"Media bias in editorials and columns is one thing. Media fraud in reporting 'facts' in news stories is something
else. ...The issue is not what various journalists or news organizations' editorial views are. The issue is the
transformation of news reporting into ideological spin, along with self-serving taboos and outright fraud."
I'll say it up front--
I never watch CNN because I choose to. The only time I ever watch
CNN is when I just happen to be some place where someone else is watching
it. Such was the case on Thanksgiving day of year 2000, when I visited my aunt up in
Alpharetta, Georgia. In a very short period of time, I pointed out to
her several instances of blatantly biased reporting.
The anchors were a reporter--whose name I didn't catch--and a reporter-ette
named Carol Lin. The topic of the day, of course, was the chad-counting
First up, they showed a video of the Republican demonstrators in Miami.
This was supposed to be a news segment, not a commentary segment.
But, these two didn't properly report about this event. Nobody tried
to interview any of the demonstrators to find out what they were really
upset about. Instead, they offered up their own commentary--without
any proof--that the demonstrators were simply trying to pressure the
Miami canvassing board into not continuing with their hand-counts. They
gave no reason why the demonstrators would want to stop the count.
So, they left the impression that the demonstrators just didn't want
all votes to count. In reality, these demonstrators were upset that
the Florida Supreme Court--known for its judicial activism--had overturned
a law that had been properly passed by the Florida legislature,
and replaced it with its own arbitrary law. Nobody would ever know that
by watching CNN. And, nobody who watches CNN would even know that the
Florida legislature created this particular law for a reason--to prevent
the opportunity for vote-tampering.
The scene switched to the counting room in Broward County. There,
we were treated to witnessing the Three Wise Folk who were trying to
divine who voters really intended to vote for. The room appeared to
be fairly crowded, with both politicians and members of the news media.
When the cameras switched back to our two intrepid news anchors, the
male of the species said, 1"Did you see the crowd in that
room. I don't see any possible way that any cheating could be going
on in there." There was nary a mention of the three eyewitnesses to
alleged cheating, let alone any effort to get their side of the story.
And, had they continued watching, they just might have seen some
efforts to cheat.
After this, the octogenarian inventor of the "Votamatic" machine was
shown testifying before one of the Florida canvassing boards. He contended
that since the spots used for the presidential candidates are used more
than any of the other spots, perhaps the machines were worn in those
spots and were making it hard for people to push their styluses all
the way through. According to him, that would cause the "dimpled" chads
that the voting officials are now trying to count. That sounds a bit
fishy to me, since I don't understand what there could possibly be to
wear out on this type of machine. On my way back to the teeming metropolis
of St. Marys on Friday, I picked up Chuck Harder's "For the People"
program on the car radio. He's convinced--though until I see further
proof, I only consider it a theory--that the dimpled chads are a product
of vote tampering. Mr. Harder insists that the dimples are created when
a crooked poll worker--one who's pressed for time--inserts more than
one card at a time into a Votamatic and tries to punch all of them at
once. But, the point is that the CNN folk didn't try to dig into this,
either. They simply reported the side that was favorable to their point
(Of course, there is a way to test both of these theories, but nobody
has suggested it. Drag out some of these Votamatics, stick some ballot
cards into them, and test them out to see if they really are working
properly. And, just for fun, try out Chuck Harder's theory. Stick two,
three or more cards in at a time, try to punch them all at once and
see what happens.)
Just before my aunt and I got too disgusted to watch any more, Gore
campaign spokesman Doug Hattaway called in to be interviewed. He was
allowed to present his side of the case, without any challenge from
the CNN anchors. In fact, the reporter-ette was so sweet to him, it
was almost sickening. And, nobody was allowed on to present the other
side of the story.
CNN presents itself as a news channel. But, it isn't. There's a difference
between news and news commentary. News is supposed
to be fact, and commentary is supposed to be opinion.
There's a place for presenting opinion in the news business, but not when
presenting hard news. CNN, for the most part, either unquestioningly presents
Democratic party positions as the gospel truth, or they present their
own opinions as news.
It was an easy sell to convince my aunt of CNN's deficiencies. Indeed,
she had already begun seeing them herself. I convinced her to give Fox
News Channel a try, but we couldn't find it as we flipped through the
channels. Later that night, some friends came over, and we explained our
dilemma to them. "Oh", they said, "you need to do an auto-reprogam of
your cable box to find any channels that have been added lately." We did,
and finally found the Fox.2
My aunt is now very grateful for helping her find a decent source of
1I'm going from memory here, so these quotes may not be in
their exact wording. But, the gist is there.
2No, I have not received any fiancial compensation from Fox News Channel for writing this article.
Silence of the CNN Lambs
We try hard to not write about themes already commented upon by many others. But CNN's kowtowing to the Baathist regime
of Saddam Hussein over the last dozen years was so deplorable, despicable and disgusting that we find it necessary to chime in.
by Michael Arnold Glueck, M.D., and Robert J. Cihak, M.D.
CNN Publishes Obits of Reagan, Cheney
CNN can't seem to do anything right these days. Faces there are redder than usual today after the company's Web site
published obituaries of Vice President Dick Cheney, Ronald Reagan, Cuban dictator Fidel Castro (that must have been a
maudlin one) and other VIPs.
CNN Most Untrusted Name in News
Wolf Blitzer, who usually does a fine job, for most of a week failed to report that Jessica Lynch was rescued because Mohammed, an Iraqi, told the Marines where to locate her.
by Wilson C. Lucom
Corrupted News Network
There was a time when CNN was a reliable 24/7 news channel for the most up-to-date information on fast-moving world events.
by Gary Aldrich
Eason Jordan's admission of complicity with Saddam's regime raises a host of questions that must be answered by CNN.
by Hugh Hewitt
CNN's Access of Evil
The network of record covered Saddam's repression with propaganda.
BY FRANKLIN FOER
the World Ablaze : Washington, Adams, Jefferson and the American Revolution
Setting the World Ablaze is the story of the three men who, perhaps more than any others, helped bring the United
States into being: George Washington, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson. Weaving their three life stories into one
narrative, John E. Ferling delivers a genuine and intimate illustration of them and, in doing so, gives us a new
understanding of the passion and uncertainty of the struggle to form a new nation.
Scandalmonger : A Novel Scandalmonger is the 25th book from William Safire, the prolific, feisty New York Times columnist and word wrangler. It's a historic novel set in 1790s New England, when the Founding Fathers were enduring various crises and humiliations as they scurried to become part of the history books. Always a stickler for the truth--as long as it's uttered in the finest of phrases--the author lets us know right from the start that we're "entitled to know what is history and what is twistery." Based on documents and diaries, and complete with an exhaustive section of footnotes separating fact from fiction, Scandalmonger turns out to be a bona fide page-turner. Safire knows what he's doing; he knows he has a lesson to teach. It's a lesson about how early America wasn't much different from Clinton's America--the temptations of mistresses, the power struggles, the ridiculous debates about purity between corrupt men being just as present. If he has one message, it is this: within every powerful politician, there is a dirty-minded second grader trying to get out. Witness this scene between two outraged congressmen who seem intent on "turning the House into a 'gladiators' arena'"