Friday, November 30, 2007

CNN Meltdown, Part III, "Stonewall !"

Hugh Hewitt highlights more on the CNN "meltdown," drawing from his interview with Tom Brokaw, and linking to the latest from Mark Steyn, Powerline, Michelle Malkin, Glenn Reynolds, and others (other links in Hugh's original).

Hugh also quoted from our own Update posted last night (thanks, Hugh) about the total disconnect between what CNN senior executives, including David Bohrman, were publicly pitching prior to the debate, and what actually unfolded at the event.

Hugh concludes:

"CNN is of course going to the mattresses, just as every MSMer does when the collision with their own bias and/or incompetence arrives. But like Rathergate, the YouTube/BoobTube debate is already a major milestone in the accelerating collapse of credibility of the MSM."

Right to the nub, Hugh.

Except that CNN, unlike CBS, will likely do little if anything in the way of a "self-examination" or investigation of what happened to try to restore their credibility, other than the Anderson Cooper "mea culpa," which was limited to the exposure about General Kerr's connection to the Clinton campaign.

Will CNN just take The New Republic approach to rooting out those serious research and credibility problems? "Moving right along . . ."

So far, their site suggests just that. A quick search of the CNN main website page, or of their politics page, reveals little or no recognition at all of the brewing controversy about their debate.
Elsewhere on the CNN site, CNN Investigates caught our eye for a second, but it's about candidate "attack ads" and who is this year's Willie Horton, not about "ambush questions" and who is this year's Dan Rather!

A post-debate Podcast analysis piece with Lisa DesJardin and John Lisk contains not a single word about the controversy. It's all just a, "he said, he said" recap of the candidates.

The only thing we could find on their entire site was two comments here buried among a total of 28 in what was a quickly closed thread. They were posted by Justin and Michael as reader comment on the post-debate wrap-up. Here are the two comments:


I also was disturbed by how little work seems to have been done to check the backgrounds of those asking questions. (Or was a lot of work done to make sure they were really from a narrowly focused group of people?!) I also was disturbed by how little work seems to have been done to check the backgrounds of those asking questions. (Or was a lot of work done to make sure they were really from a narrowly focused group of people?!) With what was supposed to be a good sampling of Americans, I found simple web searches of those asking questions bringing up facts that seemed to show these particular individuals were only coming from select political views and caused me to lose faith in the validity of the whole debate. CNN-The Most Trusted Name in News...REALLY?????

. . .


YouTube either forgot to or chose not to vet their guests last night. Keith Kerr, Leann Anderson, and David McMillan are all *publicly* tied to current Democratic campaigns but were passed off as "civilians" when their questions were aired.

Good for them! But not a very good beginning for CNN!

Finally, the CNN link to their partner communication, Time, Inc. is to a video post grading the candidates' performances.

The CNN/YouTube Debate: Outsourcing Journalism by James Poniewozik, author of Time's Tuned In blog, put up a post-debate analysis on the 29th, also studiously avoided the controversy. The whole piece is about the "refreshing" uniqueness of having "citizens" ask the questions.

In fact, here's a bit of irony for you from James!

But the better questions to come out of YouTube were ones that mainstream journalists wouldn't have asked, for fear of seeming biased (as I said last time, bias produces some of the best questions) or because they strayed from the standard campaign-2008 talking points.
Really? So . . . the only reason certain reporters don't ask certain questions, is to avoid appearing biased? Well, we knew that, James. But, it is nice to hear it coming from you!

Or how about his finisher:

In the end, CNN didn't "give YouTubers a voice." The YouTubers gave CNN one.

Sure did! And a rather distinctly Democrat one at that!

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