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The abrupt collapse of CNN+ has spawned two distinct responses: Endless laughter from CNN’s many haters, including Fox News’ Greg Gutfeld and former President Donald Trump, and furious outrage from outgoing CNN+ staffers and their allies.
Shortly after news broke Thursday that CNN will be shuttering CNN+ at the end of the month, the former president released a statement of sarcastic “congratulations.”
“Congratulations to CNN+ on their decision to immediately FOLD for a lack of ratings, or viewers in any way, shape, or form,” he mockingly said.
“It was like an empty desert out there despite spending hundreds of millions of dollars and the hiring of low-rated Chris Wallace, a man who tried so hard to be his father, Mike, but lacked the talent and whatever else is necessary to be a star. In any event, it’s just one more piece of CNN and Fake News that we don’t have to bother with anymore!” Trump added.
President Donald J. Trump:
“Congratulations to CNN+ on their decision to immediately FOLD for a lack of ratings, or viewers in any way, shape, or form. It was like an empty desert out there despite spending hundreds of millions of dollars and the hiring of… pic.twitter.com/9sgoDtaOak
— Liz Harrington (@realLizUSA) April 21, 2022
Later Thursday afternoon on Fox News’ “The Five,” Gutfeld repeatedly made fun of both CNN+ and his former colleague Chris Wallace, who left Fox News late last year in the apparent hopes of making it big at CNN/CNN+.
“The Democratic bench is thinner than Chris Wallace’s demo reel from CNN Plus,” he said at one point.
During a segment about New York City crime and its relation to the Black Lives Matter movement, Gutfeld said, “BLM has done to black people what Chris Wallace has done to CNN+. Entice them with a promise and then ditch them on the side of the road.”
During a segment on climate change, he said, “A lot of these solutions that are coming from the left are unreliable, whether it’s solar panels or windmills. I mean look at CNN+, how much money they invested in wind power by hiring Chris Wallace.”
And then during the show’s final segment, he played a video of a wild buffalo walking the streets and said, “I just looked out at Sixth Avenue and who did I see just hanging out in front of a tavern? None other than, guess… Chris Wallace!”
Gloating Fox News hosts take repeated shots at former colleague Chris Wallace after CNN+ implosion https://t.co/NiL5g6ALUv
— Jack Furnari (@JackBPR) April 22, 2022
But CNN+’s collapse is no laughing matter for the roughly 300 staffers who left their cozy gigs at CNN for the chance to excel at CNN+, only to see the rug pulled from underneath them.
“Many people left their stable jobs at CNN to go to CNN+ and then they pull it right after launch? Everyone is aghast and furious,” one source within the company explained to the New York Post for a report published Thursday.
Though CNN has reportedly vowed to try to provide each outgoing CNN+ staffer with “first dibs” on open gigs at CNN, not everybody is expected to make it.
“The big people will likely be saved, but what about everybody else, the people who do the real work? The producers, showrunners? Some will get six months’ severance, others will not,” the Post’s source complained.
Among the big names likely to be “saved” is Wallace.
“With CNN+ shutting down, the prevailing sentiment in the newsroom is that Wallace will likely take over Chris Cuomo’s old 9 p.m. time slot,” according to the Post.
Of course, given how poorly he’d fared at CNN+ (not to mention at Fox News), it’s not clear that he’ll find any success at CNN:
Chris Wallace reportedly ‘having daily breakdowns’ at CNN , threatens to walk, source says https://t.co/HMZUkKOJpC
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) April 13, 2022
Kasie Hunt, formerly of MSNBC, is likely also to be “saved.” To her credit, she’s vowed to help her outgoing colleagues find work elsewhere.
The journalists I have been privileged to work with on CNN Plus are world class
I am so incredibly proud to be able to call them colleagues
If your organization would like a chance to benefit from their talents, my DMs are open
This is *my* job for the foreseeable future
— Kasie Hunt (@kasie) April 21, 2022
(Some of you are asking about me. I am proud to be on team CNN. I will be fine. It’s not about me right now.)
— Kasie Hunt (@kasie) April 21, 2022
Wallace has, for his part, made no such public vow …
Meanwhile on Twitter, one outgoing CNN+ producer is being slammed for asking for kindness from those mocking the network.
At issue, critics say, is that she works for a network that wouldn’t know kindness if it were slapped by it.
PSA if you’re going to tweet something snarky about CNN+, hundreds of journalists and technicians who did nothing but work their tails off just had the rug pulled out from under them. So be kind.
— Ellie Smith (@elliekaysmith_) April 21, 2022
You ask for kindness when you give none. You ask for respect when you give none. You ask for honesty when you give none. If this were happening to a Conservative streaming service, I have no doubt you would be rejoicing. Spare me.
— Judie Hall (@JudieHall9) April 21, 2022
Now do all the people who were working on the XL pipeline right before Biden became president. And every single person suffering from higher gas prices and inflation.
— Jess A. Patriot ⚒🦬 (@jsbrads) April 21, 2022
So did all those who lost their jobs because of vax mandates. I didnt hear your compassion for those folks…..in fact it was the opposite.
— Gen (@TrumpGirlGem) April 21, 2022
I’ve watched people on CNN actively work to cultivate hatred, prejudice, and resentment against entire demographics based on physical traits.
What exactly do you think justifies expressing kindness towards racist demagogues who’ve been pitting demographics against one another?
— Aurelian of Rome ☪️ (@AurelianofRome) April 21, 2022
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