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August 11, 2003

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CNN (an AOL company) SUCKS!

MozillaQuest Magazine OpEd

11 August 2003 (C)

It was a little after 10:00 A..M. Eastern U.S. time this morning. I was listening to CNN, an AOL company, out of the corner of my ear while working on yet another SCO v IBM story. The corner of my ear caught the outgoing Liberian President, Charles Taylor, making his farewell address.

He was telling a story of the lion and three cows. Heck a story about a lion and three cows will catch my full attention any day of the week, regardless of who is telling it. So I focused both corners of both of my ears and everything in between on Charles Taylor's rendition of the story of the lion and three cow's.

Taylor's story of the lion and three cows turned out to be his rendition of the old saw from Nazi Germany times about how Hitler and the Nazis managed to take over control of Germany. You know, the one where one-by-one the Nazi's persecuted people while others did nothing to help. Then when the Nazi's came for the last non-Nazi there was no one left to help him.

In Taylor's story, the lion killed and ate the three cows one-by-one. First, two cows let the lion kill the third cow. Next the one cow let the lion eat the other cow. Then, when the lion went to gobble up the third cow, there were no cows left to help her.

As Taylor finished his story he turned to the African leaders surrounding him and started to warn them about (U.S.) American world domination, CNN cut the coverage of Taylor's statement and returned to its anchor desk so the CNN people could tell us what they want us to hear -- not what the actual news-maker (in this case Charles Taylor) was saying.

There might be an excuse for a general content television (broadcast or cable) channel to cut a speech short in order to maintain schedules. Not so for an all-news channel. Such channels, including CNN just keep recycling the same old news all day long. There is no excuse for an all-news channel to cut such speech short.

Maybe the United States is engaging in world domination these days, and maybe not. Whenever that charge is raised, it certainly is a question that we Americans should think about. Do we as a nation wish to engage in world domination? Are we engaging in world domination?

Valid questions for us Americans to entertain. But not questions for CNN to try to keep us from considering, which is exactly what CNN did by cutting Charles Taylor off cold when he raised those questions.

This is not the first time I have seen this sort of thing on CNN.

Other channels might have done the same thing too. I was watching CNN at the time. I surfed over to FOX and there was a commercial running there. So certainly FOX was not at that moment covering Taylor's farewell address live. But CNN had been doing that. And CNN cut the coverage in the middle of Taylor's raising the issues of American world domination.

This is neither good nor ethical journalism. It is bad journalism.

News organizations should not be trying to mold the news. We, the public have a right to know the truth and to hear different points of view. CNN is a poor excuse for good journalism. CNN is a poor excuse for a news organization!

Mike Angelo

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