CNN's new president Chris Licht told management and executive producers he'd like his team to steer away from using the term "Big Lie" when referring to, well, Donald Trump's big lie. You know, the fat fib Trump conjured up in 2020 when he knew his days were numbered. The weighty whopper that, without a shred of evidence, accused the Democrats of stealing the election. Call it what you will, but a big lie is a big lie is a big lie.
But Licht doesn't like the term because it "adopts 'branding' favored by the Democratic Party," according to Mediaite. (Well of course it's favored by the Democrats — most of the GOP want to believe, or pretend to believe, in the Big Lie and thus don't want to call it a Big Lie.) Instead, Licht would like the news room to use "Trump election lie" or "election lies."
"Big lie" has been mentioned on the network 168 times this month, according to media monitoring service TVEyes.
The guidance, which comes as a House select committee holds hearings investigating Trump's election lies and the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol they inspired, has rankled some at the network.
"It's worrisome that we're being told how to talk about one of the worst things that ever happened to American democracy," a CNN insider told Mediaite. "We have to call lies, lies, whether they're small lies or big lies. Is there any lie bigger than that lie?" …
Licht's "big lie" guidance came a few weeks after he told CNN staff to cut back on their use of the (long-abused) "breaking news" banner, signaling the Licht era would take a more subtle approach to coverage.