"Welcome to the new CNN, where journalists and anchors, traditionally restricted by industry-wide standards of impartiality, have been given the green light under network President Jeff Zucker to say what they actually want to say — even if it strikes some as opinionated," says The Washington Post's Jeremy Barr, adding: "These days, it’s not uncommon for CNN personalities to cry on air. In March, anchor Brianna Keilar got tearful during a segment about a mass shooting at a grocery store in Colorado. And after correspondent Sara Sidner apologized for getting choked up during a January report about pandemic deaths ('It’s really hard to take,' she sighed), the boss called to reassure her." As Zucker tells him: “One of the things that I’ve tried to encourage is authenticity and being real. If we pretend not to be human, it’s not real.” Barr adds: "Yet to some ears, and during some stories, CNN’s new emotional rawness can sound like bias at a network that built its reputation on studiously neutral impartiality...And prioritizing personal connections to current events can backfire. Chris Cuomo — who has exemplified the New CNN as much as any on-air personality — won over many viewers early last year when he both chronicled his own battle with covid-19 and hailed the public-health efforts of his brother, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, in regular segments where the two would banter cutely about their childhood. That decision put CNN in an uncomfortable position when the New York Democrat became mired in scandal — allegations that he sexually harassed women and that his administration concealed the number of covid deaths in the state’s nursing homes — and the network decided that one of its prime-time stars is now too conflicted to discuss one of the biggest political stories in the country. But while some viewers may miss the old strait-laced, just-the-facts CNN, the new strategy seems to be working: In 2020, an extremely newsy year, it attracted its largest audience in its 40-year history. (Fox News and MSNBC also set records.)"