Thursday, June 09, 2005

Sound Off To the Media!

Some will say that it doesnt matter, that writing to CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, PBS etc. is just a waste of time. But I am so enraged at the lack of substantial coverage these days about political issues of substance, but in particular, the British Downing Street Memo. So, I am writing the various mainstream news sources including CNN, MSNBC, Slate, the NY times, the Washington Post and some others to tell them that their coverage of the british memo- or should I say lack of coverage, was shameful.

Anyway, if anyone is as pissed as I am about this, please consider sending emails to the mainstream media- feel free to use mine below- paste it on an email and send it off. One thing that encourages me is that groups like mediamatters.org have been taking the mainstream media to task over this- putting such so-called liberal media stalwarts as the NYT and Washington Post on the defensive about their flimsy coverage of this issue. If thousands of liberals would write and complain PLUS having pressure from groups like FAIR, Media Matters etc., perhaps we COULD accomplish something? Anyway, here's my email I am sending. Feel free to comment or make suggestions. Or feel free to copy it and send it yourself to media outlets. This email of course was sent to CNN.com.
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I am writing to tell you that you have lost yet another viewer as a result of CNN's insubstantial and biased political news coverage. CNN's coverage of the leaked British Memo has been shameful. The British Memo contains information that possibly contradicts the assertions of the Bush administration with respect to whether the intelligence was politicized and raises important/serious questions about when exactly the President had decided to go to War. Yet CNN provided more coverage of the ridiculous "Runaway Bride" story than it did the British Memo. How is it that a news organization such as CNN, that claims to be "the most powerful name in cable news" can justify or rationalize such mixed up priorities with respect to its coverage?

In addition, CNN has apparently found the story worthy of little to no follow-up reporting. Since when does the media drop an issue simply because the administration refuses to comment on a potentially damning story? That in itself is worthy of coverage in light of the fact that in a democracy, the President is accountable to the people.

Yesterday, your website posted a short article that covered John McCain's statement that he didn't agree with the memo but McCain's statements did not come anywhere near addressing the issues raised in the memo. The issue is not political ideology, but rather thorough coverage of an issue of extreme importance to the American people- what is more serious than conflicting evidence about whether or not a war was waged under false pretenses? We do not know at this stage whether or not that is indeed the case, but we certainly wont find out if the media, including CNN, refuse to ask the obvious, difficult and important questions that this memo raises.

The "mainstream media" (including CNN) has long given in to the Republican political spin that the media, and CNN in particular, has a "liberal bias" and it is clear that in an attempt to counter that ridiculous misconception, CNN and others have joined Fox in its quest for "patriotic" news coverage- ie. coverage that seeks to ensure access to those in power by refusing to ask the essential journalistic questions, no matter how difficult or controversial, of those that claim to represent us and in particular, the President of the United States.

Your coverage of the leaked British Memo is just one example of how CNN's coverage has been ultra-accommodating to this administration. The result is news that is sterile, dumbed-down and uninformative. I find it likely that CNN's ratings will continue to drop- not because more people are attracted to the Fox-News recipe for what they call "reporting" which is really biased spin dressed up as actual journalism, but because more and more of us are turning to more independent and in-depth sources of news coverage- usually on the internet.