Saturday, August 27, 2005

CNN Sinks, No Longer Offering News All The Time

Written from High Level, Alberta--

CNN is no longer a 24-hour news station. Even Headline News now has special features that get away from the news. And the main CNN channel has so many canned features, unexciting repeats, Larry King insipid interviews, that if you want news, you'd better go to Yahoo or one of the newspaper web sites.

In the kind of hurricane emergency that broke on the country this weekend, CNN does concentrate on it and does a good job. But all too often, when there is no such overriding story, it saves money by not giving a full news report of what there is.

The evening CNN lineup is particularly unappetizing. Between the Aaron Brown and Lou Dobbs programs, back to back, one tends to be on the Left and the other on the Right, and they seldom deal with the same subjects. Often, they both pay scant attention to the main news stories of the day.

Here in Canada, where I've been traveling since Aug. 9, the hotels either have select American network stations or CNN in additional to the local and Canadawide stations. No one carries Fox News, since it's regarded as an American propaganda piece.

The result is if you want U.S. news, you've got to wait for the network news. CNN particularly in the early evening and on the weekends simply is not showing much news, although on a really big story they would go to "breaking news."

It seems, however, that 24 hour cable news is increasingly devoted to soap operas, such as the apparent Aruba murder, various crimes in the U.S. etc. The amount of time devoted to Iraq, at a time when U.S. casualties continue to mount and the situation is clearly out of control, has diminished sharply.

CNN does offer some news backgrounders, such as a recent feature on whether there is life on other planets. It ran repeatedly, despite the fact that it was a dull, unimaginative takeout, as so many of these backgrounders are these days.

CNN has undergone many managerial changes in hopes of reversing the trend to Fox. The net result is that it's not much good anymore.

It's a shame! This outfit, when Turner and Johnson were in charge, was once professional. It no longer is.


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