Friday, April 07, 2006

CNN is the Voice of the State

I was walking out of the public library in Bethesda the other day, and a TV was playing CNN with closed caps. All I could think was, CNN is the voice of the state now. As Roger and I have watched CNN's news coverage over the last few years, it has become steadily less and less political, which is odd for a network that began its career covering political news. Wolf Blitzer is basically an apologist for the Administration, as was Aaron Brown, whose NewsNight was cancelled a while ago. NewsNight did, though, at least cover the day's political news, even if the coverage often had a subtle (sometimes not so subtle) right-wing slant. Even Judy Woodruff is not quite objective.

It amazes me what does not get covered each day on CNN. With Anderson Cooper taking the 10pm serious news block in the evening, what we have is some cross between the infotainment of 20/20 and a video version of Newsweek with all the political pages ripped out. Tom DeLay's retirement caused barely a ripple in the TV news world. CNN's website didn't even post it as a headline story. CNN's website also, last night, didn't post Scooter Libby's revelation that Bush told Cheney to tell him to make the leak that outed Valerie Plame--it was one of those tiny one-line click throughs. The headline was about 9/11 families taking the stand about something or other, maybe with the Moussaoui trial.

Roger and I had a bet last night about what Anderson Cooper would cover during the first hour of 360: he was sure they would at least mention the Scooter Libby revelation, which was released at about noon yesterday. I was sure they wouldn't even reference it--my bet was 1. something about New Orleans, 2. the latest white woman who's been chopped up or disappeared by a loved one, 3. something about Duke lacross rapists, 4. some kind of story with an angle on religion, and/or 5. a story with an African-American angle to make up for too much coverage of only white women who've gone missing--Roger thought it would be the gospel of Judas story. I was right, Roger was wrong. Scooter Libby's name was not mentioned in the opening detail of what they were going to cover last night. It was : storms in the south, Duke lacross rapists, book of Judas, and one other tabloid topic. Then they said, but first, we have some breaking news. And we held our breath: Scooter Libby? No, the "breaking news" was that there continue to be severe storms in the south. I mean, there are tragic dimensions to the severe storms in the South, but that region does experience severe weather on a regular basis, and, let's face it, this is not Hurricane Katrina or Rita--so I don't, myself, think of a region's normative weather events as "breaking news."

That's my rant for today. For any of you who are interested (new topic), my New Hampshire Review poem is still up at www.newhampshirereview.com, and my poem in Beltway's Iraq War issue is also available online at: http://washingtonart.com/beltway.html. I also have 2 poems out in Colorado Review, which is a print publication, if you can find a copy of the Spring 2006 issue. The Colorado Review's website has not posted info for the Spring 2006 issue yet, but I OK'd showing my poems online, so they might be available there, once it's up. CO's website is: www.coleurop.be. You have to select "Colorado Review" from the offerings there, and then select "Current Issue."

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