Thursday, November 18, 2004

Creating or Reporting? You Tell Me

I wrote the following message to CNN using their online web form.

This morning, November 18, 2004, I was watching “Inside Politics”.

I forgot the exact quotes from the observation that follows, but I think that I’ll get the flavor of it very close.

During one segment, Judy Woodruff informed us that we were going to talk about the political future of Hillary Rodham Clinton.

She began the report by stating that, like many people, George Pataki was of the mind that native New Yorker Colin Powell would be a formidable opponent for Senator Clinton in the 2008 presidential campaign.

She also said that Pataki, himself, may choose to run against Senator Clinton.

This is an abashed, blatant example of a news reporting outlet actually creating the news.

First of all, there are people who are threatening to call for recounts in Ohio, Florida and New Mexico because of suspected voting abuses in the 2004 presidential election.

Admittedly, John Kerry, who has proven to all of his supporters that he really didn’t deserve their support, is not one of the people contesting the above mentioned results.

Nonetheless, there are people who don’t believe that the 2004 election is a done deal yet.

Secondly, I’ve not read, heard or seen anywhere, including on CNN, that Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton has announced her candidacy for the 2008 Democratic Party nomination for president.

Thirdly, if she does make that announcement, it shouldn’t be presumed that she’ll win the nomination.

However, if CNN is already, four years before the election, reporting on people who may be opponents of Senator Clinton in 2008, CNN is, consequently, beginning to embed the idea that Senator Clinton will be the Democratic Party’s nominee.

When a report introduces a segment about the future of a politician such as Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, the reporter should be reporting what’s been said or done by and/or to that politician.

If there is any speculating to be done at all, it should be reports on polls taken or reports submitted by think tanks or other organizations.

CNN should stick to reporting the news. CNN should not be in the business of propaganda which may or may not have the affect of planting “realities” in the minds of its viewers.

In a debate type program such as “Crossfire”, there may be some wiggle room for inserting opinions. However, it should be obvious to viewers of programs such as “Crossfire” that opinions are being expressed and real news facts are not necessarily the venue.

CNN is not the only network committing such deeds. CNN is where I saw it happen this morning, though, and, consequently, I am writing to you to ask you not to make such presumptions.

By the way, I consider myself a progressive and may cast my vote for Senator Clinton if she was running for office and I thought that she was the best candidate at the time. I’m not a right wing radical who’s angry because the example was Senator Clinton.

Please let the American people make up their own minds when and if a candidate announces for an office.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

I didn't even remind CNN that there are more than two political parties in the former United States of America.

Please feel free to comment.

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