CNN’s Debate Is About Ratings and Profits, Not Democracy

CNN’s Debate Is About Ratings and Profits, Not Democracy
American Values 2024 | June 27, 2024

By Anne Keala Kelly, The Kennedy Beacon

In April 2021, four short months into Biden’s administration, cable and TV news were taking a hit following Trump’s departure from the White House.

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With CNN’s heightened level of psychic ability, maybe they will call the winner before November 5 and we won’t even need to show up and vote.

Not everyone is happy.

Last week, protesters rallied outside CNN-owned buildings in New York, Los Angeles, and other cities over their refusal to allow Kennedy onto Thursday’s debate stage. And there are still four months between now and the election. With ballot access battles raging, we should expect growing crowds challenging CNN and other mainstream media outlets on the issue of media representation.

In April of 2016, more than 2,000 Bernie Sanders supporters protested outside CNN’s Sunset Boulevard buildings, and streamed it live online, just in case the networks didn’t cover it. “I used to be a CNN junkie, I used to watch it 24/7,” said one protester on the feed. “Now, CNN spends 90 percent of the time covering Trump.”

In 2016, CNN would show a live feed of an empty mic on a stage waiting for Trump to arrive, rather than a live feed of a Sanders rally attended by tens of thousands of people.

This go-around, CNN will present a (literally) muted debate, with no actual members of the American public in attendance, something that has not happened since the first televised presidential debate, held on September 26, 1960, after Kennedy and Nixon had secured their respective parties’ nominations. But that was way back in the olden days, when doing that sort of thing was regarded as central to the democratic process.

Call it speculation, but it isn’t beyond reason to wonder if CNN, like the Democratic National Committee (DNC), took out its old playbook and dusted it off. As the adage goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” CNN is a corporation after all (like the DNC and its counterpart the RNC), so when and how to produce the first presidential debate of 2024 could have something to do with profit.

In fact, some viewers on Thursday may confuse the debate with a CNN infomercial, regardless of the platform they are watching it on, because the CNN logo will be omnipresent throughout.

As we wait to see if Biden wanders off, and if Trump manages (despite his muted mic) to exhibit the worst traits of his personality, maybe we should ask ourselves why, as we teeter on the verge of World War III, Kennedy is not on that stage.

As he will likely reiterate when answering questions on an X stream Thursday night, simultaneous with the CNN debate, Kennedy has pledged to make cutting the Department of Defense budget in half a top priority when he takes office. It’s harder to have a world war on such a skinny budget.

He was also the only candidate running as a Democrat (before declaring as an independent) to say out loud that the war in Ukraine is a proxy war for the US.

And he has said he wants a two-state solution in the Middle East.

With Biden or Trump, the military budget, which is north of a trillion dollars, will likely be increased, not decreased, as neither of those candidates has mentioned cutting military spending. And, unlike Kennedy, both have already played substantial roles in creating the potential for World War III. Hmm, maybe that answers the question of why he won’t be allowed on CNN’s stage.

No matter how the carefully coiffed show goes, according to CNN, their chosen candidates are America’s only legitimate candidates. We will all be watching CNN’s version of democracy at work, the corporate kind with a profit margin attached to it.

If we do not fight what CNN is attempting to manufacture, if we do not find a way to get Kennedy on the ballots and on the stage for the next debate, we may find ourselves living a future decided by a handful of people at CNN.

But all is not lost. Assange is free! Journalism and free speech are not dead yet. And Kennedy has gotten this far despite mainstream media’s best efforts to destroy him.

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