Wednesday, June 01, 2011

This day in history - June 1, 1980: Cable News Network begins broadcasting

By Richard K. Barry 

 I don't typically trust any news organization that makes too much out of its lack of journalistic bias. I could go on at length about how foolish CNN has looked in the past attempting to appear balanced by entertaining "both" sides of any given issue when one of those sides was clearly just plain kooky.

But let's give credit where credit is due. CNN was the first to provide 24-hour television news coverage and the first all-news television station in the United States. It was an exciting time for the political and news junkies among us.

It's interesting to remember that the Persian Gulf War in 1991 was a moment in time for CNN, which did more than any other event to establish their brand due to the fact that CNN was able to communicate from inside Iraq during the first hours of the Coalition bombing with live reports from the al-Rashid Hotel in Baghdad by reporters Bernard Shaw, John Holliman, and Peter Arnett. It was spectacular.

Mostly I remember that it was during the Persian Gulf War that I first heard the name Wolf Blitzer, though I was sure it was a send up, clearly something made up by the writing team at Saturday Night Live. (I imagined that Dana Carvey would be cast to play the character). Alas, Blitzer was a real person and he has been annoying me ever since.

(Cross-posted Lippmann's Ghost.)

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