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Friday, October 22, 2010

Jon Stewart is right to call CNN terrible

Jon Stewart called CNN terrible on Larry King Live and he was right. The faux journalism of Anderson Cooper has become nauseating in its disingenuous modality of keeping them honest approach. It is journalism 101. Maybe not even. In reaction to punditry CNN has staked out the middle ground that is so bland their ratings have been slipping against the box ends of MSNBC and Fox. The moral compass of CNN is kaput and everyone knows it.

The problem is Anderson Cooper and others approach their guests like they just read a book on HOW TO BE A JOURNALIST. His questioning of guests from the left and right is fair and even handed and ridiculous. If journalism is the ferreting out of truth or verisimilitude or what really happened or what an event really means, then CNN has failed to read the final chapter in the text book. Cooper gets as far as needling his guests and then like a ship in the doldrums, leaves it there.

Take his interview of the NAACP President. He beat the man up over the timing of his report, who did it, and did he really believe the Tea Party is racist or is this all just political. Bending over backwards to dispel the impression CNN leans to the left he looks even more transparent if not ridiculous. The real question is where is the courage to form an opinion and call out the people who are saying the first amendment does not constitute the separation of church and state and that the fourteenth amendment should be appealed. Cooper and the boys seemed to have skipped the chapter on journalist courage and embraced whining about why conservatives don't come on their show.The simple fact is that by making a point of not being pundits they have stripped themselves of their greatest weapon--producing an opinion from facts or a thesis if you will.

When Edward R. Murrow took on Joe McCarthy he knew from the facts ( as everyone else did) that blacklists and the House on Un-American activities was just plain wrong. Murrow did not need to qualify his questioning of McCarthy by taking on journalists opposed to him. He saw McCarthy for the lying, scheming, Demi-God he was and called him out on it. CNN really needs an Ed Murrow now.

William Hazelgrove's latest novel is Rocket Man

Books by William Hazelgrove