CNN has had the gall to claim that they didn’t give “editorial control” to Rahm Emanuel and his staff. You don’t have to give “editorial control”—or a final say—to your subject when filming a supposed documentary for it to be as biased as this one clearly was. All you have to do is cast the subject in a uniformly positive light, flattering him that he’s “star” and a strong leader, all the while.
“CNN is apparently creating a straw man to knock down so that it can release a statement denying something—even if what they are denying is not something they have been exposed as being guilty of,” comments John Nolte for Breitbart.
But CNN and Emanuel’s office may have even coordinated press releases. “When the network prepared to announce the series in the spring of 2013, Jasculca Terman’s Foley twice forwarded copies of CNN news releases to Emanuel’s office,” reports the Chicago Tribune.
Foley, in this case, refers to Jasculca’s other daughter, Lauren Foley. Her email shows the original message from CNN “Hi Laura, Thanks tremendously for your patience. Here’s our release—please let me know if you need more tweaks, or if we are good to go for next week:” “Thoughts?” Foley asks Tarrah Cooper, from the city of Chicago. “Thanks! I’ll have edits for you shortly!” Cooper responds.
“But CNN maintained that Emanuel’s office was ‘never granted editorial control over the content or the press communications for Chicagoland, and no agency was ever granted authority to offer the mayor’s office editorial approval for the content or the promotional materials for the series,’” reported Fox News. That is apparently the best they could do in terms of a denial. But the result, and the intent, is clear. CNN was giving a boost to one of their beloved Democrats who clearly has greater political ambitions.
The eight-part series was intended, according to The New York Times, to be “part of a network makeover by CNN’s newest boss, Jeff Zucker, who wants to provide programs for fallow news periods, when viewers relax and turn away from the talking heads on CNN.” Ironically, the show debuted on CNN two days before the disappearance of Malaysian Air Flight 370, which became one of the most covered stories in a one-month period in the history of CNN.
“Chicagoland’s” executive producer was Robert Redford, and the series was previewed at his Sundance Film Festival earlier in the year. The directors were Marc Levin and Mark Benjamin, both of whom are represented by the talent agency and Hollywood deal maker, William Morris Endeavor (WME), whose co-CEO happens to be Ari Emanuel, Rahm’s brother. But to ostensibly avoid a conflict of interest, they asked that the agency not represent them for this deal. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Levin said, “We didn’t want to be questioned about anything.” Who can blame him?
CNN’s viewership gave the series a big “thumbs down.” According to Deadline Hollywood, it performed worse than Fox News’ Sean Hannity and MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell in the same time frame; and its audience dropped over the eight weeks by about 50 percent. This sort of manipulation of reality, with an apparent political agenda, might be expected on a propaganda network like Russia’s RT, but should be unacceptable at the original 24-hour cable news network.
This article originally appeared at AIM.org and is reprinted here with permission.