Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Could CNN really be that bad?

Before work, I had a little bit of time to kill and was flipping through the channels. I had a hankering for news (no good cartoons on), and fox news was on some topic I didn't care about, so I checked CNN. I started watching it, and started thinking about how biased I keep hearing CNN is, and how I haven't really sat down and watched CNN for years. Coincidentally enough, they were doing a story on Joe Wilson's outburst and said they would cover if he was telling the truth.

So I thought to myself; "Self, you're rather well informed on this issue, why not watch CNN's coverage with an open mind, and determine for yourself if they're really biased?"

So I watched.

It was a 30 minute segment, and they saved the "Was he telling the truth?" bit for last, probably because they wanted people to watch the entirety of their segment before tuning out (they all do this, and it's partly why I don't watch the news on teevee). They covered Joe's outburst, playing the video over and over, they covered that he apologized to the president and the president accepted, they covered that he was the target of a resolution that would officially record the distaste with his outburst, they covered that Joe Wilson voted for a provision that would give illegals emergency care when Bush was in office (I didn't know that, and thanks for telling me, but don't represent emergency care as the same as health care), they even played the clip of the Georgia Representative saying Joe Wilson's outburst was the activation codeword for the secret racists to don their white hoods and ride through the countryside or something. But they were sure to say that such a notion was only expressed by him, and CNN makes no judgment to whether or not Joe Wilson is a racist. But then they ran a story on how Joe was connected to a group that used to be run by a guy that was a racist. The messenger had been sufficiently shot.

BUT THEN! They got to the meat of the issue; was he telling the truth?

I sat forward in my chair because I knew the answer to this one. I knew the answer because I am informed. I listen to the radio, read news blogs, and am capable of doing a google news search on any topic I wish.

I knew that Joe Wilson had made a statement saying he was sorry for breaking the decorum of the joint session, but said he couldn't control himself because he knew that the house bill would cover illegals because there was no enforcement mechanism. He knew this because he watched the addition of the S.A.V.E. system (a federal program that confirms citizenship which is already in use in several other programs) to the bill be defeated repeatedly. He knew there was wording in the bill that basically said "no illegals," but he also knew that there was no mechanism to check the citizenship of those using the program.
I knew this because I had LISTENED to HIM make this statement.

So here it was; would CNN cover the facts of this matter???


They didn't.

They showed the portion of the bill that said "No illegals," highlighted it, cited it, encouraged we look it up ourselves, then pointed to a "no discrimination" clause of the bill highlighted the clause that said "except where otherwise blocked in this bill," then moved on.

But that's not the worst of it.

During their explanation, they even went so far as to take audio of Joe's statement, the statement where he explains that his issue was with enforcement of the "no illegals" provision, and CUT IT before he talked about the enforcement, which was the core of his argument.

This means that someone at CNN listened to the complete audio of Joe Wilson's statement, then CUT OUT the part where he talked about enforcement, then continued writing the segment as if it never happened.

I was dumbstruck.

I knew they probably wouldn't give the story a fair shake, and I figured they would just parse the words, and carefully formulate their statements to cover their journalistic bases, but actually watching CNN, a multi-million dollar, worldwide news organization, lie by omission to my face, then change topic to the kooky antics of Kanye West, was really something I think everyone should experience.

You can only get so mad when someone else tells you why you should be mad. But to put yourself in the same position and experience the reason yourself, is something entirely different.

CNN purposely lied to me.

They omitted facts they were aware of that were incredibly significant to the story, then presented it as the full story. The only reason they would do this is to get me to think a certain way.

It's incredibly worrisome to me that some people only get their news from CNN.

Just for shits and giggles, I did a google news search on Joe Wilson.

Apparently the senate is moving to shore up the gap that CNN refuses to acknowledge exists.

Washington Examiner: On illegal immigrants, White House sides with Joe Wilson, GOP; backs verification system for health benefits
A number of Republicans have advocated the use of the SAVE system to ensure that any newly-created benefits do not go to people who are in this country illegally. In July, Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee defeated a Republican proposal to use SAVE for that very purpose. Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee defeated a similar proposal.

And a healthy serving of shoot the messenger.

Oh yeah, and Joe was hopped up on caffeine pills! ... in 2007?

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