Let's not beat around the bush.
The Justice Department's demand that AT&T sell CNN parent Turner Broadcasting or DirecTV as a condition for approval of its merger with Time Warner is really all about CNN. And that makes it look like the Trump administration is getting personal.
First, let's debunk the idea that there's really a choice here for AT&T when it comes to DirecTV or CNN. DirecTV is a much more important asset by far and the idea of selling it would be a nonstarter. DirecTV — and its NFL Sunday Ticket package — is crucial for AT&T even in this day of weaker NFL ratings. In fact, when the AT&T/DirecTV merger was first announced in 2014, AT&T made it clear that if the NFL didn't continue its Sunday Ticket package with DirecTV, it would walk away from the whole deal. The Trump administration couldn't have picked a more prized asset in the AT&T treasure chest to present as an "alternative" divestment choice.
Second, let's acknowledge that, while the official reports say the administration wants AT&T to consider selling all of Turner Broadcasting, the one Turner asset under DOJ scrutiny is CNN.
The elephant in the room is that CNN is a major thorn in President Donald Trump's side. CNN has certainly produced its fair share of coverage critical of the president. And President Trump has responded in kind with several attacks on CNN since his time on the campaign trail. Perhaps most famously when he tweeted a doctored video showing him wrestling and body slamming the network's logo.