Saturday, January 8, 2011

VIDEO: CNN MisID's Giffords Suspect, Apologizes, Does it Again

Update: CNN and a friend of the kid whose photo was used both called, asked me to blur the non-suspect's image. So here's a new version of the video and a second blog post is coming. -sf

One of the most horrifying and irresponsible days in American journalism just got measurably worse when CNN, at about 8:59 p.m. PT apologized for airing a photo they said was Jared Lee Loughner, suspect in the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and slaying of six in Tucson. Lemon explained that the image they had shown of a young man at a sporting event was taken from Loughner's Facebook page archives and that CNN was sorry for the error.

Then, about two minutes later at the top of the hour, CNN showed the same erroneous image again. It's stunning enough that ripping something off Facebook and not bothering to check the accuracy is what's done in the highest circles of American journalism today. But to get it wrong, apologize and then do it again is absolutely unbelievable.

The entire day has been appalling. First, of course, there was Reuters and NPR reporting the Rep. Giffords was dead. She wasn't, but all manner of credible news folk, including Ben Smith and Jon Ralston, retweeted it:

Next there was the bizarre spectacle of Fox, MSNBC and CNN going on all day about vitriol in politics and Sarah Palin's personal responsibility in this without having any specific information about the alleged gunman's motives. Also, if anyone is responsible for the vicious partisanship in this country, it's Fox and MSNBC first and second, with CNN in third for inventing the TV shoutfest concept with "Crossfire." Then, maybe somewhere down on the list might be Palin and other incendiary camera whores who are products, not the engineers, of this dynamic.

Speaking of camera whores and a lack of perspective, Fox News legal analyst Peter Johnson Jr. went on the air to twice call the Arizona shooting a "dastardly deed" -- greatly offending the Joker, Dr. Evil and Lex Luthor, no doubt, because they figured they had the corner on the "dastardly" market -- but also claimed this was the worst "dastardly deed" he's seen in his lifetime. Apparently he shrugged off 9/11, the Oklahoma City bombing, the Mumbai attacks or Columbine.

I loved when he went on later to Tweet this:

Unspeakable, and yet there is he blubbering along on TV, huh? See, that's what I'd love to see, this guy tell Fox's producers, "No, no, I can't come on. This is just unspeakable. I cannot speak to it." Tee hee.

Finally, our local media in Vegas was utterly worthless. The Review-Journal sent out just a single news flash or Tweet about what was happening in Tucson:

You know what we got LOADS of info about from the Review-Journal's Tweeter today? Every frigging bowel movement by everyone on the Runnin' Rebels.

And nobody locally seems to have noticed the one Vegas-related connection: The owner of the Golden Nugget, Tilman Fertitta, flew Giffords' husband from Texas to Tucson on his private jet. Nicely done, folks!


Eric said...

You may be right about media outlets like Fox and MSNBC being the culprits behind hyper-partisanship.

However, they didn't introduce the spectre of violence into our political debate. That blame is laid solely upon the Tea Party and minions like Sarah Palin.

The teabaggers have been quick to use terms like "revolt," "revolution," "call to arms," and imagery like Palin's idiotic map featuring 20 congresspeople (including Jeffords) in crosshairs.

The Tea Party has blood on their souls today.

Anonymous said...

The RJ actually sent out 5 news flashes about what was happening in Tucson.