Videos by OutKick
David Zaslav, the CEO of CNN’s parent company Warner Bros. Discovery, says CNN is now a journalism-first operation
Tuesday, CNN flexed its journalism muscles by sending a reporter on the road. But not to the border, the scene of a crime, the locations of presidential campaigns, or to interview newsmakers.
Rather, the network deployed a “journalist” to uncover whether Kid Rock sells Bud Light at his Nashville bar, Kid Rock’s Big Ass Honky Tonk Rock N’ Roll Steakhouse.
Calling the bar and asking whether it serves Bud Light would not suffice. So, CNN paid for a reporter and a camera crew to travel across the country to learn the truth.
It’s called on-site journalism.
CNN aired the feature as a segment on its morning show, the one Don Lemon hosted before his firing. The visit to Kid Rock’s bar led an hour on Tuesday.
As Zaslav promised, journalism first.
Ultimately, CNN unearthed that the bar does sell Bud Light.
The interest in the bar stems from a video in which Kid Rock used cases of Bud Light for target practice in protest of the beer maker’s partnership with trans person Dylan Mulvaney:
Of course, CNN knew what it would find upon traveling to Nashville.
A report last week already noted that the location offers Bud Light to its customers. CNN set out to expose Kid Rock, to promote the perception his outrage was manufactured.
But the video package didn’t provide the “gotcha” CNN hoped for.
First, there’s no proof the bar ever excluded Bud Light from its offerings. The press just assumed it did.
Second, the Bud Light backlash is less of a boycott than it is a consumer response. Unlike the many liberal-led boycotts, most conservative influencers didn’t ask their followers to boycott the beer.
Instead, they voiced their disapproval of a company promoting Womanface, the appropriation of gender.
Bud Light drinkers happened to agree, costing the brand its standing as No. 1 for the first time since 2001.
Conservatives didn’t shame people for drinking the beer. They just chose not to drink it themselves.
Kid Rock can disapprove of Bud Light and still sell it. Amazon can disapprove of genocide and still sell Nike shoes. The two options are not mutually exclusive.
Sop while we appreciate CNN doing Big J Journalism, the exposé into Kid Rock’s Big Ass Honky Tonk Rock N’ Roll Steakhouse didn’t quite hold up to #LaptopGate.