More on CNN hyperventilating

The Daily Show has yet more fun at the expense of CNN for its coverage of the Boston bombings, showing how they seemed to have thrown editorial judgment out the window in their effort to portray a sense of immediacy and urgency, even when they had no idea what was going on and were simply making wild guesses based on the flimsiest of evidence.

When you watch this segment, you begin to realize why Americans have become so fearful that they are willing to let the government shred their civil liberties. The atmosphere that is generated by such coverage is that there is dangerous stuff going on everywhere all the time and that we are all just one second away from being the victim of some awful event.

(This clip was aired on April 22, 2013. To get suggestions on how to view clips of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report outside the US, please see this earlier post.)


  1. jamessweet says


    So, I was going to say something about your post the other day about how the “scoop” (as in the “I got the news five minutes before you did”-type of scoop, not a legitimate journalistic scoop) has started to get a little silly… it’s one thing to have the news a few days before anybody else does, but having it a few minutes before? Is it worth it, right?

    Well, this is what I wanted to add: My primary news source is the BBC News website, and has been for years. When there is breaking news, I sometimes will pop over to, because… well, let me be perfectly honest, it’s because I know that the BBC is not going to give me the latest rumors and hearsay, but CNN will. If there’s no actual “news” and I want to hear the rumors, I know where to get it.

    But once the news actually finishes breaking, I’m back over to BBC, because they are more responsible, more serious, they aren’t quite as saturated with pointless human interest angles, etc. So during a major breaking event, like the Dzhokhar manhunt, CNN’s website gets, eh, 15 minutes or so of eyeball time from me. Even if I was an ad-clicker, that’s probably not worth a whole lot. And, a decade ago, used to be my primary news source, but their increasing lack of journalistic seriousness drove me away.

    So CNN is filling a niche by being the “scoop” network, and they’ll get some eyeballs from it. But I think you are right that it’s a net loss. It will give them short term surges in viewership during breaking news, but it’s not a lasting strategy.

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