Trevor Noah Takes on CNN’s Love for Breaking News: “Approach Has Started to Backfire”

Trevor Noah is going after CNN for the network’s overzealous approach to breaking news. The Daily Show host delighted in the news that CNN is planning to scale down on its oft-used signifier, and will introduce a new breaking news protocol under CEO Chris Licht.

“For years, CNN has been notorious for over-hyping every story like it’s the zombie apocalypse. It’s like, ‘Breaking News: the midterm elections are now six months away!’ And not surprisingly, this approach has stared to backfire as viewers have learned to tune it out, like the boy who cried wolf,” he said, before joking, “Or in this case, the wolf who cried wolf,” referring to CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer.

“Because of that, CNN is making a big change … CNN is cutting back on the use of ‘breaking news.’ And to celebrate, it immediately put up a countdown clock to the moment when it will officially reduce the amount of breaking news,” Noah quipped. “Very exciting.”

“Look, people. The truth is, most stories aren’t giant news in that way. I’m glad they’re doing this. Great job, Chris Licht. There’s only been like, three breaking news stories of the past two decades, let’s be honest. 9/11, coronavirus and that time that guy put salt on his food, but from up here,” Noah said, holding his hand near his shoulder while referring to “Salt Bae.”  “That dude changed the game,” Noah added. “It’s a technique, it’s a whole thing.”

The late night host then expressed hope CNN can be a leader in the cable news sphere, telling his audience, “And now that CNN is acknowledging this, now that they’re acknowledging that not everything is breaking news, maybe, just maybe, all of cable news can acknowledge that maybe news doesn’t need to be 24 hours.

“Maybe? It’s not necessary. Maybe you can wait to get all the facts and tell us the correct story at the end of the day,” Noah said cheekily, clearly referring to The Daily Show‘s approach. “Just me?” he asked as his audience cheered.

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah airs weeknights at 11/10c on Comedy Central. Watch Noah’s full CNN monologue in the video above, where it starts around the 10:00 minute mark.

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