Saturday, November 3, 2007
Probably writing a post about Bias on a blog called "All Things CNN" might, in itself, be perceived as bias but there was a story that I saw on Inside Cable News that I felt I wanted to address.
Last Wednesday they posted a story about the FOX program Hannity and Colmes. The show decided to ask certain students at the University of Alabama to view the AC360 documentary "Planet in Peril" and give their opinions in a forum. On Friday, Oct 26 Hannity and Colmes interviewed the forum's moderator, Dr. John Christy, and asked him about the opinions of the students. His statements lead viewers to believe that many of the students saw problems and disparities in the documentary. The clips that were shown on H&C were critical of "Planet in Peril" and they did not show the other opinions.
In an email to Inside Cable News one student that attended, Christopher Hain, had a different view of what happened then what was presented on FOX. From ICN: "He wrote that several of the students there felt that what aired on Hannity & Colmes was not an accurate portrail of either the forum or some of the views represented on it." To read more of his email and some other student's emails that shared his opinions go to ICN.
My first thought when reading this was why in the heck would Hannity and Colmes care so much about what CNN does? We all know that FOX has the best ratings in news and it seems to me that what they attempted to do was to take a huge swipe at a highly regarded CNN effort. It seems not only petty but more than a little bias to attack CNN over a program that they, in fact, haven't even attempted to do themselves and probably won't. As a person that watches CNN a lot, especially 360 I can say that they don't take the time to talk about what FOX is doing, as it should be.
No matter what the critics or viewers thought of "Planet in Peril" it was obvious to me that the scope of the project was far greater than anything done by FOX or MSNBC. The effort and time that was put into the documentary was commendable as well as the effort to showcase a subject that is one of the most important of our time. It's easy to sit back in your studio at FOX and never go anywhere to witness what is happening in the "real" world.... to see, in person, the effects of these environmental issues that CNN investigated.
To me, even talking about it was petty and highly unnecessary to begin with, but then to go on the air and only show one side of it, to spin the results to make you look better is really pretty lame! (For lack of a better word). It's hard for me to have any kind of respect for people that sit on their butts and bad mouth something that they wouldn't even have the guts to talk about themselves or better yet, go see for themselves. Why waste time on your supposed "news" program to talk about something that is obviously not news but spin? Isn't it Bill O'Reilly (on FOX) who says "It's a no SPIN zone"? If I could give the boys at H&C some advice I'd say to follow your colleague's tag line and then get off your butt and see what's really happening in the world. Maybe Anderson Cooper could give them advice on that but I doubt he has time while he's in Africa doing a story about something that really matters!