As Palmer Report has documented numerous times in the past, cable news exists not to educate the masses but to make money. With the introduction of CNN by Ted Turner in 1980, “news” shifted from a way to inform the people to a way to line the pockets of the wealthy. Sure, networks like CNN and MSNBC provide coverage that is often reasonably accurate (and orders of magnitude better than Fox, OAN, Newsmax, et al), but the underlying goal is to attract and keep audiences watching.
With the ultimate goal of increased viewership, and thus higher profits, it makes sense that cable news networks do everything in their power to tease out “breaking stories” to keep you enthralled and prevent you from changing the channel. CNN viewers, such as myself, have probably grown numb to the hourly show introductions that include music, visuals, and the ever-present “BREAKING NEWS” chyron coming across the screen.
But sometimes the use of the chyron is more misleading than it needs to be. After the news broke that a previously classified intelligence report stating that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince MBS was responsible for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, CNN provided the following chyron: BIDEN DECLINES TO PUNISH SAUDI CROWN PRINCE AFTER U.S. INTEL DETERMINED HE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR KHASHOGGI’S MURDER.” This statement ignores not only the truth, but what was actually being said on CNN at the time. CNN anchor Erin Burnett asks White House Communications Director Kate Bedingfield, “Will there be anything done specifically to the Crown Prince?”
“We have been clear to the Saudis that we are taking actions here. They are well aware that we are taking actions here. And I think you will continue to see potential steps from our administration moving forward,” Bedingfield responded. “The president has been very clear – this was an unacceptable crime. He put forward, as he promised, he made public the information surrounding it, which in and of itself is an important step, and his government, his administration, is taking steps to sanction participants in this crime. So he is very clear that this is not something he will tolerate.” Clearly, the facts do not match the words, but that is to be expected when truth does not always equal money.
I’m a ceramic engineer living in Central New York, avid sports fan but find myself more interested in politics lately.