Just As I Thought

Bad news is good news for CNN

I’m watching CNN coverage of the shootings at Virginia Tech. I miss Bernard Shaw. News is no longer news; it is simply filler for promos and self-promotion.

I’m watching CNN coverage of the shootings at Virginia Tech. After 5 minutes, I was completely up to date, but that didn’t stop them from repeating the same sound bites and showing one piece of student video over and over — with commentary every time about how many hundreds of thousands of times it has been viewed on the CNN website. (The video doesn’t show anything, but one can hear gunshots on the soundtrack. The chyron across the bottom says “Student’s cell phone captures sound of gunshots at Va. Tech”…)

And every so often the cringe-inducing anchors say things like “This is the worst school shooting in American history, and you’re watching it unfold live on CNN.”

The only useful and appropriate part of their coverage is when they hand it over to WSLS in Blacksburg, a local station that is giving concrete information rather than voyeuristic sensationalism.

I miss Bernard Shaw. News is no longer news; it is simply filler for promos and self-promotion.

MSNBC is using a gimmick to make it all appear so much more gritty and “breaking” — they have a camera stationed in their control room and have the director/producer interrupt the anchor using a tinny headset mic, telling the anchor (and the audience who are now “in” on the production of news) that they need to switch to a caller or that there is new video coming in. The upshot is that the audience is made to feel that the coverage is “raw” rather than the old style of news where the anchor leads the audience to the story; now the anchor is superfluous.

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