CNN CEO: ‘Not going to drop’ support of group producing Trump assassination play

On Thursday, Newsbusters’ Scott Whitlock reported that CNN CEO Jeff Bewkes is “defiant” about funding and supporting the organization that produced a play depicting the brutal stabbing of a Trump-like dictator.

According to Whitlock:

Attending a shareholder meeting, National Center for Public Policy Research Vice President David Almasi on Thursday confronted exec Jeff Bewkes about the cable channel’s support for the Public Theater in New York, a troupe that is putting on a bloody version of Julius Caesar featuring the President.

While Bank of America and Delta Airlines have pulled funding, CNN is digging in, refusing to abandon the brutal, Trump-killing play. As quoted in the Daily Caller, Bewkes dodged while talking to Almasi. He spun, “So a couple of facts of what our involvement is…We don’t support the plays or the productions of the public theater and we are not providing individual support of the production.”

Bewkes claimed:

The point of the play is one that has been debated for probably 400 years. It’s not one that advocates…the killing of Caesar…. But again, we don’t fund this. We are certainly not going to drop our support of public theater.

While Bewkes received hearty applause for this statement, the Daily Caller said Almasi wasn’t buying it:

Almasi said he doesn’t really buy Bewkes’s explanation for supporting the organization that is producing Julius Caesar.

“How much does this promote that kind of attitude?” he told The Mirror by phone after the meeting, mentioning Tuesday’s shooting at the GOP congressional baseball practice. “Where are we going to draw the line? I think it goes too far. He obviously thinks it doesn’t.”

Bewkes also defended CNN, the network now seen as the least-trusted name in cable news.

“On the subject of CNN…there’s a reason we have multiple political parties and points of view,” he said. “…It’s because we all know there are very different opinions on what is the best course for the country.”

“We will recommit on an attempt to try to be independent,” Bewkes said, according to the Daily Caller report. “I don’t want you to be skeptical of our effort — and it’s very sincere — to try to achieve it. …So far, the viewing is up. Quite dramatically. …We are trying to keep it balanced and fair,” he added, using Fox News’ longtime ad line the network abandoned this week. “I understand you’re thinking we haven’t succeeded, but we are trying.”

Almasi thanked Bewes, saying, “We’ll see you next year.”

The Daily Caller further said:

Almasi even threatened Bewkes, saying that Media Research Center plans to alert advertisers about news programs that “peddle smear, hate and political extremism.”

He asked Bewkes, “Are you concerned about advertisers leaving CNN? Will you continue to ignore our appeals for objectivity at the risk to our investment in Time Warner?”

Referring to the blustery Fox News host who recently parted ways with the network after $13 million in payouts to women who accused him of sexual harassment, he added, “Boycotts work. Just ask Bill O’Reilly.”

“Half of the American public – which includes potential and current CNN viewers – voted for Trump last November and supports his agenda. CNN acts as if it is part of the anti-Trump resistance.  Are you willing to lose viewers, possibly forever, because of the bias?” Almasi asked.

Apparently…  Only time will tell…


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Joe Newby

A 10-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, Joe ran for a city council position in Riverside, Calif., in 1991 and managed successful campaigns for the Idaho state legislature. Co-author of "Banned: How Facebook enables militant Islamic jihad," Joe wrote for Examiner.com from 2010 until it closed in 2016 and his work has been published at Newsbusters, Spokane Faith and Values and other sites. He now runs the Conservative Firing Line.

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