Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Why CNN matters

I'm watching the cable news coverage of the downing of Malaysian Airlines 17. And I can tell you how the three networks covered it. Fox News: Blame Obama. MSNBC: Must give ample time for our liberal agenda. Then there is CNN. It was informative, interesting and professional. CNN gets some grief from many sources including satirist Jon Stewart of the Daily Show who wants to buy it. But it's the cable news network that consistently covers the news objectively and professionally. CNN matters when it comes to news coverage.

Let's go into a little more detail here about my viewing of the three cable news networks coverage of Malaysian Airlines 17. I watched Fox News because let's face it, they make an attempt at times of doing news though the prime time hours are devoted to conservative right-wing commentary shows. Anyway, there's a vibe here. And it's the old conservative mantra. Liberals are bad and conservatives are good. I mean I see Greta Van Susteren do a segment on why President Obama did some fund raisers right after the disaster. Conclusion from her segment, it was wrong. A couple of things here, Greta. One. It's a serious foreign policy issue but not one that affects Americans on an immediate basis. Two. The fundraisers did not take all week. They were on single nights, leaving the President to still work. Then there is Fox News commentator, former UN Ambassador John Bolton. Whenever I see him, it's the same old stuff. Obama can't do anything right or make that correct. I tired of seeing this guy bend himself like a pretzel to take down Obama. For that matter most of Fox News is like this. Since Russian backed separatists shot down the plane, it's hard to see how Obama was at fault for this. But Fox News does.

I admit I watch a lot of MSNBC. But when it came to this tragedy, I found the network lacking. You could see them duty bound to cover the story but at the half hour, MSNBC had to pivot to its liberal agenda. Malaysian Airlines 17 is an important story. It's an interesting one. But to me the MSNBC had to push its liberal agenda always at the half hour even if Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 is the more important story.

Then there is CNN. Everything works here. They had reporters at the Ukrainian crash site. Their experts had serious credentials without political agendas. They ranged from former government officials to former military to airline disaster experts. But it's more than doing a story about why the evidence points to Russian President Vladimir Putin's support of the Ukrainian separatists led to this disaster. It covered the humanity of the tragedy. Today, I watched extensive coverage of the return of the bodies to the Netherlands on CNN. The cameras caught the extraordinary dignity and grace that the Dutch people exhibited on the return of the fallen. From pictures of the Dutch military saluting in honor of the dead, to people lining the streets respectfully applauding the hearses, to government leaders standing in utmost respect, to lovely church services, there was a depiction of the humanity of this tragedy. And one cable news network got it right. Bravo CNN.

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