Woke programming doesn’t work. No one likes it. No one ever has.
The latest example came Thursday, when Warner Bros. Discovery announced that it will shut down CNN+ at the end of April, just three weeks after it launched.
CNN+ is losing hundreds of millions of dollars and draws fewer than 10,000 people a day. It’s disastrous.
CNN, the longest-running cable news network in the country, can’t even find an audience on television for free. So everyone but the hosts inside the building at CNN knew that a streaming service would never find a big enough audience to justify the billion dollars the company reportedly planned to invest in it.
That wasn’t the only problem. While the CNN brand has always skewed leftward, CNN+ catered to an even more leftist demographic: the woke.
CNN built CNN+ around Brian Stelter, Jemele Hill, Rex Chapman and Chris Wallace to appease those online who call other people racists, homophobes and sometimes even terrorists. You can usually recognize them because they still post photos of themselves wearing masks and goggles.
Catering to social media users is not a novel strategy, nor is it particularly effective. All of the media and entertainment companies that have followed it are failing.
Incoming CNN President Chris Licht agrees, saying Twitter has misled media agencies about their core audience.
“May 2 will be my first official day in the office at CNN & my last day on Twitter. Twitter can be a great journalistic tool, but it can also skew what’s really important in the world. I’m logging off & looking forward to working with the incredible team at CNN,” wrote Licht.
Through censorship and fear tactics, social media and the press had convinced media and entertainment executives that Americans enjoy woke lectures about atoning for whiteness, the infallibility of “the science,” and of course, “misinformation.”
But they don’t.
In fact, a recent Spiked study found that Americans who align with the “woke” account for only 8% of the electorate. They barely exist anywhere, even in liberal states. Thankfully.
The brands most responsive to “political correctness” are cratering. All of them. Late-night television, award shows, SNL, morning TV, ESPN, the NBA and cable news have all set all-time lows since turning woke.
On the other hand, the content that the perpetually offended frequently call bigoted, misogynistic and transphobic is often very successful. Blue-checks suggest that Joe Rogan, Tucker Carlson and Ben Shapiro are the three most despised personalities in media, when in fact, they are the biggest draws in the industry.
Pop culture “experts” rave about The Sex Lives of College Girls on HBO and perverted programs like Cuties on Netflix, just as they belittle shows like Yellowstone.
Spoiler: Yellowstone is the most popular show in the country.
So no matter how many times Jemele Hill has told America just how very disappointed she is, viewers still won’t obey her demands. They may not publicly protest against preachy, condescending, and overtly racist content, but they will protest it with their time by refusing to tune in.
Last year, Donald Trump told a crowd of thousands of supporters in Cullman Alabama, “You know what woke means? It means you’re a loser. Everything woke turns to shit. Okay, it’s true. It’s true. Look at what’s happening.”
Hard to argue with that.