On Tuesday, CNN released its plans for covering the Republican and Democratic national conventions, saying that they will offer “nonstop, unbiased programming” in Tampa and Charlotte. MSNBC president Phil Griffin responded by calling the network “desperate.”
CNN Washington bureau chief and senior vice president Sam Feist described how the network plans to present unbiased coverage during the conventions:
As the only cable news channel that has not picked sides in this election, CNN has a unique lens with which to cover these conventions. In Tampa and in Charlotte, we will give both parties an opportunity to showcase their platforms while also asking tough questions of Republicans and Democrats. Coverage of the conventions will dominate our air over two weeks as CNN’s deep bench of anchors, political reporters and analysts help Americans make an informed choice about their vote.
That drew a strong rebuke from MSNBC’s Griffin who told the Huffington Post, “When you’re desperate, you start calling different things out,” alluding to CNN’s recent ratings struggles and management turmoil.
CNN has been trying to portray itself as the more moderate network, but in doing so has lost many of its viewers to MSNBC and Fox News. Its lack of a focused strategy has contributed heavily to its current woes.
Feist may want the public to believe that the network will be unbiased in its convention coverage, but with Candy Crowley, Soledad O’Brien, Wolf Blitzer and Anderson Cooper as part of the team in Tampa and Charlotte, it will be very clear which side of the fence the network is on.