Boing Boing video collaborator Joe Sabia developing new web video show for revamped CNN Headline News


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CNN self destructed trying to make itself Fox-lite as if there was an unlimited number of viewers over age 65 where weren’t already locked into Fox. Then they hired Erik Erickson from, because they decided the ideal fresh face of punditry was a flabby blogger who’d apparently never set foot outside of Georgia with a site that was often nearly deserted because it banned pretty much everyone. And before that they gave Glenn Beck a prime time show… And there was Tucker Carlson, who has since gone down the drain of partisan hackery.

It’s not that these were isolated instances - they just keep trying and trying to steer hard to the right. Social media? With Erickson they showed a basic lack of understanding of what the internet is. The Daily Show has already had a lot of fun with CNN’s continuing interest in the internet and the idea that people need television to tell them about the internet. On a number of occasions they have been called out for repeating bullshit conspiracy theories that bubble up on right wing conspiracy sites, although CNN is hardly alone in this. But it sure makes great tv when a reporter starts getting all confrontational with the White House about some story that got hyped on Powerline the last week before being completely debunked by the end of the day. It’s a great way to get incriminating “WTF?” looks from the spokesman, but CNN has to be prepared to take its lumps from comedians and the social media audience it’s trying to capture. Oh, and Fox News is already doing it.

Maybe things will improve, but their high tech sets have been craptacular.And why do I want the tv to look like an ipad except bigger and I can’t control it? And as Tom The Dancing Bug recently pointed out, Twitter is lousy way to get actual news. CNN has a giant wall of Twitter? Who cares? I can even watch the giant CNN twitter wall on my smartphone, so it’ll be all little again. Woot!

It seems as if someone in CNN has the idea that The Drudge Report is the internet. But most people don’t go online to get the conspiracy theory of the day. If I’m reading about something online, I look at how it fits into historical context and trends I don’t need another lazy recitation of Reince Priebus talking points. Are things bad? Compared to what? How about comparing that to 5 years ago, last year, the rest of the world? Geeze, why not have that on some tabs on your wall, you know, like the internet.

People’s health insurance got canceled? OK, how about pointing out that eveyone’s policies get canceled routinely as they age and that the government did not outlaw this? Is that so hard? I did it just now, so it’s not that tough. The only reason to not do so is to push a rigid ideological storyline. Why do I want to watch tv to have the same content-free talking point screamed at me month after month when it was probably not even true in the first place? The content does not change, the perspective remains fixed, analysis is provided by the usual partisan screamers. In the case of the health care, where were the people that work in the health insurance industry? At least Rachel Maddow did her doctoral thesis on health care reform. But how does CNN make the concept of the internet fit with a business model based on information that never changes?

And then there’s this:

Frank Taaffe, a self-styled “expert” who appeared on a number of talk programs on CNN and its Headline News subsidiary to offer his views on racially charged criminal trials, has recently emerged as an entrenched figure in the far-right white supremacist movement. While one of his frequent hosts, Nancy Grace, recently grilled him about his views, the network has neither backed away from using Frank Taaffe nor explained why it has done so at all, particularly without making his background clear to viewers.

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