CNN Scandal

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Today's edition of the Syracuse University Daily Orange actually had some informative news in it that I haven't seen anywhere else (and it says it's a D.O. exclusive). Someone caught CNN redhanded in calling President Bush an a-hole on their website through naming a file whose name isn't visible normally with that name. You'll have to register at the D.O. site if you want to see the story. They've now renamed the file, so you can't find it yourself, but there's a screen shot showing its original name. I didn't see any kind of apology or retraction.

This doesn't surprise me one bit. I don't watch CNN unless there's nothing else on, because their coverage of the Iraq war was so unbelievably biased compared to Fox and MSNBC. CNN would show a truck driving up to a checkpoint being attacked by American soldiers, saying that the people inside were just trying to escape but still shot at, and they'd leave it at that. The other networks took the time to point out that any vehicle has to stop for approval before moving on, because the ones that don't stop tend to have bombs in them. Those that weren't following the rules were fired upon because they were acting guilty, and the cost not to fire on rule-breakers at checkpoints is to get blown up. CNN never bothered to mention any of this and clearly wanted to make American soldiers look guilty of war crimes, which the other two cable networks were unwilling to try to do but simply presented all the information and let viewers decide.

Now I just know someone will want to raise the issue of Carl Cameron's Fox News situation from a month or so ago to show that Fox does the same thing, but there's no reason to think this is the same sort of thing. Carl Cameron did what political reporters do all the time on their own. They make fun of the candidates. There's no indication that he didn't have another list about Bush, and since that's the sort of thing political reporters do there's reason to think he probably did. Nothing in the list I saw seemed to require being a Republican or liking Bush. All it did was make fun of Kerry the way
SNL or the Daily Show might (and they're both generally quite liberal). It's just that the Kerry one made it onto the web accidentally, because someone on his staff hadn't been thinking carefully and thought it was a real story. We'll see if CNN says anything in apology as Fox did or if there's any reason to think they do the same sort thing with Democrats.

Update: I guess this is making its rounds. CNN denies it (without apology, as far as I can tell) and says it wasn't on their site but Netscape's, and Netscape has been willing to own it, but it was on CNN's site, and they should apologize themselves. They should also acknowledge their partnership with Netscape as two companies owned by the same parent company whose work together on CNN-Netscape is at least cooperative and involves endorsement from both companies.

Everyone seems to be crediting Wizbang with the scoop, though a comment there linked to another forum and said they had it first. I didn't go investigate. So much for the Daily Orange exclusive. I knew there was something fishy about that expression.

Also, I want to point out that I have no problem if a news organization is run by liberals, as CNN plainly is. What I don't want to see is deliberate attempts to manipulate the viewers or readers, which is what the example I gave above with war coverage amounted to. I want to see them doing their best to be as objective as possible in presenting facts as facts, analysis and opinions as analysis and opinions, and so on. Humans will not do this perfectly, but this kind of thing is about as unprofessional and immoral as news reporting can get, and the fact that CNN won't apologize really bothers me.

3 Comments

Jeremy,
This went around a few days ago. CNN blames it on an employee of Netscape, who I believe was subsequently fired. There was another photo with the name "moron.jpg", also of you-know-who.
I hardly think this is a Daily Orange exclusive; Wizbang had it last Tuesday (http://wizbangblog.com/archives/004206.php). Here's a site with a bit of the apology: http://www.google.com/url?sa=U&start=1&q=http://www.tabloidcolumn.com/cnn-bush-filename-asshole.html&e=8092. i think Instapundit or Powerline also wrote on this last week.

Yes, those are the same links I've just linked. I didn't see an apology there. Diverting blame to someone else (and forgetting to point out that the someone else is an affiliate company anyway) is not apologizing.

On the timetable, I just got the email from the Daily Orange. Their story was last week. It's just that I hadn't read it until now because I don't have real email access right now and need to resort to webmail until I can get my computer back up and Outlook running.

Jeremy,
I apologize. I hadn't looked at the extended entry section (in this case, I didn't notice it was there until now), so I didn't realize you'd already addressed that. I should have been more careful to see whether you already knew about that before I commented.
I hope I haven't come across as just trying to point out things I think are mistakes on your blog; I enjoy your blog.
David

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