CNN boss Chris Licht is attempting to strengthen relationships with pivotal lawmakers, most of whom have turned sour on cable news.
According to Axios, Licht met with various senior congressional leaders from both sides of the aisle on Capitol Hill on Tuesday. This meeting is Licht’s attempt to push CNN away from partisan and alarmist shows in favor of unbiased journalism and balanced debate.
The report from Axios claims that the network’s boss met with lawmakers such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Republican Whip John Thune (R-S.D.), Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).
“I won’t comment on private meetings, but Chris has made it clear that his top priority is to make CNN a place for fair and respectful dialogue, analysis and debate,” a CNN spokesperson told Axios.
“He believes our audiences deserve to hear from elected officials on both sides of the aisle and will continue to engage a variety of voices.”
Licht fielded feedback from lawmakers about CNN’s coverage along with the discussions about booking opportunities. Some lawmakers suggested CNN cover the war in Ukraine more. Meanwhile, others wanted to discuss the network’s coverage of guns in America.
Rachel Maddow Details Demands to NBCUniversal During Contract Talks
It wasn’t “some sort of, like, hostile, heated negotiation with NBC,” Maddow said.
This year, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow has transitioned from being a daily news host to a weekly timeslot on Mondays while she focuses on other projects as part of her new contract.
In an interview with Vanity Fair, Maddow shed light on the behind the scene details that went into the discussions with NBCUniversal, resulting in a new contract that will see her stay with the company through the 2024 election and a reported $30 million per year salary.
It wasn’t “some sort of, like, hostile, heated negotiation with NBC,” Maddow said. “What I asked for, and I realize it’s a really hard thing to ask for from a big corporate entity, is flexibility, fluidity, and forgiveness.”
“Like, I want us to handle this in a way that we don’t have to map every second of it. And I want my staff to all stay employed, and I want them to be able to shift between different types of projects, just as I am.”
Alex Wagner takes over for Maddow Tuesday through Friday, as her show debuts on Aug. 16 at 9 PM ET.
“This is not a show where our hair is on fire, and we’re yelling past each other, and we’re creating these manufactured moments of tension,” MSNBC President Rashida Jones said regarding the show’s format under Wagner in a June interview with The New York Times.
“I really want the takeaway from this show to be a better understanding of what’s happening in the world.”
Mehdi Hasan: Alex Jones Gained Credibility from Republican Party
Mehdi Hasan slammed the Republican Party for giving Jones credibility rather than allowing the InfoWars host to be a conspiracy theorist on the internet
This past week, a jury handed down a verdict that InfoWars owner Alex Jones must pay $4.1 million in compensatory damages in one of the host’s three lawsuits from Sandy Hook families.
Following the verdict, MSNBC’s Mehdi Hasan slammed the Republican Party for giving Jones credibility rather than allowing the InfoWars host to be a conspiracy theorist on the internet.
“It’s worth noting that Alex Jones is not just the far-right fringe figure he should be,” Hasan said on Friday’s edition of “The Mehdi Hasan Show.”
“Because past guests on his program. Like Donald Trump and Congressman Matt Gaetz and more recent guests like Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene have lent legitimacy to this conspiratorial far-right bloviator …”
Hasan added that these politicians appearing on Jones’ show gave him validation to a host “who peddles nonsense conspiracies about murdered children and Hillary Clinton being a demon and a so-called Jewish mafia controlling the world.”
“Alex Jones should have been rejected by Republican leaders and lawmakers, but instead, he was shamefully embraced,” Hasan concluded.
Jones’ court appearances are not done as he has two more defamation trials pending, one in Austin and another in Connecticut. Furthermore, Jones told Judge Maya Guerra Gamble that anything more than $2 million would plunge the company.
Donald Trump Raising Funds to Sue CNN
The former president sent out a couple of emails titled “Let’s SUE CNN,” one of two fundraising emails sent out to his supporters on Friday.
Former President Donald Trump is attempting to sue CNN, but The Daily Beast reports that he’s asking his followers to send in money to “support” the legal action against the network.
Trump has yet to file any legal documents that will see CNN on the receiving end of a defamation lawsuit. Instead, the former president sent out a couple of emails titled “Let’s SUE CNN,” one of two fundraising emails sent out to his supporters on Friday.
“I’m calling on my best and most dedicated supporters to add their names to stand with me in my impending LAWSUIT against Fake News CNN,” the email said. “Add your name IMMEDIATELY to show your support for my upcoming lawsuit against Fake News CNN.”
Afterward, a second email from Trump stated that the first 45 names to help would stand next to him as he stands against CNN.
“I’m going to look over the names of the first 45 Patriots who added their names to publicly stand with their President AGAINST CNN,” the second email said.
The former president threatened CNN with a lawsuit and sent the network’s General Counsel David Vigilante and top CNN executive Chris Licht a note titled, “Notice of Intent to Bring Civil Action for Defamation.”
“Without regard for President Trump’s genuine belief in his statements, CNN has published numerous articles characterizing him as a ‘liar’ and the purveyor of the ‘Big Lie,’” the Trump legal letter to CNN said.