Is CNN true to the fifth estate..?? -
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Old Mar 27th, 2003, 01:03 AM   #1
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Well, macdoc, among many little things here and there, I found it rather funny that Heidi Collins (Atlanta), following a report on how protesters in NYC were as upset with the media as they were with Bush, threw to commercial with the tag line "CNN - Your most trusted name in news".

...Feeling a bit insecure, were they?

There are things that really tick me off on CNN... Connie Chung's comment, I think it was the night before the war began.. she was watching a live shot of Baghdad, heard the Muslim "call to prayer" and said something like "Oh-oh - that sounds ominous!" Talk about cultural obliviousness!

(Can't remember the source for that one - might even have been another thread in here!).

In any event, CNN for up-to-the-minute video, Google for up-to-the-minute everything else, and BBC / CBC for analysis, with a bit of ABC thrown in there, since Peter Jennings seems to do a better job than most, plus they actually did a report on how to critically watch the war news on all stations, their own included. I flick to Fox news once in awhile, just to get my blood boiling....

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Old Mar 27th, 2003, 01:17 AM   #2
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Mark - I caught the "protesters" situation too and it's really from that point on that I felt there was a bit of a ground shift in CNNs approach.
No question the various reporters and talking heads have strengths and weaknesses. The embedded reporter with one of the ground divisions just continually sounds like a cheerleader celebrating an end run.
I agree the CBC has been good if a bit on the anti-war side but the Star has been terrific in it's commentary and coverage of the US/Canada spat.
I really admire the Star for it's balanced tackling of many issues and investigative reporting with RESULTS that they've undertaken in the last year.

In Australia and the web site is out of date.
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Old Mar 27th, 2003, 08:28 AM   #3
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Don't worry about Connie Chung, she's gone. Apparently she didn't like the fact that she hasn't been getting air time since the war started.
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Old Mar 27th, 2003, 09:00 AM   #4
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I turned off CNN this week. I found that it was just too sensational at times. I agree that the military analysis is very informative, but I'm not really interested in the firepower and statistics associated with such and such tank. It was beginning to sound like a Superbowl pre-game show.

Now I turn to CBC newsworld for my 24 hour source, the BBC for my online source, and the Star for my local source. Most importantly, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart is my "lets-point-out-the-absurdity-of-this-whole-thing" source.

The rumours and evidence of what CNN wasn't reporting have turned me off.
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Old Mar 27th, 2003, 09:05 AM   #5
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"The rumours and evidence of what CNN wasn't reporting have turned me off. "
Care to clarify this?.
I'm seriously curious as to what they weren't reporting as they have so much time to fill [img]tongue.gif[/img]

I certainly agree there is an element of sensationalism but far less so than the "local news" on US stations.

In Australia and the web site is out of date.
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Old Mar 27th, 2003, 09:15 AM   #6
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Did anyone see the Aaron Brown interview with the correspondant from Al-Jazeera network?

Aaron spent a few minutes chastising the Al-Jazeera person for running the U.S. POW clips. The A-Jazeera person quietly took notes. When Aaron finished, the Al-Jazeera person put up front pages of newspapers (now Aaron's personal "schitk") showing U.S. papers with pictures of Iraqi POWs and asked Aaron Brown to justify those pictures shown on CNN as well as the video CNN showed of Iraqi soldiers being captured. Aaron cut off the interview.

That in a nutshell defines CNN coverage.
That and Paula Zahn's contstant repetitions of; "That makes me sick to my stomach", referring to anything that shows U.S. POWs.

CNN has definitely toned downt their "gee whiz" attitude they exemplified in the 1st few days. It is better, but still not worth of the tagline; "CNN: Your most trusted name for news."
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Old Mar 27th, 2003, 12:18 PM   #7
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I've been following CNN pretty much from the get go and I find their questions and comments pretty pointed and thoughtful.
Tonight they are seriously questioning the "quick war" concept and being very informative about the difficulties the Brits are facing in Basra.
I find their military advisor ret Gen Clark enjoyable and informative. He doesn't make "political" comments just explains the military details in a refreshing straight forward and engaging manner. Reminds me of Powell.
I don't get the impression of anyone being muzzled and I wonder how this is impacting the politicos??
The lack of "liberator welcomes" from Iraqis
The surprisingly strong resistance
The risk to the supply lines
All are being discussed and the details shown.
My assessement is that CNN is serving the fifth estate honourably and speaking to the larger world, not just the US.

In Australia and the web site is out of date.
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Old Mar 27th, 2003, 12:34 PM   #8
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"Welcome to the Corporate News Network.I'm Aaron Brownnose and we've got some more great pictures of things blowing up and heroic American youth riding around in tanks.Let's go to Joe Blow on the carrier Armageddon.Can you hear me Joe?"

"10-4,good buddy.I'm talking to General Green.Is it true that American planes have just taken off from this carrier?"

"I can neither confirm or deny ongoing operations, but our cause is just, and the outcome is certain.Planes may have taken off earlier to pick up some fried chicken in Qatar and were sucessful."

"Wow! How is the morale here,General?"

"That's classified,but the men and women enjoyed the chicken very much.Show more nice pictures of planes taking off and landing...that's what you're here for.Our cause is just, and the outcome is certain"

"Wow!What does that thing over there do?"

"That's the military intercept device each American force allegedly here is equipped with to allegedly monitor reports by embedded reporters.I just push this and..."

(dead air)

"Wow! We seem to have lost out feed from the Armaggedon.As you see, I'm looking very concerned here.What does out military analyst make of this? Dr. Strangelove?"

"Since the Pentagon stopped reporting any American casualties,the war seems to be going much better on TV.We're still over-extended, and misjudged the capability of the Iraqi army. The real reason Bush and Blair are meeting today is to discuss the need for another 300 to 500 more tanks and thousands of more troops to properly take Baghdad.Tommy Franks has had a new asshole cut for him by the Pentagon and we are starting to carpet-bomb because we've burned up a ton of Tomahawks and smart bombs.I guess I shoudnt tell you that the Turkish army has 100s of tanks already in Iraq because.."

(long pause,cut to pictures of nothing happening at night in Baghdad ,heroic American youth riding around in tanks )

"This is Aaron Brownnose again.Dr.Strangelove will be filing reports from Guantanamo Bay for us soon as a guest of the CIA.Our cause is just, and the outcome is certain.Here's some more nice pictures of tanks racing across the desert.Are you there,Arnold?"

"No, I'm not.But I can tell you that we have taken Umm Qasr and Basra.I've reported that every day so far,and someday it will actually happen.Sorry I made up all that stuff about the 8,000 Iraqis surrendering, and the Basra uprising and the humanitarian aid photo-op ,and the non-existent WMD chemical factory,but it's pretty dull when all your reports are..( line goes dead for 5 seconds )But,I can authoritavely state that the Iraqi Army eats children ! We now have definitive proof!"

"Wow! That really make me sick.In other news,the President woke up this morning and had breakfast.Our senior White House correspondent John King has the details.John?"

"Aaron, details are a little sketchy at this point,but senior administration officials are now saying that the President may NOT, I repeat NOT, had breakfast this morning.We hope to get more on this at the briefing later today.Our cause is just, and the outcome is certain"

"Wow !John, give us a sense of what that means for the War On Iraq"

"Aaron, we have a lot of air time to fill up here.We cant tell you much from Iraq these days because the miltary has shut down many of the in-bed-with correspondents and wont admit to any US casualties anymore.We've almost run out of pictures of things blowing up because many of them have already been destroyed
and the Pentagon is sensitive to pictures of carpet-bombing going out.We can still blame Al Jazeera for showing those terrible pictures the other day,and continue to hack their new English language website.I wish I could tell you about how ballistic the White House is over those things the Russians sold Saddam that jam the GPS signals the bombs use to lock onto their targets,but obviously, I cant.I can tell you that Our Cause Is Just, And The Outcome Is Certain.Aaron?"

"That was John King from the White House.As you know, a large media conglomerate called Clear Channel, which owns thousands of radio stations across America,has been organizing the pro-war demonstrations across the country.Some say it is an attempt to influence the upcoming FTC hearings on the dangers of media concentration of the airwaves.We are glad here at CNN to have wholesome,patriotic Americans to put on the air instead of those pinko UN lovers all the time.Here's Wolf Blitzkreig"

"Aaron, I so sick of fishing sand out of my food all the time and standing here like an idiot in the middle of the night.Truth is, if we didnt have the Al Jazeera feed here, we woudnt know what's going on.I guess we can re-run that bit about the Army hospital for the 500th time and talk to reporters about what's going on in Baghdad who arent even in the country anymore.I asked the Air Force Major about why Shock And Awe hasnt produced the complete surrender of the entire nation of Iraq, and was told that we are not to use that term anymore.We will be hearing a lot about Surgical Devastation in the next little
while, the new term for carpet-bombing.
However,Our Cause Is Just,The Outcome Is Certain, We.."

"Sorry to cut you off,here's the President speaking in the bathroom mirror a few minutes ago..."

(cut to White House)

"Our cause is just, our resolve is resolvable,and the outcome is outcomable.We did not want this oil..uuhh,war.I resolve to resolvolate the Iraqi people,get the UN to release the billions in the Oil For Food account, and then cut em' right outta the loop over there.Companies that are friends of mine and Mr.Cheney are already being awarded billions in contracts for reconstruction.Our Cause Is Just,Our Resolve Is Resolvable,The Outcome Is Certain."

"Wow!The President,in the White House bathroom mirror, just minutes ago.Remember, folks, it's only propaganda when the other side does it.We've been waiting for this war to start for months,ratings are great, and now we'll go back to exploiting the grief of families who's sons or daughters are captured or MIA.Its a great way to chew up airtime and keep us from reporting on actual war news.And dont forget,America,Our Cause Is Just, And The Outcome Is Certain."

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Old Mar 27th, 2003, 12:49 PM   #9
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That is so freaking hilarious!!! It totally sums up how I feel about the bull***** that CNN is spouting off all over the world.

Way to go ALienRadar!!!!!!!
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Old Mar 27th, 2003, 12:50 PM   #10
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" ... "The rumours and evidence of what CNN wasn't reporting have turned me off. "
Care to clarify this? ..."

I would give CNN a D- for war coverage. They are often very late in reporting what others have (8-24 hours late) and are ignoring some stories generally believed to be true.

3 missles landing in Iranian port city early in the war for Iraqi ports (late and/or ignored) *

Missile (ground or air launched) attack on bus killing 5 civilians in Syria (late)

2 Cruise Missles landing in Turkey (late)

Riots delivering food aid in southern Iraq; civilians swarmed and emptied aid destined for points north (not yet reported as such, more than 24 hours later, although they do present the video footage of Iraqi civilians, not British soldiers, unloading trucks without comment)

No timely reporting of Turkish President's message to his nation Friday evening that Turkey would send "more" troops into Iraq. No admission that some Turkish troops were already in Iraq.

No analysis of the struggle for power between the Pro-US Turkish military and the newly elected civilian government; no mention that the elected President of Turkey was a guest of the military's prisons 5 years ago. This power struggle is directly responsible for the US not being able to open a Northern Front with ground troops.

Late in announcing the nearly simultaneous test launching of new, longer range, nuclear capeable missiles by Packistan and India 2 days ago.

Iranian-trained Shiite Muslims irregulars (there are 15,000 in Iraq) attacking Iraqi militias in port cities (this is still being reported as a civilian uprising on CNN while nearly every news organisation now admits there simply is no civilian uprising).

No Scud launches anytime during the confilict by Iraq

Quick announcement of the takeover of an Iraqi Chemical Plant and no or very brief admission that the plant was inspected and found to contain no traces of chemical weapons or chemical production of any kind, for that matter (reported in most media about 24 hours after the overrunning of the plant)

Virtually no coverage of riots, demonstrations, and Muslim sermons against the war in neighboring countries. The riots and demonstrations are a daily affair in Saudi Arabia, Quatar, Syria, Turkey, Indonesia and Jordan. Riot police fire tear gas and water cannons every day. In Jordan, there are an average of 20 separate incidents a day, generally involving thousands and tens of thousands of demonstrators.

Muslim clerics are extolling their flock to attack the US with any means possible. Thousands of Indonesian muslims have volunteered for duty in Iraq. Much is made of President Bush's "crusade" comment, which means "holy war" or "Jihad" to a Muslim but is only some easily forgotten or misintepreted word to the US audience. It doesn't help (the US) that Bush is an evangelical Christian.

The Iranian missile incident is most interesting. I'm sure it caused grave fears amongs US/UK commanders that it could bring Iran into the war. CNN reported nothing at the time. US diplomats scrambled to find a way to speak to the Iranians (no diplomatic recongintion by the US) and finally found Swiss diplomats to calm things down. The next day CNN did mention that "one" missile that had landed in Iran but was attributed to the Iraqis, which was the solution agreed to by Swiss and Iranian diplomats.

Little comment on weekend air attacks in Northern Iraq against forces unfriendly to the Kurds which were almost directly on the Iraq-Iran border (and may well have been partly in Iran).

I am convinced that we will eventually find out (after this confilict is over) that they really were US missiles which were improperly targetted (they landed at the correct latitude, wrong longitude) but both sides were eager to lower the rhetoric and avoid a full-scale response to a military incursion.

At the same time as this missile incident with Iran, Turkey was announcing it was sending troops into Iraq. Can you say disaster? Yikes!

In any case, all the above was available to english language listeners in Canada, although only CBC Radio spoke at any length about the long-standing training of Shiite militia in Iran, and identified the "uprising" as members of that group. BBC simply reports that there was no real uprising.

CNN is in a difficult positon; they see their main competition as the (massively pro-War) Fox News Network, which has been winning the ratings battle in the US.

CNN International (which we don't see in Canada) is generally quite good, but you can only see snippets of it's coverage when viewing other media (shared footage).

The Arabian Al-Jazira news agency is based in Quatar, home of the US/UK command centre. As an Arabic station, they are not considered to be any more radical in the Middle East than CNN is in the US; they have to compete with radical Arabic stations in their home market.

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