers to finished second, according to TVNewser. CNN didn’t crack the Top 10 during the same period, averaging 876,000 prime-time viewers and finishing behind a variety of networks, including TLC and the Hallmark Channel.
Others noticed CNN's latest on-screen captioning, too: