Regular readers of this column – thanks mom and grandma! – already know this, but just for the sake of clarity and full disclosure, I am not a huge fan of the recently sworn in United States CEO (Chief Executive Orange-guy).
That having been said, I am no fan of CNN, either. And not very often, but sometimes, SOMETIMES … the enemy of enemy is … nope, still can’t bring myself to stick up for him.
But even though the man born to play the lead in a live action bio-pic of Scrooge McDuck is a disorganized, blowhard, manchild, it doesn’t excuse this …
“But, Tony,” you may be thinking, “investigators did corroborate some of the claims in the dossier that provided two weeks of monologue fodder for late night TV hosts and Weekend Update anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che – how is that unacceptable?”
I’m glad you asked. Because when “legitimate” news agencies (yes, FOX and others are guilty, too) start using the same tactics that the supermarket checkout rags that have had Gwen and Blake married, expecting and breaking up over her skin cream/his cheating/The Voice all in the same week, use to publish libel-line straddling bullshit without getting sued, shouldn’t we be just as concerned about the integrity of their information and their motives?
In case you missed it, the only reason that the “dossier” in question ever made news in the first place was because it contained claims that our President once hired Russian prostitutes to pee on a bed once slept in by President and Mrs. Obama. While he watched. Before you ask, NO, the Obamas were not alleged to have been in the bed at the time. Though that certainly would have spawned one insanely fun wave of internet fanfic.
But I digress. The point is that because the dossier blew up in the media mostly because of the Trump-is-a-golden-shower-aficionado claim, to what conclusion do you think people leapt after reading that headline? Uh-huh. Pee EVERYWHERE!
Also telling is the fact that of the 536 words that comprise their “news” story, authors (sorry, douchebags, but I refuse to use the words “journalists” or “reporters” in this context) Jim Sciutto and Evan Perez used only 10 percent of them to reiterate that NONE of the confirmed facts were that “President The Donald Loves The Urine.”
That’s some piss poor reporting. HA! I KILL ME!
So what was confirmed?
“US intelligence officials emphasize the conversations were solely between foreign nationals, including those in or tied to the Russian government, intercepted during routine intelligence gathering.”
Also: “CNN has not confirmed whether any content relates to then-candidate Trump.” So … that was … worth writing?
Of course it was, if you were trying to smear someone in the minds of the average internet reader without having to print a retraction and write them a lottery-winner-press-conference-sized check.
Still don’t get it? Check out this CNN piece that all but embroiders Jeff Sessions’ suit jacket with the word “racist” … for the first 641 words. It was written by Scott Zamost, Drew Griffin and Curt Devine, a.k.a., three people that should be fucking ashamed of themselves for not presenting the contradictory view of THE WOMAN’S OWN SON until the eleventh full paragraph of their story. Way to put all sides of the story front and center, kids.That’s the staffs of The Star, The National Enquirer and The Globe starting an 80’s teen movie slow clap in appreciation of your reporting style.
It’s supposed to be “news,” you fucks, not a Shyamalan movie; but you already know that no one is sticking around for the twist ending.
Or, read this crack reporting from the launch of my new news site, TCMUNN (Tony’s Completely Made Up News Network) …
UNCONFIRMED REPORTS CLAIM SCIUTTO AND PEREZ STOMP PUPPIES FOR FUN
The Internet – Unconfirmed sources claim that CNN.com writers Jim Sciutto and Evan Perez both regularly rescue puppies from animal shelters, only to stomp them to death for their own amusement while ironically wearing plush puppy slippers. Again, these reports are unconfirmed. We will continue to update the story as more information becomes available.
UH-OH, this just in …
PORTIONS OF SCIUTTO/EVANS PUPPY STOMPING STORY CONFIRMED!
The Internet – TCMUNN can confirm that Jim Sciutto and Evan Perez are indeed writers for CNN.com, and that most puppy slippers tend to be plush. Nothing else in the other story is remotely true, but that’s okay because we said “UNCONFIRMED”; NO BACKSIES!
The bottom line is this: there are many real reasons to be fearful of the mental state, preparedness and temperament of our new commander-in-chief and his administration, so how can we trust a news agency that displays a seemingly pathological need to present every story, even those lacking in substance (the dossier confirmation story), or those with credible contradictions buried beyond the bounds of the average internet surfer’s attention span (the Sessions story) as an indictment of his character, his cabinet and his policies?
These stories may not be “fake” news, but they sure aren’t good news for our standards of journalism and reporting.
Tony Marion is a writer and filmmaker who splits time between Lancaster, PA and Baltimore, MD. He lives for the work of Descendents (the band), Chuck Palahniuk and Rian Johnson. Check out the digital embodiment of procrastination he calls his website here.