Thursday, December 09, 2004

CNN to Pentagon, "We're helping you! See! We are drawing focus from the tragic real story to a meta-story about the media!"

Some times I go to CNN with the hope of finding out about some breaking news story. I gird my loins, hold my breath and look. 8 times out of 10 there is some BIASed Foxiffied missing-the-point crap. I suppose anything goes when you have to fill space 24/7 and you can't do real journalism because it costs money and it might not please the President.

Instead of doing a more in-depth story about why all vehicles in Iraq aren't armored correctly, they focus on a story about the question. Who asked it and did he have any help asking the question? And they run another follow-up on the story about the embedded editor and written by the AP about whether or not the Chattanooga Times editor of Edward Lee Pitts, should have mentioned that Pitts helped the soldier frame the question.

Dear CNN. Stop focusing on the story about the question.
Why not focus on the real issues?
Why did this journalist even have to go this route?
Those soldiers’ lives depend on the Sec. of Defense protecting them with correct equipment.
This wasn't an idle policy gottcha question.
This is life and death.
It's not about physics. It's about politics and priorities and failure to execute.

Because this administration will not give decent access to the press, this journalist, who is embedded in the unit (the 278th Regimental Combat Team, a Tennessee National Guard outfit preparing for deployment to Iraq) helped a few soldiers frame a question for Rumsfeld. It wasn't a "fake question" it was something the soldier needed to know for his unit. Those 2300 cheers weren't fake. If I have an editor review my copy to make my argument better, does that make the point of the argument moot? No. When Tiger Woods golf coach (yes he has one) tells him that he needs to soften his stance when he is swinging on a hill does that mean the golf coach's doing the swinging? No. Tiger has the intention. Tiger swings the club, he just gets advice from someone who can see the big picture from the outside and knows what will work in this situation based on his experience.

It is now almost a reflex of the White House to focus on the questioner every time someone points out what they are doing wrong. Fox, CNN and the rightwing nutball echo chamber of Drudge, Rush, Hannity and lesser assholes now do the White House's work for them. They never question the motivations or the background of people who ask bullshit softball questions to the President at his loyalty oath vetted appearances. That would seem to be "attacking the President". Well I call bullshit on this practice. From now on everyone who asks a softball question to the president needs to be checked into just like this Army Spc. Thomas Wilson. I mean it's the "fair and balanced" thing to do, right?

This was the first headline.

Reporter planted GI's question for Rumsfeld

This was the follow-up story headline.
Editor: Disclosure was needed on armor query

Gee CNN. Where are these story?
"Armor-gate! Sec. of Defense fails to protect troops due to policy blinders"
"Sec. of Defense doesn't answer reporter's questions, reporters resort to other tactics for straight answers."


Anonymous said...

Have you seen this?

Wow. We were just talking about her at the prison newspaper, but wow.

~prisoner 7104

6:20 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home