It’s difficult not to get frustrated with CNN. For the casual viewer, watching CNN usually means your flight’s been delayed again and you don’t have any choice in what media you passively consume as you sink deeper into that horrible little bench seat. And if you’re not a casual viewer, it means you’re familiar with who Don Lemon and Chris Cuomo are. Neither of those are particularly great outcomes.
If only there was some way that I could register my displeasure with CNN so that they would really notice it. I mean, sure, I could send them a letter or a tweet, but they’d just ignore it the same way they talk over the token conservative guest on any one of those panel shows where a bunch of gibbering idiots squawk about for five minutes until it’s time for a commercial break.
As they say on those infomercials, there’s got to be a better way.
And so there is: Take over a billboard right across from the network’s headquarters.
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) March 1, 2019
The billboard, which highlights the network’s negative coverage of the summit between President Trump and Kim Jong Un, is right across from CNN’s Los Angeles headquarters in Hollywood.
“The billboard at the corner of Sunset and Cahuenga features (CNN President Jeff) Zucker’s face and faux title, ‘CEO, CNNPC’ and it refers to CNN as the ‘Communist News Network.’ The main message reads: ‘Keep Korea Divided,’” The Hollywood Reporter noted.
They left out the funniest part, of course — an asterisk which read “because OrangeManBad.” It’s unlikely this had any too much effect on the network’s coverage of the summit, since it went up on Friday, after it was over. (I doubt it would have made a difference anyway, but a man can dream.)
It’s also less of a billboard and more an interesting piece of guerrilla art.
“Before Friday morning, the giant billboard was being used to advertise a marijuana dispensary, but it has been altered by a small band of conservative street artists who go by the name The Faction, and it is the third time in six weeks the group has attacked a TV channel owned by AT&T’s WarnerMedia,” THR reported.
“In January, The Faction criticized Bill Maher and a month after that it was John Oliver, both of whom host shows on HBO. In those attacks, the entertainers were labeled ‘NPC,’ which, in video-game parlance, means ‘non-playable character,’ though in conservative circles it refers to robotic liberalism allegedly displayed by mainstream journalists.”
Another brilliant sting operation by The Faction: a HUGE billboard on a Los Angeles street corner has been creatively remade to make their anti-establishment point. John Oliver is "Matrix Approved NPC Programming." pic.twitter.com/HIgmgZ5yir
— Janice Fiamengo (@JaniceFiamengo) February 19, 2019
Where did I see that billboard?
— ShadyGroove (@shadygrooove) January 27, 2019
As for CNN, members of The Faction said that the network’s reporters knew that the president’s praise of Kim Jong Un was a negotiating tactic and a way to set the tone for a summit, not the actual American position.
“When Trump speaks glowingly of Kim Jong Un it’s a tactic,” an anonymous member of The Faction said.
“Zucker and his journo-activists know this, but are more than willing to try to torpedo the summit — the future of the long-suffering North and South Korean people be damned.”
Well, as it turned out, Trump was willing to walk away from the table when North Korea demanded the lifting of U.N. sanctions without dismantling key components of its nuclear weapons program.
CNN certainly can’t be blamed for the talks breaking down, mind you. However, the “What’s wrong, McFly — chicken?!” tenor of the coverage, as if the network believed that anything other than Trump disrespecting Kim Jong Un in the most insulting terms possible was itself an insult to the American people, was both obnoxious and unhelpful to the viewers at home.
Thankfully, CNN employees out in Hollywood were jolted out of their cocoon on the matter, if only for a little bit. After seven hours, the guerrilla billboard was finally taken down. More’s the pity.