President Trump accuses CNN of targeting conservative voices after he was questioned about retweeting a doctor’s claim that hydroxychloroquine cures COVID-19.
Some of CNN’s anchors have become known for their hostility toward President Trump — and those sentiments have also been reflected in the network’s on-air graphics.
On Friday, CNN anchor Brianna Keilar slammed the president’s repeated claim that he is tough on Russia, and her report was accompanied by a chyron at the bottom of the screen reading “Trump says he’s been tough on Russia. Nah.”
“That’s just not true,” Keilar said before citing 37 instances of the president being “soft” on Russia.
The anchor listed multiple examples of Trump’s flattering rhetoric toward Russian President Vladimir Putin and his dismissiveness regarding Russia’s interference campaign in the 2016 election.
However, it was the on-air graphic that got the most attention.
DePauw University professor and journalistic ethics expert Jeffrey McCall accused CNN of being dedicated to its “predetermined narrative” that the president is a “Russian asset.”
“If this chyron had been run during one of the opinion shows in the evening… and the CNN shows in the evening are opinion shows… I would have less concern about this clear case of subjectivity,” McCall told Fox News. “But this graphic ran during the afternoon, when CNN is supposedly doing more objective journalism. The USA-Russia relationship is complex, to be sure, but the CNN default for news coverage of that relationship always begins with an anti-Trump angle and goes from there.”
McCall added, “This surely delights the many anti-Trump CNN viewers, but it is also a reason that centrists and right-of-center people question CNN’s credibility these days.”
Cornell Law School professor and media critic William A. Jacobson told Fox News that CNN’s “absurd chyrons” are a symptom and symbol of the network’s decline, resulting in “horrible ratings.”
“At some point, CNN will understand that so many viewers say ‘nah’ to CNN because of these theatrics,” Jacobson said.
NewsBusters managing editor Curtis Houck slammed CNN for airing the graphic.
“This is not the chyron of a serious news organization. This is a chyron that reads like it was written by a bitter, prepubescent Mean Girl,” Houck tweeted.
Fourth Watch media analyst Steve Krakauer, a former CNN digital producer, expressed his disbelief that such a graphic aired on the network.
“That’s not real,” Krakauer reacted to his former employer.
The Hill media reporter Joe Concha pondered what CNN will be like once President Trump leaves office, whether it’s in 2021or 2025.
“When Trump leaves the stage whenever that may be, it will be interesting to see if CNN will attempt to pivot back to being the serious news org it was in the days of Bernard Shaw Aaron Brown. And the chyron, from a policy perspective, is very debatable therefore an opinion,” Concha wrote.
CNN did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
CNN’s graphics have become somewhat notorious in the Trump era. In March 2019, the network ran a banner that read “SOON: SENATE TO EMBARRASS TRUMP WITH ‘EMERGENCY’ VOTE.’”
In April, CNN was panned for several chyrons that aired during the president’s coronavirus task force briefing.
The graphics read, “Angry Trump turns briefing into propaganda session,” “Trump uses task force briefing to try and rewrite history on coronavirus response,” “Trump melts down in angry response to reports he ignored virus warnings” and “Angry Trump uses propaganda video, produced by government employees at taxpayers’ expense.”
Fox News’ Brian Flood contributed to this report.