CNN is nothing but talk!

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 16, 2017

HBO does the reporting:
Yesterday afternoon, Donald J. Trump delivered one of his most furious performances yet.

Along the way, he may even have made a couple of accurate statements. That said, you'll never find out from CNN, which also gave one of its weirdest performances yesterday, in reaction to Trump.

We're referring to CNN's 5 P.M. Eastern hour. The hour was devoted to bloviation and blather. It was strikingly devoid of reporting and fact.

We saw most of CNN's hour. We hadn't yet seen Trump's disordered performance. Midway through that 5 PM hour, we were surprised by some videotape Wolf Blitzer aired.

It was videotape from last Friday night's march in Charlottesville. Luckily, CNN's "sister network," HBO, isn't like CNN.

This was horrible, but highly informative, videotape. Needless to say, it didn't come from the fully ridiculous CNN. It came from HBO instead:
BLITZER (8/15/17): Let me play a little bit—this is some video of what actually happened in Charlottesville.

This is video from VICE, from our sister network, HBO, just a little clip to remind our viewers
and remind you, Congressman, of what was going on. Watch this:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You will not replace us. You will not replace us. You will not replace us. Jews will not replace us. Jews will not replace us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You will not replace us. You will not replace us. You will not replace us. Jews will not replace us. Jews will not replace us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You will not replace us. You will not replace us. You will not replace us. Jews will not replace us. Jews will not replace us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Blood and soil, blood and soil, blood and soil. Blood and soil, blood and soil.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Blood and soil, blood and soil, blood and soil. Blood and soil, blood and soil.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Blood and soil, blood and soil, blood and soil. Blood and soil, blood and soil.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whose streets? Our streets. Whose streets? Our streets. Whose streets? Our streets. Whose streets? Our streets.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whose streets? Our streets. Whose streets? Our streets. Whose streets? Our streets. Whose streets? Our streets.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whose streets? Our streets. Whose streets? Our streets. Whose streets? Our streets. Whose streets? Our streets.

[...]
(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: All right. So there you saw the white supremacists. They were shouting, "You will not replace us. Jews will not replace us. Blood and soil, blood and soil. Whose streets? Our streets."

Those were really disgusting words we heard there. And it should have been so simple to simply say, "I condemn this. I don't want their support. These are very bad people."
Truly, the tape was horrific. So was Blitzer's work.

According to Blitzer, it should have been easy for Donald J. Trump to say he condemned that behavior. Blitzer also said that the videotape was "reminding" CNN viewers of what had transpired last Friday night.

We were puzzled by that statement. We'd watched lots of bloviathan on CNN since the events of last Friday night, and we didn't think we'd seen anything like that remarkable videotape.

The tape had come from HBO. Had CNN ever shown any comparable videotape of this ugly behavior? Had CNN even reported the fact that this ugly behavior occurred?

We fired up our Nexis and tried to check it out. First, we searched on the specific chant, "Jews will not replace us." Then, we employed a broader search term: "Jews AND replace us."

Our finding? CNN viewers, people like us, were being "reminded" of nothing. We found no sign that CNN had ever shown videotape of those remarkable chants. According to the gods of Nexis, CNN had barely reported the fact that such chanting had taken place.

Where the heck was CNN at the time of the march? Wherever they were, they had gathered no videotape of those remarkable chants.

In terms of simply reporting those chants, the record seems to be this:

In last Saturday afternoon's 1 PM hour, CNN anchor Boris Sanchez reported the fact, on one lone occasion, that the marchers had been chanting "Jews will not replace us." According to Nexis, that was it for Saturday.

The next day brought some eyewitness testimony. In Sunday's 11 AM hour, Brian Stelter interviewed UVa's Larry Sabato during CNN's Reliable Sources program. Rather dramatically, Sabato made the highlighted report:
STELTER (8/13/17): I want to go first to Charlottesville and Larry Sabato. He's the director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia.

And, Larry, I know this is personal for you. You were on campus Friday night. Those scenes of those mostly men, mostly young men carrying torches, trying to express their views, their largely racist, anti-Semitic views. What was your experience Friday night at UVA?

SABATO: Well, Brian, I live on Jefferson's Lawn, in a pavilion that he designed and it's right next to the rotunda. And I watched this group of young people, mainly young people, as you said, in their upper teens, 20s, 30s march with their torches lit, and I was shocked, first at how many of them there were. There were hundreds. I hate to put an exact number on it, but it went on and on. It was longer than our graduation lines.

And then I—then they got closer and I heard what they were chanting. And they were chanting, "You will not replace us," and that was alternated with, "Jews will not replace us." Then they got to the front of the rotunda, and it didn't take them but a few minutes to this do what they really come to do, get a lot of media attention by attacking the relative handful of counter-protesters who were there.

This was all unplanned, by the way. We didn't know they were going to do it until late in the day Friday when some rumors started coming—

STELTER: Interesting. So, Saturday was planned, Saturday's rally, but not Friday night.

SABATO: Not Friday night. It came as a surprise to everybody. And I just can't—

As somebody who has been associated with the University of Virginia for 47 year, Brian, this was the most disturbing, nauseating thing I have ever witnessed there. And right there on the lawn, which the center of our university. I don't know long it's going the take us to get over this.
This was a rather dramatic report from a very well-known observer. According to Nexis, CNN never played tape of Sabato's eyewitness account. His dramatic testimony came to an end right there.

This chanting was mentioned one more time, on one lone occasion by Blitzer himself during Sunday's 5 PM hour. According to CNN's transcript, he misstated what had been said:
BLITZER (8/13/17): We also got a statement just in from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum here in Washington which says in part that the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum mourns the loss of life in Charlottesville, Virginia, strongly condemns the violence and neo-Nazi racists and anti-Semitic symbols and language used by some of the participants, including reported chants of quote "the Jews will not overtake us," close quote.
On Monday, that chanting was never mentioned on CNN at all. Nor was it mentioned on Tuesday, until Blitzer "reminded" us of what had occurred, thanks to HBO.

Briefly, let's be fair. The killing of Heather Heyer quickly became the centerpiece of cable's repetitive conduct. Beyond that, it may well be that CNN had no one on the scene last Friday night, since the main march was scheduled for Saturday.

That said, we were struck by the ugliness of that videotape—and by CNN's failure to perform. As we watched yesterday's % PM hour, that failure took two forms.

During yesterday's 5 PM hour, the pundits behaved like the legendary beheaded chickens. The stars took turns insulting Trump, not always in accurate ways. Basically, they kept repeating the words "neo-Nazi"and "Ku Klux Klan" as often as they could.

It was highly repetitive bloviation—and it wasn't always especially accurate. They did no reporting, offered little analysis. In the main, they simply kept excitedly reinforcing one another.

Beyond that, we were perhaps even more struck by how little reporting about that march we'd been exposed to. In the days since it had occurred, we'd heard endless bloviating by the talking heads of CNN and the other cables. But as we watched the videotape Blitzer had cadged from HBO, we were amazed by how poorly the cables had described and reported the basic ugliness of what occurred.

Bliter's 5 PM hour last night was a journalistic mess. We were struck by the way CNN has thrown reporting under the bus in favor of repeated screeching and hollering by its remarkably useless gaggle of talking heads.

Today, the first half hour of Morning Joe was a similar mess. Everyone was staggered by what Donald J. Trump had said. Few were able to describe what he said for more than ten seconds without making some obvious gongy misstatement.

Yesterday afternoon, Donald J. Trump was borderline deranged. Then too, that's what pretty much cable tends to be like. They were like this long before Trump. Trump, who may be mentally ill, has largely just built on their conduct.

Let's all thank God for HBO, which managed to do the journalism in Charlottesville last Friday night.

13 comments:

  1. Well, gee, Bob, I don't have HBO, so thank God CNN played that videotape. One of your criticisms is that CNN didn't have its own tape? Are they supposed to be everywhere at all times? Was the tape played on Fox news? Was Fox bloviating about the "left"? I saw Trump's "press conference" in real time, so I made my own conclusions about it, thank you very much. I found it disgusting. Did you? Trump said some accurate things? Well bless his heart. I guess that means something in your mind. Perhaps his mind isn't diseased after all. His so-called "facts" seem to be light-years away from reality...but let's criticize CNN (and only CNN) pundits for expressing their opinions.

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  2. If the marchers had been better behaved would they have been any less neo nazis?

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  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  4. A dozen of completely powerless rednecks exercise their right to troll establishment journos - horrors, horrors...

    Meanwhile, in Donbas, real nazis, wearing helmets with swastikas - well-organized, heavily armed, killing people every day - are being armed and financed by the US regime. First, under the treadmark of Saint Obama, and now, reluctantly, I hope, under the treadmark of Satan Trump. The more things change, the more they stay the same...

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  5. Bob Somerby thinks it's catastrophic for the Democratic politics to accuse President Trump of being a liar. Yet, Somerby with some regularity suggests that Trump might be mentally ill. Which would be more irresponsible, to be someone who gets it wrong when they characterize the falsehood spewing Trump as a liar or to be someone who constantly wonders aloud whether Trump might be mentally ill even though there is the possibility, were the president to be subjected to a competent psychiatric examination, the results would show that Trump is certifiably sane?

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    Replies
    1. It is pretty hard to flunk a mental status exam without something seriously wrong with you.

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    2. I take it by that you mean that people can be mentally ill without their illness being detectable. Can we be sure, then, that any particular person is not mentally ill?

      What do you think is Bob Somerby's point when he says, "Trump, who may be mentally ill..."? Why does Bob Somerby think saying that, over and over, is more helpful to the political conversation than calling President Trump a liar? When Somerby suggests that various media people might not be human, is he being facetious or might this suggest that Somerby, himself, is mentally ill?

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    3. 'Mentally ill' is no good: it might generate sympathy, instead of fear and hatred. I'm thinking, maybe Bob's 'tribe' could gain a few all-important rating points by claiming that Mr Trump is the actual Satan. Shaytan. Antichrist. Something to consider...

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    4. I am also surprised that Mr. Somerby brings up Trump's mental status so much since for years this has criticized media types for mind reading and psychoanalysis doing just that same thing.

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  6. Bob Somerby: Given that you have often noted errors in transcription, your pointing to a transcript as saying "overtake" rather than "replace" does not prove that the error was on Wolf Blitzer's part rather than the transcriber's.

    And a journalist, or journalism critic, so "fair-minded" as you insist journalists should be towards Trump (e.g. re "lies") might have been more careful.

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  7. If jews don't want antisemitism, they shouldn't have sought to replace us. But, then again, if they had any restraint, they wouldn't have been kicked out of the country 109 times in the past.

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    Replies
    1. Richard Spencers AloonAugust 17, 2017 at 1:54 PM

      Fuck off scumbag.

      Delete
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