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CNN Gets a Whippin'
June 13, 2002
By Sheila Samples

I see where Roll Call is reporting that House Bug Man, Tom "The Exterminator" DeLay--also known as "The Whip"--who's a constant source of entertainment as he bends over and channels the verbal hate farts of Rush Limbaugh by calling CNN the "Communist News Network" and "Clinton News Network"--was all kissy-feely with new AOL/Time Warner CEO Richard "Dick" Parsons after a closed-door meeting last week...

With The Whip in charge, one can only wonder what deliciously delightful bondage goes on in those zany, secret Republican leadership meetings. Only nine months ago, new CNN chief Walter Isaacson crawled on his belly up the Hill and slithered in and out of conservative leaders' offices in a creepy reptilian courtship that, at the end of the incestuous gestation period, produced a "foxy" screw-the-honorable-Fourth-Estate-journalistic-principles-I-swore-to-uphold- and-please-let-me-bend-over-and-squeal-like-a-pig offspring.

It was heartening that The Whipmonkey emerged from the meeting with Dick, tired but appreciative of CNN's efforts to "reach out," and grateful for Dick's promise to continue to "improve CNN's ideological balance." The Whippet can race to the bank with that, because Dick's been around. Like they say in Texas--Dick's "seen the elephant and heard the owl..."

Before taking over at AOL/Time Warner, Dick was personally selected by Bush to serve on the President's Commission for Social Security, which proposed letting workers devote part of their this guy's judgement...

The Whipmonger has relented a couple of times since 9-11 and appeared briefly on CNN shows where there was no opposing view to buzz around his head like a pesky gnat, but it hasn't been that long since he arrogantly ordered a GOP boycott of CNN because it was giving too much face time to Democrats.

It must be true, because results of a DNC study of the shameful performance of CNN between January and March of this year show that CNN carried 157 live events involving members of the Bush administration and seven events involving senior Democratic officials. So you can see, Whip is right--96% coverage of the right-wing agenda compared to a burgeoning 4% coverage of the left is just not acceptable...

CNN is working hard to atone for this lapse. For example, back on March 20, CNN proudly ignored Democratic press briefings by Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle and House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt--despite the fact that the House was voting on the budget and the Senate was about to pass campaign finance reform. Now, that's progress, especially since on the same day CNN managed to squeeze in live appearances by Resident Bush, White House spokesman "Airy" Fleischer, Attorney General John "NRA Cover Boy" Ashcroft, and, for good measure, First Lady Laura "Who am I--Why am I" Bush.

However, there's still much work to be done. It's not enough for CNN to be a mere corporate serf. What IS important is that CNN continue its progress until it's able to let go; to release everything it ever thought it knew about integrity--until it is able to not only move on, but to move up, and to stand tall on the media landscape as a slobberingly grateful corporate serf.

Dick is also pleased with CNN's continued "improvement" under Isaacson's leadership. But, more important, Whupass graciously pointed out that Dick assured him CNN was working hard to scrub the last vestiges of the dangerously loony "Ted Turner" liberal viewpoint from the entire network--and, if possible, from the entire planet.

But although CNN's news shows are casting a brilliant shining "right," one of Whipper's aides added petutantly, "A lot of (CNN) commentary shows still have a built-in 'Capital Gang.' And," he sniffed, "'Crossfire' is really not that interesting anymore either...."

Looks like one or two more of those closed-door Republican leadership meetings and both CNN and Dick will be safely "whipped" into line...

Sheila Samples is an Oklahoma freelance writer.

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