There’s news, there’s fake news, there’s not news (also called the non-story), and now, courtesy one recent CNN clip with anchor Brooke Baldwin about the recent school shooting in Colorado, there’s blatant propaganda masked as primetime news.
Come on, CNN. Quit insulting the intelligence of viewers.
A recent segment on CNN and posted on Mediaite opened with a classroom student asking Beto O’Rourke, tearfully, emotionally, with quivering in her voice, “What actions will you take to protect people like me and my classmates from this happening?”
The camera lens then swung to Baldwin in a chair, quietly and somberly posed, as phrases flashed on a television monitor to her right that went like this, “373,663 killed by gun violence from 2007-2017” — after which she sighed — and this, “If words aren’t changing anything, then what about these images?”
What followed was a silent montage of scenes from what we later learn is the Highlands Ranch school shooting, with parents assembled in grieving circles — “Parents waiting to hear their child’s name called … or not” — and children being escorted from the scenes of shootings, “Children with their hands up … at school.”
That lasted more than a minute.
More than a minute of silence on CNN air.
Then came the clips of interviews with the shocked and crying victims of past shooting tragedies, followed by a close-up camera capture of an emotional Baldwin, who finally spoke.
“Those voice, those images, are from Highlands Ranch, Colorado, where authorities are investigating a school shooting,” she said.
Talk about propaganda.
Talk about cringe-worthy.
CNN used to have the slogan “the most trusted name in news.” CNN used to rage against the President Donald Trump “fake news” machine by pushing out a “Facts First” slogan. Not everybody bought into CNN’s insistence of unbiased reporting, or course. Pew Research Center polls consistently find Americans, by and large, distrust the media — even more than they distrust members of Congress.
But this latest obvious push for gun control and government intervention can’t help CNN’s image any.
It’s one thing to be labeled far left. It’s one thing to be blasted as a purveyor of fake news and fabricated content by those with opposing political views, with conservative political views.
It’s another thing entirely — another eye-rolling, profits’ sinking, ratings’ rotting thing entirely — to saunter down the path of pure propaganda. Yet with this clip on Colorado’s school shooting, this is precisely what CNN has done. And for anyone with an ounce of intelligence, that clip represents two minutes of wasted life that can never be regained.
• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter, @ckchumley.