CNN Ad Claims Objectivity; Labels Fox News, MSNBC Partisan - iMediaEthics

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See above, a screenshot from CNN's new advertisement targeting MSNBC and Fox News. (Credit: CNN)

A new ad from CNN targets Fox News and MSNBC for being partisan while labeling itself objective, the Huffington Post reported.

The ad states:  “When you support one party or the other, that’s OK–if you’re a voter. But not if you are a news network. If you want to keep them all honest without playing favorites, the choice is clear. CNN: the worldwide leader in news.”

The ad, which consists of mostly text, also features a picture of an elephant labeled Fox News and a donkey labeled MSNBC.

CNN political director Sam Feist explained to Yahoo News that the ad indicates the news channel is objective and, on Twitter, called it a “bold new” promotion.

“The CNN ad simply states the obvious: We’re the one cable news channel that doesn’t advocate for one political party or the other,” Yahoo News reported Feist said. “We cover both sides but don’t favor either side. That’s our mission; it’s part of our DNA. And it makes us different than the other guys.”

Huffington Post noted that the ad takes last week’s CNN election ad — “Others Lean” — a step further. That ad “implicitly jabbed at its two rival cable news networks,” by mocking MSNBC’s “Lean Forward” ad, and the counter ad by Fox News “Move Forward.”

The “Lean Forward” campaign claimed that “To lean forward is to think bigger, listen closer, fight smarter, and act faster. To celebrate the best ideas, no matter where they come from.  To dare to dream of a nation that’s better tomorrow that it is today.”  Countering that, Fox News presented itself as “moving forward,” — taking MSNBC’s campaign a step further.

The “Others Lean” promo called out both networks — claiming “Some lean left” and “Some move right,” but that CNN moves “truth forward

Mediaite wrote that CNN might be trying to emphasize that it is objective to draw rating, even though partisan news has scored high ratings.  (Fox News won the highest ratings earlier this month on election night.)

“The network is clearly hoping that its promo’s aggressive reasonableness might be enough to convince jaded Americans that CNN really does put unbiased coverage first. But while Jon Stewart and other fans of rationality might love the spot, the harsh reality is that biased network get better ratings—even if they’re less concerned with journalistic ethics. Either way, it’s nice to see CNN actively playing up its spot in the middle, rather than trying to shift in one direction or the other,” Mediaite explained.

See the ad here.

iMediaEthics wrote to CNN, Fox News and MSNBC asking if the ads have impacted ratings. We will update with any response.

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CNN Ad Claims Objectivity; Labels Fox News, MSNBC Partisan

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