Why is CNN in a ratings free fall?

Why is CNN is a ratings free fall? There are probably many, many answers to this question. For instance, maybe it’s not the best idea to continue to broadcast 24/7 coverage of the missing Malaysian Airlines plane two months after the story first broke. Another possibility? The unbelievable level of manufactured outrage on the network, which really came to a head on Thursday when CNN’s Don Lemon tried to start a shouting match with TheBlaze’s Will Cain.

During a conversation about Monica Lewinsky’s new essay for Vanity Fair on CNN’s Legal View with Ashleigh Banfield, Cain questioned the “cheap outrage” and “hashtag activism” often found on television. Lemon interpreted Cain’s comments to be a criticism of First Lady Michelle Obama, who had tweeted a photo of herself on Thursday with the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls.

Watch the tense exchange below:

“We are cheap as a society… this is consistent,” Cain said. “We do cheap outrage on TV. We do cheap ‘hashtag activism’ when it comes to the girls with Boko Haram, and this is cheap. [Monica Lewinsky] has been a cheap punchline for too long.”

“That’s disgusting to say about over 200 girls who were — what do you expect the first lady to do?” Lemon demanded.
“I said society has gotten cheap,” Cain repeated. “We do cheap outrage on television. We do cheap hashtag activism on Twitter… I didn’t say anything about the first lady, you did.”

On radio this morning, Glenn found himself agreeing with Cain’s assertion that social media has allowed the masses to feign outrage and claim activism by simply sending a tweet with a particular hashtag or posting a picture.

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“What [Will] is saying is you haven’t really done your duty if you just hashtag tweet,” Glenn said. “That’s not going to rescue a single person.”

As Glenn explained, his audience has risen to the occasion time and time again to come to the aid of those most in need. Through their support of Operation Underground Railroad, Glenn explained his listeners have really affected change in the child sex trafficking trade.

“We talk about child sex slavery on this program. This audience has raised now, I think, $1.5 million, maybe a little bit more, to rescue children who are actually in this situation,” Glenn said. “Now, there’s an audience that’s actually doing something. We’re not just hashtagging. There’s nothing wrong with hashtagging. But if that’s your deal, if you’re like, ‘Yeah, I’m involved in saving children. I hashtagged.’ No, you’re involved in the social media. That’s what [Will’s] saying.”

Ultimately, Glenn believes the shouting match just reiterates why CNN faces such ratings’ woes.

“CNN, you know why you have ratings problems? Listen to this. Who wants to even tune in to this,” Glenn asked. “You know the first thing that Will said was ‘manufactured outrage on television.’ That’s what this is!”

“There’s no human being that’s trying to figure it out could react the way Don Lemon reacts here,” Stu added. “It’s only him intentionally not trying to understand.”

  • Deckard426

    I found a pair of broken sunglasses by my mailbox this afternoon. They might have come from flight 370, if CNN wants to investigate.

    • atalkalot

      Hahaha. Now that’s funny=)

    • Ray Bois


      • Emma Nicholson


      • mrsloisannjones

        That’s great!

      • Anonymous


    • makinganargumentoutofnothing

      Hey I can’t believe you would dare target that the pilots of flight 370!! You monster!! That is just outrageous.. what have you done to find out anything about that disaster!!!!!???

  • swhyte

    Hashtagging to show your support reminds me of a comedy skit I once saw:


  • Hugh Jass

    “…what do you expect the first lady to do?” Lemon demanded.”

    Well, if I was the first lady, I would talk to my husband about what is going on, if anything is being done, and if not, why. Then I would go from there. #LemonIsAnIdiot

    • Anonymous

      That seems like it would be the logical thing to do.

      The people who are trying to raise awareness, in theory, are trying to to get the people in power to do something.
      Alright… so let’s presume you’re in power.
      I dunno… possibly married to the most powerful man in the free world? Is there a better place that she could possibly be where she could get something done about it?

      Rather then, you know… hold up a sign?

  • landofaahs

    So their rating dropped 50% because one person quit watching? )

    • http://kohlrak.sytes.net Shane Tyler Yorks

      Yes, because there were only 2 people watching. =p

      • Ben Cowden


  • Li Tyler

    Can’t anyone talk anymore? You can’ exchange ideas, if your shouting at each other!

  • Anonymous

    Not surprised at all. I turned to CNN for a few minutes at a time during the time after March 8 and all I heard was talk about MH370. With so many experts being iterviewed, nobody offered ANY sense. And Lemon soundedlike a total idiot with some of his comments.

  • Soylent Green

    Back in my day, we were only told to honk for world peace.

    • Anonymous

      So many wars these days…if only you’d honked louder!

    • Johhny “the rat”

      You honk at some idiot driver here in Los Angeles you can get shot!

  • Anonymous

    Maybe they’ll rehire Piers Morgan.

  • Jimmy Z

    I can tell you this for fact…we have been following this group in Niger for years, the twitter bs did not change anything.

  • Anonymous

    Come on Mr. (joke of a) President! I thought you’d be the first one to say “Drones speak louder than tweets!”

  • Johnny Lanoue

    I now have a splitting headache!

  • Jim

    lol… technically, to be in a ratings free-fall you must have actually had good ratings to begin with 😉 these “people” are clueless idiots… no wonder nobody wants to watch them! And… “everyone fed on Monica”… really?!?! Most people I remember were bashing Clinton (as it should have been), not Monica. Granted, she didn’t deserve what negativity she did, and frankly, most of those placing blame on her should have directed it at at their beloved Bubba.

  • BillK

    Here’s the thing – the First Lady’s only power is to post a picture to a social media site with a hashtag? I don’t think so.

    The PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES couldn’t have achieved what a bunch of PICTURES on a WEB SITE supposedly did?

    Is there any logic whatsoever in discourse today?

    Lemon angrily asking Will “What did YOU do?!?!” Posting a PHOTO is “doing something” now?

    If Twitter were around in 1955, posting photos with “#LetRosaParksSitUpFront” would have qualified as “doing something?”

    Note the textbook left-wing strategy Lemon also used:

    1) Angrily lie about what your opponent said
    2) Shout them down when they try to correct you
    3) Insist that even if they didn’t SAY that, it’s what they MEANT.

    • newyorkjetfan1@aol.com

      You mean Rosa Parks, of course, but nice analogy.

      • BillK

        Whoops – no idea how I made that mistake; corrected. 😉

    • Gary Chambers

      Sadly, the strategy of:

      1) Angrily lie about what your opponent said
      2) Shout them down when they try to correct you
      3) Insist that even if they didn’t SAY that, it’s what they MEANT.


    • Peacelanese

      #letrosaparkssitupfront unfortunatly would constitute ‘doing something’ today. It is akin to marching with a sign then. Perception is reality- until the bubble bursts. Trending on Twitter is a false barometer of the American pulse. How can it be real when its been proven that Flotus and Potus have over 10 million fake twitter followers. You couldn’t fake marching with a sign and getting a beat down then. Free and Fair press has lost its credibility and its been hijacked by Twitter.

  • catkinson


  • Netties Petrone

    Hashtag: Michelle is a moron!

  • Netties Petrone

    “Tweeting” about girls kidnapped is like the president of the United States of America wearing “mom jeans.”

  • Robert Mission

    Don Lemon’s greatest talent is to stay on CNN and continue to anger more viewers away daily!

  • Dave Suchy

    yes monica lewinsky, the 20 yr old intern who was preyed upon by her 53 yr old boss. and these people protected the boss.

    • Anonymous

      -What the left did

  • Anonymous

    These are the people that say a film caused the Benghazi attack, caused terrorists to do what they did. So of course they think a hash tag can get activism moving.

  • Crassus

    CNN’s problem is that they don’t know in what direction to go. Fox long ago stole away most of the conservative audience and then MSNBC outflanked them on the left. Throw in the fact that a lot of their talent either retired or went elsewhere and you’ve got a network that’s in a full blown mess. Anderson Cooper, Wolf Blitzer, and Don Lemon damn sure aren’t the answer.

  • Anonymous

    That is hard to watch, except for my boy Will Cain.

  • HomeAgain


  • Jason Lewis

    MSNBC’s ratings can’t fall. They would have to be up to being with.

  • Jason Lewis

    He should have said he was talking about Sarah Palin. Then the other guy wouldnt have been so ticked.

  • Barbara Matchey

    Not only did they broadcast it 24/7, BREAKING NEWS was their new normal.
    And I tweeted it to any broadcaster who was on at the time.

  • Anonymous

    That flushing sound is what is left of their ratings going down the toilet

  • Anonymous

    As usual, Lemon carries the water for the Obamas.

  • Anonymous

    Don Lemon is obviously a bold face liar. In this clip he said “I’m not stupid!”

  • Anonymous

    Monica should have been loved and protected and that pervert should have been impeached.If you dont think so,,,get a hotel room for willie and your 18 yr old daughter.

  • Gary Chambers

    Can we get some more people talking over each other? That’ll add to the interest.
    By the time this is said and done, Will will be made to look foolish and Don Lemon a hero.
    Remember, we, those on this sirte, are a small fraction viewing this; doesn’t matter what we think.

  • Anonymous

    We have friends on a mission trip to Nepal to help stop the human trafficking in that country. We have it here also and those girls who were kidnapped will probably be sold. Making little signs and tweeting them does nothing to help anyone. We also need to rid the congress of men who use young girls inappropriately in other countries. One is a senator.

  • jimjenky

    Let’s face it. A lot of what people do is wrapped up in their self worth. Doing the hashtag bit, holding a sign up, makes them feel that they are truly good people, righteous people, without them ever leaving their comfort zone. Nothing but phony “feel goodism.”

  • cole leblanc

    the woman blew the president then she had linda trip leak the story that she
    kept the dress with his sperm on it , unwashed , what the hell did she expect ,, to be a hero??? she is a sleaze and she is treated as such

  • Anonymous

    Will Cain was in no way referencing Michelle Obama! Literally 1000s of feminists have done their “civic duty” and tweeted/Instagram’d their pic holding a sign, #BringBackOurGirls. That is all he was referencing, but Donny in his bogus righteous indignation assumed Cain was scoffing at Michelle O. Donny is going to get a hefty raise, or a job in the White House for that one. At least, that’s what Donny is counting on. Phony outrage! He fell all over himself trying to defend Michelle O! And just like a liberal, shuts his brain and his ears off and just runs his stupid pie hole, talking over Cain like a child in 5th grade. I sware, Libs and terrorists are nothing more than children.
    The whole gig was to keep Cain from getting to the point… Hillary refused to classify Boko Haram as terrorist organization after being repeatedly asked to because she didn’t want them to get any notoriety. Now look!
    Notoriety?! WTH?! We are going to be scared of them getting notoriety? And then invent another video mocking Mohammed as the excuse why they organized a terrorist attack? Democrats are despicable! The help that the murdered little boys and the kidnapped girls would’ve received would’ve greatly overcome the “notoriety”. Especially if the Obama administration would just do their job instead of hiring, coddling, and supplying weapons and money to terrorists! That is what defines treason, isn’t it? Giving comfort or aid to a sworn enemy of the US certainly is!

  • Anonymous

    The black guy always has to try to bring to a “racist” statement. Makes me sick!

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  • R Trev

    CNN horrible. This shrill lemon….awfull. Guy looks like you stole his lunch money everytime he talks.

  • markymark

    You think this is bad – you should try CNN International
    Some real uber-liberal hate America pseudo intellectualism there…

  • arturo

    The last time I saw Ashleigh Minefield, she was on a jews hunt with Hamas.

  • Rich Ratliff

    Where is the liberal outrage about Clinton lying under oath to Congress?

  • http://www.truth.org D>R>

    Do these people really exist or is this acting?

  • Anonymous

    Who’s awareness was the first lady trying to raise?

    She’s married to the most powerful man in the world. If she wants to do something, doesn’t she have a direct line to him? Can’t she just tap him on the shoulder in bed and say “oh, by the way, will you take care of this?”

    Or are they trying to raise the awareness of… I dunno… someone ELSE who is willing to do something?

  • thisisthestorm

    The body language towards Lemon is great at the end of the clip. Both women are leaning away from him like he smells. Excellent.

  • Anonymous

    I get it.
    She knows that her husband won’t do anything about it, so she’s hoping that the guys who KIDNAPPED YOUNG GIRLS will be reached by an emotional plea of her holding up a piece of paper?

  • Tantalus XVI

    “I didn’t bring up Michelle Obama you did.” LOL!!!!!!!!!! Derp Lemon doesn’t have a valid argument so I’ll just yell and paint you as racist. Hey Don, where were the #bringbackourboys oh right they killed them already.

  • RichieBelding2

    Wow Don Lemon, a little defensive?

    What a baby.

  • Flash Kellam

    Dang. No wonder CNN’s ratings are tanking. Politics aside, this panel discussion sounds like a couple of little kids at recess going “You did so.” “Did not.” “Did, too.”
    “Did not.” Thank goodness for FOX News.

  • Michel Taranto

    CNN’s fake outrage in this video made me feel fantastic that I subscribed to The Blaze, and never watch CNN. #lastdaysofCNN

  • Anonymous

    I just watched more CNN than I have in my lifetime. Ok, I’ll say it for the hapless liberal. Michelle Obama is a twit for posting a cheap hashtag picture, allegedly igniting world efforts to save these kids. Duh, idiots.

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    CNN go down the toilet…….go to hell

  • Anonymous

    Typical liberal rants. The black guy has butt hurt because the truth was told about “mizzis oblabla” and wasted the time like the typical liberals do so well. The fist sign of freedom of speech that doesn’t suit them and they scream like goats behind the fence.

  • Dan Uff

    I used to watch Don Lemon when he was a local reporter for our NBC affiliate. Seemed like a nice guy all around. Then, I think his head got big when he made the switch to CNN, and got a couple of shows under his belt. Just sayin’

  • Anonymous

    Uhhh…hilarious that that dude was full of fake outrage about being told about fake outrage…..ironic much? PS also hilarious that Moochelle doesn’t know she’s married to the most powerful man in the world #michelles fake sadface

  • tdurden64111

    I didn’t know that Scotty guy from American Idol was on the Glenn Beck show?

  • Dee Hinkle

    I don’t ever watch these people and only got half way thru this. Yawn.

  • http://southsidedanny.wordpress.com/ WriterWithNoName

    #hashtagactivism I feel= I’m doing. #Narcissism

  • Charles Schlaff


  • rick james

    i was intrigued by that woman’s sexual flare towards the end. i still have faith in cnn.

  • Barbara Maxwell

    This is why I don’t watch CNN anymore. Don Lemon is a bully! Plus they cover so little real news that fall back on “breaking news” of Flight 370, and Don Sterling! I think everyone is sick and tired of Don Sterling. How about some real “breaking news”, say what’s happening in Russia and the Ukraine, the IRS & Benghazi scandals and the most corrupt administration in US history!

  • Gabriel Alan King

    How about instead of diverting people with these bottom feeding idiots- you do some REAL INVESTIGATIONS into important things like the SANDY HOAX Glen ? Is it because your enjoying your $100 million you’ve pilfered from your well meaning listeners, while your staff is full of FBI / CIA and God only knows what else ?

  • Gabriel Alan King

    Oh- and never mind that Boko Haram got their weapons from the USA, through the Al Qaeda WE funded to murder Gadaffi and ruin Libya- and install Israels WORST ENEMIES all around her.

  • jim wood

    They need to get rid of Will Cain

  • http://suzeraining.wordpress.com/ suz

    “stu, you will no longer be the father of your children. ” great line.

  • Gloss Finnish

    Not only is competition the most efficient resource allocation method known, it provides a guide for our efforts that is free from the meddling of authorities.

  • Debbie Thompson

    Where was CNN on the Justina Pelletier case? Absent. Lyme Disease protests all over the world? Absent. (Tried to help em out by posting about these news worthy stories on their fb page, and they were deleted, more than once.) Guess they can’t handle more than one story at a time. They latch onto one story, and cram it down our throats, around the clock. Not my idea of a “free press”.

  • New User

    CNN = MSNBC …. lite!

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