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Cruz Wrong; But CNN Response Didn’t Help Media Bias Suggestions

by John on 02/07/2016

This election campaign has nothing to do with governing or solving the problems of America.

Nope. It is all about branding; branding candidates and branding the media.

The candidates are doing it big time. Sure they all talk about sacrificing to go into public service. Yeah right. The losers in the campaign – who won’t reside in the Oval Office in 2017 — will find lucrative gigs or personal success thanks to the donors they’re connected to.

Here’s a great story from The Economist on how Ben Carson’s campaign is making his family and friends wealthy on his donations. And it is perfectly legal. And although Carson’s political campaign seems clueless, it is brilliant as far as keeping those close to him wealthy and providing a foundation to keep his brand moving forward. It’s all about the numbers. To win an election you need to get 50% plus 1, but to win big in business you only need 1% of the market. Carson seems to have that.

It’s just another chapter in the boondoggle we know as campaign finance lack of reform.

This exercise in branding was also on display last night during the GOP debate, indirectly involving Carson, as the Cruz CNN controversy blew up again.

Clearly, Ted Cruz – or his campaign – got caught red-handed in some political chicanery.

Cruz told Iowa delegates that Ben Carson was dropping out of the race, so they might as well just walk over the Cruz pew during the Iowa Caucuses.

Cruz cited CNN as the source of a story that Carson was ending his campaign. In reality, Carson had told CNN he was not heading directly to New Hampshire after Iowa – which is definitely strange. A CNN Reporter tweeted it and it was picked up by Cruz as a sign that Carson was ending his campaign.

Cruz then blamed CNN reporting. After the network called foul, he then put the blame on his campaign staff. Then during the debate last night he doubled down on blaming CNN.

Fact checkers clearly call foul on Cruz and his campaign.

But here is the statement released by CNN. Read it to the end:

The Cruz campaign’s actions the night of the Iowa caucuses had nothing to do with CNN’s reporting. The fact that Senator Cruz continues to knowingly mislead the voters about this is astonishing.


Wow. I thought CNN was a news organization? Clearly that last line crossed the line.

Maybe I have too much Walter Cronkite and Peter Jennings in my background, but that last sentence just fed the media bias narrative.

  • First, it is not “astonishing”. Ted Cruz is a politician who will do what it takes to win a campaign. Politics is a full contact sport. You do what you can to win. And if he didn’t win, he was literally out of the race; he needed Iowa’s evangelical vote to keep him going, because he is not going to win New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada – the next primaries.
  • Second, why would a news organization use such a term. It is astonishing. That is opinion. It is not news. Let the viewers and the voters decide if Cruz’s actions are astonishing.
  • Third, it makes CNN, in a smaller way, look like Fox in its battle with Trump. It also feeds the narrative that all of the cable news organizations are alike. And they are. They are brands trying to show off for their viewers – to keep ratings high.

To be fair, like many have been to Cruz and his campaign, maybe some member of the CNN PR staff got out of hand here. But that is not what a news organization should be doing.

The lesson for your business. Be careful how you respond to slights or inaccuracies in the media or on social media.

CNN would have looked so much better by just issuing that first sentence.

Give me your thoughts?


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