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Sparkly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-31-04 11:46 PM
Original message
Draft of letter to CNN -- comments appreciated
(Not that they'll heed it, but I'd welcome feedback. I may revise for a LTTE and will send it to Aaron Brown, who used to write me back alot.)


My husband and I work from home, follow politics closely, and keep our televisions on, tuned to news, through most of the day and night. Never have I been more infuriated, or more baffled, by your news coverage. Its become increasingly obvious that you seek to boost your ratings by emphasizing the sensational and the trivial, yet I can understand putting revenues above responsibility as a rationale. But not even profit motive can entirely explain your astounding efforts at propping up George W. Bush.

During the 2000 presidential campaigns, I thought you were simply bending over backwards in an effort not to appear liberally biased, but would correct yourselves and find balance eventually.

After the USSCs decision about Florida in 2000, I thought you were just trying to prevent riots by spinning facts to pacify a public whod just had democracy ripped out from under them.

After 9/11, I thought you were just trying to unify a country longing to be united under strong leadership.

But at this point, I cant imagine what youre thinking.

Your reporting on the Democratic primary campaigns was stunningly insulting, especially regarding your former commentator, General Wesley Clark. Youve re-run A Flyboys Story at least four times, for no apparent reason. And you continue to employ Bob Novak, whos seriously betrayed national security on a level traitorous if not treasonous.

From Judy Woodruff to Paula Zahn, Tucker Carlson to Cate OBerne, Wolf Blitzer to Candy Crowley, Ive come to distrust most of your anchors, reporters, and talkers. They seem utterly unable even to report common-knowledge facts as given by the AP and Reuters. (Do you read your feedback?) Only Lou Dobbs and Aaron Brown have remained on the routine schedule of our TV, but at this point all loyalty has faded.

The last straw was your reporting on the DNC convention last week, which was absolutely amazing in its malice. By Monday, I decided I couldnt stand CNN for ongoing coverage, but only as a periodic check-in (thanks, C-Span). By Thursday, CNN check-ins became virtually indistinguishable from Fox check-ins, and MSNBC After Hours was the only palatable television discussion of the convention. (It says a lot when CNN makes Joe Scarborough seem rational.)

You paved the way with Sunday nights Born to Run. Perhaps I should have run when I heard Candy Crowleys byline, but Aaron Brown introduced it asking, What does John Kerry stand for? What does he really believe? And most importantly, what sort of president would he make?

Trusting Aaron, I watched. I watched the repetition of every now-familiar, long-discounted rightwing smear Rove ever faxed, with people like John ONeill and Bob Dole as quotable sources. (If you want to see a factual biographical documentary, watch MSNBCs John Kerry: Bringing the War Home.)

Then the DNC Convention began, with trusted commentary from people like Brent Bozell, Zell Miller, and Ralph Reed! Aaron Brown interviewing Laura Ingraham about the Democrats convention was sadly beyond belief.

Given your line-up of commentators on my partys convention, Id like to offer some suggestions for similarly fair, trusted coverage of the August RNC convention in New York, following the model you established for the DNC convention. The list below suggests people to be interviewed for your biographical documentary of Bush, who can provide character analyses and personal opinions of him, just as John ONeill, Bob Dole, and others expressed their personal opinions of John Kerry in Born to Run. Others should be contacted to provide their opinions on every major RNC speech and event, as well as overall criticism of the convention (all unrebutted, of course), just as Bozell, Miller, Reed, and Ingraham did.

In no particular order:

Michael Moore
Al Franken
Jeanneane Garafolo
Joe Conason
Al Sharpton
Bill Maher
Mario Cuomo
Ann Richards
Whoopi Goldberg
Paul Krugman
Molly Ivins
Cynthia McKinney
David Brock
Maxine Waters
Nancy Pelosi

Only by having these people as unrebutted commentators for the RNC convention can you earn back any part of the slogan trusted news source.

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fearnobush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-31-04 11:51 PM
Response to Original message
1. I like it, It is much nicer than the letters Ive been sending to CNN.
Edited on Sun Aug-01-04 12:49 AM by fearnobush
You missed Randy Rhodes and Greg Palest.

Below are all CNN contacts
< > CNN's feedback link page

< >
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One CNN Center, Box 105366, Atlanta, GA 30303-5366
Phone: 404-827-1500
Fax: 404-827-1906

CNN Washington Bureau
820 First St. N.E., Washington, DC 20002
Phone: 202-898-7900
Fax: 202-898-7923

Phone: 202-898-7655
Fax: 202-898-7611

Larry King Live
Phone: 202-898-7690
Fax: 202-898-7686

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ellie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-01-04 07:56 AM
Response to Reply #1
26. Thanks for the CNN address
in Atlanta. I just finished writing a letter, in longhand since they ignore my e-mails, and couldn't find a decent address on their website.
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classof56 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-31-04 11:52 PM
Response to Original message
2. This doesn't just sparkle, it shines!!
Way to go! Absolutely LOVE the recommended list of commentators for the RNC. You are brilliant! Let us know what CNN has to say. I'm guessing...well, never mind right now. We'll see....

Bush Must Go!!
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Bluebear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-31-04 11:52 PM
Response to Original message
3. Excellent, truly and mirrors my thoughts
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buff2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-31-04 11:52 PM
Response to Original message
4. I think that is an excellent letter
Send it! :hi:
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GoneOffShore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-31-04 11:54 PM
Response to Original message
5. Consider adding to your list
Edited on Sat Jul-31-04 11:57 PM by GoneOffShore
Naomi Klein and Jim Hightower.
Added on edit:
And yes, you've hit the nail on the head with this.
Send it off, and spread it far and wide.
Let us all know the repsonse, if any, you get from CNN.
:kick: :bounce:
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Sensei Donating Member (21 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-01-04 12:00 AM
Response to Original message
6. I refuse to watch CNN
CNN is in the gutter and deservedly so. It's good that Fox is beating them, they deserve it. MSNBC tries harder to be objective and I root for them to pass CNN. The Most Trusted Name in News. Yeah Right.
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gmoney Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-01-04 12:05 AM
Response to Original message
7. You could sign my name to it, too.
Well said...
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calimary Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-01-04 12:08 AM
Response to Original message
8. Send it. Can you send it via SNAIL MAIL?
Check the guidelines in The Master List in Activism/Events for a way to send it and completely avoid any anthrax suspicions.

Send it. Make copies and send them out to MANY CNN people. CC: it on the bottom, so whoever gets one can see immediately that other pairs of eyes they know have received the same material. It's harder to deny anybody saw it if you know you sent it to LOTS of people.

I remember reading about a woman who sent a complaint to the NYTimes about their lowballing of crowd-size at an anti-war rally she herself attended. She'd seen for herself how big the crowd was, and vehemently disagreed with the portrayal in the paper. She wrote her complaint to the Times. She CC'd it to (I think) "Editor and Publisher" AND to the NYTimes' most ferocious competition, the Washington Post. (By the way, there's contact info in The Master Thread for these). Her underlying message - to shame the NYTimes by making it clear that her scolding of it was being seen by many others outside the Times' sphere of influence, so in effect, they were getting a public whacking. Very swiftly thereafter, the Times printed a correction.

You have to rub their noses in it. Otherwise they'll scoff and dismiss you - AGAIN. They're so used to it by now, so used to bowing to another master, that it would be their long-established pattern to do so. This jolts them back.

ESPECIALLY NOW! There is momentum out there of exposing the media for the lapdog it's turned into. There was a panel of network apologists on CSPAN, I think, earlier today, in fact, where the Rathers, Jenningses and Brokaws - and Jim Lehrer, too, were again facing criticism about network bias. There's Michael Moore who's in the media's face with "Fahrenheit 9/11." There's the Columbia Journalism Review, that either today or yesterday issued a harsh and glaring critique of CNN's Democratic Convention coverage and its INCREDIBLE bias toward the wrong-wing. There's "OUTFOXED." It started a couple of months ago with the Chalabi scandal blowing up in the faces of the almighty Judith Miller and the NYTimes, so the media already is on the defensive, somewhat. I think it's because they're uncomfortably and increasingly aware that WE KNOW. That WE are ONTO them. They're still in denial, still trying to make excuses, probably because they're not quite sure yet that Kerry's gonna do it and they're still trying to hedge their bets and stay on bush's good side. Which is why we HAVE TO stay on them. HAVE TO.
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ClassWarrior Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-01-04 12:38 AM
Response to Reply #8
11. Amen Mary.
And great job Sparkly!

So what the the Columbia JR publish?? Inquiring minds want to know - PM me the details...

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Tight_rope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-01-04 06:15 AM
Response to Reply #8
23. HELL..Send that letter to everyone you mentioned in it...Let everyone know
Edited on Sun Aug-01-04 06:15 AM by Tight_rope
Send it to both those we are Republican and those Democrats that you mentioned. If you need help getting addressed just ask DU...I'm sure we will all help...I surely will.
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Joy Anne Donating Member (830 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-01-04 12:35 AM
Response to Original message
9. Speaking of sending letters to CNN tonight
here's one I just sent:

"Your news anchor asked guest Gail Sheehy what she thought about Teresa Heinz
Kerry telling off the reporter. "The reporter" wasn't a reporter; he's the
editorial page editor of a tabloid founded and financed by Richard Mellon
Scaife. Please stop repeating disinformation."

I've been a (formerly Dean)RapidResponse writer all year, and I've gotten used to snapping off letters to the editor, notes to journalists, and the like on a daily basis.

Send this one. It's terrific, and it should register on the radar screen there. For newspaper publication, however, you'd want to be shorter.

These days, I watch only Lou Dobbs on CNN. I caught the above bunch of baloney only because my husband was doing the male thing, flipping channels.

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Protected Donating Member (618 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-01-04 12:37 AM
Response to Original message
10. Great letter!
I agree with you completely.

CNN and MSNBC both seem to be trying to be a weird hybrid of "Fox News" and "Entertainment Tonight." I really miss watching the real news! MSNBC doesn't even try to hide it anymore with their painted up anchors and co-branded "Access Hollywood" segments.

I watched very little of the convention coverage on CNN, but what I saw was just disastrous. Most of what I watched was hosted by Larry King and I have no idea what they were thinking when they selected him for this duty. I guess it simply exposes the fact that CNN really didn't have a capable anchor to fulfill this role. The "After Hours" coverage with Ron Reagan and Joe Scarborough on MSNBC was pretty decent, I thought. I'd say it was brilliant compared to that Larry King garbage on CNN.

What CNN needs is a new Bernard Shaw type on the network. I think they were expecting to get that out of Aaron Brown, but it just didn't happen. At this point nearly all of their on air 'talent' is so washed up and, as you said, untrustworthy.
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Robbien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-01-04 12:42 AM
Response to Original message
12. What a great letter
I wish you could shorten it a bit and send it in as a LTTE so that more people could read it.
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Arianrhod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-01-04 12:55 AM
Response to Original message
13. Small correction, if you don't mind.
The words "treasonous" and "traitorous" are virtually synonyms. I would suggest replacing "traitorous" with "seditious", which means "inciting others to disobey the government", which would then be followed by the somewhat stronger "treasonous", the actual act of trying to overthrow the government.

Otherwise, good letter.
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Only Me Donating Member (631 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-01-04 01:09 AM
Response to Original message
14. I like it . I sent one Friday for the same reason. n/t
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CaTeacher Donating Member (983 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-01-04 01:21 AM
Response to Reply #14
15. Excellent!
Send it--I hope that it does some good!
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yardwork Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-01-04 01:30 AM
Response to Original message
16. I like your use of the word "malice"
It's accurate and I hope they notice.

I've sent so many emails to CNN this year and the coverage has gotten so bad I never watch them at all.

I will write them one last letter and tell them why they lost me as a viewer. If I was forced to choose, I would prefer to watch Faux. At least they are up front about being biased.
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DemWitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-01-04 02:26 AM
Response to Original message
17. excellent!
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ParanoidPat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-01-04 02:30 AM
Response to Original message
18. You might want to ask them about D5E.....
....From an erlier thread.
D5E:destruction, degradation, denial, disruption, deceit, and exploitation


Working Group on Preventive and Preemptive Military Intervention

William W. Keller and Gordon R. Mitchell1
Project Coordinators


U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, called for an FBI investigation into the forgery of documents cited by President Bush and Secretary Powell as proof of Iraqs nuclear transactions with Niger. As Rockefeller explained in a letter to FBI Director Robert Mueller: There is a possibility that the fabrication of these documents may be part of a larger deception campaign aimed at manipulating public opinion and foreign policy regarding Iraq.26

The timeliness of Rockefellers proposed inquiry was underscored by the appearance of official documents that lay out official American deception plans: "In a document last autumn, the joint chiefs of staff stressed the need for strategic deception and influence operations as tools of war. The army, navy and air force have been directed to devise plans for information warfare."27

According to defense analyst William Arkin, the Bush strategy lays out goals for information warfare that pursue D5E: "destruction, degradation, denial, disruption, deceit, and exploitation." Arkin notes that the wide array of sites and ractices of information control brought into the range of this policy "blurs or even erases the boundaries between factual information and news, on the one hand, and public relations, propaganda and psychological warfare on the other."28

This fusion of military deception programs with media propaganda efforts enabled the Office of Strategic Influence to commission officers from the U.S. Army's Psychological Operations Command to work as interns in the news division of CNN.29

Eventually, the Bush Administration was burned by the political heat generated when the Office of Strategic Influence was leaked to the media. The ensuing firestorm of controversy prompted Secretary Rumsfeld to close the propaganda unit. Yet less than a year later, Rumsfeld stipulated that his action had only been symbolic, and that information warfare missions were still underway at other Pentagon offices: And then there was the Office of Strategic Influence. You may recall that.
And oh my goodness gracious isn't that terrible, Henny Penny the sky is going to fall. I went down that next day and said fine, if you want to savage this thing, fine, I'll give you the corpse. There's the name. You can have the name, but I'm gonna keep doing every single thing that needs to be done and I have.30

The political implications of blurring military strategic deception and public sphere propaganda are worth exploring, given Arkin's concerns about military deception that "while the policy ostensibly targets foreign enemies, its most likely victim will be the American electorate."31


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lebkuchen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-01-04 02:40 AM
Response to Original message
19. Detailed, well-thought out letters such as yours make an impact
on the receivers. You speak for many. Thanks so much for writing it.

I'll try to raise the content level of the letters I send to them as well.
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Bush was AWOL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-01-04 05:00 AM
Response to Original message
20. Tell them to get off of Warsaw rising.
It was a horrible story, but can't they cover the story without making it look like FDR was anti-semite. His deal with Stalin was not optional. Tell them to run some stories on Iran Contra or Watergate.
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Tight_rope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-01-04 06:03 AM
Response to Original message
21. Man.....You expressed all of my anger...Thank You! Thank You!
Edited on Sun Aug-01-04 06:08 AM by Tight_rope
We shall see what will become of CNN. I have noted in my book that they are on Boycott until the RNC. If then I don't see the same fairness in rebutals from Democrats on the RNC. I will spread the word like wildfire and block the channel with a code so that I don't ever accident even flip pass CNN and accidently boost their credit rating.
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Justice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-01-04 06:04 AM
Response to Original message
22. Good Letter, Some Suggestions

I would add in Bill Schneider to their list of people (with Candy etc)

I would add Charles Rangel, Ellijah Cummings, Max Cleland, and the DNC chairman to your list.

Will be watching for the number of times they interrupt or talk over the speaker, the number of times they say the convention is scripted, etc. Want to hear them talk about Bush's lack of speaking ability, and the fact that he really needs to nail it, needs to say something and say it well. Need to talk about how much the republicans are putting moderates in prime time - people that don't really represent their party. They keep brushing over this, saying that they are moderate and conservative, so they will have both - but the reality is that is a lie.

And lots of smirking...I want to see lots of smirking and funny quips poking fun at republicans. I want to see a comparison between the relative passion of the DNC and the RNC. I don't want to hear that the republicans are "on message" after hearing the democrats were "overly scripted"

I would edit the last line as follows (I think it would allow them to begin to earn, not earn):

By having these people as unrebutted commentators for the RNC convention, you can begin to provide coverage that is fair, and begin to legitimately use any part of the slogan trusted news source.
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mandyky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-01-04 07:05 AM
Response to Original message
24. One FYI note about Aaron Brown
If you send him a copy, you might want to mention in a post script or something that you realize he may not have been onboard during election 2000. If I remember right, both Paula Zahn and Aaron Brown started earlier than planned on 9-11-01. I'm not sure how he'd take your timeline, esp. since you have a relationship with him...
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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-01-04 07:18 AM
Response to Original message
25. Your letter is excellent! Thank you! Please, DUers, keep the heat on...
Edited on Sun Aug-01-04 07:19 AM by DeepModem Mom
the media, using any or all of the ideas that have popped up on our board since the "malicious" coverage of our Convention.

On edit: Adding, as always, the CNN viewer-comment line #: 404-827-0234.
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