According to a post at the Free Beacon, CNN President Chris Licht went to Capital Hill last week and quietly met behind closed doors with high members of the GOP in a carefully arranged meeting to avoid alerting the
Licht and his boss, Warner Brothers Discovery chief David Zaslav met briefly with Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy. Licht's schtick was the network would give Republican lawmakers ample airtime and honest dialogue, saying they are committed to reshaping the image of CNN no matter the ratings. The charm offensive underscores Licht's effort to reverse the course set by his predecessor pushed out of CNN in February, who had transformed CNN into ground zero for the strident nasty resistance to DJT and Republicans more broadly, adopting nakedly partisan stances that would once have seemed out of line strange in a newsroom.
Licht's pitch was a tough sell given the putrid hostility CNN anchors have expressed toward Republicans and their voters. And after sticking a proverbial middle finger in anyone's face who didn’t subscribe to left-wing groupthink, gaining the trust of conservative viewers will be no easy task.
Except for the mercy killing of CNN's embarrassing failure of their digital media project, CNN+, Licht has made few personnel changes, and CNN employs a type of host who may be resentful and try and stonewall any improving relationship between CNN and the Right. It’s going to be hard to convince Republicans that CNN has moved to the middle when you promote sleazy characters like Don Lemon, Brianna "Twinkies" Keilar, and Jim Acosta.
Even if CNN pulls off a turn to the middle, it’s likely that most former viewers won’t return to the channel to find out if the newly reported reputation is accurate. When you lie about everything, viewers won’t believe what you say about your own network either.