Skip to comments.CNN’s Problem With The Facts (Cathryn Crawford)
Posted on 09/23/2003 4:44:07 PM PDT by Scenic Sounds
CNN is having a rough time of it lately. Not only has it been thoroughly trounced in the ratings war by Fox News, it has had to admit that they have a problem with facts - namely that they seem to have a problem reporting them.
Christiane Amanpour is billed as CNNs top correspondent - which is bad enough, considering her reporting. Now shes embarrassing the already shame-worthy CNN by saying that they were intimidated into not reporting facts; intimidated by two rather ludicrous sources - Fox News and the Bush administration. She doesnt offer any hard proof, just the woe-is-me, CNN-is-so-abused whining that has become commonplace in the last few years.
According to Christiane, the Bush administration and Fox News somehow muffled the voice of CNN (how exactly this was done isnt made clear), and kept CNN from reporting facts during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Christiane is unquestionably vague in her comments, which she recently made to Tina Brown, the editor of Vanity Fair magazine.
When Tina asked if there was actually anything during the war that CNN couldnt report, Christiane said, "It's not a question of couldn't do it, it's a question of tone. It's a question of being rigorous. It's really a question of really asking the questions. All of the entire body politic in my view, whether it's the administration, the intelligence, the journalists, whoever, did not ask enough questions, for instance, about weapons of mass destruction. I mean, it looks like this was disinformation at the highest levels."
Not a question of couldnt do it? Really? Well, then, if it wasnt, why didnt CNN do it? She isnt saying that Fox News enforcer-types were haunting the houses of Aaron Brown and Larry King, is she? So whats her excuse for her news agency? None, apparently. She simply gives this vague notion of intimidation. And is she implying that CNN didnt ask questions that should have been asked? Is that a surprise? I thought that happened pretty often at CNN.
Later, Christiane made this stunning admission: "I think the press was muzzled, and I think the press self-muzzled. I'm sorry to say, but certainly television and, perhaps, to a certain extent, my station was intimidated by the administration and its foot soldiers at Fox News. And it did, in fact, put a climate of fear and self-censorship, in my view, in terms of the kind of broadcast work we did."
Gosh, I guess Christiane forgot about the 12 years that Eason Jordan admitted that CNN was self-censored in Iraq. And, interestingly enough, Bill Clinton was the President during most of the time. Did Clinton intimidate CNN into not reporting what was really going on in Iraq during those years? Did Clinton tell them not to report about the raping, torturing, and pillaging that Saddam was doing daily? I doubt it - it isnt nicknamed the Clinton News Network for nothing. There wasnt even a powerful Fox News around at this time - which goes to prove that CNN can do a horrible job even without any competition. Yes, we already knew just how easily CNN is intimidated, Christiane. CNN told lie after lie after lie - some flat out, some by omission - about Saddam Husseins regime so that they could keep access to the country, despite the fact that their access did no good since they didnt report the facts.
Perhaps what poor, persecuted Christiane and CNN are so upset about is that it is so much harder nowadays to make up facts and report them as truth, since there is decent competition in the cable news business, both from Fox News and MSNBC. Fact checking is no longer an afterthought; its a must unless you want to get called on it and then taken to the woodshed by your competitors. The ratings dont lie - CNN is going to have to stop the sloppy, halfway reporting that has characterized its years of monopoly and work to keep their viewers. That bodes well for us, the public, because now we know we have options. If one network wont report the facts, well hit a button and watch one that will.
Cathryn Crawford is a student at the University of Texas. She can be reached with comments at email@example.com.
Liberalpuke creep CNN!
Ann who? LOL
This girl has the knack.
You're great at measuring columnists, Yardstick!! ;-)
,,, CNN was there to cover disinformation at the highest levels? The sun's always rising somewhere.
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