BY Bryan Chai, The Western JournalFebruary 10, 2023
1 year ago

'An Epic Fail': CNN Roasted Amid Reports That the Network Is Targeting Charles Barkley

If you haven't been paying attention to the beleaguered CNN lately, first of all, good for you.

Second of all, you should really start paying attention.

Because the way in which the "Clinton News Network" has been aimlessly flailing about post-Donald Trump has been far more entertaining than whatever dreck it puts on the airwaves.

So what is a network that is routinely being thrashed by its chief competitor to do so it can stem the tide?

For now, the answer to that question, at least from CNN CEO Chris Licht, appears to be "star power" and "name recognition."

According to Puck News, the struggling news network is looking at bringing in NBA legend and "Inside the NBA" co-host Charles Barkley to host his own "news-oriented primetime show."

Remember, CNN has yet to officially replace disgraced former anchor Chris Cuomo in prime time, instead opting for an egalitarian approach with a rotating cast of hosts. And with Don Lemon and his temper tantrums being relegated to the mornings, the only two carry-overs from the Trump era for CNN's primetime block are Erin Burnett and Anderson Cooper.

Based on the ratings, those two are simply not cutting the dijon.

Enter: Chuck?

Puck News' Dylan Byers reported the network is in talks with Barkley and provided some fascinating tidbits about the general state of CNN, such as its desire to rake in $900 million in profits this year (the network saw $750 million in profits in 2022).

So what would Barkley's potential program look like?

"The show would see the 11-time NBA All-Star, Hall of Famer, and current mega-popular TNT Inside the NBA analyst interviewing newsmakers, journalists, and other guests about various topics of the day," Byers wrote. "The conceit is that a genuine, outspoken, often humorous figure like Barkley might be a bigger draw than the traditional self-serious newsman, and might be better suited to ask guests the kinds of questions that average Americans actually care about."

To Licht's credit, Barkley does certainly have some mass appeal.

While nobody would be lining up to call him an outright conservative, he does, at the very least, appear to have common sense, thus putting him in the top 2 percent of all celebrities.

But perhaps the most appealing trait of Sir Charles is that, love him or hate him, there is an air of authenticity to him that is hard to replicate. People, especially celebrities, are so scared of offending a subset of a subset of a minority that it often sounds like you're listening to the person's lawyer more than the person himself.

That has never, ever been a problem for Barkley. For better or for worse, what you see is what you get when it comes to the Round Mound of Rebound.

And yet, if you look at some of the responses to Byers' report, you can see that, while some fans seem open to the idea, many of them are not.

"Comical." "Epic fail." "Late night comedy."

The early reviews are in, and they're not good for CNN's reported pursuit of Barkley.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Written by: Bryan Chai, The Western Journal

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