06/15/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Think Again: CNN Sells Itself Again (and Again)

"Journalism is our core value; it's who we are," Greg D'Alba, CNN executive vice president and chief operating officer for advertising sales and marketing, told an audience of potential advertising buyers on Tuesday morning in New York's Time Warner Center. "We're the only credible, nonpartisan voice left. And that matters," added Jim Walton, president for CNN Worldwide. "Our mission, our mandate, is to deliver the best journalism in the world," chimed in Jonathan Klein, president for CNN U.S. "No bias, no agendaÖWe will never abandon our core faith in being the sole nonpartisan cable network in this country."

Well, as Ernest Hemingway's Jake Barnes once said in a decidedly different context, "Isn't it pretty to think so?" In fact, to pretend that CNN has upheld the standards described above would be to embrace a fiction plotline so contradictory to our experience in reality that few novelists would dare try it. Remember, it wasn't long ago that Lou Dobbs broadcast nightly on the network, ratcheting up the racism of the anti-immigrant hordes and bestowing an undeserved stamp of legitimacy of the nutty "birther" movement.

At the time, Klein tried to pretend that Dobbs had only "reported on" on the alleged controversy rather than promoted it.

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