Depressing coverage

CNN's credibility evaporated the day I watched their coverage of the Oklahoma bombing from my hotel room in Sofia. They did not speculate on the origin of that terrible event, they attributed it. In their mind there could be no doubt, it was an act of Islamic terrorism. Except it was not, as we know, it was a 'home grown' act of violence.

But they surpassed themselves this Monday as I sat, being 'forced' to watch at my Washington airport gate. Osama Bin Laden was dead and the presenter was dancing on his grave. Gone was any objective accounting of the event replaced by an ogling, celebratory tone that did not betoken anything approaching reporting. It was deeply depressing.

Virtually everything about this event struck me as a misplaced opportunity - to bring a criminal to justice rather shoot him unarmed (apparently), to take his death as an opportunity for reflection rather than celebration (no death should be celebrated) and the strange assumption made by the whooping CNN anchor that Bin Laden's death would offer 'closure' to the grieving relatives of 9/11. This latter I thought the most crass and fundamentally insulting remark offered by a journalist that I can recall. Leaving aside the absurdity of 'closure' invented by pop psychologists that might usefully go 'pop' and leave people with the realities of grief, it was the presumption that was breathtaking.

The rectification of government said Confucius begins in the rectification of names. By which he meant that we can speak the truth only if words have an objective currency and used with care. We all have a long way to travel to that ideal. 

CNN would not even recognize it.


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