Saturday, February 21, 2009

Why I Hate CNN...

There are two stories on CNN tonight, one about a cat and one about a woman. The cat was put to sleep after a relatively short battle with cancer; the woman lives in northern Israel. I cannot say whether CNN visited the animal hospital where former-White House cat, Socks, was put to sleep, but apparently, there is nothing in dispute. As for the woman, CNN apparently needs to lend doubt to the incident and couldn't be bothered to send a reporter or call the hospital for verification and so the headlines reads, "Israel claims woman hurt in rocket attack." Notice the "claims"?

It doesn't surprise me that CNN appears to have more sympathy for a dead cat that lived a long and relatively happy life, than it does for a woman who was "apparently" enjoying a leisurely day off of work when "apparently", suddenly, without warning, a rocket "apparently" crashed into her house and she was "apparently" wounded - or so Israel claims.

It seems rather silly that CNN is ready to accept the supposed death of Socks, who in fact did not die of natural causes. CNN states as fact that the cat has been losing weight since November, and even knows when Socks was born (in 1989, if you are interested) and yet, amazingly enough, CNN has problems concluding that the artillery fire that was shot FROM Israel INTO Lebanon AT the location FROM WHICH two katyushas were fired were actually fired as a response.
According to CNN:
The Israeli army fired artillery toward the village of Qlayleh, close to the port city of Tyre, according to the Lebanese army said. However, it is not known if the attack was in response to the rockets fired toward Israel.
So, CNN knows that Israel fired artillery (no "claims" there). It apparently doesn't know how to draw a line between points A and points B - as in - they fired at us, and we fired back. Sometimes, I prefer Elie's response to things and his was so perfect when I read him the article. He asked CNN a simple question, "how stupid are you?"
02.21.09, 21:52 Two mortar shells were fired at Israel from Gaza and apparently landed in Shaar HaNegev Regional Council.

Like my son, I have no clue...but I do suspect that it is so much more involved than sheer stupidity, though clearly there is a good dose of that as well.

Here is CNN's article - with a bit of wondering on my part:
JERUSALEM (CNN) -- A woman was injured Saturday when a rocket landed in northern Israel, a spokesman for the Israeli police said.
Gee, when Socks died, you quoted a source, but assumed as fact in the headlines.

The Israel Defense Forces fired artillery toward the source of the fire, an army spokesman said, but he could not say from where the rocket originated.
OK...when you say the army spokesman could not say from where the rocket originated, could you be more specific? Does the army typically reveal to CNN sensitive information such as exact locations? That it came from Lebanon is obvious. The Arabs know where it came from, as does Israel. Did your reporter ask specifically and the Israeli spokeperson said, "we don't know where it came from"? Did CNN ask and the Israeli spokesperson said, "we are not at liberty to divulge this informatoin"? What does CNN mean, what is it trying to imply, by saying "he couldn not say from where the rocket originated?"
The clear implication would be that Israel didn't know. Given Israel's demonstrated abilities in the area of pinpointing targets (like the mastermind of rocket attacks or a terrorist on a motorcycle), this would indicate CNN's stupidity much sooner than it would indicate a lack of knowledge on Israel's part. If what was implied, and what would then be so hard to believe (that Israel fired on an unidentified target "somewhere" in Lebanon), it would seem to me that an exact quote should have been used because the clear implication of how this was phrased was that Israel didn't know the source. Obviously, Israel has advanced satellite technology, so clearly this is CNN's attempt to make it seem like Israel simply shot back, blindly.

Officials said the rocket landed in the Western Galilee region of northwestern Israel, which borders Lebanon. The Lebanese army said two rockets were fired from Lebanon toward Israel, but they failed to reach Israeli territory. According to the Lebanese army, the rockets landed east of Naqoura, a coastal town just north of the border with Israel.
Well, all I can tell you is that the injured people - oh, and CNN, there were three injured people, not one, were in Israel, as were the six others treated for shock and the two houses that were damaged. If you are wondering, why not go look - it's kind of hard to miss the damage of a rocket hitting a house. If you have two contradictory stories, doesn't it behoove CNN's readers for CNN to get out and check the facts? Also lacking in this report is the reality that on the Lebanese side, you have an army that hasn't been able to stop something like 7 rockets being fired from their territory in the last few weeks.

The Israeli army fired artillery toward the village of Qlayleh, close to the port city of Tyre, according to the Lebanese army said. However, it is not known if the attack was in response to the rockets fired toward Israel.
Isn't that interesting. CNN knows that Israel fired towards Qlayleh - no "claims" there. No citing the Lebanese as claiming something. And then the "duh" factor. CNN does not know if the Israeli response (notice they call it an attack) resulted from rockets firing towards Israel. This is equivalent to not knowing whether the policeman shot the robber because he was robbing the house, or simply because he felt like shooting the man, who happened to be stealing the poor family blind.
Of course, one could ask CNN to define how many times Israel has fired artillery into Lebanon when it wasn't retaliating for incoming rockets, but CNN probably wouldn't answer - too busy reporting about poor Socks, the cat.

The last time rockets were fired from Lebanon toward Israel was January 14, but they did not cause any casualties. The Israeli army retaliated against the source of the fire, according a statement issued by the Israeli army that day.
Notice that this is important to CNN, to point out that there were no injuries and that Israel retaliated. So, apparently while CNN cannot confirm that the Israeli army fired in retaliation (and therefore must cite army courses), it can confirm that there were no casualties. And more importantly, it seems, the most significant part of this attack was not that Israel's population was terrorized, its sovereignty violated. No, what is significant is that there were no casualties. Canada, you may fire into Michigan, but only if you promise not to hit anything. England, don't complain if France fires at you - this too, according to the world of CNN is not really a big deal, if France misses.
And, what I am left with is a sick reality that CNN has a desire to garner sympathy for a poor cat that had once been homeless, but was taken into the most famous house in America, where he was loved and sheltered for the rest of his long life, but not for a woman who was in her own home when a rocket came plowing into it.
CNN's attempt to question Israel's right to respond, it's questioning the obvious connection between someone firing katyusha rockets into Israel and Israel's military response a short time later, and its ongoing attempt to downplay the significance of previous attacks from Lebanon by quantifying injuries on our side as the measure of the seriousness of the attack, result in only one clear message.
22:45 02/22/09: Arab terrorists fired a missle at Ashkelon Saturday. The rocket exploded south of the town at about 10:45 PM.

The one clear conclusion from this, and many past reports, is that CNN has no right to claim it practices fair and impartial journalism - unless it relates to a dead cat.


Kathy and Paula said...

Wow. It is hard to believe that a
news organization can be so biased, but biased they are. As the mother of an American soldier, I hate them too, as all they report are things that are either not true, or only pull down our military , who are working to get Iraq on its feet. No matter how you feel about any war, they owe the world just what you suggest, a little professional journalism.

gill said...

We have the same if not worse press here in S Africa. Partial truths and lies are the way to go. It's a constant battle and we are trying our best to fight for Israel
Gill Katz
Media Team Israel in Johannesburg
S Africa

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