Monday, August 6, 2012

Shame on you, CNN

As hard as I try, there is no avoiding televised news reports on the slaughter in Wisconsin. Spouse was glued to the television on Sunday waiting to see how it would end.

The local police chief asked the media not to broadcast what they were seeing from their helicopters. Any fool could have figured out that they feared it might reveal police tactics to the murderer. So what do you think CNN did immediately following the live comments from a visibly troubled police chief? Yup, they went right back to broadcasting live from their helicopter flying overhead!

Gee, CNN -- whose side are you on?

If that wasn't bad enough, CNN reporters cornered family members of victims and survivors to ask them "how did you feel . . . ?" Did they expect to hear: "well, gosh and golly, it was pretty cool hearing gunshots and watching people scramble for safety, just like my favorite video game."

I know this is a huge story and of interest and concern to millions of people. Tragedy sells papers and airtime. CNN's tactics in following and reporting on this horrific crime are probably not much different from other news outlets, but theirs are more likely what the rest of the world sees. This sort of fascinated sensationalism makes Americans look stupid and completely tactless.

When tragedy strikes again, I do hope CNN will be more sensitive to human sensibilities and just plain smarter in their methods. Perpetrators often are looking for notariety for themselves and/or their "causes." News media need to consider whether they are aiding and abetting the bad guys before they devote so much time and effort reporting on senseless, brutal crimes.

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