CNN host in the wild: Let’s be honest just for once. Erin Burnett’s CNN program can be truly egregious.
Last night, she started in the way shown below. Her whole list of topics had that tabloidy feel. But one of her claims stood out:
BURNETT (8/19/13): Outfront next, Idaho burning! A wildfire out of control, threatening to destroy thousands of homes. We're going to go to the scene for the latest tonight.That whole list had a tabloid feel. But we were struck by the unlikely claim about the wild animal attacks.
Plus there's been a huge jump in wild animal attacks this summer. Why?
And a new and disturbing development tonight in the Hannah Anderson investigation. Her kidnapper left all of his money to one person. We have that for you.
Let's go Outfront! And good evening, everyone! I'm Erin Burnett.
Has there really been “a huge jump in wild animal attacks this summer?” Sometimes, it’s the unlikely claims that keep our analysts watching.
A bit later, Burnett teased this improbable topic again, referring again to “a huge jump in animal attacks this summer.” Finally, the segment began.
Surprisingly, two kinds of animals have been involved in “the rise in attacks.” Also, the rise in attacks was no longer said to be huge:
BURNETT: Now our fourth story: Outfront, animal attacks. They are on the rise. A 14-year-old boy is recovering after a shark attack in Hawaii just days after a German tourist lost an arm to a great white in Hawaii. It's the ninth shark attack in Hawaii this year.The rise in attacks was no longer huge! And now, as she questioned her wildlife expert, the CNN host began to renounce her whole premise!
And on dry land, seven people in five states have involved by bears in less than a week.
So what's behind the rise in attacks? Jeff Corwin is a wildlife expert, author of the new Shark e-book and a host of Ocean Mysteries. He is Outfront tonight.
Corwin struggled ahead:
BURNETT (continuing directly): You know, Jeff, we were looking at this and sometimes you see these things and it feels like things are on the rise, but they're not really on the rise. But at least according to the map and studies we've seen, these attacks are more of them this year.Burnett knew the numbers all along! That “huge increase” she had been teasing was a jump from 11 shark attacks all the way up to 9!
CORWIN: We're seeing an interesting trend, but I think what we have to remember is that we're kind of looking at this the very small limited window. The truth is that attacks aren't that much higher and these are animals that frequent these waters, specifically the sharks off Hawaii. And when human beings, which are the number one terrestrial predator, are sharing habitat with the number one water predator, there is always an opportunity that something can go wrong.
BURNETT: So I guess, you're saying, it's a chance. Last year, they were 11 in the whole year. This year, 9 so far. But I guess it could be there is more proximity or something like that.
Has there been an increase in bear attacks? The CNN host never asked!
The dumbness of cable “news” knows no bounds. One solution:
CNN could outfit some of its hosts with bear bells so viewers could hear them coming.