What happened to CNN? It lost its mandate, and then lost its dignity.

The Hill has an interesting piece about CNN's loss of dignity and obsession with the American President's sex life than some other more relevant and less salacious goings-on in the world. That CNN lost its audience is a given, but it has been tabloid-esque ever since Bill Clinton's impeachment soap opera and OJ Simpson's murder trial. It remembered those stories packed in the house, and now it is a replay of the same old script.

Tabloid is about novelty, however. It is a guilty pleasure that has short legs and requires constant one-upmanship to keep it going -- and it requires a puritanical narrative that is very much Us versus Them, but the Us is very specific -- veer and attack one of Us, you alienate the core.

CNN's foray has but a single villain. Nothing else, and it's platform requires a different platform, not the oldest of the news channels.

But CNN's troubles began when the Fox News Channel debuted. It is something I discussed in my book OutFoxed way back in 2005: CNN was never created to consider competition. FNC, on the other hand, was made to take down CNN. It is the difference in mandates that sealed the fate of CNN. They could never adjust and now they have been struggling and drifting ever since...