Tuesday, July 09, 2013

This is CNN. And it sucks.

By Michael J.W. Stickings

Particularly after what happened after the Boston Marathon bombing, I don't really think there's a good reason to watch CNN. Okay, maybe for breaking news, just because they cast such a wide net both domestically and internationally, but even then there are usually better options. I only turn to it out of convenience, and forgetfulness, but then quickly realize what I've done and turn the channel. And for politics, well, don't even bother. If you get your "news" from Wolf Blitzer and John King, and the grotesque morons who inhabit their "expert" panels, and so if you prefer to remain grossly uninformed, you deserve the collapse of American democracy that may well be coming.

Of course, it wasn't just the botched coverage of the bombing afternath, and specifically reports of an arrest when there wasn't one. We've long known that CNN, at least in its domestic form (International is far better), is a news network dedicated mostly to sensationalism, hence the focus on murder trials, natural disasters, and other such fare. But for whatever reason many of us keep hoping, keep thinking that CNN can right the ship, and so keep caring.

But enough already.

That's Jay Rosen's view, and he makes a compelling case. You may not care enough about CNN to bother reading his piece, but it's worthwhile for what it says about news media generally. CNN isn't alone in its sensationalism drift, after all, nor in its quest for ratings at all cost, including integrity.

But to Rosen, whom I like a great deal, I would just say this:

Anthony Bourdain. Parts Unknown.

And also Morgan Spurlock. Inside Man.

But mostly Bourdain's Parts Unknown. Like No Reservations before it, on a different network, it's one of the very best shows on television.

Sometimes, just sometimes, CNN gets it right.

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  • I'm glad you concur about Bourdain. His show on the Congo and the results of the US having destroyed yet another democracy and installed yet another monster in our anti-Communist crusade almost redeemed CNN, but it would take a lot to compensate for that weasel Blitzer. "Was that the shockanaw? Are we in the shockanaw yet?"

    After he made such a fool of himself in Oklahoma trying to get some non-believer to thank God for singling her out, they should have taken away his microphone.

    By Blogger Capt. Fogg, at 10:32 AM  

  • Thanks. I have watched Parts Unknown. It's pretty damn good. Not news, but good television. Interestingly, that show and Inside Man are produced by outsiders and bought by CNN. Mostly, it's so they don't have to pay a salary and health insurance. But it also brings in talent not at CNN.

    By Blogger Jay Rosen, at 11:35 AM  

  • CNN has lost all credibility.
    Infotainment at its worst. Bye, CNN For thou sucketh Supreme.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:11 PM  

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