Charles Barkley Bashes CNN On Air: Network ‘Sold Its Soul For Ratings’ (VIDEO)

Famed basketball commentator Charles Barkley bashed CNN, his employer’s sister network, for its election coverage Thursday, saying the network has done “an awful job” and “sold its soul for ratings.”

Barkley, a famously outspoken two-time Olympic gold medalist, made the remarks on “Inside the NBA” Thursday night after host Ernie Johnson asked him for his thoughts on the upcoming Republican presidential debate on CNN.

What was likely meant as a lighthearted promo for the Tuesday debate quickly went off the rails.

“To be honest with you, CNN has done an awful job this election, an awful job. They have followed ratings and sound bites this entire cycle,” Barkley said. “I love CNN because they’re part of our company, but they’ve been kissing butt, chasing ratings.”

He also accused the network of becoming “like Fox News for the Republicans.”

“They follow every single sound bite just to get ratings for these debates,” Barkley continued. “It’s been sad and frustrating that our company has sold its soul for ratings.”

Barkley also said while he’s a longtime Democratic voter, he planned to support Ohio Gov. John Kasich in 2016, but doesn’t know who he’ll vote for now that Kasich has failed to get traction in the crowded Republican race.

Turner Broadcasting is the parent company of CNN and counts TNT and Turner Sports among its properties.

Watch the full exchange below:

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest Livewire
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: