The word is out that CNN is fake news.
The network that laughably calls itself “the most trusted name in news” has cratered in credibility according to polls.
Now a Department of Justice lawsuit could deliver another blow to the dubious news network.
The DOJ filed a suit to block an $85 billion merger between AT&T and Time Warner, CNN’s parent company.
The deal would create a media behemoth that many believe would be anti-competitive.
Absent a clear philosophical root, the posture of the DOJ is being interpreted as payback by Trump, who has long derided CNN. He spoke out once saying he would consider blocking the deal because it would create too large a company, but has not weighed in for nearly a year.
Trump has correctly called out the network for being fake news, but his opinion of CNN isn’t why the DOJ believes this is a bad deal.
Hollywood unions, which are no fans of Trump, also believe the merger would be a negative for consumers.
More from Deadline:
The WGA East and West applauded the Justice Department today for moving to block the proposed merger of AT&T and Time Warner, saying such a deal would be bad for content creators as well as consumers.
The union, which represents writers of motion pictures, television, radio and Internet programming, said the proposed combination of must-have content with vast control over distribution would give the company enough power to undermine competition, raise prices and restrict access to programming.
“This merger would result in a media behemoth even larger than the failed Comcast-Time Warner Cable venture, and should be stopped,” the WGA West said in a statement.
“With reports surfacing each week of other possible media mergers, blocking this deal has only become more critical.”
The WGA East also expressed concern about the danger of media consolidation.
“The proposed merger would continue that dangerous trend, offering storytellers fewer opportunities to create and distribute content that informs and enlightens viewers,” said the WGA East. “It would leave the media industry with even fewer gatekeepers – a narrower range of people deciding what people watch. This is not good for audiences and it’s not good for democracy.”
Consumer advocates voiced similar concerns. Consumers Union similarly cheered the the DOJ’s decision, citing the merger’s potential to hurt competition, limit consumer choice and drive up costs.
“Combining AT&T and Time Warner would create a massive telecommunications and media company with its fingers in almost every pot of these increasingly connected industries,” said Jonathan Schwantes, senior policy counsel for Consumers Union. “A merger of this sort and magnitude — combining one of the largest wireless and video providers with one of the largest content producers — could create unprecedented opportunities for AT&T to maximize the value of Time Warner’s premium content in ways that could drive up consumer costs and stifle competition and consumer choice.”
If the deal falls through, it would be a huge blow for Time Warner and CNN, which would’ve had a much easier time propagating its very fake news.