Avram's Past / broadband / Finance

CNN, THE MOST TRUSTED NAME IN NEWS: The Battle for the Minds of the Inane

I was shocked when CNN put on an hour-long Anti-truth Marathon, which they called a Town Hall, featuring one of the most dangerous and deranged leaders of a political party, Donald Trump. I should have seen the handwriting on the wall earlier when Discovery Networks took over CNN, HBO, and Warner Brothers. How Discovery Networks ended up consolidating all these cable networks would take a large book to explain.  

I knew John Malone pretty well in the 90s. In my book, The Flight of a Wild Duck, I write extensively about my interactions with him. Malone was one of the most intelligent people I had ever met in business, although I would sometimes refer to him as the “Master of Sub Optimization.” He had a firm grasp of technology, but his brilliance was in financial engineering. I have to say that I liked him on a personal level. He was always very friendly and had a great sense of humor. Malone ran two businesses, TCI, one of the world’s worst cable networks (and that says a lot given how awful so many cable companies were), and Liberty Media, which was started and led by my dear friend, Peter Barton, who left us too early in 2001 at 51. Malone sold his cable system to AT&T in 1999 for $55 billion, which was then sold to Comcast in 2002 for 72 billion, including Media One, for which AT&T had paid $44 billion just two years earlier. He kept Liberty Media, which is how he eventually controlled Discovery Networks.

During the many years I interacted with Malone, we never discussed politics. But I was not surprised to learn he was a libertarian. Now he is 81 years old and, I assume, very active, serving on many boards. He is also the largest owner of land in the USA.

Malone’s relationship with Rupert Murdoch is entangled and often not positive. Malone is much more intelligent than Murdoch (and at 82, he is also much younger). Malone has been, and I assume, is still a supporter of Trump.  

I could not figure out how much influence Malone has over Discovery and, therefore, CNN. But it must be a substantial. On the other hand, the actual CEO of Discovery is David Zaslav, a Jew whose family came from Ukraine and Poland. He has made significant contributions to Democratic PACs in the past. Malone has been a big supporter of Zaslav. But my gut tells me that CNN is going after Fox News with the object of replacing it as the Opiate of the Right.

The one thing that can make this even worse would be the involvement of Elon Musk.

4 thoughts on “CNN, THE MOST TRUSTED NAME IN NEWS: The Battle for the Minds of the Inane

  1. Fascinating to read your insight and your experience with him. That town hall was a disgrace. Switching nightly news to MSNBC. No more CNN. They outfoxed FOX.


  2. Trump said he wanted Russians and Ukrainians to stop killing each other. And he refused to side with UKR. He also said he would pardon the Jan 6 protesters. Those are exactly my positions. Tucker has been taken off the air. And the left is condemning CNN for giving Trump a forum from which he voiced important policy positions.

    What is it with the left that they are actively working to silence policy positions and discussion? ( the Dominion lawsuit was all about preventing news channels from having people on who question the integrity of the election system. )


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