A while ago Sam over at Second Americano talked about his dislike for American news outlets, CNN in particular, and though I didn't say anything at the time, my reaction was "sing it, brother!" I was today reminded of all the reasons why I, too, loathe CNN and of my very best example of why.
Several years ago, Senator Paul Wellstone of Minnesota and his family died in a tragic small plane crash. I happened to be watching CNN that day, the day the network lost all credibility in my eyes and became what it is now, a not so harmless joke of a news organization. While the reports were coming in, the CNN anchor was babbling inanely and uninformedly about the dangers of small aircraft and the potential political ramifications of the crash, flailing wildly as they so often do when faced with, umm, incoming news, when what should appear on the screen but, I kid you not, a hand-drawn picture of a small plane on a piece of scrap paper. The anchor explained to viewers that this was not a picture of the plane in question but it was a small plane, undoubtedly much like this one. Then, on the screen below the fluttering hand-held drawing appeared the helpful words "Note: picture not to scale." Really? Your might-as-well-be-drawn-on-a napkin picture of a random could-be-small plane is not to scale? REALLY??
I was done with them at that moment.
However, the network is ever-present and, today, whilst flipping channels, I came across their coverage of the "suspicious devices" filled with LED screens and circuits that were found all over Boston yesterday and shut down major travel arteries all over the city. (Turns out, as we all discovered yesterday--where was CNN then, one wonders?--these were the result of an (ill-conceived at best) marketing campaign for a cartoon sponsored by Turner Broadcasting.) After showing footage of the traffic snarls, the anchor said solemnly, "if you haven't heard of guerrilla marketing before, you just did. here's so and so, who once did guerrilla marketing for Turner and he says this plans wasn't very well thought out." my my my, what an insightful, informative, oh-so-newsworthy, and a-day-after-the-fact coverage...are you people serious??
And sadly, the answer is yes.