The Mudville Gazette
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Saturday, April 19, 2003


Cox and Forkum are now on my blogrole.
And they feature a blog called "Report No Evil" that expounds on the ever expanding CNN-Iraq fiasco. It looks like something I thought was true is true. Eason Jordan's tear jerking little"tell-all" piece in the NY Times was a pre-emptive strike. CNN's bad behavior regarding Saddam was known by others and denied by Eason Jordan some time ago. Of course, CNN is at long last free to explain their motives were completely altruistic. But the bottom line is simply that it looks more and more like CNN has been little more then Saddam Hussein's personal news service for some time now. But apparently they are done being the mouthpiece for any Government and taking a noble stand for journalistic integrity by refusing to have their programming broadcast into Iraq.

According to Mike Allen of the Washington Post:

The Bush administration took over Iraqi state television yesterday, replacing tributes to Saddam Hussein with conciliatory greetings from President Bush, the Pentagon and British Prime Minister Tony Blair...

...Norman J. Pattiz, chairman of the Westwood One radio network and a member of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, said the new channel's mission will be to give Iraqis "an example of what a free press in the American tradition actually is."

CNN declined to have its newscasts included. "As an independent, global news organization, we did not think it was appropriate to participate in a U.S. government transmission," spokeswoman Christa Robinson said...

Well, it's certainly good to see CNN finally come to their senses!

Two things strike me about this situation.

The first: If I had a dollar for every time over the past couple months I've heard CNN refered to as "a US/right-wing biased source of news" by some clueless lefty in the blogosphere I could retire and Blog full time, and the world would rejoice. Seriously though, CNN can't win, no matter how un-American they try to be, they get this inexplicably bizarre response from the left that insists they (and all American media) are mindless pro-Bush pro-war brainwashers of the moronic American public. The irony of this situation kills me. However, the lefty grapevine must be buzzing "Hey we look stupid bashing CNN as 'right-wing' because anyone with eyes and a peanut brain knows otherwise" because I'm starting to see the reference shift to Fox. Whatever. CNN may be doomed to irrelevance as nothing but a useful "generic" term for American news, which is, I suspect, how those uninformed lefties were using them anyway. Uninformed insofar as we're talking about people who a) can not, or b) would not watch CNN in a million years and c) would not admit it if they had. Bottom line: CNN bashing is officially cool on both sides of the aisle. And the aiding and abetting Iraq thing just isn't helping. Only the hard-core lefties ever really loved Saddam, and like the Nazis post WWII they can't even admit it now, so CNN may be on their own.

The second point: Bloggers are lighting up the web with this one. Cox and Forkum compiled multiple links from several other Blogger sites and added commentary. I am commenting further as it fits my running theme here lately. I'm saved a lot of effort by referencing back to their Blogs. Thus much of my work is done for me. Others are commenting. Blogs are re-posted. Word gets around. And this whole Blogging thing is in it's infancy. So think about this: whereas the media (talk radio excepted) in taking care of it's own will not excoriate CNN to the degree they deserve, the blogosphere will. Does this matter? Not as much now as it will in the future as this medium grows. (How much did Talk Radio matter a few years ago?) Which of course returns nicely to my fundamental theory: "The liberal view in the liberal vs. conservative debate can not survive the immediate 'printed' media that is today's web."

The first Gulf War brought CNN to unprecedented prominence. The second may help hasten their decline. (Quagmire, anyone?)

For your further enjoyment:

The New Republic Online, 16 Oct 02:
"...And nobody has schmoozed the ministry harder than the head of CNN's News Group, Eason Jordan,...

NPR "On the Media," 25 Oct 02
EASON JORDAN: "The writer clearly doesn't have a clear understanding of the realities on the ground because CNN has demonstrated again and again that it has a spine"

NY Times, 11 Apr 03 " The News We Kept To Ourselves" Eason Jordan: "Over the last dozen years I made 13 trips to Baghdad to lobby the government to keep CNN's Baghdad bureau open and to arrange interviews with Iraqi leaders. Each time I visited, I became more distressed by what I saw and heard -- awful things that could not be reported because doing so would have jeopardized the lives of Iraqis, particularly those on our Baghdad staff."
(NOTE: The TURGLERS at the NY Times will want you to register and give them 3 bucks to read this piece of crap article. Your call.)

"Corruption at CNN" - The Washington Times, 15 Apr 03 (A must-read, and hey, it's free!)
"I took part in meetings between the CNN executives and various officials...
"In each of these meetings, Mr. Johnson and Mr. Jordan made their pitch: Saddam Hussein would have an hour's time on CNN's worldwide network; there would be no interruptions, no commercials. I was astonished. From both the tone and the content of these conversations, it seemed to me that CNN was virtually groveling for the interview."

And once again, from the Washington Post, 11 Apr 03
CNN declined to have its newscasts included. "As an independent, global news organization, we did not think it was appropriate to participate in a U.S. government transmission," spokeswoman Christa Robinson said...