CNN Busted

CNN is The Most “Busted” Name in News.

First of all, no one with a lick of sense is going to trust CNN as a news source. Not in the beginning, and more certainly not now.

CNN built its network reporting stories around the clock, 7 days a week, with breaking news as it happened. What CNN customarily did, and do, is report gossip and innuendo while stories unfold. If you wait around long enough, you eventually get to the facts. Well, sort of.

With the emergence of infotainment reporting that has taken over virtually every single television news outlet, CNN either lost or dropped what few conscientious journalists it had. It is now populated with anchors and news readers who are stars not reporters. CNN has also taken the “talking head” to new lows, often having weak guests who are there for little other reason than promoting their latest book.

Even a stalwart like Lou Dobbs, in order to compete and stay in front of the camera, reinvented himself upon arrival at CNN, carving out a niche market championing the middle classes. Smart, Dobbs realized that like a successful jingle writer, you must have a hook.

CNN’s shiniest star is, of course, pretty boy Anderson Cooper. Sadly, however, Cooper has taken what could have been an outstanding career as a journalist, and turned it into something quite unremarkable except to his staunchest followers. Perhaps his work is simply not a priority to him. That has not stopped CNN, who markets Cooper relentlessly.

Like Dobbs, Cooper (rumored to be homosexual by insatiable gossipmongers), uses his platform on Anderson Cooper 360 to pursue an agenda of his own. Cooper routinely tackles gay issues in interviews and specials. That is terrific. If in order to be successful Cooper must be an on-air defender of someone, then our queer population certainly deserves it. Perhaps Cooper even plays the media game to provide him a platform for that very purpose.

So, along comes CNN’s YouTube Republican debate hosted by Anderson Cooper this past Wednesday in St. Petersburg, Florida, and with it an opportunity that neither CNN nor Cooper could resist.

As most readers will be aware, the questioners were populated with individuals who had links to one Democratic presidential candidate or another. The one who drew immediate attention in the blogosphere was retired general Keith Kerr. Incredibly Kerr made the shortlist from among several dozen selected from the reported 5,000 people who uploaded videos of themselves asking potential debate questions. Or so they tell us.

Kerr stated in his video:

“I’m a retired brigadier general with 43 years of service. And I’m a graduate of the Special Forces Officer Course, the Commanding General Staff Course and the Army War College. And I’m an openly gay man.”

“I want to know why you think that American men and women in uniform are not professional enough to serve with gays and lesbians.”

Once candidates had a chance to comment, Cooper announced Kerr was in the audience and gave him national air time to make a speech about the problems gays face in the military including the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

That is great, but is this issue really at the forefront of the minds of the American people?

Then it was discovered and revealed that Kerr serves on two advisory committees of the Clinton campaign.

Jacques Steinberg of the New York Times tells us:

CNN learned of Mr. Kerr’s Clinton connection in its post-debate discussion, when William Bennett, serving as analyst, said on camera:

“On that ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ I’m getting a ton of e-mails saying that this guy who asked the question was part of Hillary Clinton’s gay steering committee. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but if he is, that certainly should have been disclosed.”

Mr. Cooper responded, “It’s something that we should follow up on, because certainly, I had not heard that.” Mr. Cooper added, “If so, that should have been, certainly, disclosed, and we would have disclosed that.”

Also reported in Mr. Steinberg’s article, and what I particularly take exception to, are the disingenuous comments by CNN President Jon Klein:

“I think it’s pretty obvious, in retrospect, our search should have turned this up,” Jon Klein, the president of CNN’s domestic networks, said in an interview. “It’s in the nature of doing something that hasn’t been done before — you’re going to try to anticipate everything, and you’re going to fail at that.

“Had we known ahead of time,” Mr. Klein added, “we would probably not have used his question. It raised too many flags, in terms of motivation.”

I do not believe either Cooper or Klein. I suspect they asked Kerr to make the video asking the very question he did, and put it in the pool. Whatever the case, I resent their arrogance.

Admittedly, I did not watch the debate. The humiliating silliness of the previous CNN YouTube debate of the Democratic presidential candidates which Cooper also monitored and they were questioned by a snowball put paid to that. I did, however, listen to it on C-Span radio the following day only because I was too busy (lazy) to get up and change the channel.

Particularly irksome in face of the obvious planted questions is that these CNN YouTube debates are sold to the public as opportunities for people like you and I to put our questions to the presidential candidates.

Finally, no questions were selected about issues important to the American public such as immigration, health care, education and the economy.

CNN responded today that it “doesn’t know what the fuss is all about.” Hey, go Google yourself.

Sources: C-Span, New York Times

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