CNN = “Contains No News”
1 Hour of CNN Yields Less Than 5 Minutes of News
A Detailed Analysis by TvNewsLies.org
What on earth is happening in this country? The most recent polls reveal that 69% of Americans still believe that Saddam Hussein and Iraq were involved in the terror attacks of 9/11! How could this totally erroneous idea be shared by a majority of the public? Any informed individual would have known that this is absolutely untrue – that no connection between Iraq and 9/11 has ever been substantiated. Are Americans simply not listening to the news? No way. They really believe they are getting information they can rely on from the media. The poll is just one example of the complete failure of the American television news networks to accurately inform the public.
The television news networks are the primary sources of information about domestic and international events for most Americans. The networks have had two years to accurately inform the public about the most important terror event in the lives of this generation of Americans, yet they failed miserably in their responsibility to do so. The question, of course, has to be raised: “How can this have happened?” While the answer is more complex than brevity would allow, one thing has become painfully apparent: the news most vital to Americans about their nation and the world is simply not being reported by American television networks.
There are three American television networks that purport to be national news networks. However, a closer look reveals something as bizarre as it is disturbing. On the “news” networks, what is missing is NEWS!
After months of observation, TVNL has discovered that after 6 minutes into any news broadcast on these networks, no more news is reported for the hour. What viewers get instead is biased speculation, in depth tabloid stories (a la the Star or the National Inquirer), stories of local or regional interest, and a great deal of infomercial content.
To illustrate this point, TVNL taped and analyzed a one hour CNN news program aired on September 5th, 2003 at 7:00 PM EST, during the prime time evening news hour.
We categorized the content of the broadcast based on expected coverage by a “national” newscast. Local news broadcasts would understandably have different responsibilities to inform their viewers about regional or local events. We expect a national news network to report stories that affect the nation and the world. While we understand that a percentage of every broadcast may be devoted to content other than the straight forward reporting of vital news events, we do expect more than 5 minutes of news per hour.
The program content has been broken down into the following categories:
News – Reporting of recent events that affect the nation or the world, sans opinion or bias. This excludes conjecture or speculation and it excludes important news that may be reported as headline but should be detailed on a regional or local broadcast..
Headlines – Preview of upcoming stories. (Not considered news)
Talk Show – Speculation or discussion. This is where reporters, anchors or so called experts are called upon to voice their opinions on an issue. This is not reporting an event; it is offering opinions about the event.
Regional News – News events of limited relevance that belong on local news networks. This may include important issues that affect a region rather than the nation.
Tabloid News – Sensational stories that have no impact on the nation and are being reported to ensure high ratings or to distract viewers from more important issues. These are the stories that we would only find in the National Inquirer several years ago.
Infomercials – Non-news. These are segments promoting commercial ventures. In other words this is advertising dressed up as news.
Commercial break. This accounts for time spent airing paid advertisements.
NOTE: Many stories technically fall into more than one category, but for the sake of clarity we will only designate one category per item. Example: A news item covering the Laci/Scott Peterson case can be classified as both Regional and Tabloid News. EXCEPTION: If a segment of the story is actual news, and the rest can be classified as SPECULATION, the allocated time will be divided between each appropriate category.
This is a summary of our findings: (A detailed breakdown can be found below)
BROADCAST: CNN Live from the headlines - September 5th - 7PM EST – Anchor - Anderson Cooper
Talk Show Content
Category with the least allotted time: Real News
Category with the most allotted of time: Tabloid Stories
Longest single uninterrupted segment: Box office releases (new movie previews/Infomercial category)
Events that took place on the day of analyzed broadcast that were not deemed newsworthy by CNN:
Meacher sparks fury over claims on September 11 and Iraq war – This came out Friday night. - Bush accused of allowing 9/11 to take place. US response on 9/11 questioned in detail.
White House Slams Door on U.N. Inspections in Iraq
Europe's faith in US 'crumbles'
US to miss key deadline for chemical weapons destruction
The British army has issued a public apology for brutally beating Iraqi civilians in the town of Majar al Kabir, 120 miles north of Basra.
First On Senate's Agenda - Bush's Plan To Kill Overtime
U.S. Economy: August Job Losses Reach 93,000, Most Since March
'Big Government' Getting Bigger Under Bush
The Arcata City Council's Bush-Cheney impeachment resolution - local, relevant and crucial
Vital ongoing issues not discussed or mentioned on CNN:
Voting machine problems - Major voter fraud issues brewing.
Blair on the hot seat - Tony Blair is coming under daily fire for misleading (lying to) the public about the threat Saddam/Iraq posed to the world.
Cuts to vets and active soldiers - Bush/PNAC and the GOP are cutting funding for veterans, cutting battle pay for active soldiers and fighting an increase in the death benefit for dying while on the battlefield. The Democrats are fighting for all of these issues, but CNN never mentions this.
Dick Cheney’s secret energy policy meeting notes yielded Iraqi oil maps, in essence establishing motive for invading Iraq.
Dick Cheney’s former company, Halliburton, has been awarded billions in contracts to rebuild Iraq without having to take part in the competitive bidding process.
The Bush/PNAC White House has manipulated scientific reports, halted environmental studies and has edited out vital finding in scientific studies in order to support their agenda.
Most notable missing topics:
Virtually no mention about any international issues
No mention on what our Congress is doing these days.
Of course there are many more issues being ignored by the TV news networks but there is enough here to fill in a few more minutes of CNN’s broadcast day.
What follows is the breakdown of the typical CNN prime time news hour taped by TVNL: Numbers represent minutes.
BROADCAST: CNN Live from the Headlines - September 5th, 2003 - 7PM EST – Anchor - Anderson Cooper
Conclusion: America does not have a national TV news network. If it were not for the Internet, and some of the great independent media organizations, our ignorance might have been irreparable at this point. Michael Powell is trying to pass new laws that will make this situation worse by relaxing the already soft media ownership regulations. We must not allow this to happen.
Our enemy is not terror, it is not Islam, it is not the radical suicide bomber, it is the threat to our society that ignorance poses to our nation. America has become a nation of misinformed radical flag wavers who do not even understand what they are supporting when they flaunt their patriotism. We are taught that democracy means that we all get to sing the national anthem before every sports even but we do not realize that without a free press we have no democracy.
When you see a flag on the lapel of a newscaster it is a clear symbol of bias reporting. News commentators are being paid to be journalists, not ersatz patriots. They are supposed to report the news and tell the truth regardless of whether or not it supports the agenda or the image of the government. They are not paid to support our troops, our president or to promote the American image. Contrary to what the networks are telling you our government is not always right, it is not always just, it is not always honest and it does not always act in our best interest. The news networks should not make it their mission to make us believe that all is wonderful if it comes in red white and blue.
We must preserve democracy. We must call an end to propaganda masquerading as news. We must protect our democracy by guaranteeing that we have access to the truth. We must have a free press.