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Reasons to Diss CNN (VIDEO)

Photo of John Anderson By John Anderson | Thompson on Hollywood March 25, 2014 at 4:35PM

After Jon Stewart's hilarious take on CNN's coverage of missing Flight 370, we went looking for a reason to like CNN on their website. And found more evidence that no one’s watching the store.
Jon Stewart on "The Daily Show."
Comedy Central Jon Stewart on "The Daily Show."

Jon Stewart was hilarious Monday night as he once again roasted one of his favorite targets – CNN -- over the coals. This time it was for the news channel's hysterical reporting on the Malaysian air disaster, the bloviation of Anderson Cooper and the ongoing imbecility of Don Lemon, who at one point suggested that supernatural forces were behind the disappearance of Flight 370 (see below).

Looking for a reason to like CNN, we went to their website. And found more evidence that no one’s watching the store. At the bottom of a web page devoted to “The CNN 10 Visionary Women” were web links to the following:

  • “Former pole vaulter Allison Stokke is still smoking HOT” (emphasis theirs)
  • “Fitness enthusiast Jen Selter is a HOTTIE (emphasis theirs)
  • “Plastic Surgery Disasters: Lil Kim, Meg Ryan & More” (mostly women, although Mickey Rourke and Michael Jackson made the cut, so to speak).

Just in case women were feeling too good about themselves and all those Visionaries, CNN made sure they felt like crap, piling on with this beauty -- and our favorite: “10 Academy Award Winners Who’ve Just Disappeared.” Want to bet they’re mostly women? Of course they are. But they’re also inane:

  • Geena Davis? Apparently the actress has been among the missing since “The Accidental Tourist” and “Thelma & Louise,” never mind that several TV series, and “A League of Their Own” came AFTER “T&L.”
  • Renee Zellweger, too, is apparently MIA, although we seem to see her everywhere we turn. But she hasn’t done anything since winning an Oscar for “Cold Mountain” in 2003, apparently. Except “Bridget Jones,” “Cinderella Man,” “Bee Movie,” “New In Town,” “Leatherheads,” “Appaloosa”…
  • Hilary Swank? According to the CNN-supplied celeb news she “took home an Academy Award in 1999 for ‘Boys Don’t Cry,’” but “hasn’t managed to maintain her success as the decade turned and the 2000s began. OK, “Amelia” wasn’t very kind to her. But -- uh, hello? -- she did win an Oscar in 2004 for “Million Dollar Baby.
  • Helen Hunt? Yeah, she was in every other movie being released back about 15 years ago. And yes, she won an Oscar for “As Good As It Gets” way back in 1997. But “she could not get herself back in awards territory since.” Really? She was nominated two years ago, for “The Sessions.”

The theme seems to be that if someone won an Oscar once, and hasn’t won one since, they may as well commit ritual suicide. But the underlying agenda is really “Why can’t women stay young?” And ‘Why can’t actresses keep topping themselves?’ By that criterion, there should be an entry saying “Harrison Ford made ‘Star Wars” 40 years ago and hasn’t done anything as popular since.” Or “George Clooney has never come close to the kind of success he had with “Oceans 11.” 

But that’s not the agenda. The agenda is smug, snarky and so blatantly misogynist that even the clueless CNN should be able to tune it in.

This article is related to: Television, Television

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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.