Observations from a CNN Binge

Posted on April 9, 2010 by

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For a few days in the past few weeks, I’ve stayed home all day netbook in hand and CNN on TV, watching everything from the American Morning to Larry King Live.

I’ve always been somewhat skeptical of CNN, but I love how important it made me feel to watch it at school on the big screen TVs or in just random public areas.

I never really regarded as the best place for news.  I always thought it focused too much on these invisible wars in the Middle East and these random breaking news bits that they didn’t really follow up on again.

The personalities were a mixed bag.  I fiercely hated Lou Dobbs’ incendiary rhetoric towards immigrants, Jack Cafferty’s encouragement to Lou, and Dana Bash’s subdued conservative leanings.  I generally liked Sanjay Gupta, Fredericka Whitfield, Don Lemon, Anderson Cooper, Rick Sanchez, the music and self-importance in Wolf Blitzer’s Situation Room song, and whoever does that soundbite thing.

I’d watch CNN from time to time, but never as frequent as all day and night, till the past few weeks, at about the time the health care bill passed, which I wrote about on the Examiner.

What have I seen CNN cover most in the past 2 or 3 days?

  • Tiger Woods’ golfing comeback at the Master’s and new Nike commercial
  • A story about a Massachusetts girl who apparently got bullied to death
  • Sarah Palin’s every appearance, priming her as the next GOP candidate and gearing up for the 2010 Mid-term elections
  • Whatever Barack Obama’s doing
  • Whoever’s attacking Barack Obama
  • Viriginia’s declaration of Confederate History Month
  • Miners in West Virginia getting stuck somewhere
  • Some returned Russian adoptee and how that has led to a foreign relations uproar between the US and Russia

These are the topics that they have peered over and discussed to death with other people including Dr. Phil, Rod Blagojevich, and Jesse Ventura.  They really only pick a few topics and get the different personalities in different time slots to recycle those conversations. That’s mostly a crappy policy if your intention is to know what’s going on because  there are a ton more stories that could be had.  But to their credit, they try and make everything relevant to some national trend.

In something of an anomaly, Antonio Villaraigosa and LA got on there for a quick minute, briefly touching on the City’s budget crisis.  Yup, government offices running 3 days a week.  That CNN mentioned this at all was surprising and unexpected, but that only counted as part of some list that Rick Sanchez was trying to talk about as if it was some random youtube video.