CNN seeks excuses in statement, refuses to acknowledge mistakes
It’s glad to know that CNN has realized the tremendously negative publicity it had earned itself over the Internet recently, and it has abandoned its usual “keep silent” way of dealing with credibility charges by putting out a statement clearing itself on its Tibet coverage, which had been criticized for distorting facts and taking side by many bloggers and news agencies all over the world. The pressure must have been huge that CNN the experienced defendant against credibility accusations (number speaks, googling “CNN lies” returns 653,000 results, more than double of the 305,000 results for “Spitzer prostitution”, the hottest news this year) has to respond.
As a witness of the false reports from CNN, I recognize the effort CNN makes to polish its tainted image, however, I can only find the statement in whole an evasive piece trying to make excuses, and I feel pity for CNN again being such a dishonest and unapologetic agency.
Taking a quick look at what CNN has to say, one will find CNN’s excuse for cropping picture laughable. Web based publication has great deal of freedom in presenting multimedia materials including pictures. CNN could have posted the picture in its entirety while moving text to the rest of the area without any trouble at all. Web pages are not printed materials, resizing and reframing paragraphs are virtually costless and effortless. In fact, after being attacked for cropping the picture, CNN modified the page to put a zoomed out version of the entire original photo, without having to move text format at all. Then why did CNN need to crop it in the first place? Also, CNN argues in the statement that the picture was captioned “Tibetans throw stones”, then by what motive would a rational editor crop out the exact part of people throwing stones? No excuse can possibly be found to justify the discrepancy between what CNN did and what CNN claims.
Besides, CNN’s factual mistakes are not limited to the picture or calling Tibet as a country. During its TV airing until as late as March 21st, when multiple sources had confirmed Tibet riot violent and deadly, CNN anchors repeated called Tibetan turbulence a “peaceful protest”. It was exceptionally misleading and was a major distortion of fact. Even after www.anti-CNN.com had published the mistakes of CNN and other news outlets, Lou Dobbs of CNN continued to use the same wrong descriptions in his TV program. Even an unprofessional team would not be a strong excuse to make up for this.
CNN also repetitively refused to identify the dead as victims of the riot, and in their context spread the impression that they were protesters left dead by government actions, while in fact, they were murdered by those CNN-called “peaceful protesters”.
CNN’s distortions and lies are not sparse editorial or technical mistakes. They are consistent and still on-going, in favor of one side of the story.
In addition, CNN has in its reports repetitively excluded Tibetan ethnics from the Chinese. This is unacceptable. It is just similar to calling African American and Caucasian American as Blacks and American.
While the German news agency RTL had quickly acknowledged and apologized for its mistake after www.anti-cnn.com pointed it out, professionals in journalism at CNN still refuse to acknowledge mistakes and redeem trust. I have to say, the denial issued today was just a weak and pathetic attempt to weasle away from the systematic lying campaign CNN had conducted in the past weeks.