To the powers that be at CNN …

Shut the f*ck up already.  Really.  Your incessant repetition of nothing is so getting on my nerves.  The endless speculation that silencegoes nowhere.  The constant questions.  The meaningless questions.  The ever-growing stream of ‘experts’ who have no answers because there are no answers.  Your relentless prying and probing and the never-ending exploitation of people’s sadness and grief.  Please.  Stop.

Enough already.  Give it a rest.

It’s bad enough when there’s a snowstorm and your poor, unfortunate, frost-bitten reporters are sent hither, thither and yon to freeze their asses off, so you can keep tabs on how high the snow drifts are.  Or when a plane goes down.

You just can’t get enough of the gory details.  Over and over and over and over again you ask what it must have been like to be a passenger on that plane as it spun out of control and it became apparent death was inevitable.  You won’t be satisfied until we can almost see the looks of panic and excruciating pain on their faces.  Until we can almost hear the screams and the cries and the shouts and the hysteria and then the dead silence in that cabin.  Until we can almost feel the impact as the doomed aircraft hits the water.  Until our own hearts start to pound heavily in our chests.  And then you can’t wait to show us the destruction and the debris and the mangled pieces of fuselage and the hoards of waiting, wailing relatives.

Never do you think of what all this ‘news’ does to the grieving families of those unfortunate souls who have lost their lives.  You are that insensitive, that ignorant and that greedy for ratings and the riches that come with them.

But nowhere is it worse than in your unrelenting reporting of the horrific terrorist attacks that continue to come without warning or reason in city after city, in country after country, day after day, week after week, month after month.  And nowhere is it more damaging or hurtful either.  Or, in my opinion, more dangerous.

Don’t you realize you are giving ISIS and Al Qaeda and home-grown, self-radicalized terrorists and terrorists in the making and all those who hate everybody who isn’t as sick and twisted as they are exactly what they want?

You are making them famous.  You are giving them millions and millions of dollars worth of free publicity.  Free advertising. You are helping them deliver their demented messages around the globe.  You are telling the world they’ve succeeded, that they’ve cut off more heads, that they’ve shot more innocent people, that they’ve bombed more cites and towns and villages, that they’ve left us with more carnage, that they’ve blindsided us all yet again, that we never saw it coming, that they’re winning.

All of which gives them credibility.  And power.

And you’re doing it twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, on the hour, every hour.  Anchor after anchor.  Guest after guest.  Eye witness after eye witness.  Map after map.  Police chase after police chase.  Shoot out after shoot out.  Bloody scene after bloody scene.  Vigil after vigil.

What’s wrong with you?  Why can’t you see the damage you’re doing?

Do the families of all those victims really need to be reminded of the anguish and pain and fear they’ve been going through?  Do they really need to be reminded that their loved ones have been imprisoned or decapitated or set on fire or tortured?  Do they really need to see photos of them on their knees, hands bound behind their backs, helpless and about to die needlessly, again and again and again and again until those awful images are burned into their very souls?  Do they really need to keep hearing the shots that killed their loved ones ringing out, once, twice, three times, six times in a row, one after the other, to see people running frantically, in every direction, trying to escape alive?

Have you no shame?  Have you no decency?  Have you no conscience?  And frankly, have you no brains?

Because at the very same time you’re being insensitive and tasteless and ghoulish, you’re also talking about how vulnerable we are in the western world, how we’re scrambling to keep up, how inept we are at identifying and monitoring those who present risks to our safety, even when they live in our local communities and are known to law enforcement.

You show coverage of how airports are not screening their employees properly.  How lacking our security measures are, everywhere.  How we can’t keep up with the number of terrorists infiltrating our borders, how we don’t have either the manpower or financial resources to do the job properly, how we really don’t know who they are or where they come from or whether or not they’re American, Canadian, French and Danish citizens or where they’ll strike next or what kind of weapons they’ll use.  Essentially you’re telling them, in living colour, all day and all night just what sitting ducks we are.

Be quiet for God sake!  Stop all coverage of these events.  All networks, all media, should go silent on terrorism.  Nothing should be reported.  Nothing.  Not one word.  Don’t show them they succeeded, again.  Let these monsters live and die in total obscurity, out of the limelight they so crave.  Refuse to allow them to admire their handiwork through our news stories.   Refuse to allow them to glory in our misery.  Refuse to let them triumph over the scenes of our confusion and our tears and our fear and our anger and our helplessness and our losses.  Refuse to let them use our “breaking news” to recruit more evil.

Fade to black and stay there.

Torture them with silence and anonymity.

Hush now!

 

 

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31 thoughts on “To the powers that be at CNN …

  1. I’m not sure we can afford ot to know… cetainly our governments who will, no doubt, wish to respond will want the people to know why… But on the whole I agree with you. Silence robs terrorism of its greatest weapon. Fear.
    I most certainly agree that inconsiderate and sensationalist reporting is barbaric for those who have lost loved ones. FFS it was bad enough when my son was stabbed and that not only went out worldwide but the details were almost entirely incorrect too. I was not best pleased at being the monster mother who had turned off her son’s life support… and that pales into insignificance beside some of the things currently reported on and how it is done.

    • The inaccuracy, the invasion of privacy, the insensitivity and lack of respect and decency — it all has to stop. The media are all behaving like the worst of tabloid journalists and we are becoming the worst voyeurs. And honestly I am not sure how much we need to lnow. How did we, and our governments, manage before satellite news, 24-hour cable, embedded newsmen, youtube and the internet and all of us posting news on our own social media? Wars were fought and won and lost, people were murdered, planes crashed and life went on.

  2. I would not want to get on your bad side, Fransi! I don’t watch TV much, but I stopped looking at CNN online because when I compared their headlines to the Washington Post or the BBC, I realized that they’d become an exploitative entertainment rag. I want actual news, not information about the latest celebrity wanker.

    • :). They are an exploitive entertainment rag and worse. They give news and journalism a bad name. And in a week when we lost Bob Simon, a brilliant journalist, the crap they spew is even more offensive. But when you read that so-called respectable newsmen like Brian Williams are lying about their exploits, you realize what a sorry state the media industry is in.

  3. Phew, Fransi – I wrote something similar a couple of years ago to one of our daily papers – not near as strong I will admit but I agree it must be said. I am off now to share this post as I feel it should get as much exposure as possible.

  4. I remember a couple years ago when there was a plant explosion in Texas, I think. Almost the first thing Anderson Cooper asked the first responder was to describe the types of injuries that he was seeing. Just a tabloid trash thug. I was disgusted with him. The glee they seem to take in the misfortune of others.

  5. Very well said. I don’t have a tv, and stopped watching news many years before I gave away my tv. When I’m somewhere with the news on, it’s horrifying and would be almost funny if it weren’t taken so seriously and believed so readily. Glad you’re putting this into words, and I hope it gets some attention!

  6. I agree wholeheartedly with your post, Fransi. I stopped watching commercial TV news about a year ago now, and am much better for it. As a former journalist, this was a hard habit to get out of, but for all the reasons you state above, I had to do it. Many newspapers are the same. News organisations hope that by creating and perpetuating a culture of fear, they will get ratings/readers. It’s simply awful and I want no part of it.

  7. Fabulous. Needed to be said. So many 20-somethings that I know have turned away from commercial TV, hand-picking their entertainment and getting news from internet sources. Folks at the networks, like CNN, must be desperate, and justifiably nervous. Great read. Thanks.

  8. I don’t have cable, or satellite, and have little use for the garbage being spewed by CNN as well as Fox News. Are you familiar at all with the song “Dirty Laundry” by Don Henley? It fits those so-called news outlets to a tee. And keep in mind, Henley wrote and recorded the song almost 30 years ago!

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