Archive for December, 2008

When the news takes a day off

December 6, 2008

CNN — the most trusted name in news. 

This has been a long time coming.

I’m not sure where to start with this — there is so much wrong with CNN that I find focusing on any one thing hard.  I’ll start with a story linked from their main page today from the segment Prime News.

 “Cheerleaders booted after naked pix [sic].” 

http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/bestoftv/2008/12/04/pn.cheerleader.trouble.cnn

The story, although lacking great detail, seems to suggest that some high school cheerleaders were booted off the team after they sent naked pictures of themselves using cell phone cameras to their boyfriends.  The parents have sued the school.  The story did not, sadly, mention what the stated reason for their ‘booting’ was or the grounds for the suit.  The gentleman, Mike Galandos,  from CNN Prime news, speaking in front of a backdrop with the words “sex crazed teens” scrawled on it.  He asked the audience to come call in, and call in they did, all supporting the schools decision and agreeing that the suit was bogus.  There was also a “doctor” guest talking head who suggested that “getting your kid a phone without a camera” is the solution. 

The phrase “morally presumptuous” does not even begin to describe the situation here.  Where does the school get off on dictating the personal activities of its students?  It’s not like they were having sex on school grounds, or doing anything illegal.  Some students, on their own time, not at school, are engaged in a consensual sexual relationship — and they are being punished for it.  I should also note that there was no mention of any punishment for the men receiving….just the woman sending.  Good for you Mike Galandos — you have fun judging those teenage girls. 

Further research into this Prime News segment (which I had never seen) reveals that it is billed as such. “”Prime News” host Mike Galanosuses the day’s most powerful headlines as a starting point for diverse perspectives and spirited debate. In each show, Galanos challenges newsmakers and experts to help viewers gain a clearer understanding of the “right vs. wrong” conflict playing out across the country every day.”

Are you serious Mike?  You, an employee of a major news network, who has sought to engage Americans and your fellow newsmakers in debates on rights and wrongs in this country picked THIS story?  THIS was the biggest moral quandary you could come up with?  Nothing else is going on in the world of moral ambiguity? 

At this point in my reading and watching I was starting to feel confused — and then I saw the T-Shirt icon — and then it clicked.  If you’ve looked at CNN’s site at all you’ll notice a little picture of a T-Shirt next to some headlines.  The idea is CNN will sell you a shirt with the headline printed on it.  “Cheerleaders booted for naked pix” on a shirt. 

Here’s a suggestion CNN….stop finding stories that make good one-liners for shirts and start reporting the news.