From a Baghdad hotel to a South Hampton basement

Tuesday, June 2, 2020
Billy Davis, Steve Jordahl (

CNN logoA hard-charging Atlanta businessman named Ted Turner launched a cable news channel 40 years ago this week that revolutionized the 24-hours news business.

The very CNN first broadcast, on June 1, 1980, began with an introduction from Turner, then the husband and wife team of David Walker and Lois Hart anchored the first newscast.

The cable network’s very first news anchor, Bernard Shaw, began that year, too, until he retired in 2001.

Rich Noyes of Media Research Center says in the beginning, it was well funded and relevant.

“They had the resources to be almost anywhere in the world it seemed,” he says. “And they had people in all these different countries giving you the kind of news that might not pass muster at broadcast networks.”

CNN’s peak of popularity came in 1990 during the Gulf War, when veteran news reporters embedded at a Baghdad hotel (see video below) described the war’s first shots with the rat-tat-tat of Iraqi anti-aircraft guns in the background.

The once-respected news leader, which scooped the network news from a Baghdad hotel, has denigrated to settling out of court for slandering a teenager; running with the “Russia collusion” allegations against President Trump for two years; and pretending that anchor Chris Cuomo remained in quarantine in his basement with live coverage of Cumo "joining" his family.

Cuomo, in fact, is reporting this week on violent attacks and vandalism by the same black-clad group that he defended on-air in 2018 because they "fight against hate." 

CNN has since lost its way, Noyes tells OneNewsNow, thanks largely to a stream of liberal journalists pilfered from left-leaning newspapers.

There is also the issue of Fox News, the ratings-busting cable news competitor that burst on the scene in the 1990s.

CNN report on Trump's mental stabilityFox News overtook CNN in ratings in only five years, Noyes says, “and it hasn’t looked back since.”  

During the first quarter of 2020, CNN failed to push any of its news shows into the top 20, Nick Nolte, a media writer for Breitbart News, reported in April.

Fox News placed eight shows in the top 10 and 14 shows in the top 20, Nolte reported, with liberal MSNBC filling the other slots with its lineup of left-wing journalism.

The best showing from CNN was Jake Tapper and his show The Lead, which trailed at number 22.

Noyes says CNN abandoned its once-respected news coverage to become a left-wing network that mirrors talk radio opinion more than journalism.

The once-proud franchise of Ted Turner, he adds, is “looking more and more desperate as it tries to cling to any sort of relevancy.” 


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