Thursday, February 22, 2007

An inconvenient truth...and I will still freak out!

Sorry, I got carried away with the amazing features that Google´s tool bar have created for Blogger and MSN with its LiveWriter ( great tools for bloggers that like to research and include Creative Commons content - like me - and a headache for the purists that think that it is not proper... well, the issue will probably bring debate... and if newspapers have used for ages uncredited press releases, I don't think the blogosphere, with all of the hacks and plug ins for content being developed by giants like Microsoft and Google will be much of an issue ) and came across and posted this magnificent comment by a Spaniard Blog without translating... I'm sort of a busy girl, you know...

I found the post highly relevant due to the discussions we have had this week in this blog. So here a rough translation:

Newsdesk Blog: All of this would be funny, if it wasn't tragic.

" If the ignorance and the frivolity by the majority of USA media consumers would be just a sane taste for leisure, all of this would be funny. Unfortunately, the endless public debate over the lives of Ana Nicole Smith and Britney Spears, is a signal of what worried Lapham: what kind of political criteria a society might have, that culturally, only live by that stupidity? None. Which is the consequence of trivial society? The answer, of course, has a name: George W. Bush and his government are the direct product of the 2000 election in which the US electoral force preferred a smiley ignorant cowboy ( "just one of the guys") instead of a man as Al Gore ."

Lewis Lapham mustbe reading Gibbon again at this moment.

- León Krauze"

Ironically that is what we have being yapping all week long about the "agenda behind this blog"(Media Literacy... ) and just read the right column of the blog with its news feeds to prove the misleading of the news industry:

Simultaneous Headlines:

  • CNN: Smith daughter gets remains
  • BBC: UN talks to review Iran defiance
  • Al Jazeera: Russia questions Iran sanctions
We have the stupid cowboy on the verge of attacking Iran and the only thing the USA media is catering is the Anna Nicole Story? John Klein likes his eye candy, and he knows people tune in to watch good looking people... it is all about the messenger, not the message, which explains the hiring of Kiran "hootchie mama" (thanks Sharla!) Chetry and the "marketing experiment" with Anderson Cooper - which I think really cuts his credibility and undermines his development -.

And then you have The Planet in Peril. When you have blockbusters documentaries like An Inconvenient Truth, and a very educated "conservationist" and "environmental" audience, the bar is pretty high. And the Planet in Peril was a fiasco. Image wise, Anderson Cooper was presented almost as a clown. There was nothing of real grip in the stories. How about the black market for exotic birds? But it was all about the petting zoo. I hope that at least they will compile the best footage for a SIU series, which again is just a recycling of stories, like this weekend Chasing Angelina... how old is that show?

I think CNN needs a 2.0 shake up, just like NBC....

38 comentarios:

rudy said...

Thanks for translating, now it makes sense. My Spanish is malo.

Sharla Dawn said...

Yes, thanks for the translation!

Kiran "Hootchie Mama" Chetry. I crack myself up :) HEEHEE!!

I agree with everything you've posted. Calling Anderson a "marketing experiment" is a perfect way to describe that, I think we all agree. It's all about ratings, baby! And the public will tune in to view the pretty (how freaking sad is THAT?!).

I think we should send them all emails to tell them what we think about this. I ALREADY DID!! (And posted in on my blog, too). I mean, there are quite a few blogs/sites that have people saying this sort of thing, but who knows if they actually are reading it over there. If we want them to take notice, we need to address them directly.

And the cowboy? I'm ashamed to admit I voted for him. However, that was years ago and I've since become a Democrat.

Anonymous said...

You just hate Anderson you are not his fan. I hope this blog won't be around much longer!

Maddy said...

Oh no ... here we go again

Sharla Dawn said...

Dear Anonymous (who I think is not arachne this time):

We don't hate Anderson. Just because we're picking on his show does not mean we don't like HIM. We like him a lot. It's the SHOW!! Geez already.

The Original Miranda Lane said...

Those simultaneous headlines remind me of when I was in Italy in October of 2002. Every international paper's headline was about the bombing in Indonesia that week. What was USA today's lead story? Dr. Phil had a new TV show. I was embarrassed to be an American. So I purchased a copy of The Independent and a copy of the Sueddeutsche Zeitunge to read in public, and I tried not to think too much about how the my national newspaper printed more ink about the Spiderman movie then they did about the D.C. sniper!

marie said...

Actually, I was the first to label Chetry "hootchie mama." ;)

Anyway, now that I have viewed several hours of CNN footage, that moniker is too mild to accurately describe her.

She also has no manners and proved it when she dissed Anderson within the first few minutes of her premiere on AC360.

Sharla Dawn said...

HEY! You're right. You did say it first. I'm just louder than you I guess :) And yeah, I originally said that she dissed Anderson in the first 30 seconds. It was more like the first TEN!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for that translation, I was clueless!
I e-mailed too, and the one to the general CNN mailbox was much nastier than the one to AC360. It was just after I'd read Christiane's post about the journalists who were in Baghdad, so I was pretty hot under the collar.
It's interesting that Al-Jazeera is putting out better news than we are. I think I'll point that out in my next e-mail.

Kiran said...

"marketing experiment" with Anderson?
Anderson Cooper was almost presented as a clown?

Okay, I think criticism is always a good thing and it more often than not helps others, BUT I think this is too much!!! I am not saying you hate him but please have some respect for the man.

It's really easy for people sitting at home on their couches, under the warm blankets, eating frozen dinners, to complain and pass judgments on what Anderson or any journalist for that matter is doing when they are out on the field. You think once the show is over for the night, he just goes to his hotel room and relaxes? No. Can you imagine covering the elections in Baghdad or going on patrol with the American troops in Afghanistan or spending one month in Lebanon during the war, where at any moment you might actually get killed?! All this for what? Just so people like YOU can get the real news.

If you still think people tune in to view the pretty, next time(god forbid)if something like Katrina or a Tsunami happens why don't you all go there and try reporting from those dangerous places? Or even better, go cover the war in Iraq or Afghanistan? I'll make sure I tune in to see the not so pretty if no one else does.

Maybe it would be better if you all started watching Fox News cuz they don't have pretty people there or real news as far as that is concerned. I have never seen or met or heard of anyone who watches AC360 just cuz Anderson is handsome man to look at. Not that he isn't good looking but his honesty, sincerity, and his work is always appreciated first.

And even if you are only talking the show, you don't win 3 Emmys just because you are pretty!

Also, I really hope this gets published on the site.

Sharla Dawn said...

I originally started watching Anderson for exactly the reason stated- the honesty, sincerity, and simple caring that the man has struck me right where it hurts the most. And I continued watching him because he brought me things that no one else did, like what is going on in Darfur, or what is really going on in Afganistan, etc.

It is highly apparent to those that watch every day that something is up. Anderson himself seems to not being doing so well. He's getting thinner, his coverage of things seems to be making him nearly frantic, and the words "burn out" are practically appearing over his head.

The "Planet in Peril" pieces are what set us off, in my opinion. And then to throw in a new anchor really made us crabby. I noticed the nic you are using is "Kiran". I don't know who you are, you could actually BE Kiran for all I know, but let it be known that I have nothing against the woman. Calling her a hootchie mama is a crack at her goofy personality.

Would I want to be a journalist, standing in front of pain and misery on a constant basis? Going to dangerous places and having to describe it to other people while I'm trying not to show how I'm shaking inside? HELL NO. No I wouldn't. As a matter of fact it shares the crap out of me every time I see Anderson, Mick, anyone for that matter, standing in those situations. I've been in the military. I wasn't sent to war but I could have been because it was Desert Storm. And to think that these men and women journalists go to these places willingly, just to tell me about it, makes me respect and admire them even more.

Anderson won Emmys because he is awesome. He conveniently happens to be gorgeous too. If you read the Anderfan blogs (which I avoid), it seems that many men and women ARE TOO tuning in just to stare at him. However, not all of us are, like I noted in the beginning of this very long response. Anderson is one hell of a complex individual for anyone that cares to take a good look.

Sharla Dawn said...

Okay I meant to say "scares the crap out of me". But I guess I'm sharing in the fear, so, Freudian slip of some sort.

As a God-fearing individual, I frequently pray for everyone and everything around me. I must say that every time I see my favorite boys running off to the war zone, my prayers get longer!

Sharla Dawn said...

I feel like a big fat jerk now and I ended up with a long winded "I'm an asshole" post on my own blog. First, yesterday, I tore apart Amanda Baggs on Eliza's and she showed up to defend herself. You think that would have been enough for me, but no, I've been awful lately.

I really don't know what to say about myself right now, except maybe... just ashamed.

Lee said...

If you spend some time reading the previous posts here, I think you will find that at one time or another most of us have made the same points you did. We don’t hate Anderson and we certainly don’t stay up until midnight every night because he’s good looking.

I think he’s a good journalist who has the potential to be one of the best. He does a very good job with military and political coverage which happens to be what I’m most interested in. That doesn’t mean that I blindly accept everything I hear on his show.

For example, on Thursday night, he had a Dan Goure on the program who he introduced as a military strategist. OK, that sounds impressive but who is he and what are his qualifications. I was assigned to the Strategic Plans and Policy Directorate of the Joint Staff in the 90s. Does that qualify me to go on 360 and talk about Iran? The answer is no.

A quick Google search revealed that Dan Goure is Vice President of the Lexington Institute and his bio is posted there.

Christiane said...

hmm... that is something I was always bitching about with Courtney, people forget that many people read blogs and many just chose not to get into arguments. I read you comment and Amandas, I think it was great that she took it in a positive way and really clarified all of "the spectrum of autism" and that she understands clearly how a simple news segment works.
Just think it could have been a lot worse...

Christiane said...

well I know, because I did earn my living as a journalist for 15 years, I know first hand what CNN did, and what should be doing.
Probably you are new to this blog, but if you search our archives you will find a lot of information regarding journalists on the field.

This is not a moderated blog, people are free to comment, and since the beginning we have never endorsed censorship, unless someone starts trolling and insulting in an abusive way ( which only happened once and recently ). People are held responsible for what they post - that's why we encourage people to use nicks instead of a simple anon comment -.

So I repeat my invitation to review the content of this blog, it will help you understand where we stand and where are we going editorially.

kiran said...

@Sharla dawn
First, my name is "Kiran" and honestly I am not a big fan of Kiran Chetry.
@Lee and Christiane
I have read the previous posts of this blog and I am certainly not new to this blog but I had never posted a comment before.
I understand what everyone is saying now, but I still don't understand that why call him a "marketing experiment" (which is simply NOT TRUE) and that "he was presented as a clown" in the Planet in Peril series. Okay I understand some of you may not have liked the Planet in Peril series but seriously I could've found better words to state my opinion.

I have never argued with anyone on what they post on their blogs, I just don’t do it. Their have been times when I have read things about people on blogs that I didn’t like and I usually ignore it, but this I couldn’t.

Also, I still don’t understand if you really respect him that much then why did you call him a “marketing experiment”??? I know one other person who called Anderson that but he said it because he is a newsman too, and probably jealous of Anderson.

Sharla Dawn said...

@kiran- I think the "marketing experiment" comments come from how CNN is relentlessly marketing Anderson as a person. Do they harp and scream about Wolf? Or Lou? Or even Larry? Not really. You don't see big billboards of THEM all over New York. Unfortunately, this is the internet age and how they seem to be promoting Anderson all over the internet is almost unseemly! It's practically exploitation.

kiran said...

I still don't agree with you maybe because I have actually seen billboards promoting Lou Dobbs and some others, even Sanjay Gupta. Anyways, I don't want to argue on this issue forever.

Anonymous said...

I have been a viewer and fan of AC360 for close to 3 years now and through those years I have appreciated and admired AC and his reporting but I have to say that I have seen a change in AC and the show the past year. I can't put my finger on it except that at times I have been very disappointed. The "Planet in Peril" trip to the Amazon was the last straw for me, thus, the criticism. I don't believe that we should "sugar" coat what AC or his show does when they screw up...period. Also, it's not all about AC, he does have a production team who, IMO, are just as responsible for the quality of the show and the reports.

I also don't think that talking about what he wears in the field or in the studio, how "blue" his eyes are, or creating videos of pictures of him are in fact showing respect either. How would I feel if I wanted to be viewed as a serious journalist and then have fans only care about what I'm wearing and how I look.

Bottomline, people are entitled to their opinions and that's what makes these blogs popular and interesting. State your case and be done with it!

Maddy said...

@ jr - I couldn't agree more

I don't think the relentless marketing of Anderson has been a good thing for him. It seems to have gotten him alot of fans but not neccesarily more viewers. It has taken the focus off of him as a journalist and made it more about him as a person and I don't think that is a good thing.

Like jr said I think it's unfortunate that when he puts himself in harms way to bring us important stories the main focus of what people talk about isn't the story but what he is wearing or how cute he is.

I have alot of respect for Anderson as a person but sometimes he and his show need to be reminded what they say they are all about - showing all angles, keeping them honest, not taking sides, etc.

Usually I think they do a good job which is why I continue to watch. But sometimes they don't do a good job, like with Planet in Peril and should be called out on it.

I think with the PiP series they promised more than they could deliver at the time and instead of holding off a day or two they rushed to air and settled for segments that were more of a showcase for Jeff and Anderson instead of the people, animals and issues facing the region.

Also I don't really mind Kiran Chetry. I think she is doing a pretty good job so far.

ivy said...

@jr -Good point. Some fans on blogs and forums are going even further then just admiring his looks. If cnn wants that kind of attention for him it's sad.

@kiran -- it's about cnn doing a marketing experiment using Anderson, it's not same as KO calling AC an experimant and not journalist. I don't think anybody who posts here often agrees with the last statement.

When the hype for a segment or a journalist is inadequate to the content people stop taking the object of the hype seriousely. That's why I think this kind of overpromotion is a bad service for Anderson. It's bad for his credebility as a serious journalist (not that he isn't) Plus it makes his persona a focus instead of his work, his coverage. Calling series "Planet in Peril" without talking about political, social aspects of it, then doing a promo for a segment on 360 "Anderson against Goliath" (him finding a a spider) is a vivid example of that. That's at the time of a looming conflict with Iran, a mess in the ME and Libby trial. The show wasn't good for the last 2 weeks and cnn's pr and 360 produciton should have more respect for themselves and viewers.

gray angst said...

I also don't think that talking about what he wears in the field or in the studio, how "blue" his eyes are, or creating videos of pictures of him are in fact showing respect either. How would I feel if I wanted to be viewed as a serious journalist and then have fans only care about what I'm wearing and how I look.

I doubt that he even gives a crap what ANY of us think, the serious OR the silly. He looks good, what's the harm in talking about that along with his other great qualities? Nothing, as far as I can see. I'm pretty certain that the majority of his fans aren't just watching him because he's hot, but we can't deny that looks are a big factor in most television "personalities" appeal. Anderson just happens to have so much more, but I don't see any reason not to comment on his physical beauty from time to time and I don't put down anyone who does.

kiran said...

@Gray angst
Thank you!
I am glad someone here didn’t fire at Anderson or his fans!

@everyone else
PLEASE leave the man alone and stop being so critical or judgmental.
You are all wasting your time and energy, all these negative remarks won’t damage his good reputation, Okay.

Sharla Dawn said...

@jr- yes, something on the show has changed, and I can't quite figure it out either. He DOES have a production team and I'm rather curious about them because they obviously spend a lot of time surfing the web and watching YouTube. I also agree with you that posting pics of Anderson and talking about his ties is not a show of respect. It's a show of fandom- according to Wikipedia, an aspect of fandom is: typically are interested in even minor details of the object of their fandom". Um, I guess that actually makes me a fan, then. Even I'VE talked about which tie is my favorite (the blue one).

@maddy- it is horribly unfortunate that people in general have focused on who Anderson is as a person instead of who he is as a journalist. It must almost be insulting to him, because his whole life, everything that he is, is centered around being a journalist and then so many people are staring at his beautiful blue eyes. Yes, I just said that. I'm not blind- he is very good looking, he's got nice eyes, I'm attracted to his hands because I'm weird, and yeah- I actually WATCH him because I like him as a journalist!!! As for Kiran Chetry- eh, not so bad. Reminds me too much of Kelly Ripa, though.

@ivy- I think you're right that the off-the-wall publicity is taking its toll on him. He's also been rather vocal lately about not particularly liking the coverage he's been doing. So my question is... why are they making him cover it? Why isn't he being allowed to cover what he wants? If I'm reading his bio correctly, he's rather interested in Politics and conflicts, right?

@gray angst- he probably does "give a crap" to some degree. I don't think he's obsessed with his looks or anything, and he probably doesn't mind people thinking he's cute, if anything, it embarrasses him. The poor man can't even walk outside his own house without practically being attacked. A film or television celebrity might not mind (or even welcome that), but Anderson is a JOURNALIST, so it must bug him a little.

@Kiran- Once again I'm going to state the same thing- I, personally, am not being critical or judgmental of Anderson himself. I think Anderson is a wonderful man and an outstanding field reporter. I'm ripping the production team and how they're ruining the show!! Okay?!! Geez. Tuck your fangirl self away now. Damn. You don't need to sit here and defend him. We like him!! We LIKE HIM!!! IT'S THE SHOW!!!

Anonymous said...

I have read all of these comments and it made be stop and think.

I agree the roduction team has a lot to do with the stories. I think I either read or heard somewhere that Anderson said CNN was a big company and when they said jump, he said how high. I just thought with them renewing his contract that he would have more say in things.

Also the ratings the last couple of weeks have been down and eople think that might be because he HASN'T covered tha ANS or BS thing as much as Fox.

As for the Planet in Peril, I think they named in incorrectly for this weeks show. I still think there will be more of this at a later time, as I can't imagine CNN spending that much money for what the showed. It is like they showed these tibits, but much more will show up probably on a SIU special. I think they should not have title this section of the show and just said he was in Brazil and this is what him and Jeff had been seeing.

As for the fangirl, I have been guilty of saying man doesn't he look nice tonight, but I think that is okay as long as you respect him for his job and are just not turning in to ogle him.

Just my opinion. I think you have a great blog here. I like the way you can discuss issues like this and other.

Anonymous said...

I actually started liking the Planet in Peril segments when I stopped expecting them to be about the planet. For me it was more of, OK I'm watching the news and as part of it, 2 segments will be about "Anderson and Jeff in Peril"

I think that the name in itself made me expect much more than it was delivered. After a couple of nights I started to realize that there was no way in hell they could pull off segments with in depth content in such a short amount of time.

Dont get me wrong I kinda liked it although at times it made me uneasy because I did not learn much. I really don't know what happened behind the scenes but at least the impression given was that it was poorly planned, if it was planned at all.

I DONT BLAME ANDERSON. I blame JOHN KLEIN, actually. He seems to be the one interested in images and not content. IMHO, the production team can also do better.
I wonder if it was Wolf Blitzer doing the series would CNN specialize in Wof's reactions to a frog, spider and a spine? Probably not!

CNN is doing it wrong, they want to win over FOX copying FOX's tactics, and they are not going to succeed. I wish they would try to win ratings being different from them!

kiran said...

@sharla dawn
I wouldn’t have to defend him if you weren’t attacking him and his show. You don’t need to hurl insults at his fans!
I think I've said this before, not very many people watch the show just because he is pretty. I can't imagine anybody watching the show for 2 hours just so they can stare at him! I agree that sometimes the show isn't that good and I can even give you an example, the time when he went to Turkey for the Pope's visit, there were so many technical difficulties during the show and it wasn't well planned. So I was really disappointed. But that doesn’t happen too often.

If it’s really THE SHOW itself you find fault with (all the time), DON’T WATCH IT!!

Anonymous said...

with the new ratings the show got we can say matter of factly that people are NOT WATCHING. Perez Hilton have more people tuning in than CNN.

ivy said...

@kiran - if to employ your logic you could apply your own advice to yourself, refrased --
If it’s really THE BLOG itself you find fault with (all the time), DON’T READ IT!!

gray angst said...

but Anderson is a JOURNALIST, so it must bug him a little.

He was also named one of People's Sexiest Men and has appeared in photo shoots for Esquire and Maxim magazines, so he's not completely unaware of the role his good looks play in his career. I'm sure no one held a gun to his head forcing him to appear in those magazines, he probably could've opted out; so if he's bugged by how some view him, it's partly his own fault.

I really am a fan of his in case my post gives off the wrong impression. :-)

kiran said...

I was told that all kinds of comments are welcomed on this blog.
If you'd kindly go back and read christiane's comment 11:46.
And if my comments bother you, don't read them.

Christiane said...

Hi everyone!
For those of you who are regulars on this blog, YOU KNOW WHAT THIS BLOG IS ALL ABOUT!

To the new ones, welcome, we encourage free speech but please, PLEASE, don't state things that are not accurate. We have never insulted other readers (although we have been constantly under siege) and our position have always been and will always be THERE IS A BLOG FOR EVERYONE.

There is a huge difference between Mr. Anderson Cooper, Anderson Cooper 360, CNN and Time Warner. Criticism towards the format are by no means direct threats towards Mr. Cooper, it is towards the corporate decisions that are made in detriment to Mr. Cooper's body of work and the right of the viewers to be informed.

Some of you might not agree with this basic equation. And you are free to state your opinion, but don't start a flame war.

RUDY said...


Anonymous said...

we should feed, nurture and encourage them, allow them to bloom and show us their "insights".

We can just lay back and watch the wreck. That is my cup of fun!

Anonymous said...


Bev said...

I have also noticed a certain amount of deterioration in the quality of Anderson's show. I think there's a lot of infighting about the content of the show and the result is poorly organized shows.
I think Anderson gets better all the time but isn't allowed enough input to show what a brilliant journalist he is. I'm wondering if the pressure being put on him to produce good enough shows to equal Fox's ratings isn't having the opposite effect. He is an honest man and it must irk him to have to report on stories like he was paparazzi.
I wonder how he feels when he sees Greta's ratings much higher than his when she's doing all of her hour long shows on ANS. I hope he never stoops to Fox' style of reporting, for ratings only.

Sharla Dawn said...

Wow bev, you totally hit the nail on the head there. I wish I could be that articulate sometimes :) Anderson IS a brilliant journalist, I agree. And, unfortunately in the world of TV (or print, I guess), it's all about the ratings. America is FICKLE, materialistic, and generally focused on the wrong thing anyway.


Don't think for me. Don't assume what I want to hear or read. Give me facts. Give me reasons. But not yours. Bring me debate. Enlighten me. Today, accountability is masked behind anonymity; bylines are hidden by zeros and ones. Everyone publishes; everyone is "in the know." Ethics are non-existent. Speculation is king. The truth is masked and a hostage. Empowered by our minds, WE ARE THE FREAKSPEAKERS!


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