NewsBusters’ Noel Sheppard stretches hard to make a mountain out of a molehill…

Eight days after playing the song “Stupid Girls” before a story about former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, the scoring geniuses at CNN were at it again.

After coming out of a break following a long segment about the Sikh temple shootings in Wisconsin, viewers of Monday’s Starting Point were treated to Billy Joel’s “Only the Good Die Young” (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):

(snip to get to money quote)

After about a six minute discussion, the program cut to a commercial break. Upon return, viewers were greeted with Billy Joel:

Well, they showed you a statue, told you to pray
They built you a temple and locked you away
Ah but they never told you the price that you pay,
For the things that you might have done…
Only the good die young
That’s what I said
Only the good die young
Only the good die young.

For those not familiar with Starting Point, the show allows guest contributors to offer a song playlist for their appearances.

This little diddy was chosen by guest Hank Sheinkopf.

Honestly, on a day when the nation is grieving a massacre at a temple, couldn’t someone at CNN notice how inappropriate this was, especially following a segment about the shootings?

Rubbish. For one thing this song wasn’t played going out of the segment but coming in to another segment from commercial. If it had been going to commercial Sheppard might have had a point. Actually he wouldn’t have had a point there either since the song isn’t about literal death but about pre-marital sex and the Catholic Church. But ICN won’t weigh in on the merits (or lack thereof) of that subject…

Update: Despite the specious argument presented by NewsBusters never underestimate the propensity of CNN to fall on its sword, even when it’s not justified…

“We aired a song from a guest’s playlist on the morning show following a three-minute commercial break and before a segment on presidential politics, unrelated to the Wisconsin shooting. Given the news of the day, this was regrettable and we apologize to our viewers.”

19 Responses to “1…2…3…Strrrrrrrrrrrrrrrretch…”

  1. If they’re trying extra hard to be stupid at NewsBusters then their efforts are paying off. Rubbish indeed.

  2. And how, exactly, does that constitute “press bias”? Or is Newsbusters branching-out into commentaries on bad taste? You know, because the press criticizes Rush for being tasteless…that must be it.

  3. Real journalists running scared from rightwing propaganda again. Maybe tomorrow CNN can discuss how Gabby Douglas isn’t patriotic enough because she wore pink instead of red, white & blue at the Olmypics. STOP REACTING TO THIS CRAP.

  4. God, did Fox actually spend over five minutes talking about that? And CNN apologized to Newsbusters? Signs of the end-times.

  5. Camarota and some radio idiot. The kid’s dad is in the military, and they gotta imply she doesn’t love her country enough. I was honestly shocked they went there. They attacked a sweet little girl winning gold for the USA. That goes beyond vulgar. It’s sad.

  6. When did CNN become “real journalists”? They haven’t been since the first Gulf War.

  7. missy5537 Says:

    Guys, just because the song wasn’t played IMMEDIATELY before or after the story of the Sikh shooting does not mean it is inappropriate. They should have refrained the whole day, or longer, from such a song.

    Think about this: If it was played at ANY TIME during the week after the Aurora shootings, it would have been deemed in poor taste. But because this massacre occured on a Sunday morning/afternoon and no one was around to watch the news, the event is basically forgotten at this point. Without looking, does anyone know the name of the shooter (other than that he’s a white supremicist?) And anything about the victims? I sure don’t.

  8. Uh…Missy…did you even bother reading the song’s lyrics?

  9. It’s the impression it makes, not a CSI-investigation of the lyrics, Elementary, my dear Spud.

  10. “CNN Apologises For…” was on the AOL HuffPo screen this morning. CNN can’t catch a break.

    The song came on at the beginning of the next unrelated segment so the irony of it, really, is that CNN did such a good enough job on the story that it was remained clear in viewers’ minds throughout the entire advertisement break.

  11. ^ Huh? Did I write that? Too funny.

  12. missy5537 Says:

    I can’t stand Billy Joel and don’t read into his lyrics. But the name of the song itself is enough, after just reporting on a mass murder.

    Thank God it wasn’t Fox who did this!

  13. Thank God it wasn’t Fox who did this!

    Yes, because then someone on the internet would have a fit, and Fox would apologize. Who am I kidding..Fox would never apologize.

  14. danoregon Says:

    CNN really needs to hire someone whose sole responsibility is to figure out how their product will be mocked by others. In some cases (holograms, magic walls), it’s easy.
    But in this case – like Rachel and Ross – they were on a break!

  15. Hey Missy, aren’t you one who often criticises excessive political correctness in society? That’s really all that the beef about Billy Joel’s song being used to start the next segment amounts to…. PC.

    As viewers, we bear some responsibility to take the presentations offered to us on the telly in context. Beyond that, as regular viewers we really should know by now that the production of a subsequent segment was most likely put together and timed for airing without any consideration given for whatever else may have been on previously… which is why the anchors are always reaching for a creative segue.

  16. missy5537 Says:

    I don’t think the music is necessary at all. And I can’t believe any pundit would actually submit a “playlist” of songs to surround his/her “punditry”. Who the hell cares about theme music when you’re trying to talk about a serious subject?

  17. The music is not necessary; it’s only a sound effect for entertainment value… and I suspect most songs they use are from 70s & 80s, so everybody likes them. So what?

  18. Music is an essential part of Morning Joe. It’s part of its identity, and clearly geared towards Scarborough’s tastes. This is CNN’s attempt to grab some of that style..a good move, in my opinion.

  19. Music is an essential part of just about everything that’s sent out over radio, television, and internet. Hell, I’m surprised there isn’t a Devo soundtrack running in the background of ICN.

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