Expect CNN to further their deficit to FOX News in the year ahead. As I was working out today on a bike at the gym I got the cheap thrill of watching one of their segments and realizing why I don’t tune in anymore. In the CNN piece I saw on “News Reporting in 2004” it was clear that CNN has much to learn. Today’s panelists from different main stream news organizations could not see the forest because of all of those darned trees.
The first thing that all of the panelists agreed on was that FOX News reporters have more “energy” and “enthusiasm” and their news is more daring. The group discussed how hard it is to keep news interesting. This was funny to me because I am one of the millions that watch FOX because you may hear all of a story or you may hear a different story than what is being broadcast from the other outlets. It has nothing to do with the “enthusiasm of the reporting” although I am sure that the reporters are enthused when they see their ratings climb each quarter. In fact, this was the first year that a cable news channel (FOX) beat the major news networks for coverage of the RNC. And, CNN’s market share went down for the event from 4 years ago while FOX’s nearly tripled.
The panelists today also showed their liberal side (I am sure that they have no clue how obvious this was) when they agreed that the biggest “miss” for the media was the failure to investigate the weapons of mass destruction arguments before the war in Iraq. This is one of the big liberal talking points these days. It is as if the major media outlets could have sent reporters undercover into Iraq. It is also an argument that says that liberals and liberal media cronies believe that someone in the Bush Administration was hiding something before the war began. The panelists, however, diffused this argument themselves when they aptly stated that even the French, Germans, and Russians believed that Iraq was hiding weapons. But, they did get their dig in on the Republican Administration by regurgitating this paranoid liberal fantasy.
Next, they discussed the most over reported story of the year which was of course the Swift Boat accusations. It would have been funny if the host would have asked just one of these panelists if they knew even one of the swift boat accusations. One of the commentators said that the Chicago Tribune put all of the accusations to rest, blah, blah, … What? This was just such a bunch of crap that I almost fell off my stationary bike. If it was not for the bloggers and FOX News and the Drudge Report this story would have died an invisible death. After these outlets started to discuss this story and find truth in the accusations (Christmas in Cambodia, Magic Hat, etc.) the other media networks were forced to report. And, even to this day there are numerous accusations that have never been investigated and Senator Kerry is yet to release his military records to put these arguments to rest (I don’t count on this happening anytime soon).
CNN also could not end the segment without congratulating the MSM on the Abu Ghraib story. It was too much to hear Dan Rather tell CNN that “he would never release a story if he thought it would put American military personnel in danger”. I suspect that Dan may even believe this himself which makes him so very dangerous to our country and our forces. The only comforting thought I had was that he will be gone hopefully sometime very soon (a highlight in 2005, I am sure).
So, ending my bike ride I thought not to look for a CNN ratings increase anytime in the near future.