Archive for the CNN Category

Press Releases: 07/29/15

Posted in CNN on July 29, 2015 by icn2

CNN (1)


A Miner Miracle: Five Years After the Chilean Rescue Airs Tuesday, August 4 at 9pmET/PT

Five years after the collapse of the San Jose gold and copper mine that trapped 33 miners for 69 days, CNN correspondent Rosa Flores travels to Chile to speak with three of the miners. She also speaks with the drillers who worked around the clock on their improbable and miraculous rescue. The hour-long CNN Special Report, A Miner Miracle: Five Years After the Chilean Rescue airs Tuesday, August 4, at 9pmET/PT on CNN and via CNNgo.

Jorge Galleguillos can’t shake the tragedy from his mind. He was one of the 33 men trapped a half-mile beneath the hard rock of Chile’s Atacama Desert. He remembers praying to live while preparing to die. Finally, a small drill broke through to the men, allowing them to send an astounding message: ‘All 33 of us are alive.’ Their 69 days underground and their triumphant rescue stunned the world who watched it live on television. The men became globe-trotting celebrities with multiple movie and book offers; however, five years later, Galleguillos and most of the miners still live very humble and difficult lives. Many of the men battle demons and have trouble keeping steady work. And no one was ever held accountable for the collapse of the San Jose gold and copper mine.

During the CNN Special Report, Flores interviews former Chilean President Sebastian Pinera, whose optimism for their rescue rallied a nation and the world. She also speaks with Jeff Hart, the drilling expert who successfully carved a tunnel through the earth and helped save the 33 courageous men.

Vause and Sesay to L.A. For CNNI

Posted in CNN on July 27, 2015 by icn2

TVNewser’s Brian Flood has more details on John Vause’s move to Los Angeles. Vause and Isha Sesay are both going to L.A. where they get a brand news studio.

Here’s the part of the story that makes no sense…

The CNN International program will air overnights 12-2 a.m. ET, which is an important time block for Asia Pacific timing/programming. The show will also simulcast on CNN domestic.

There are a couple of reasons why I find the above justification lacking in sense…

Vause is already anchoring that shift. He’s just doing it from Atlanta. What does CNN gain by moving Vause and Sesay out to the West Coast? I mean what does the Asia-Pacific gain by that move? Asia-Pacific news coming out of one spot clear across the Pacific Ocean from the Asia Pacific region is more relevant than if it comes out of another spot even further clear across the Pacific Ocean? Riiiiiiiight.

12am-2am ET is an important time block for Atlanta…it’s 12pm-2pm in Hong Kong; the middle of the day. Yeah, that’s an important time slot for the Asia Pacific. In fact it’s so important that this move suggests how little CNN finds it as important. For if it were truly important to have coverage available for the Asia Pacific at that hour it should be anchoring that coverage from the Asia Pacific. That 12-2 ET timeslot is not beaming out over the Atlantic. In Europe that’s 4-6am and at that time CNNI is broadcasting a mix of tape repeats and News/World Sport.

CNN has studios in Hong Kong, but it has been dialing back its presence there for a while now. Heck, it let her go which should tell you a lot about how CNN views Asia-Pacific.

I think there are other unspoken reasons for why this move is taking place. Better late night coverage for the U.S. since it’s only 9-11pm PST out here? The first step in moving Asia-Pacific coverage more stateside? Unknown labor issues in Atlanta that make a late night move to California more palatable? Something else?

Whatever it is, it sure as heck isn’t really about the Asia-Pacific, because you don’t make that move if it was.

John Vause Departing Atlanta…For L.A.?

Posted in CNN on July 24, 2015 by icn2

CNN Commentary scoops that CNNI’s John Vause is headed to LA for a new show…

Current CNN Newsroom anchor John Vause is set to relocate to CNN’s Los Angeles bureau and anchor a revised simulcast show from the newly renovated studio to air on both CNN Domestic and CNN International, according to sources.

His new co-anchor will be Isha Sesay, who currently anchors NewsCenter from Atlanta. It’s unclear at this point whether Sesay will be relocating to Los Angeles as well, or remaining in Atlanta.

Lots of questions here…

1) Why is CNN going to broadcast out of Los Angeles? What does it gain by doing so?

2) Assuming Sesay stays in Atlanta, which is probably a good bet based on the likelihood that CNN would move two anchors to L.A. when just the idea of one going to L.A. is…well…strange on its face, when will the show air? If my timezone math is correct, Sesay’s CNNI show airs during Brooke Baldwin’s shift so it seems unfathomable that CNN would choose to take that hour to simulcast CNNI and CNN Domestic. CNNI’s World Business Today airs during Carol Costello’s second hour so that would seem to be an unlikely destination as well unless CNNI moves or cancels WBT outright.

Assuming this show won’t air in primetime, the most likely “available” timeslot on CNN Domestic’s schedule would seem to be 9am ET, Costello’s first hour. But that doesn’t make a lot of sense either. It is the first hour of CNN Newsroom and we have to assume that whatever the format of this new show will be it’s going to be different from the Newsroom format because it makes no sense to send Vause out to L.A. and have Sesay in Atlanta to do what can be done better from New York (after all Zucker moved his dayside anchors to NYC precisely because he wanted them to have better access to guests than they would have had in Atlanta…and sure as heck wouldn’t have in L.A.).

We could probably drive ourselves crazy trying to figure this out at this point. Probably best to just wait and see what happens.

Update: CNN Commentary apparently forgot to mention when this is scheduled to air. Uh…helloooo McFlyyyy? It’s for the overnight hours. So that answers that. It doesn’t answer why L.A.?

Gone And Apparently Not Forgotten..

Posted in CNN on July 22, 2015 by icn2

The Wrap’s Jordan Chariton writes about Jeff Zucker fielding a question about Don Lemon and his most recent boomerang stunt…

At an internal CNN town hall event Wednesday, CNN president Jeff Zucker defended primetime anchor Don Lemon’s on-air use of a sign emblazoned with the N-word.

A CNN insider told TheWrap that Zucker was asked about the stunt that opened Lemon’s show in June in the wake of President Obama’s use of the word during a podcast and of the Charleston church massacre.

“Zucker said it’s not something for a daily basis, but Don was trying to make a point,” the insider said. The person who asked seemed concerned with Lemon’s actions, which many media observers condemned as a classless stunt.

I’m not going to fault Zucker for answering a question that he had to know would leak out and bring that gaffe back to the fore again. He was in an impossible no win situation. If he ducks the question, word leaks out that he ducked it. Zucker can’t win here.

Nor am I going to fault Zucker for standing up for Lemon. What’s he supposed to do? Throw him under the bus in front of the rest of CNN’s staff?

My question lies with the leaker. What was the point of this? To stick it to Lemon by bringing that up again? Or to show that Zucker has his back?

And then there’s this…

As TheWrap reported, Lemon’s antics have paid off in the ratings, a sign that might justify promoting the anchor to the 8 p.m. time slot currently held by Anderson Cooper.

Anderson Cooper is essentially the face of CNN. You could make an argument for Blitzer because of how much exposure he gets on dayside but primetime rules. So if Lemon were to push Cooper out at 8, that would be interpreted by many to mean CNN now thinks Don Lemon is the face of CNN. I’m not sure everyone at CNN would be comfortable with that designation.

The Big Picture…

Posted in CNN on July 8, 2015 by icn2

I’m not reading too much into this morning’s story on Dr. Sanjay Gupta operating on someone other than what was originally reported while he was in Nepal.

CNN’s chief medical correspondent and star surgeon Dr. Sanjay Gupta is facing criticism for his reporting from Nepal in the aftermath of April’s massive earthquake. “I don’t like to make mistakes,” Gupta told NPR Tuesday night.

But he’s accused of making a mistake: misidentifying a young girl he’d performed surgery on. CNN reported Gupta had performed brain surgery on 8-year-old Salina Dahal, who had been badly injured in the quake. Global Press Journal tracked down the little girl, only to find she had never had surgery of any kind, suffering cuts and bruises and a broken wrist in the earthquake. “Without emergent surgery, she’ll have permanent damage. Or, like so many other earthquake victims, she’ll die,” Gupta reported.

I have no reason not to take Gupta at his word that he really thought he was operating on Dahal. There’s nothing in Gupta’s history to suggest that he’s anything other than a straight shooter…albeit, in this case, one who got this story wrong.

Some people were using some pretty harsh language to describe what Gupta did. Some said he lied. Others made allusions to MSNBC’s resident fabulist Brian Williams.

Both accusations I would consider wildly off the mark. Yes, he got the identities wrong but if you look at the big picture the story really doesn’t change. He didn’t fabricate a scenario out of thin air. He did indeed operate on someone to save their life.

So, barring any new unforeseen revelations, I view this as nothing more than a minor blip on Gupta’s record; one that will eventually recede into the fog of time and be forgotten.

Amy Entelis Interview…

Posted in CNN on July 4, 2015 by icn2

The LA Times’ Stephen Battaglio interviews CNN’s Amy Entelis about the network’s doc strategy…

When you first announced this strategy, your competitors said it wouldn’t work as a business. It’s pretty easy to control the cost of producing cable news in a studio. But series are riskier, aren’t they?

I think it was risky at the beginning. We went in small steps, so we didn’t throw a huge amount of money at this. We dipped our toe in with Anthony Bourdain and Morgan Spurlock and a handful of other series in the first year. As you do that you see the audience is pretty accepting and flexible about this. Our big question was not the money, it was, Will the audience get it? Will they understand that they can get their breaking news and they can also get something else? We were excited and surprised to see that they do.

So how do you make the economics work?

The money you pay at the beginning pays off in a lot of different ways. We can replay a lot of these hours. You develop a library with many hours of content that CNN did not have, which we use to populate off-hours and run marathons. We have a library we can draw on that amortizes the cost that makes it worthwhile. We can also sell it internationally.

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.


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