Archive for the CNN Category

Lay Off Lucy Pawle…but not CNN…

Posted in CNN on June 30, 2015 by icn2

Update: Obviously the above video got yanked within an hour or so after this blog post went up. It had 3,000,000 plus views. If it was CNN, and given the network’s behavior in this matter I wouldn’t rule it out, it took them long enough.

I’ve watched with increasing alarm as the ISIS non-flag/Lucy Pawle/CNN story has crossed more than a few boundaries the past few days. I’m finding that there’s a lot of conclusion jumping going on here; something that hasn’t been helped by a typically sloppy media writer class.

So let’s try to separate the facts from the fiction…

Fact #1. Pawle never said it was a genuine ISIS flag. At the top of her report she clearly stated it was a “very bad mimicry”…”a clear attempt to mimic”…and that it was loaded with “gobbledygook”. We all now know what the gobbledygook was.

Fact #2. Pawle wasn’t the first one to notice the flag publicly. At least one other person noticed it before that and, as it would turn out, it was a very important person. @argana79 posted on Twitter about it…

ISIS at #LondonPride
The best ever 🙌

This was the proverbial snowball starting down the mountain because Pawle saw this tweet and wanted the location

@Argana79 where did you see that?!

And Pawle got her response

@lucypawle Baker street

The rest is history infamy…

Fact #3. Pawle most likely did not deny on Twitter reporting what she reported on CNN.

Waitaminute! Everyone is writing that she did deny reporting it on Twitter. What drugs are you on?

Just because they write that doesn’t make it so, especially when the available evidence strongly suggests the exact opposite.

What evidence? We got her dead to rights!

@Paddy0pedobom I reported no such thing

Do you? Do you really? Or do just think you do and you’re too sloppy to do any real reporting on the matter that you accept the superficial explanation?

Ok, since nobody else has bothered to do this rather obvious exercise, I’ll walk you through it…

The “smoking gun” tweet, the one every sloppy media writer out there says means Pawle is denying her CNN report, has a timestamp of 10:49am on June 27th.

However, half an hour before that at 10:16am, Pawle retweeted two tweets from others that explained just what was on that flag.

Retweet #1:

@lucypawle the ISIS flag at the Pride parade looked like gibberish because the “text” was actually outlines of sex toys. Obviously satire.

Retweet #2:

.@lucypawle The markings on that flag isn’t Arabic. It’s dildos.

Now, why would someone who publicly put out retweets that essentially made a mess of their earlier on air reporting decide half an hour later to deny the reporting? It doesn’t pass the smell test.

The problem here is we don’t know what Pawle is responding to since whoever that tweet was meant for doesn’t have an account any more. I wouldn’t blame them for deleting their account after it got slammed by thousands of tweets. It took me 45 minutes to work back through a search of all tweets with Pawle’s Twitter handle in them to get back to the point in time when Pawle responded to that tweet. That’s a lot of tweets to PageDown through for 45 minutes. I just wanted to be sure that Pawle’s response tweet didn’t have a typo in the recipient’s Twitter handle. I didn’t find anyone with a handle approximating “@Paddy0pedobom” sending tweets Pawle’s way. So it is very likely that our anonymous accuser made the accusation and then deleted their account at some point in the hours after this went viral.

Side note: Some idiot has just set up a bogus account under the accuser’s handle. Don’t fall for it. Their oldest tweet is from today.

All we know with 100% certitude is Pawle denied whatever accusation our mystery accuser made.

That’s it.

We don’t know the accusation. We don’t know if the accusation was valid. We don’t know if the accusation was invalid.

And yet, despite all that ambiguity…the lack of knowledge of the accusation Pawle shot down, the fact that the denial came half an hour after Pawle consciously retweeted two tweets that essentially made herself look bad…despite all that…we have only one unambiguous conclusion to jump to; Pawle denied her own report

It just makes me shake my head sometimes…

Pawle is getting crucified right now and some of the people screaming bloody murder don’t have a firm grip on the facts. A new narrative has replaced reality, one based on in-exactitude and shallowness. If you’re going to hype the story, hype it with the facts.

I’m not letting Pawle off the hook, mind you. No, she is a party to this mess, so she bears some responsibility. But the bulk of the blame belongs with CNN’s weekend news operation infrastructure.

This didn’t happen in a vacuum. Pawle didn’t just bully her way on to the air. For Pawle’s story to make air it had to go through several layers of staff. The graphics department had to be involved (great eyes guys). Producers were involved. There was enough lead time that CNN got Peter Bergen to Skype in.

The point being there was ample time to check this out. There were numerous points in the process of getting to air where this flag could have been identified for what it was. But nobody caught on. I can excuse Pawle. She was chasing down a story she picked up on from Twitter. She shot some photos and sent them back to CNN.

It was CNN that decided to take it to the next level.

It was CNN that failed to properly vet the story…

It was CNN that failed to ask the proper questions of its reporter in the field and to check with its terrorism experts about the flag prior to air. That is something that needed to be done since Pawle led her story by essentially admitting it wasn’t a real ISIS flag at the top of her report and the production team had to have known this when they debriefed her prior to air.

Pawle isn’t innocent. But she is hardly deserving of the level of scorn she has received, especially given all the inaccuracies swirling about what she’s being accused of doing. Her career is probably over for the time being. I don’t think the punishment fits the crime at all.

CNN, on the other hand, deserves every bad word that gets penned over this story. This is especially true since it’s obvious to all that the network’s internal mechanisms failed and yet the network has gone quiet, stupidly yanking down the video after it went viral, and refusing to comment publicly about a journalistic failure of its internal controls.

Hell, even FNC commented when Shep announced that the Pope was dead…before he was dead. CNN owes its viewers an explanation.

The funny thing is this is still a real story. ISIS takes a dim view of 1) homosexuality and 2) being mocked. After Charlie Hebdo, this flag, especially given what’s on this flag, makes this story something you just can’t dismiss as a nothingburger.

Of course, nobody cares about that now. All that they care about is that CNN can’t tell an ISIS flag from a flag full of dildos and buttplugs (even though their reporter said it wasn’t a real flag) and that their reporter is denying her report (even though she most likely didn’t deny her report). Welcome to the internet media world. Hope you enjoy the show.

Karl Penhaul Dropped By CNN

Posted in CNN on June 26, 2015 by icn2

Rick Sanchez
Octavia Nasr
Jim Clancy

You’d think by now that CNN talent would be well aware of just how itchy a trigger finger CNN management has towards anything controversial being mentioned (unless your name is Don Lemon in which case they turn a blind eye). Apparently that kind of blatantly obvious bit of conventional wisdom was not self-evident for one Karl Penhaul…

n the series of tweets, which appear to have been deleted from Penhaul’s twitter page but were captured by the CNNCommentary blog, Penhaul calls Trump a “racist idiot” and asks his children, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump, Jr., if it’s difficult to have “a racist idiot for a dad.”

A CNN spokesperson tells TVNewser, “Karl Penhaul will no longer be serving in a freelance role for CNN.”

All Hands On Deck…

Posted in CNN on June 22, 2015 by icn2

Politico’s Dylan Byers writes about how one tiny little GoPro camera sent CNN’s DC Bureau on full alert…

The intern, Walbert Castillo, had been assigned to serve as “a runner,” relaying the court’s opinions from the building to CNN correspondent Ariane de Vogue, who was waiting in the Supreme Court plaza. The process has become known as “the running of the interns,” given the speed and intensity of the running-shoe clad youth.

In addition to his runner duties, Castillo had been asked to wear a GoPro camera to record the event for an episode of CNN’s digital video series, “Being Moody,” hosted by reporter Chris Moody. Castillo kept the GoPro recording while he was in the press room, which was prohibited — the Supreme Court fears that a recording device may pick up audio of a court decision — and was forced to turn it off. Castillo and other interns were then briefly removed from the room.

Meanwhile, back at CNN, Washington bureau chief and SVP Sam Feist convened a meeting of top CNN editors and executives, including deputy bureau chief Virginia Moseley, managing editor Adam Levine, coverage director Laura Bernardini, politics executive editor Rachel Smolkin, politics managing editor Z. Byron Wolf and spokesperson Matt Dornic. The executives and editors called the Supreme Court to apologize, and also called to apologize to de Vogue. At some point, the legal team was also consulted as a cautionary measure, in the event that Castillo had gone rogue and intentionally tried to disobey court rules.

Castillo’s error was, in fact, an accident. At the Supreme Court, he agreed to turn off his GoPro while in the press room and was allowed re-entry. The Supreme Court’s Office of Public Information declined to comment on the matter.

Fisking “Blackfish”…

Posted in CNN, FBN, FNC on June 13, 2015 by icn2

FNC/FBN’s John Stossel writes on Reason.com about his upcoming “Blackfish” fisking. I’ve never been a fan of Stossel’s penchant for attacking something while at the same time sticking his head in the sand regarding the issue being raised…

I don’t presume to know if it’s moral to keep animals in captivity. But I do know that the activists distort the truth.

I’ve always considered that a big time dodge by Stossel. I also think if he’s going to do a proper fisking he should point out what, if anything, the people behind “Blackfish” are accurate about. He always seems too caught up in nailing the other side moreso than doing a proper analysis of the issue at hand.

That all said, his article here raises enough questions in my mind that I’m going to watch this special. I never had any interest in watching Blackfish in the first place. But I do care about accuracy in reporting and if there’s weight to be found in Stossel’s reporting, it puts CNN in a difficult position of defending airing a special its own people did zero reporting for; something that is an inherent risk for airing agenda TV without explaining in advance what the vetting process was, if any. (via J$)

I was most disturbed by a Blackfish scene that plays the mournful cry of a mother whale whose baby was taken from her. But it turns out the “baby” was an adult with kids of her own. Blackfish faked the scene by adding “sound effects that aren’t even appropriate to a killer whale.”

Blackfish also claims captive whales’ droopy dorsal fins indicate that the whales are miserable. But whale expert Ingrid Visser says killer whales in the wild have collapsed dorsal fins, too.

The director of Blackfish and others who appear in the film would not talk to me, but biologist Lori Marino, who’d said that “all whales in captivity have a bad life,” did.

I pointed out that life in the wild is rough, too—there’s competition for food, sex, life itself. She answered, “these animals evolved over millions of years to be adapted to the challenges of the wild, not with living in a concrete tank… They need space… and a social life.”

SeaWorld claims its whales are “happy.” But as Blackfish points out, “we can’t ask the whales.”

Dold replied, “While I may not know what my dog is thinking, I certainly know that he’s happy and that we have a good relationship.”

There have been moments when that human-whale relationship wasn’t good. One whale drowned a SeaWorld trainer. But Clark says there’s no evidence that the whale’s behavior meant that he was frustrated because he lives in a tank.

Finally, Blackfish claims that captive whales die young. But Dold points out, “We have a 50-year-old whale living at SeaWorld… Our whales’ life parameters are the same as whales in the wild.” Government research confirms this.

Jeff Zucker Profile

Posted in CNN on June 10, 2015 by icn2

The Hollywood Reporter’s Marissa Guthrie profiles Jeff Zucker…

A primetime lineup that includes documentaries (Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman’s The Seventies) and reality series (Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown) has been fodder for competitors. Fox News CEO Roger Ailes told THR last year that CNN is “out of the news business.”

Zucker laughs at the rhetoric: “It’s absurd on its face. The fact is, we’re doing more news than we’ve ever done. We’re doing more news than anybody else. Part of our strategy has been to mount series programming because you can’t exclusively rely on just what you’d classify as traditional news. And who’s copying us? Fox.”

He’s referring to Fox News host Bill O’Reilly’s Legends & Lies – which had a ten-week run earlier this year – and O’Reilly’s Killing movies, which are produced for Fox-owned National Geographic but also air on Fox News. Adds Zucker: “So not only are they doing series, they’re doing scripted series. They’re doing it with actors. And the fact is, they’ve gone further out of the news business than we have.”

Not in primetime…which is what matters most.

May Numbers: CNN…

Posted in CNN, Ratings Related on June 2, 2015 by icn2

CNN is noting its May ratings…

CNN POSTS BIG GAINS IN MAY VS. LAST YEAR

NETWORK HAS BIGGEST INCREASE AMONG TOP 35 CABLE NETS

CNN Remains Firmly Ahead of MSNBC in all Categories; Has Largest Primetime Demo Advantage Over MSNBC in Years

New Day tops MSNBC’s Morning Joe; Erin Burnett Outfront & CNN Tonight Post Triple-Digit Growth

CNN Original Series Momentum Continues

CNN had big ratings gains in May with all dayparts (Total Day, M-Su/M-F primetime, daytime) up significantly from year-ago levels, posting the largest growth in cable news. In Total Day, CNN saw the biggest increase in the demo 25-54 among the Top 35 cable networks. CNN also ranked a solid #2 in cable news this month in all categories, registering impressive growth especially during M-F primetime (Erin Burnett Outfront up +101%, AC 360 up +61%, CNN programming at 9pm up +78% and CNN Tonight up +107% – the most growth in primetime cable news). MSNBC continued to lose viewers, decreasing double-digits among the demo 25-54 in all key dayparts. It registered its lowest Total Day and M-F primetime total viewer delivery since December 2007, and lowest M-Su primetime total viewer performance since June 2007. As CNN remains firmly ahead of MSNBC, the network topped MSNBC for the 11th straight month in Total Day in both total viewers and the demo and in M-Su/M-F primetime among 25-54, the longest streak across these dayparts and demos in over seven years (since Feb 2008). CNN also registered its largest 25-54 advantage over MSNBC in primetime in over seven years (since Feb 2008).

CNN Program Highlights:
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Pile on Chris Cuomo…

Posted in CNN on May 8, 2015 by icn2

Politifact weighs in on Cuomo’s provocative tweet from earlier in the week…

Cuomo said, “Hate speech is excluded from protection” under the First Amendment.

The Supreme Court has ruled that certain categories of speech are excluded from constitutional protection, such as a threat or “fighting words.” Sometimes, speech can be both a threat and hate speech, in which case it would not necessarily have First Amendment protection.

But hate speech on its own — such as on a picket sign or a blog — is not excluded from protection. It may only be incidentally excluded.

Cuomo tried to clarify his point after the fact, giving an explanation similar to the examples we hashed out here.

But on his specific claim, the jurisprudence works against him. We rate his statement False.

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