CNN has been having a rough time lately. Actually, it seems the media giant has been having a rough time ever since Donald Trump came down the escalator of Trump Tower and announced his bid for the presidency of the United States. Once caught in the sights of Trump, they have remained a punching bag for the president to this day.
Admittedly, they have made some mistakes along the way that have left them with egg on their face and given at least a miniscule amount of credence to Trump’s complaints. The New York Times noted:
‘Still, CNN’s troubles have been compounded by a series of recent self-inflicted wounds – not least a high-profile retraction of a sensitive article about one of Mr. Trump’s close allies, which last week led to the forced resignations of three veteran journalists.
That episode came after several other mishaps: The network corrected an inaccurate preview of the testimony of the former F.B.I. director James B. Comey, and it cut ties with two hosts, Kathy Griffin and Reza Aslan, after they issued profane online attacks against Mr. Trump, to the delight of critics who called the attacks proof positive of CNN’s bias.’
Let’s not forget the infamous Anderson Cooper eye roll, as well.
CNN’s president Jeffrey Zucker admitted they had to do better and had “no room for error.”
‘He’s trying to bully us, and we’re not going to let him intimidate us. You can’t lose your confidence and let that change the way you conduct yourselves.’
He’s right. However, how far-reaching can Trump’s disdain for CNN reach?
Apparently, it’s not just CNN that could be affected by the president’s rage and hate for journalism. It could go as far as affecting the parent company of CNN, Time Warner.
In a bid to merge with Time Warner, AT&T bid $85.4 billion to merge with Time Warner Inc. That’s nothing new. AT&T loves to merge with anything to a point that it’s been a concern of Democrats. However, with Time Warner being a parent company of CNN and the U.S. Justice Department reviewing the merger, the concern that Trump could exercise influence over the merger is a very real concern.
The NYT even reported that White House advisers have considered it a “point of leverage” since approval will have to come from the DOJ.
‘White House advisers have discussed a potential point of leverage over their adversary, a senior administration official said: a pending merger between CNN’s parent company, Time Warner, and AT&T. Mr. Trump’s Justice Department will decide whether to approve the merger, and while analysts say there is little to stop the deal from moving forward, the president’s animus toward CNN remains a wild card.’
A wild card.
It’s important to note again that some Democrats have found issue with the merger also. Business Insider reported Sens. Al Franken, Elizabeth Warren, Richard Blumenthal, Maria Cantwell, and Bernie Sanders all signed a letter expressing their concern over the merger and specifically asked the DOJ to deny the merger from moving forward.
Regardless of whether the merger would be detrimental to customers and Democrats expressing disapproval of it, the notion that Trump could exercise influence over the merger because he doesn’t like the negative coverage CNN delivers on the Trump administration is a frightening prospect. It’s an indication that the future of the presidency and America could be one built on backroom favors and biased news.
Featured image by Pool/Getty Images.