CNN: The New Fox News

I remember when CNN still had some journalistic integrity. It was sort of like an appendix, I guess; a vestigial organ left over from an earlier evolutionary stage. I watched Bernard Shaw and Peter Arnett broadcast live from Baghdad at the start of the first Gulf War; did they know at the time, I wonder, that what they were doing was a weird sort of kabuki theater, a throwback to an earlier tradition that was well on its way to obsolescence?

Anyway, those days are long gone. As evidence of that, I offer the following clip, aired during “news” coverage recently by CNN:

Obscure reference for ymatt:

> forty cnn journalistic integrity

15 Responses to “CNN: The New Fox News”

  1. shcb Says:

    Boy, I’m with you on this one. I think every word this woman utters should be broadcast over and over, I too am tired of the liberal media protecting her when she says something idiotic.

  2. knarlyknight Says:

    you’re in fine form – backasswords as usual!

  3. shcb Says:


  4. shcb Says:

    So I guess the filmstrip maker is upset that CNN didn’t show the whole quote they didn’t “we report, you decide” and JBC is comparing CNN to Fox News, so does the filmmaker and JBC want everything reported and let us decide? Maybe it would be easier to just watch Fox News.

  5. jbc Says:

    I’m sure it would be easier. I just think actually having some understanding of what’s going on is worth a little mental effort sometimes.

  6. shcb Says:

    yup (2)

  7. ymatt Says:

    I really do wonder where this memetic tendency comes from. I mean there’s the whole “talking points” thing which is the obvious partisan tactic to drive it, but it seems like somehow these themes emerge almost arbitrarily and suddenly all news reporting is in the context of the current theme. Here it’s “Congress does nothing” and they dig up all these clips to reinforce that, even when taken from an unrelated statement that can be chopped to sound on-theme.

    I guess it’s just that news goes down easier when the viewer already feels like they understand the topic. CNN has gotten really bad about this, deciding that certain types of news stories automatically make top billing because they’re on-topic. Watching in the middle of the day, it’s all school evacuations and contaminated products from China.

    forty indeed, Tommy.

  8. NorthernLite Says:

    shcb, CNN nor FOX aren reporting and letting you decide. They’re decidng what to report to you, and putting into the context that suits their agenda. That’s the point of, ah fuck it, nevermind.

  9. knarlyknight Says:

    For a second there I thought you’d lost your mind trying to explain this to shcb again, glad to see you regained your senses.

  10. Craig Says:

    Seems to me that if you go to Wikipedia, CNN has been, at various times, declared to be clearly Liberal AND Conservative-biased. Either that means they are doing their job, or they are evenhandedly sloppy/dishonest about the way they edit sound bites.

  11. Craig Says:

    In fact, if you go to Media Matters and to Newsbusters (two agenda-driven “watchdogs” of conservative and liberal bias, respectively, within the media) you will see CNN mentioned often on BOTH sites!

  12. shcb Says:

    NL, you are right, everyone has biases, the best you can hope for is that Fox balances CNN, or CBS and none of them get too far out of hand, you can have a bias and still be fair. As to CNN being conservative and liberal at the same time, that would require looking into the data, chances are it depends on the issue and the perception of the data compiler as to whether the issue or sub issue was conservative or liberal.

    I was listening to a scholar who was an expert on Thomas Jefferson the other day and he said you can find a quote from Jefferson to make just about any point on any side of the argument because he had different views on similar subject throughout his life.

    One other thought, we are basing this conversation on our belief that the unaccountable YouTuber is being faithful to what she said, the YouTuber certainly has a bias as well. I have no reason to believe this clip is not accurate, but we don’t know what was said before or after this cut. Perhaps the CNN version captures the tone of the speech as a whole better than the uncut version. I certainly didn’t watch the speech, did anyone else?

  13. jbc Says:

    Craig, while I don’t doubt that the hostile-media effect makes it so partisans on both sides can find things to fault about CNN, that wasn’t actually what struck me about that Pelosi item. I wasn’t criticizing them for taking Pelosi’s words out of context and presenting them as if they meant something different than what she said because I support Pelosi, and think they were exhibiting an unfair anti-Pelosi bias. (And actually, I don’t support Pelosi. I’d like to see her out of office tomorrow. But again, that’s not the point.)

    What struck me was that I believe there actually was a time (a time within my living memory), when a blatantly misleading item like that would not have been allowed to air as “news” on CNN. And I mourn the passing of the ethical standard that that represents.

    I might not leap quite so quickly to whine about CNN if they were skewering a right-wing politician in that fashion; I’ll grant you that. And my likening them to Fox News in the headline could certainly lead someone to think I’m merely coming from a position of partisan bias. But honestly, that wasn’t what I was really focusing on. CNN has remade itself to be identical to Fox News not necessarily in terms of grinding a right-wing ideological axe the way Fox does, but in terms of ignoring the requirements of journalistic ethics, which I think Fox took to a new level, and proved could be profitable.

    And yeah, I’m aware that TV has always been less about journalistic ethics than print has, and I’m also aware that failures to live up to the requirements of those ethics abound in the print world. I probably won’t pay much attention to the predictable responses of people of known biases around here, who will probably engage in the usual misconstruing of my remarks to erect straw men they can then knock down.

    I still think that story being aired by CNN represents a real shift, and one that’s worth noticing and criticizing. And your (Craig’s) comments about Wikipedia and various agenda-driven watchdog groups don’t really have much bearing on that, as far as I can see.

  14. shcb Says:

    I’m dating myself here, but I remember when I was a kid watching Huntley Brinkley (my dad hated uncle Walter), at the end of the show they would go to commercial, and when they came back one of them would do a couple minutes of opinion commentary with a sign at the bottom of the screen clearly denoting that this was an opinion. This was probably more important then than now since there were only 3 networks and no internet to offset each other.

  15. TeacherVet Says:

    JBC: “I’m aware that TV has always been less about journalistic ethics…”

    It’s for that reason that I’ve not watched a single “news documentary” on CBS, ABC or NBC for almost 20 years – since the airing of “The Wall Within.”

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.