Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the suspension of CNN’s Spanish-language service from Venezuela’s broadcasting on Wednesday, accusing it of distorting the truth in coverage.
The regulator for Venezuela broadcasting, Conatel, said in a statement that CNN “defames and distorts the truth inciting aggression against the sovereignty of Venezuela and its institutions”.
The spat with the network has come after Washington this week blacklisted Maduro’s Vice President Tareck El Aissami on drug charges.
“I don’t want problems with Trump,” Maduro said on TV on Wednesday, adding that CNN had become “an instrument of war”.
About an hour later, Trump called for the release of prominent jailed Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez in a tweet, posing in a photo with Lopez’s wife Lilian Tintori, Reuters reported.
Trump himself has previously lambasted CNN, calling them “fake news” after a story about him with Russian prostitutes went viral. The story was actually made up as a form of propaganda to defame him by political opponents and was created by a failed ex-MI5 agent reportedly hired by Jeb Bush.
CNN has distorted the truth for years, and in some cases it has produced manufactured news. For example: creating the narrative that the Trump protests were all Hillary supporters by using their own camera man in November, shortly after Trump won the election.
However, CNN President Jeff Zucker told New York Magazine that the network’s “credibility is higher than ever” which is an absolute joke. And now Venezuela is saying that the “news organization” “defames and distorts the truth inciting aggression against the sovereignty of Venezuela and its institutions.”
In an incredulous comment, CNN President Jeff Zucker told New York Magazine that the network’s “credibility is higher than ever.”
This comes after CNN released a non-vetted report on president-elect Donald Trump suggesting that the Russian government was blackmailing him for financial and personal reasons. That report is now known to be fake, and was allegedly created by an ex-MI6 agent Christopher Steele, and then promoted by 4chan.
This resulted in Trump blasting CNN as “Fake News,” and shutting down one of their reporters when he questioned Trump.
“Your organization is terrible… No… I’m not going to give you a question. You are FAKE NEWS!” Trump said.
Hold on, isn’t this the same CNN that has a habit of cutting its feed during confrontational interviews and blaming it on satellite issues?
Isn’t this the same network that tried to pass its own cameraman off as an anti-Trump protester, in order to shape the narrative for Hillary Clinton?
Isn’t this the same network that posted biased polls about Clinton?
The same network whose analyst—Donna Brazile—became the interim DNC chairperson, and then gave debate questions to the Clinton campaign ahead of the debate?
CNN’s credibility is also under high scrutiny by much of the public for its biased coverage and sensational reporting.
Zucker feels differently though, and is living in a fantasy world. It has been eight months since Trump has done an interview with CNN, and Zucker still seemed convinced that the next president would give in to the network once he realizes its impact.
“It doesn’t worry me that Donald Trump hasn’t done an interview with CNN in eight months. One of the things I think this administration hasn’t figured out yet is that there’s only one television network that is seen in Beijing, Moscow, Seoul, Tokyo, Pyongyang, Baghdad, Tehran and Damascus — and that’s CNN. The perception of Donald Trump in capitals around the world is shaped, in many ways, by CNN. Continuing to have an adversarial relationship with that network is a mistake.”
However, it remains to be seen whether Trump will extend press access to CNN, or whether he will give more access to alternative media journalists and bloggers.
CNN was also named the “least trusted network among its viewers” earlier this month. According to a poll from Rasmussen Reports, when viewer were asked if they trust the political news they are getting from the mainstream media networks, 50 percent of Fox views, 43 percent of MSNBC viewers and just 33 percent of CNN viewers said they trust their political news.
CNN contributor Marc Lamont Hill attacked fellow panelist Bruce LeVell for supporting Donald Trump, as a member of the diversity coalition calling him a “mediocre Negro” who Hill said was “being manipulated by Trump.”
“I love Steve Harvey and I have respect for Steve Harvey and I think his intentions were appropriate, but my disagreement is the way in which he’s being used by folks like Donald Trump,” Hill said. “They keep bringing up comedians and and actors athletes to represent black interests. It’s demeaning, it’s disrespectful, and it’s condescending. Bring some people up there with expertise Donald Trump, don’t just bring up people to entertain.”
That’s when the interview took a turn for the absolute worst as tempers flared between the two men.
“You weren’t even there…” Bruce LeVell responded. “Pastor Darryl Scott, Mike Cohen, they are in the process of bringing all types of people from all over the country, from all different backgrounds. Remember the diversity coalition where we reached out to all different types of people?”
“Yeah, it was a bunch of mediocre Negroes being dragged in front of TV as a photo-op for Donald Trump’s exploitative campaign against black people. And you are an example of that,” Hill said.
“So now you’re name calling,” LeVell said.
The conversation then devolved into a shouting match, “I’m not name-calling,” Hill retorted.
Another analyst, identified as Simone, interrupted and said “let me back mark up here because marks making an important point.”
Levell then responded, “Mark is not making an important point. Mark is just talking.”
Watch the full video here:
Last year, during a CNN broadcast, a white contributor Charles Kaiser said the “N word” live on air to a Black Trump supporter when talking about Steven Bannon, and saying that Bannon had said the word previously. This resulted in outrage from the host:
“The more I’ve sat here and listened to the fact that somebody used the ‘N-word’ – it is not okay. It is not okay, Charles Kaiser. I respect you, I enjoy having you as a guest — but not okay. By the way, the claim that Mr. Bannon used the ‘N-word,’ I’ve never heard of this, so there’s that. Take a break,” Baldwin said, looking straight into the camera.”
CNN is also embroiled in a class action lawsuit by its African American employees, claiming the network mistreats its black employees.
“As a result of the current discrimination lawsuit filed on behalf of DeWayne Walker vs. CNN, Time Warner & Turner, we have uncovered stories involving abuse of power, nepotism, revenge, retaliation and discrimination,” Representatives said in a press release.
The lawsuit alleged that “based on data provided by Turner, blacks are terminated at a higher rate than whites and promoted at a significantly slower rate.”
“Written and unwritten policies and practices for performing evaluations and promotions discriminate against blacks,” The lawsuit states, claiming that such policies “allow supervisors to essentially handpick candidates through word of mouth for available positions and make promotion decisions on the basis of subjective criteria,” the lawsuit said. “This system prevents qualified African-Americans from competing equally for positions or even knowing that they are available.”
“This system prevents qualified African-Americans from competing equally for positions or even knowing that they are available,” the lawsuit against CNN claimed.
President-elect Trump attacked CNN and BuzzFeed during a press conference on Thursday, for pushing “Fake News.” The latest controversy surrounded a story from Buzzfeed claiming Trump liked Russian “golden showers,” based on a document that was originally from 4chan.
CNN contributor Charles Kaiser, a white anti-Donald Trump author, used the “n-word” while live on air with a black supporter of the president-elect.
Appearing on CNN Newsroom on Tuesday afternoon, Kaiser falsely asserted that Trump’s chief strategist and Executive Chairman of Breitbart News Stephen Bannon is a “man who uses the word n*gger.”
“If you don’t want to support the alt-right, don’t choose as a White House Counselor a man who uses the word n*gger, whose wife says that he did not want his daughters to go to a school with too many Jews, and don’t choose as an attorney general a man who calls the NAACP an un-American organization and who we learned in The Guardian today went so far as to prosecute –” Kaiser ranted.
Anchor Brooke Baldwin stopped him and let him know that it is not okay to use the n-word on her show, and was thanked by her other guest Paris Dennard, who happens to be a black Trump supporter.
Kaiser then racistly criticized Dennard, saying that it is “shameful” that a black man would support Jeff Sessions being picked for Attorney General.
“Sir, you don’t know why — you know what? I don’t question your allegiance to the people you support. I will tell you why I support Mr. Trump, who’s the President-elect, because I think he’s going to do good things for this country and particularly good things for my community,” Dennard responded.
At the end of the segment, Baldwin broke down in tears over Kaiser’s language, and asserted that she has never heard of anyone claiming that Bannon has used the n-word.
“The more I’ve sat here and listened to the fact that somebody used the ‘N-word’ – it is not okay. It is not okay, Charles Kaiser. I respect you, I enjoy having you as a guest — but not okay. By the way, the claim that Mr. Bannon used the ‘N-word,’ I’ve never heard of this, so there’s that. Take a break,” Baldwin said, looking straight into the camera.
Speaking to a Washington Post blog — in which the author continues to push racism smears against the president-elect and his team — Kaiser claims that he mistook Bannon for Sessions in his nationally televised rant.
“I do apologize for one thing in particular. I mistook Bannon for Sessions. I was mistaking the one for the other,” Kaiser said.
“There’s a part of me that feels you can’t fully express the shocking nature of the first appointments of Donald Trump without using the actual words used by these appointees,” he continued, though the word was only used by himself and not Bannon.
Baldwin has reportedly emailed Dennard a personal apology, though it is unclear if Kaiser has also reached out to him — or just to friendly bloggers who will back him up.
“I do not appreciate people who attack me for supporting Trump because I’m African-American. Because the President-elect has never said anything disparaging about the black community. If anything, he has been championing the least of these, in our community, who need the most attention — those who are suffering economically, those who are suffering under failed education systems,” Dennard told Breitbart.
Cassandra Fairbanks is a DC-based writer and political commentator who has been published in a range of outlets including Sputnik News, Teen Vogue, TeleSUR, the International Business Times, and Bipartisan Report.