CNN: Syria Strike Could Prove Decisive in Cable News Ratings War

WASHINGTON — A coalition of America’s top cable news channels has determined that U.S. military intervention in Syria would not solve the country’s problems or save any of its people, but could prove decisive in settling cable television’s ongoing ratings conflict.

CNN’s “New Day” anchor Chris Cuomo hosted a special panel with top anchors from Fox News, MSNBC and the new Al Jazeera America to discuss potential outcomes of an attack on Syria. Representatives from all four networks agreed that although war with Syria could be a “horrendous decision for America,” it would be worth it for the enormous boost in ratings.

“Everybody knows how big the Iraq war was for Fox in 2003. Syria is CNN’s Iraq,” declared Cuomo, who last week handed President Obama a red telephone and asked if he would “make the call” during an exclusive interview. “Remember when Fox tried to strap a camera to missile? Wait until you see what we have planned.”

Fox’s Greta van Sustersen told Cuomo that her network has no plans to relinquish the cable news crown to CNN. “[CNN] may have turned the Boston bombings into huge ratings, but that was just a couple of curly-headed foreign fu*ks with pipe bombs. Syria is a real war, and nobody covers war like Fox,” declared Van Sustersen.

Fox News has already reached deals with Fed Ex, Nabisco, and GoDaddy for $1 million per 30-second commercial during the first 24 hours of an attack on Syria, and Snickers will tailor its “Hungry? Why wait?” slogan to the network’s coverage of Congress’s vote.

MSNBC’s Ed Schultz was criticized by his peers for using his show to denounce war with Syria, but claimed his stance was only for argument’s sake. “Of course I’m not actually against a war. I’m against the war on my show, but if there is no war, I have nothing to be against, so I’m for the war! Make sense?”

Host Wajahat Ali of the brand new Al Jazeera America—currently dead last in the cable news ratings— said he hopes Al Jazeera’s “foreign sounding name” will draw American viewers looking for authentic coverage in Syria. “A recent market study revealed that a third of our viewers think we’re a terrorist organization,” Ali told his peers, “so we’re looking for a way to use that to our advantage.”

The panel concluded with a debate regarding the president’s decision to ask Congress for a vote on the matter. Fox, MSNBC, and Al Jazeera all agreed Congressional deliberations would “make for good pre-game,” but CNN’s Cuomo maintained his stance that the president should have attacked Syria “like, yesterday.”