Hitler, the ‘Jew Crew’ and the News Kibbutz: The Crazy Roots of CNN and 24-hour NewsBreaking News
tags: News, CNN, media, cable news
Today, the cable news behemoth is a bastion of the liberal elite, one that likes to position itself as “the most trusted name in news.” Yet its roots lie in a brash southern mogul prone to antisemitic comments and bizarre Hitler references, a Jewish company president who was himself labeled a “dictator” by some underlings and a canine co-anchor called Rex the Wonder Dog.
You couldn’t make it up, and the whole crazy story is recounted in hugely entertaining fashion by Lisa Napoli in “Up All Night: Ted Turner, CNN, and the Birth of 24-Hour News,” published to coincide with the news network’s 40th anniversary earlier this month.
In a breezy, engaging manner, the author details how Turner – the Mouth of the South, to use the nickname he detested but oh-so-richly earned – went from singing Nazi songs outside the Jewish frat building at Brown University to owning a two-bit television station in Atlanta that treated news with contempt. Then came the launch of the cable news outfit that would change the news industry forever.
Some of the tycoon’s antics are jaw-droppingly offensive and would provoke social media-orchestrated boycotts nowadays, but it’s undeniable that Turner generates good copy – it’s easy to see why Napoli’s book has already been optioned by Jason Blum’s Blumhouse Productions as a potential TV movie or series.
Still, Turner is but one of the larger-than-life characters in this story, which reveals how much Jewish talent was involved behind the scenes to get CNN off the ground on June 1, 1980.
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