Wednesday, July 19, 2006

CNN - you suck

I stayed up late playing computer games and watching CNN, I do that sometimes when I want to hear the same thing said over and over. Also, that Anderson Cooper is some screen candy - he's much better if you mute the TV.
The coverage of the Israel - Lebanon war thingy was just atrocious. I don't want to get into some huge debate about who started what, because it's just going to lead to someone (Yrautca) saying something ignorant and pissing me off. I just thought I'd post some observations.

If you're actually paying attention to the coverage, you can see from the pictures of damage in Israel vs. the damage in Lebanon that the difference is huge. In one case, they showed the aftermath of a rocket that hit a train station in Northern Israel there was a hole about a 4 or 5 feet in the roof, and a crater of 2 or 3 feet in the floor, and a smallish amount of rubble lying around. The pictures they showed of one area of Beirut, the place was wrecked, the Israeli army were obviously using those 'bunker blaster' bombs to level the place, and these were clearly residential buildings.
The rockets from Lebanon are small enough to be launched from the back of a truck, the Israelis are bombing from planes, from the border and from warships.

That's what I got from the coverage, but if you weren't watching too closely - which is how most people watch CNN, you'd walk away with the totally opposite impression. You'd get the impression that the damage done in Israel is so much worse.
The way they report the tiny amount of damage done in Israel is so sympathetic, this regretful tone of voice and then they list the damage specifically. It makes the whole thing seem so much more real, when they say, 'Today the rockets damaged a school, a house, a train station, a mosque...' But the way they talk about the damage in Lebanon is so much more detached, 'We don't really know, but we heard some rumbling and helicopters....' Then the anchor starts commiserating with the person who is reporting the story, "Well you stay safe Bob." "Oh, thanks Jim, I'll try." There's none of that in the coverage of Israel, instead they go into talking about what it's like in the shelters, and how scared all the Israelis are. There's no mention of how scared the Lebanese people are.
I know it's easier to be specific about what's going on in Israel, since they have much better developed media relations, and it's safer there for the media to give better coverage. But I think they could try a little harder to convey how scary it is to be stuck in Lebanon right now. So far, in Lebanon, 183 people have been killed and around 600 or so wounded. In Israel, so far, 23 people have been killed and around 100 wounded. You'd never know it if you were just watching the coverage casually.


Jennifer said...

Ugh, I have to stop watching this crappy coverage and go to bed. They just showed new footage. 'A bombed residential building in Isreal, with a mother standing outside crying for her son.' And then, 'Here's some similar footage of Lebanon.' The footage they showed of Lebanon was a super quick flash of the skeleton a building so badly bombed it looked like it had been hit by an atomic bomb, no mention of whether it was a residential building, no crying mothers. Is this supposed to be balanced coverage? It's not. No wonder the Americans are so ignorant of what's going on in the rest of the world if this is the kind of coverage they get. I forgot why I don't watch this crap normally.
I'm going to bed, this is so disgusting.

Jennifer said...

And they are so damned sympathetic for the foreign nationals trying to get out of Lebanon, why is there no mention of sympathy for the poor schlubs who don't have a foreign passport to get them out of the country?

Scott said...

I have been thinking the same thing. We had seven Canadian citizens killed in Lebanon a couple of days ago by an Israeli bomb that was dropped from an jet. Among the dead were three children, all of the people were visiting relatives and were in a residential home. Messed up.

I agree that I would not debate who is right and who is wrong... probably a little bit of both at least. But the coverage should not be so biased. Whatever happened to the idea of an impartial media?

Okay so now I am done blogging on your blog.



Trib said...

Yeah, it sucks for the Lebanese that they're a playing field for Syria and Israel. I'm not really sure what the point of wrecking their infrastructure is, I think they should have just cut to the chase and attacked Syria.
Of course, how long did Hezbollah think that it could poke the tiger?

Jennifer said...

Scott, good point, I totally agree.

Trib, what about all the tiger poking Israel does? Why should Israel attack Syria? You say this as if it's a forgone conclusion - this is probably because you've watched too much CNN coverage. It's CNN watching that suckered you guys into invading Iraq, and we all know just how well that turned out. Nobody 'should' attack anybody. How about we all just stay inside our own borders and mind our own business for a while, especially the USA.

Miss Ash said...

I also agree with Scott and yourself that the media should not be so biased. I have not watched CNN as I do not have cable *i know i know* and i've been stuck in Hammer town for a few days so i'm still working on reading Monday's newspaper. I'll be more informed once i get home.

jane said...

I just want to say that (since I too have no cable, and am in the states) that the NPR coverage has been reasonably good. They've been emphasizing (well, not *emphasizing*, but really just giving due weight to) the number of Lebanese casualties & the amount of damage there.

So if CNN seems to be skimpy on that, that's frustrating. I forget what commercial news TV looks like.

How's the CBC coverage?

Jennifer said...

My mom sent me this link,
It's pictures of Israeli children signing shells to be launched into Lebanon. This is so twisted, I don't even know where to start with this.

I generally find that the CBC coverage often has at least a tint of Zionism in it, but not nearly as bad as CNN, of course. It's too bad no one except PHDs, who have no cable, ever listen to NPR.

Trib said...

What I mean is that if you have a next door neighbor who is crazy and always sits out on the porch polishing his gun you don't play ding-dong-ditch with them.
Israel is the tiger. They can wipe the floor with all of their neighbors so the reverse really doesn't apply.

I say Syria, because Syria supports Hezbollah. Hezbollah is a big reason why Lebanon can't disentangle themselves from Syria. That and Syria does things like assassinate Lebanese reformers like Hariri.

Syria uses Lebanon to fight the Israelies so they don't get messed up themselves. Like we used Afganistan against the Russians and the Iranians use Iraq against us (shaped charges anyone?)

Hence, if Israel wants to get at the root of the problem: Syria.

yrautca said...

So I see my name on this post and am wondering why you dislike me. I have been very decent to you except on Loser Blog but when I joined you guys told me that trash talking is fair game on there. You have mentioned my politics before. You dont know me jennifer. I have a sense of humor but your comments hurt. For the record I think Israel's response is completely unwarranted and its like the Palestinians and Lebanese are being made to fight Americans because all Israel have is what they got from US.

Jennifer said...

Sorry Yrautca, I was only teasing, I didn't mean for you to take offense.

yrautca said...

Its ok. I am sorry too that I got a bit carried away. I can tell you that our politics are not very different. Trust me on that.

Alex said...

Silly little girl. CNN suckered us into invading Iraq? Hee hee. You Canadians crack me up. How about invading Iraq in order to clear out the weapons of mass destruction that you would know existed if you weren't glued to useless t.v. shows like those on CNN and CNBC. How about writing that we were suckered into liberating some of the most seriously downtrodden citizens of humanity? It's pretty easy to be fat and sassy when you can count on your neighbors to "interfere" whenever you need them to; which brings me back to the helpless masses that are victims of islamic rule- mainly their own people. Funny how you think that honor killings, the inability to worship the religion of your choice and the denial of education and medical accessibility for all (that is to say, females) is less important to you than accepting the tyrannical rule which metes these very things out to their own (and who hope to import it to the rest of the world) because you're afraid to appear racist through your disapproval of patently grotesque ideology.
You are a spoiled citizen of our lucky world that has no appreciation of a free life. It's people like you that are going to try to condemn all of us to vicious despotic rule... but I would rather die than have no freedom. And maybe I'll have to.
I suspect you would capitulate. And then be beheaded for being a traitor to your own country, revealing you to be the worst kind of "citizen" in islam's eyes. Sucker.
Enough written.
Your blog is well named. It, indeed, has been constantly inane! Kudos!

Jennifer said...

Silly little girl? Yeesh Alex.

Anyway, I am against tyranical despotic rule, that's why I want the US to quit invading places.
And as for your suggestion that Canadians are glad to have the US around, I think a lot of us are kind of uncomfortable about that long undefended border, since you guys are in kind of a scary, religious fundamentalist, invading warlike mood lately.

Jennifer said...

Ok, at the risk of provoking you, and having you get all invady... I just want to ask, wouldn't you agree, that it's just the tiniest bit intellectually lazy not to consider for just a second that you might not be the good-guys?