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#BoycottCNN Trends After Brianna Keilar Slams Biden's 'Political' Primetime Address

"CNN in 1863 would have called Lincoln 'divisive.'"
  • Brianna Keilar discusses Biden's speech on CNN. (Photo: CNN/Twitter)
    Brianna Keilar discusses Biden's speech on CNN. (Photo: CNN/Twitter)

    Suffice it to say viewers aren't happy with the shifts happening at CNN under new boss Chris Licht.

    Over the past few days, a #BoycottCNN movement has spread across Twitter, where longtime viewers have expressed their displeasure with Licht's stated goals of making the network "less partisan" and more friendly to conservatives. The outcry reached a fever pitch on Thursday night, when New Day co-anchor Brianna Keilar accused President Biden of playing politics with the Marines stationed behind him during his primetime address.

    "Whatever you think of this speech the military is supposed to be apolitical," tweeted Keilar. "Positioning Marines in uniform behind President Biden for a political speech flies in the face of that. It's wrong when Democrats do it. It's wrong when Republicans do it."

    Keilar's tweet was immediately picked up by users on both the right, who cited it as evidence of Biden's impropriety, and the left, who condemned the CNN anchor for ignoring the content of Biden's speech, which called out Trump-backed extremism and the ongoing threat to our democracy.

    Many Twitter users agreed with the latter point, and they suggested Keilar's tweet indicates CNN has changed for the worse under Licht. "CNN flushed down the toilet, now in the sewer system somewhere near Faux News," wrote one user, adding the #BoycottCNN hashtag for good measure. "CNN in 1863 would have called Lincoln 'divisive,'" tweeted another.

    These Twitter users may be onto something: despite Licht's attempt to de-politicize CNN by nixing the phrase "The Big Lie" and threatening to oust overly partisan personalities, ratings continue to decline. In August, CNN primetime ratings dropped 11% from the same period in 2021, and the network continues to lag behind Fox News and MSNBC in total daily viewers.

    Whether viewers actually boycott CNN remains to be seen, but one thing is clear: Chris Licht better act fast to staunch the bleeding.

    Claire Spellberg Lustig is the Senior Editor at Primetimer and a scholar of The View. Follow her on Twitter at @c_spellberg.

    TOPICS: CNN, Brianna Keilar, Chris Licht, Donald Trump, Joe Biden, politics