‘CNN, You’re Drunk!’

Competition with social media means that traditional media must keep coming up with new strategies to hold their ground in the battle for people’s attention. One of the more questionable strategies has become increasingly noticeable recently. Nowadays, there is no news so banal that it can’t qualify as breaking news. CNN provided this latest highlight of this in a series of curious journalistic decisions over the weekend. The CNN Twitter account reported the breaking news that Oreo, one of the cats owned by Vice President Mike Pence, had died. The broadcaster secured people’s attention, but presumably not quite in the way that a serious media outlet would wish, as people did not fail to doubt the urgency of the matter. One wrote ironically, “OMG! So sad!! I will never forget where I was when I heard this.” Another gave the following diagnosis: “This is not breaking news. Go home CNN, you’re drunk.” Someone else couldn’t help referring to the ambiguous dictum of pussy grabbing: “Did Trump grab it too hard?” One person summed up the ultimate consequence of excessively broadcasting trivial stories – rapid reputational damage: “Well, they say deaths happen in ‘threes:’ 1. Adam West. 2. Oreo Pence. 3. CNN’s integrity.”

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