Fun and games at CNN

A few days ago, I came across an amusing news item. Cable news teams had all rushed to Phoenix, Arizona to cover the impending verdict in the Jodi Arias murder trial which had inexplicably become a national obsession, when the sensational news from Cleveland about the dramatic rescue of the three kidnapped women and the child broke, and they found themselves having to cover both.

There was a segment in which CNN correspondent Ashleigh Banfield covering the Arias trial seemed to be interviewing, via satellite, Nancy Grace about the Cleveland case. But according to the Atlantic Wire, alert viewers noticed that the background for the two people involved the same moving vehicles and figured out that both were in the same parking lot just a few feet apart from each other. Apparently Banfield later interviewed other correspondents ‘via satellite’ in different parts of the same parking lot or who were just across the street.

The Daily Show does this kind of thing all the time, with its correspondents ‘on location’ all over the world when they are actually standing in front of backdrops in the same studio as Jon Stewart, just a few feet away, in front of the same audience. They often deliberately make blunders that reveal the pretense for comedic effect, so I knew that they would have fun at CNN’s expense with this and they did not disappoint.

(This clip was aired on May 8, 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. slc1 says

    Nancy Grace is a disgrace to the legal profession and to CNN that hired her after she was forced out of her job as prosecutor in Atlanta. George Washington Law Professor Jonathan Turley has been on her case for a long time. She was Mike Nifong before Nifong’s notorious handling of the Duke lacrosse players non-rape case. Grace just one example of the fecklessness of the media news business.

    Here’s Turley’s indictment of Grace.

    Consider the career of Nancy Grace. Before becoming a CNN and Court TV anchor, she was a notorious prosecutor in Alabama. In a blistering 2005 federal appeals opinion, Judge William H. Pryor Jr., a conservative former Alabama attorney general, found that Grace had “played fast and loose” with core ethical rules in a 1990 triple-murder case. Like Nifong, Grace was accused of not disclosing critical evidence (the existence of other suspects) as well as knowingly permitting a detective to testify falsely under oath. The Georgia Supreme Court also reprimanded her for withholding evidence and for making improper statements in a 1997 arson and murder case. The court overturned the conviction in that case and found that Grace’s behavior “demonstrated her disregard of the notions of due process and fairness and was inexcusable.” She faced similar claims in other cases.
    You might have expected Grace to suffer the same fate as Nifong. Instead, she has her own show on CNN, and the network celebrates her as “one of television’s most respected legal analysts.” On TV, she displays the same style she had in the courtroom. (In the Duke case, her presumed-guilty approach was evident early on, when she declared: “I’m so glad they didn’t miss a lacrosse game over a little thing like gang rape.”) The Grace effect is not lost on aspiring young prosecutors who struggle to outdo one another as camera-ready, take-no-prisoners avengers of justice. Grace’s controversial career also shows how prosecutors can routinely push the envelope without fear of any professional consequences. Often this does not mean violating an ethics rule, but using legally valid charges toward unjust ends.

  2. says

    I had a feeling you’d cover this. That bit made me giggle repeatedly, as did his calling Grace an “engorged tragedy tick” last night. The only remark I liked as much was when he filled in FOX’s (Watergate + Iran-Contra)x10 equation with the substance of those scandals. For a different reason, though (although I laughed at the “close parens”): I don’t think many young people know what Iran-Contra really entailed.

  3. Crudely Wrott says

    Nancy Grace seems to thrive on, no, display an actual need for, human suffering and callous, horrific crime. Like a vampire’s dependence on blood.

    If her parents are still alive they must be regretting their unfortunate choice in naming her. There is nothing the least bit graceful about that woman.

  4. Cathy W says

    Well Nancy Grace is the leading expert journalist in the field of Missing Pretty White Girls, isn’t she? How could CNN *not* talk to her about the case? The sick thing is, all they would have had to do is turn one of them to face the other direction so they didn’t have their backs to the same street.

    CNN: They Just. Didn’t. Care.

  5. TGAP Dad says

    I feel relieved to have been blissfully unaware and uninformed of who exactly Jodi Arias is.

  6. says

    Our Federal Govt. is operating so far outside of its design parameters that this type of discussion is now futile. IMHO the place to begin is eliminating income tax which would force massive reductions in power and programs, bringing the govt. more in line with the founders structure. Only then can a discussion vis-a-vis federal and state govts. become worthwhile.

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