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CNN (June 1, 1980 – recently)

May 8, 2013

I’ve never considered CNN truly partial, but at least it falls between Fox News and MSNBC.  Its coverage of major elections features pundits of all stripes, even though the network is starting to trim off some of the fringe like Erick Erickson and James Carville.

It languished in obscurity until the Challenger explosion in 1986 and the Baby Jessica rescue in ’87, then rose to prominence.  Now it’s sinking and I have a guess as to why.

It stinks.

Fox and the big three networks routinely pound it in the ratings.  In desperation it mimics what works for its competitors.  Anderson Cooper’s show now looks like Fox and Friends.  Newscasters like Carol Costello and Ashleigh Banfield cannot report a story without putting themselves in the middle of it (“that reminds me of the time I . . .).  Costello recently said “that’s terrible” about a tragic event she was relaying.

Yes, Carol, any rational person would agree with you, but your job as a journalist is simply to report the facts.

I think the slide started in 1994 with the Kerrigan-Harding kerfuffle and the O.J. murders. The only reason I viewed Simpson’s infamous low-speed chase was because the station I was watching an NBA playoff game on kept cutting away to it.  I remember wondering why the cops needed 50+ cars to pursue him when 45 or so would have been plenty.

When Michael Jackson died, I understood the wall-to-wall coverage because he was an icon.  But the recent feces-covered wall-to-wall coverage of one of the early Carnival Cruise Lines debacles utterly disgusted me.

“Great!”, I thought to myself, “the sequestration and Syria problems must have been resolved.”  Today the lead story is the escape of four kidnap victims in Cleveland.  Again, the coverage is so lavish that it has actually disrupted the constant flow of minutiae about the Boston bombings.

Chalk this post up to the grumblings of an old man, but I miss Walter Kronkite.  Thank Random Chance for the PBS Newshour.

  1. Gordon permalink
    May 8, 2013 9:07 am

    Hear! Hear!

  2. Judith permalink
    May 8, 2013 9:17 am

    Get rid of the TV and don’t go back to the US

    • May 14, 2013 9:24 am

      Luckily there’s a lot of outdoor chores to keep me away from the set right now.

  3. May 8, 2013 8:40 pm

    i worked a couple blocks from where those girls were kidnapped. i remember both of the younger ones being in the paper for weeks and never heard of the older one.. the one so ‘old’ i think they never even looked for her. after the mass murder’ that killed i think 11 women being caught a couple years ago and now this i think cleveland is on the map in a really not good way.

    • May 14, 2013 9:25 am

      Jeez, how dangerous is your neighbourhood?

  4. May 17, 2013 7:43 pm

    where i worked was the west side of cleveland and it wasn’t that bad. bad pockets but nothing really horrible. where the guy that kiled the 11 women lived was not a nice place obviously..i think it was on the eastside of cleveland. i live in the ‘burbs so it is not the same.

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