Once every few days, when I have a few hours to waste, I check out what CNN is up to. As a journalist, it infuriates me that CNN claims to be in the news business. So, out of pure disgust, I watch to see how far and how fast they are willing to drift from reporting real news.
The CNN formula is to report the same 'news' over and over again every 30 minutes. Due to a severe case of identity confusion, they have the audacity to start each segment from their 'world headquarters in Atlanta'. While they do have their main offices in Atlanta, their pretensions to being a 'world' news outlet is pure slick marketing.
On the 27th of February, 2002, I watched four consecutive half-hour segments hosted by Rudy Bakhtiar. She is one of those CNN anchors who qualified as a journalist because her dentist gave her a brilliant set of teeth. By that standard, Mr Ed, the talking horse, would also have qualified as a CNN anchor.
The reason I wasted two hours watching Rudy's dental work was to determine if the teeth were attached to a robot. CNN should just consider replacing Rudy with a cartoon character with diamond teeth. That will certainly draw in the hordes seeking a little mind numbing.
Having just watched the intensive coverage of the Saudi peace initiative on the BBC, I was also curious to see if it would be the leading story on CNN. Fat chance. Rudy's teeth had other tasks to perform.
The lead CNN story was the Atlanta crematorium that cheated its customers by burying the dead. The owner is in court awaiting bail. This grisly local Atlanta story allows for a cheap dispatch of a CNN crew. The Time/Warner/AOL/CNN accountants get real excited when they locate so many bodies close to their 'international' offices. Then there was an update on the kidnap and murder of Danielle Van Dam. That story came all the way from San Diego. Andrea Yates, who drowned her five kids, also got 'headlined' again. If you live in Tokyo, you no doubt wanted an update on the manslaughter charges filed against Jason Williams. Reporting felony court cases is a bit like reporting soap operas. If they get an O J Samson on trial, they can hook you for a couple of years.
Without a hint of irony, Rudy went on to report that the widow of Daniel Pearl was calling for "citizens to take interest in their country's foreign policy". The BBC had a full five-minute interview with Mariane Pearl. Daniel's widow mentioned that ten Pakistani journalists and lawyers had also recently been the victims of the same terrorists who murdered her late husband. CNN couldn't spare any kind of time for Pearl's widow to empathize with Pakistani victims of terror.
Six minutes into the news, it was time for Rudy to report on American teenage consumption of alcohol. And there was a special obituary for the inventor of voice mail. About thirty seconds was spared for the Enron scandal. Rudy gave that all knowing 'Bakhtiar' glance indicating that she doubted Skilling's testimony. Bravo, Rudy! You are not a robot. Inside of you, there is a humanoid struggling to be as animated as a cartoon.
Poor Rudy was in a rush because she had to report on Mad Cow disease, a new experimental Aids vaccine and on Bush's new welfare initiative to marry off unwed mothers. A few serious minutes were devoted to a 'special' segment on designer babies. Ever wanted a baby with three eyes and ears that flap like the wings of a dove? Genetic engineering labs are up and running to serve your needs.
The California and Florida gubernatorial races were covered. In the 'latest development' segment, Rudy again gave a review of the crematorium story; just in case you missed it the first fifty times. And then CNN was off hawking Time/Warner entertainment products. Apparently the President of the United States is going to preview "When we were soldiers" with Mel Gibson. There was no mention of what President Chirac was doing for entertainment this weekend.
Add a sports segment and the horrible weather in Detroit and that is CNN news from the 'world headquarters in Atlanta'. To get all this vital 'international' news, you must endure continual advertising of the musical works of ancient crooners from the Time/Warner library. A good deal of CNN advertising is for AOL, Time/Warner, Larry King and Wolf Blitzer.
Larry King is interviewing both Gary Condit and Monica Lewinsky this week. CNN also recently reported that there were fewer shark attacks last year. So this year, expect them to report on killer mammoth attacks in Siberia. Welcome back to Chandrala. Tune in for the latest stain on Monica's dress.
Finally, in the third 30 minute segment, CNN included a brief sentence about the Saudi peace initiative. But then they added that the White House had dismissed it as 'unworkable'. End of Story. I had to wait 90 minutes to watch real news get buried real fast in CNN's crematorium. It was a Kosher burial officiated by the Yiddish supremacist clique with a direct line to their personal deity, Ariel Sharon.
CNN evaluates news based on a number of factors. First, comes the cost factor. They like to produce cheap lead stories with good 'tabloid' potential to feed to their pundits. That is why there is an endless stream of updates on the Atlanta crematorium and the mother who killed her five children.
CNN reports 'American' news. During times of war, they can get pretty jingoistic. But even in times of peace, it is rare that they even bother to run a Canadian or Mexican story. Argentina can be squeezed in if they are willing to have full-scale riots every other day. And forget about getting a clue about the world outside the Western Hemisphere. As far as the folks in Atlanta are concerned, the outside world is a remote Atlantis buried in ocean depths that could cause blood clots to folks accustomed to swimming in shallow Georgia ponds.
Of course, there is always plenty of room for 'Israeli' news and the professional barkers from the Israeli lobby, many of them on the CNN payroll. The Yiddish supremacists freak out if the wording of a news item deviates from Sharon's dictates. It is now clear that Sharon has sent word to CNN to be dismissive of the Saudi peace initiative and they have duly complied, as has the Bush administration.
Depending on CNN for international news is like depending on mad cows for your annual meat supply. CNN barely qualifies as an American broadcaster. Their real colors are the colors of the Israeli flag. When push comes to shove the ethnic crowd at CNN will back a war criminal like Sharon over any American president. I think CNN should be put in the same class as BET. Of course, CNN's credibility is no where near the level of BET, But they are certainly an ethnic enterprise. Indeed, CNN practices a brand of ethnic advocacy journalism that rivals hate radio.
So, don't ever depend on CNN. They have just crossed too many lines and have the ethics of the racist rats who toil in Murdoch's tabloid factories. It is my personal belief that both of these two corporations deserve contempt and disdain for continuing to degrade the quality of American journalism. They care nothing about the human race and are staffed with xenophobic hate-mongers and Yiddish supremacists. Men and women of good conscious should not underestimate the mischief that CNN is capable of. They need to be challenged and soon. The faster Americans put them out of business by tuning them out, the better it will be for the republic and the world. Those who have the means should explore class actions suits under existing French and Canadian laws to put both Murdoch and Levine in their place. Next, the FCC should look into their practice of defrauding their viewers of fair and balanced news.
These guys are not invincible. Journalists and broadcasters who filter news that is vital to our national security in order to advance the cause of a foreign state do not deserve FCC licenses. Broadcasters who run these media companies as ethnic lobbies should be made aware that they have a mandate to serve the public, not Ariel Sharon. Until they pay an economic price for their deceptive practices, expect no news on CNN.