Archive for the CNN Category

Don Lemon Just Doesn’t Get It…

Posted in CNN on November 20, 2014 by icn2

TVNewser’s Mark Joyella writes about what Don Lemon did last night…

On Wednesday night’s “CNN Tonight”, CNN’s Don Lemon again addressed the fallout from his comments on the same program one night earlier. “As a victim myself, I would never suggest any victim could have prevented a rape,” Lemon said at the top of the broadcast, making his second on-air apology of the day.

I already covered why Lemon did suggest just that yesterday so I won’t repeat myself here. I will say it still hasn’t sunk in to Lemon’s head that he crossed a line he shouldn’t have crossed.

This time, however, Lemon brought back Joan Tarshis, who says she was raped by Bill Cosby, and to whom Lemon made the remark “you know, there are ways not to perform oral sex if you didn’t want to do it.”

“If I offended you, and I don’t think I did, I’m sorry for that,” Lemon told her. Tarshis said despite the uproar over Lemon’s comments, she was not personally offended. “You didn’t offend me at all.”


This is like saying it’s not harassment if you don’t feel harassed.

Who the hell is advising Lemon at CNN? Whoever it is has done a piss poor job of it. They should have put him on air and forced him to do a full unequivocal apology, whether he really felt that way about it or not, and then put a gag order on him talking any more about this subject.

Instead we have not one but two non-apology apologies followed by Lemon bringing back the woman he suggested could have avoided being raped and basically asking her if he had offended her. What was he looking for? Absolution?

It doesn’t matter if she wasn’t offended if the bulk of your audience was offended. Absolution from your guest is of little comfort if your audience doesn’t absolve you from your reckless insensitivity.

Lemon doesn’t get it. CNN doesn’t get it. Every decision, every utterance, since the original interview has just made matters worse.

CNN’s Don Lemon Problem…

Posted in CNN on November 19, 2014 by icn2

Yes, I’m late to this. Sometimes your paying job’s constraints interferes with your ability to be timely and today was one of those days. Anways…as we all know…CNN’s Don Lemon screwed up again. If you thought the MH370 “Black Hole” question was an eyeroller, that ain’t nothing compared to what he did last night…..

LEMON: Can I ask you this, and please, I don’t mean to be crude, OK?

Uh…yeah you do. Saying you don’t mean to be crude and then deliberately “going there”, when you have the option of not going there means you mean to be crude…


LEMON: Because I know some of you, and you said this last night, that he — you lied to him and said “I have an infection, and if you rape me, or if you have intercourse with me, then you will probably get it and give it to your wife.”


LEMON: And you said he made you perform oral sex.


LEMON: You know, there are ways not to perform oral sex if you didn’t want to do it.

TARSHIS: Oh. I was kind of stoned at the time, and quite honestly, that didn’t even enter my mind. Now I wish it would have.

LEMON: Meaning the using of the teeth, right?

TARSHIS: Mmhmm. Yeah, that’s what I’m thinking you’re –

LEMON: As a weapon.

TARSHIS: Yeah, I didn’t even think of it.

LEMON: Biting.


LEMON: I had to ask.

TARSHIS: No, it didn’t cross my mind.

The outrage was predictable…to everyone except Lemon apparently. Today Lemon issued a non-apology apology

“I would never want to suggest that any victim could have prevented a rape. If my question to her [Tarshis] struck anyone as insensitive, I am sorry, as that was certainly not my intention,” Lemon said.

Bullshit and double Bullshit. To try and pull the wool over his viewers eyes by claiming that he never wanted to suggest that any victim could have prevented a rape…when he clearly did suggest it:

You know, there are ways not to perform oral sex if you didn’t want to do it.

…is outright insulting to everyone who saw the clip. You “went there” Lemon. Man up and own it. Don’t try to say that up is really down, left is really right, and your suggestion wasn’t really a suggestion. And to then suggest that his viewers might have felt that was insensitive even though he wasn’t trying to be insensitive is beyond the pale because it clearly was insensitive…to everyone but Lemon apparently.

If I may use Keith Olbermann famously chewing out Bill O’Reilly as a template:

Wrong answer. When you are that wrong, when you suggest that a woman could have prevented a rape and then explain in excruciatingly graphic detail on air how they supposedly could have done just that while ignoring the fact that this supposed “defensive act” still means she’s being raped, you’re supposed to say, “I’m sorry, I was wrong,” and then you’re supposed to shut up for a long time.

Lemon did none of that. And I’m not the only one who noticed. The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple noticed

Whereas Lemon today states that he’d never want to suggest a victim could prevent a rape, that’s precisely what he stated last night as a premise to his question about biting. So that’s a problem. Though induction is very selective, Lemon may just get into the Insufficient Media Mea Culpa Hall of Fame with this one.

Trouble at The Situation Room?

Posted in CNN on November 17, 2014 by icn2

The Daily Caller’s Betsy Rothstein writes about internal strife with CNN’s The Situation Room…

The Mirror reported late last week that several members of CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer‘s staff have marched out in the last year. That is, ever since they brought on a new executive producer, Jay Shaylor, to allegedly save Wolf’s hide.

New details are emerging regarding Shaylor spurring the resignations of Wolf’s longest serving staffers.

“Wolf gave Jay full reign to make any changes,” said a CNN insider who is in a solid position to know what’s happening in The Situation Room. “The show is about to die. It’s now or never.”

Which brings us to another floated theory inside CNN about Wolf, which is that the 66-year-old anchor, who has been with the network since 1990, is too afraid to say anything that would defy Shaylor and rest of top management, lest he risk his own job security. Some are saying he’s old, washed up and therefore has good reason to simply obey and do as he’s told. While many in the cable news industry perceive Wolf to be a sturdy franchise for CNN, others aren’t convinced his standing there is so air-tight.

But isn’t Wolf a brand?

“Ratings suck,” a TV media observer explained. “He is the face of CNN. They are beginning to think it may be that he’s too old and too boring. Which he is. He stutters. He’s terrible.”

While I disagree with the notion that Blitzer is the face of CNN or “the franchise”…he is one of their top line anchors and basically the point man for political and international stories; albeit less so now that Tapper is there.

Regardless of whether there’s truth to these stories or not, we must default to the old adage which is always true: happy shops don’t leak, unhappy shops leak.

More on Zakaria…

Posted in CNN on November 13, 2014 by icn2

Politico’s Dylan Byers writes about the latest Zakaria developments…

Their hardest challenge, Blappo and Bort say, is CNN, where Zakaria hosts “Fareed Zakaria GPS,” a Sunday program focusing on international affairs. To date, Our Bad Media has leveled 26 accusations of plagiarism against Zakaria’s CNN work. The examples presented include sentences and, in some cases entire, paragraphs that appear to have been borrowed from sources like The New York Times, The Economist and The New Yorker, among others, often with slight tweaks to the language or grammar. Throughout, the network has been unshakeable, with president Jeff Zucker expressing “complete confidence” in his Sunday show host.

“Without serious, serious pressure from other journalists, we doubt that CNN will take any action,” Blappo and Bort said in a series of email exchanges.

“As an organization, they’ve ignored any new developments while sticking to their original statements,” Blappo and Bort said. “They’ve committed themselves far too deeply to defending Zakaria’s brand to turn back now. Jeff Zucker has publicly expressed support for Zakaria, and Brian Stelter whitewashed the whole deal on Reliable Sources. What will be interesting to see is how they will manage cover future plagiarism stories without the appearance of a glaring double standard.”


“The corrections are necessary. The question is are they sufficient?” Frank Sesno, the former CNN Washington bureau chief and director of the School of Media and Public Affairs at The George Washington University, wrote in an email. “I have great respect for Fareed’s intellect and journalistic perspective. But due to negligence, because he had too many projects on his plate or as a result of some very serious problems in how he worked, he got into trouble with copy that was not his and was not attributed. Correcting and explaining is the very least that news organizations — and Fareed — should do.”

“What we’re seeing is a pattern, on a bunch of different platforms and a bunch of different properties,” said Kelly McBride, he vice president for academic programs of The Poynter Institute. “When you line them up, it looks bad.”

The Worm Turns for Fareed Zakaria?

Posted in CNN on November 13, 2014 by icn2

Not much had happened on the Fareed Zakaria plagiarism accusation front lately…until this week. Now things are heating up again in a big way as media entities which had previously stood by Zakaria are now slapping disclaimers/corrections/warnings on old Zakaria articles. The Daily Beast’s Lloyd Grove has an extensive wrap up on the latest developments…

This week, The Washington Post, where Zakaria has penned an op-ed column, and the online magazine Slate, where he once wrote about martinis, publicly criticized his professionalism and ethics. Post Editorial Page Editor Fred Hiatt, previously one of Zakaria’s staunch defenders—he called the plagiarism charges “reckless” when Our Bad Media criticized several Zakaria columns three months ago—said the paper will likely slap warnings on five of his columns published before August 2012.

The offending columns—among six cited on Monday by @BlippoBlappo and @Crushingbort—“strike me as problematic in their absence of full attribution,” Hiatt told the Poynter Institute, adding that Zakaria’s lapses are “unfair to readers and to the original sources.”

In an email to The Daily Beast, Hiatt explained his change of heart this way: “In the first batch of columns that were posted, I did not think the allegations concerning the [Washington Post] columns had merit. The anonymous posters put up six new allegations yesterday, and we looked at those and felt, on preliminary look, that five of them were problematic. We’re looking more carefully now, and where my preliminary view holds up, we will post messages, I hope within the next day or two.”

Meanwhile, the editors of Slate said Zakaria’s light-hearted February 1998 column about the martini “does not meet Slate’s editorial standards, having failed to properly attribute quotations and information drawn from Max Rudin’s history of the Martini, which appeared in American Heritage in 1997.”

Last Friday, Newsweek, where Zakaria had been the longtime editor of the weekly’s international edition prior to the newsmag’s now-defunct merger with The Daily Beast, identified seven articles, dating back to November 2001, that “borrow extensively [from other authors] without proper attribution” and do “not meet editorial standards.”

The heat has been turned back up on Zakaria. Newsweek, The Washington Post, and Slate have all slapped labels on Zakaria articles. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe we have yet to hear from Time on its previously “announced” investigation of articles Zakaria wrote for them.

Meanwhile, CNN can’t be pleased with this. It seemed that everyone had moved off Zakaria and the network’s head in the sand PR strategy would succeed after all. Now the spotlight is back on Zakaria and that means it’s back on CNN and the question of how its intransigence in clinging to that statement that Zakaria met its journalistic standards squares with the backpeddling that Zakaria’s other past and current employers are now doing by slapping all these lables on Zakaria articles.

What does it say about a network that says an employee meets its standards when his other employers are now saying that at least some of his work did not meet their standards?

New Leadership Structure At CNN Digital

Posted in CNN on November 12, 2014 by icn2

CNN announced a new team structure to head CNN Digital…

CNN Names Digital Leadership Team

Andrew Morse to Oversee CNN Digital Global Operations and Editorial
Alex Wellen Named Chief Product Officer
Meredith Artley Promoted to Editor-in-chief

CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker announced today a new management structure for CNN Digital led by Andrew Morse, Meredith Artley and Alex Wellen.
Continue reading

Jeff Zucker Interview…

Posted in CNN on November 8, 2014 by icn2

Ugh…blogging at 1:32 am…that’s what happens when you go to see a late running of Interstellar. Anyway, The South China Morning Post’s Tiffany Ap has an interview with Jeff Zucker…

“I think that companies take on the tone and tenor of their leadership and I think that as people got to see me and know me they know that I never back down from a fight,” he said. “I think that too often CNN had become too afraid to punch back to its critics and I’m never willing to sit back and let people take shots at CNN.”

Those shots from the critics say that under Zucker’s leadership, CNN has become more right-wing in its attempts to wrest the No1 ratings crown away from Fox, and that it homes in on one to two big stories at any time to the point of obsession.


I don’t recall ANYONE saying that CNN is trying to outflank FNC to the right. Good Lord. What on Earth is Ap talking about?

The channel’s detractors derided its wall-to-wall, marathon coverage of the missing Malaysian airliner MH370, which at times forced reporters to fill airtime even when there were no updates to give, and media-watchers were dismayed that it was done at the exclusion of other stories.

But Zucker does not flinch at such criticism. “That’s part of our strategy,” he said. “The thing about CNN is that everybody has an opinion because CNN is so important and iconic in the world and the history of the last 35 years, so everybody thinks they know what CNN is and what we do. Our strategy over the last 18 months is when a big story happens [such as] the missing Malaysian airliner, [the police shooting and subsequent rioting in] Ferguson or [the suicide of] Robin Williams and to go all-in and to cover stories perhaps longer than competitors, who are often the critics, would or would expect or that CNN might have in the past.”


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