Throwback Thursday: If CNN Is “The Most Trusted Name in News,” How Come Six of the Seven People Pictured Are Gone?

Screen shot 2011-03-18 at 6.48.42 PMRecognize these people in the screen grab? These serious and/or smiling faces are all seen on the CNN website, right now, which would lead the innocent viewer to assume hat these are the CNN-ers viewers should trust. But there”s a catch: Surveying those pictured, we see that almost all of the seven folks pictured are no longer at CNN.

In her previous post, The Cable Gamer noted that CNN’s self-declared tagline, “the most trusted name in news” might need to be tweaked just a bit in light of CNN’s error—caught by Mediaite—in identifying the location of big cities in California and the spelling of other important California locations.

But now, after a bit of digging, TCG has discovered a much bigger error—maybe all of CNN’s fact-checkers got laid off to pay for Anderson Cooper’s ad campaign, or Jon Klein’s severance package. Let’s take a close look at that picture above:  Second from left, that’s Aaron “The Dentist” Brown. He’s long gone. In the middle, Lou Dobbs, once a star at CNN, until he was kicked off the air for speaking his fearless mind. Now, of course, Dobbs has found a happier home at Fox Business Network, which no doubt thanks CNN for the plug. And next to Dobbs is Christiane Amanpour, now at ABC. And over their on the far right, in her overlit and photoshopped glory, is Paula Zahn—who knows what she is doing. That’s four, gone totally. And then, far left, is Wolf Blitzer. OK, he’s still at CNN. That leaves two: Judy Woodruff, third from left, and Larry King, second from right. King seems still to be under contract with CNN—perhaps just to keep him quiet—and maybe Woodruff is, too. But Woodruff and King are certainly gone from CNN in any meaningful way, that is, in a way that a viewer would know.

A close look at the picture. Once again, it’s still on the CNN site as of 7 pm ET. This is not a cache:

Yup, this page is all there, in all its anachronistic glory, until CNN gets around to taking it down. We can note that in the lower left, it says, “copyright 2003…an AOL Time Warner Company” which indicates two things: First, that the picture is seriously out of date, not only in terms of year, but also in terms of corporate ownership, as AOL was long ago spun off. And second, we are reminded that CNN has suffered some pretty serious talent-carnage in the last eight years. Here’s a closer look at those gone-from-the-air faces:

Ah “the pursuit of the truth.” Yup, that’s what CNN does alright, starting with its obsolete website self-touts. And that link in the lower right goes right back CNN’s home page, and then back again. So this is real, a real statement of where CNN thinks it is as of today, Friday—at least until its gone.

Amusingly, CNN relies heavily on the strength of its website as a response to those who point out that the cable channel is third or even fourth in the Nielsens.

Original comments:

cornycob said…

Judy Woodruff is at the PBS Newshour. Paula Zahn hosts what I believe is the most-watched show on Investigation Discovery (the channel is something like that, anyway it a Discovery offshoot). I think she might actually be getting more viewers now than she did at CNN, although I think her show is just a once a week affair.

Reposted from The Cable Game, 18 March 2011

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