Monday, March 16, 2009

Stay Classy, CNN!

After I said such nice things about them only a few days ago, CNN had to go and do something like this...

"The Most Trusted Name in News" recently aired video footage of a suicide bomber in Sri Lanka. Not footage from a bomber's martyrdom tape. Not footage of a suicide bomber walking or driving toward the target. Not even simply footage of the bloody aftermath of the explosion. No, CNN aired footage of the actual explosion within a large crowd of people.

I won't embed this video. You can see it here, if you want.

There is a way to air this kind of tape with some sense of decency and respect, but giving that task to the always classy and professional Rick Sanchez is not the way to do it. In a discussion forum we both take part in, Haepnoteased said it best:

Networks love the dramatic & sensational, but this is over the top. In a stillframe capturing a suicide bombing explosion, the anchor points out a guy's feet and notes how they are about to burn. And then he preps the audience and says "Dan, hit it."

"Dan, hit it"??

These people, whatever their religion, are about to DIE.

"Dan, hit it"??

What decorum. . . .
Even worse is the tone of Rick Sanchez ("This is amazing!"), especially when he has the control room "get rid of all that stuff in the bottom of the picture" so that everyone at home can see the flames licking about the man's foot. The only thing missing here is Rick Sanchez yelling "Is this cool or what?!"

Not that those words were needed, of course. Rick's tone said it all.

Then again, I'm not sure why this surprises me. After all, CNN is the network that aired video, filmed by Iraqi insurgents, of a sniper killing American soldiers. At the time, CNN justified this as part of their goal to present the "unvarnished truth" of the situation in Iraq. Of course, CNN is also the network that intentionally did not report the unvarnished truth about all the "awful things" that took place in Iraq under Saddam Hussein, as CNN's Eason Jordan admitted in his New York Times op-ed "The News We Kept to Ourselves."

Somehow, I think Rick Sanchez and the "hitting-it" Dan would get along well with this guy: