Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Computer virus blamed for CNN's deteriorating journalistic standards

A computer virus targeting Microsoft's Windows software has reportedly shut down machines and impaired judgements at CNN and ABC news networks. The virus is suspected to have been dormant in the system, lying undetected for more than 5 years and is considered to be responsible for CNN's rapidly deteriorating coverage of news events.

Ever since the US presidential election in 2000 and CNN's coverage of the two candidates, there was always a doubt in the minds of media critics that there had to be a reason other than sheer journalistic incompetence behind CNN's exaggeration of ex-vice President Al Gore's "lies", while at the same time glossing over George W. Bush's history of alcoholism, drug abuse, DUI record and suspicious business transactions. However at the time, anti-virus technology, being in a nascent stage of development, did not detect the virus thereby exacerbating the problem.

This multifaceted computer virus has also reportedly been responsible for impaired judgement on the part of CNN's management, which sanctioned the emergence of CNN's flagship shows like Crossfire, which consists of two "political pundits" verbally abusing each other in the name of debate, with the audience cheering them on.

The virus reared it's head again during the buildup to the Iraq war when it caused a breakdown in CNN's fact-checking machinery, causing America to go into war based on false information and costing thousands of lives.

The virus was finally detected when a system administrator noticed an unnatural rise in CNN's coverage of superficial news items like the Terri Schiavo case, the Michael Jackson scandal and the missing white girl in Aruba, and ran a virus check through the system.

Since the virus was detected and cleaned, CNN has cancelled Crossfire, fired it's host Tucker Carlson and reduced it's missing-white-girl-related news coverage by 75%.


iS|ime said...

Not sure if one can blame the same virus affecting the TOI [TimesOfIndia] .. though stark resemblance to the degrading quality quotient. TOI writers, recently, seem to spend a lot of time dissecting Hollywood and Bollywood sex scandals, the bollywood kinky parties, Britney's Silicon valley ... and so on and so forth.
Thumbs to ur write up though :>

gawker said...

Thank you for stopping by. I think it's a global problem with the media. News aint news anymore unless its "news".


This is a malaise that all cable networks have---why blame it on CNN which is in many ways the most balanced of them all ! Have you seen "Scarborough Country" on MSNBC? Have you seen the "O Reilly Factor" and "Hannity and Combs" (where Sean hannity once kept on asking a guest---Do you think USA is a "good" country or a "bad" country---yes such is the level of intellectual discourse on prime time)? Have you seen the bow-tied idiot Tucker Carlson?

Anderson Cooper of CNN is, in comparison, one of the best anchors around.

gawker said...

bongomoshai, I agree, but you have to remember that Fox News was started with the sole purpose of making partisan hackery a part of the discourse, so when they do it we are not really surprised. MSNBC, well no one watches it anyways so it cant do much damage and no one cares. But CNN has been here around for a while now, one expects higher standards from it. Which is why, when it latches on to Fox News' method of trivializing news and putting on "opinion pundits" in the evening just so it can catch up with the ratings, we are disappointed more than we would have been if it had been anyone else.

gawker said...

I actually do like some of CNN's programming like Aaron Brown, yeah Anderson Cooper is a decent enough show, although he does try to come off as extra hip.

Suhail said...

In Amreeka, the best news is Jon's Daily Show and TheOnion. FullStop. And, once in a while read NYT, WPT, sfgate et al. to understand what Jon/Onion are talking. You shd seriously think of applying to The Onion!

The news/cable channels here are a load of crap. When I was in India, I had a v.low opinion of Indian TV scene - but after coming here, I realised most of the serials here will make Ekta Kapoor's saas-bahu teary sagas feel like entertainment.

I've cut down my TV watching to Seinfeld/Raymond reruns and Jay Leno.

gawker said...

And the worst part is, in India, the bad tv programming comes out by accident. Here, they do it deliberately. Like, it's professional bad programming. It's all scientific, based on ratings. So if CNN finds out that Fox's coverage of a blind hermaphrodite hanging upside down from a tree is getting huge ratings, it will also do an extremely professional job of covering the same blind hermaphrodite hanging upside down from the same tree.