CNN: The Worldwide Leader in Pranks

Today’s guest post is by Peppercommer and RepChatter co-host, Deb Brown.

Last week, I wrote about my disappointment with the CBS Morning Show. Basically, the show promotes that it has a new hard news format, but when I watched it for 30 minutes, it was anything but hard news. And, Repman, himself, mentioned that the History Channel and other brands are not delivering on their promises either.

So, let’s now switch channels to CNN. After all, CNN promises to be the “worldwide leader in news.” Well, except for maybe early in the morning. The brilliant management at CNN decided to try a new segment in which the anchors use their coveted rolodexes to unknowingly wake up famous people as part of their “Wake ‘Em Up” show who are usually asleep at 5am (or 2am if the poor soul lives on the West Coast). The lovely anchors decided to debut their new segment by waking up Kerry Kennedy, the daughter of the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy, and told her to make sure she doesn’t say any F-bombs because the show is live. As if that wasn’t enough, they asked her if she still has haunting memories from her father’s assassination and reminded her that she was eight years old when he was killed. That’s nice to wake up to, isn’t it? Apparently, the executive producer of CNN must be sleeping during this segment since it continued past that debut call.

On a separate call, the anchors try to reach a celebrity but accidentally dial the wrong number. The person who answers speaks in Spanish and one of the anchors jokes “This is the FBI.” The horrified guy quickly hangs up. Nice. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s still living in fear.

Now, when I turn to CNN, I expect to see the “worldwide leader in news.” Not a teenage prank show. And, to top it off, the anchors are upset that Jon Stewart, the host of The Daily Show on Comedy Channel, is making fun of them. Really? That’s what these anchors care about?

Is anyone at CNN awake to understand that you promise NEWS, not PRANKS? Talk about a disconnect between the experience CNN promises and what it actually delivers. This gap is so wide that even the great Evel Knievel wouldn’t try to jump it if he were alive today. At least he can rest in peace since the anchors can’t call him.

My favorite response from a reader to one of the websites that wrote about this debacle of a news program said “WTF is this show supposed to be about? Why not just air some old episodes of Punk’d?”

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