Media Blog

CNN as a Third-Party Network

In his column today, Rich compares Lou Dobbs to Ross Perot. It’s a good analogy and one that got me thinking about CNN’s recent ratings trends. Right now, Fox News dominates the cable news ratings with a mix of news and mostly conservative commentary. MSNBC, meanwhile, recently edged ahead of CNN into second place by taking a sharp leftward turn in the months before the election.

CNN’s most openly opinionated anchor is Dobbs, followed by a very like-minded Jack Cafferty. These two have delivered ratings, but obviously not enough to keep MSNBC from outflanking CNN on the left. CNN is riding its apocolyptic, broken-government centrism right into third place — which, if you think about it, is where angry third-party types usually end up.