Remember when CNN actually covered news?

Well as you can see from the front page of CNN.com right now, those days are long gone:

CNN.com - Breaking News, U.S., World, Weather, Entertainment & Video News

On the bright side, I guess it’s not just everyone in LA getting hoodwinked by this sham. Misery loves company right? Right??

17 Replies to “Remember when CNN actually covered news?”

  1. A sham? No. It’s entirely appropriate to acknowledge Michael Jackson’s cultural relevance and significance on this scale at the time of his sudden death.

    Events like this have meaning for society as they ponder and evaluate the impact he had on the currents of civilization.

    Any death is a loss, but the sadness of MJ’s death crept in a few days ago for me when I saw the rehearsal video clip and realized how much more he could have contributed.

  2. Right on Chal!

    Sean, if you really think you’re missing out on the news because CNN is covering MJ’s funeral, you might want to check out some other sources. You might realize that CNN is not very good at all.

  3. This is actually meant to be more of a dis on CNN, as at one point they used to cover news, but recently all they talk about is Twitter. This entire front page devoted to one story is a simple example of their fall that I was pointing out.

    Sham or not, this event is coming at a great expense to the citizens of LA, at a time when we really can’t afford it. I grew up with MJ the same as everyone else but the iconic performer who is being praised all over today has been gone for a very long time.

  4. Sean, right, but that’s just their front page. I clicked on the other tabs (world, politics, etc.) and they seemed to be up to speed, although for me NY Times is probably the best overall for one-stop news-snacking.

    I’m curious, does anyone rely on CNN as a main news source on the web? I know they had a full page ad in today’s print NYT biz section touting their numbers and the web numbers surprised me.

  5. People claim to, though everyone I know has given up on them. Their front page should be the work they are most proud of – they just seem to be competing with TMZ now rather than the BBC.

  6. Since I never look at CNN on the web I don’t know how celeb-obsessed they are, today not being the day to judge them on it.

    I’ve given up on HuffPo’s front page forever due to their obnoxious celeb coverage, although I have their politics headlines on my yahoo funnel.

    As for MJ, we’ll never know what he would been capable of reattaining, but the possibilities evident in the Staples rehearsal video intrigued even me (given my penchant for hating just about everything), so I was surprised at my reaction to it. It certainly triggered sadness on my part.

  7. I think I’m very cynical and jaded too, so I was shocked about my recent conversion about MJ’s death.

    It should be noted that Fox News was the first cable news network to get back to “real” news, or in their case, shameless, baldfaced propaganda.

  8. In all fairness, our own L.A. Metblogs front page has been quite covered with Michael Jackson stories today and for a few days. Is talking about talking about Michael Jackson any better than talking about Michael Jackson? My reaction to this is similar to that of another 80’s pop culture icon, Gordon Gekko: “Mixed emotions, Buddy. Like Larry Wildman going off a cliff … in my new Maserati.”

    I worked at CNN years ago, where, symbolic of what has happened to tv news since then, the news interview program I worked on, which was more like McNeil/Lehrer, was replaced by Larry King. We don’t have to recite the many ways now in which tv “news” (and news on the Internet) has become inane and sensationalistic, focusing on the tawdry behavior of politicians and “celebrities” instead of actual issues of importance.

    On the other hand, Michael Jackson’s death is made for today’s media coverage, and I’m sure tv networks and blogs are getting crazy viewership over it, which helps many people who work in the media with more advertising dollars. I wrote a post on my personal blog about the circus that was going to take place at the Staples Center, and the post got picked up by — who else? — CNN.

    It’s certainly a vicious cycle, but today it’s spiraling upward, unfortunately.

  9. I had the fortune yesterday of flying out of Los Angeles, and hence avoid some of the craptastic insanity there. On the down side, planes are really cramped and boring, so watching the in-seat TV is sometimes a good distraction. Unfortunately, the channels were all-Jackson, all-the-time… CNN being by far the worst of them. In terms of on-air coverage, the ratio seems even worse than on the web screenshot Sean Bonner provides. No interruption for trivial matters like the recession, Obama meetings in Russia, the movement of US troops out of Iraqi cities, McNamara dying, or any of that trivial stuff like nuclear disarmament that hardly matters while we are “pondering the impact” of a tacky pop singer dying.

    I guess it makes me extra crabby since I am old enough to actually remember when CNN put some news on the air. It’s been a while, but one keeps hoping their downward slide might slow. Apparently not.

  10. Yes, but to echo what Chal wrote earlier, no matter what your thoughts on him, Jackson was a massively influential artist. True, he was no longer at his musical peak, but he still held a significant place in pop culture. This isn’t the same as the media focusing on the death of Anna Nicole Smith–this was someone with an important musical legacy, and whose music videos basically changed the media landscape.

    You may see it as sensationalist–undoubtedly most of the media coverage is. But just because a lot of the coverage is bad and over the top, I don’t think means that he should be ignored.

    I think the passing of an artist/entertainer with the cultural impact of Michael Jackson is newsworthy.

  11. Nobody’s saying it’s not newsworthy, nor that it should be ignored. The point is that it’s not MORE newsworthy than the boatload of other things happening in the world, but the balance of Michael-Jackson-related news coverage to non-Michael-Jackson-related news coverage does not reflect that.

  12. “Nobody’s saying it’s not newsworthy”

    Well, Sean seemed to be saying that with his rhetorical question.

    “but the balance of Michael-Jackson-related news coverage to non-Michael-Jackson-related news coverage does not reflect that.”

    But that’s the specialty of television news networks: sucking the very life out of a story until you’re numbed by watching the same footage roll over and over again while an “anchor” yammers away. Again, I’m surprised that anyone is surprised to see what’s happening.

  13. No, I wasn’t saying it wasn’t newsworthy, I’m saying that anyone who claims to be covering “the news” should probably be covering several stories, as the world is a big place with a lot of things going on and at any given moment there are certainly a handful of “newsworthy” events taking place. The amount of screen real estate that CNN had dedicated to one single story, was what I was pointing out. Covering one story is not covering the news.

    Keep in mind this isn’t even “BREAKING NEWS!!” that Michael Jackson died, this is coverage of how many people were showing up to see his funeral. Compare that to the stories on the front page of http://news.google.com/ to see what the rest of the world thinks is worth covering.

  14. Sean, I hear you on the CNN/Twitter thing. If I hear one more of their anchors saying, “And on Twitter, Cleatus977 in Indiana says ‘LOL! I’m eating at Applebees’ right now!’ Thanks for Twitting at us, Cleatus977.” …I’m going to throw a lamp at my tv.

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