22. October 2006 · Comments Off on Memo: CNN Broadcast Standards · Categories: General, GWOT, Iraq, Media Matters Not

To: CNN News Director
From: Sgt. Mom
Re: Jihadi Sniper Video Broadcast

1. I am resisting the impulse to install viciously skeptical quote marks around the “Broadcast Standards” portion of the title to this post, mostly as it screws up the formatting and ability to post comments. So, consider them installed, as an indicator of my own viciously skeptical attitude towards your “broadcast standards” in airing selected portions of the snuff video provided to your news department through undeniably murky channels.

2. And good job on bringing jihadi death porn to a greater audience. Carrying the bag for propagandists is in the finest journalistic tradition of a Walter Duranty, and exactly what we have come to expect of an organization that kept quiet about Saddam Hussein’s regime rather than lose the CNN bureau in Baghdad.

3. Congratulations also on continuing in the fine “journalistic” tradition established by Peter Jennings and Mike Wallace in that long-ago broadcast of “Ethics in America” where in the immortal words of James Fallows: “Wallace seemed unembarrassed about feeling no connection to the soldiers in his country’s army or considering their deaths before his eyes “simply a story.”

4. Enlighten us: Is it more, less, or equally scummy to imbed one of your own reporters with the enemy and video American soldiers being ambushed and gunned down… or just to buy the video from the Al-Quaeda camera jockeys?

5. Realizing that CNN is engaged with the wider world audience, as opposed to merely and only us hopelessly tacky and déclassé Americans, I can only suppose whoever authorized airing the jihadi sniper video spent a whole three or four seconds considering the feelings of the families of those service personnel, and their comrades who are shown being targeted. That delicacy on your part is much appreciated. However, the next CNN crew to visit an US military base in pursuit of a story may receive a somewhat frosty reception.

Sgt Mom

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