Satirical ‘inside look’ at CNN’s new streaming service roasts liberal network

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CNN was already lampooned for claiming its new streaming service would be free from partisan agendas despite the network’s well-established liberal lean, but a satirical inside look at CNN+ took the ridicule to new heights on Thursday. 

The Washington Free Beacon published a satirical article headlined, “EXCLUSIVE: An Inside Look at CNN+, the Cable Network’s Premium Streaming Service Launching in 2022,” that joked subscribers “will be treated to an endless supply of groundbreaking content.”

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Free Beacon Senior writer Andrew Stiles mocked the offering of the liberal network’s forthcoming streaming service, which he joked will include access to “a live Twitch stream of ‘Reliable Sources’ correspondents Brian Stelter and Oliver Darcy watching Fox News all day to prepare for their show.”

CNN's Brian Stelter asks attorney Michael Avenatti about his possible White House run during a 2018 taping of ‘Reliable Sources.’ Avenatti was recently sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison for trying to extort $25 million from Nike.

CNN’s Brian Stelter asks attorney Michael Avenatti about his possible White House run during a 2018 taping of ‘Reliable Sources.’ Avenatti was recently sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison for trying to extort $25 million from Nike.

Stiles also couldn’t resist poking fun at the return of CNN’s legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin from his infamous Zoom incident.

“Every week, CNN+ subscribers will be invited to participate in a lively Zoom discussion with the network’s premier pundits, including chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin,” Stiles joked, referring to the pundit who was recently welcomed back to the network after being caught masturbating during a Zoom meeting. 

“Taking service journalism to the next level, CNN+ reporters will show up at the homes of their subscribers’ Trump-supporting relatives and ask hard-hitting questions about their social media posts,” Stiles added to accompany an image of a CNN confronting a woman at her home over her 2016 Facebook posts.

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The satirical Free Beacon piece also promoted the return of former CNN mainstay Michael Avenatti, who was recently sentenced to 2.5 years in prison on Thursday after being found guilty of trying to extort Nike.

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“The streaming service won’t be bound by the tiresome ‘norms’ of network television. Federal prison inmate Michael Avenatti will also be a regular guest on CNN+ programming (phone privileges permitting),” Stiles joked. “As if that wasn’t enough, the comedy stylings of Jim Acosta will be on full, uninhibited display. Enjoy!”

While the Free Beacon piece was tongue-in-cheek, CNN has been hit with serious criticism since unveiling the service, too. In promoting it on Monday, CNN chief digital officer Andrew Morse claimed the venture would not be ideological and CNN is “not an opinion network.” 

“I don’t think anyone who’s looking for ‘deep lib’ would seek out CNN,” Morse said on the Variety podcast “Strictly Business.” “It’s just not what we do. No, it’s not going to be ideological. We’re just not in that game. We’re not an opinion network, we’re a news network.”

Morse’s remarks were widely mocked.

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“So you’ll be able to watch Kamau Bell ask giggly softballs to Antifa or the CNN Films love letter to RBG, but “it’s not going to be ideological,'” wrote NewsBusters executive editor Tim Graham about the new service.

CNN’s primetime lineup consists of nothing but left-wing commentary from hosts Anderson Cooper, Chris Cuomo, and Don Lemon, but CNN’s editorializing is also rampant among its news hosts and reporters such as Acosta, Brianna Keilar and John Harwood.

Journalist Glenn Greenwald was among the critics who sarcastically celebrated the network’s new streaming service announcement, questioning CNN’s use of the phrase “much-anticipated.”

Fox News’ Cortney O’Brien and David Rutz contributed to this report.  

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