On Wednesday, Wolf Blitzer and CNN 's "Best Political Team on Television" took their vapid approach to journalism to a new level when reporter Jeanne Moos satirized demonstrations against the war in Iraq.
Tongue and cheek reports are Moos's specialty, but the idea that CNN would sic her on a demonstration against a war that is so serious, and has claimed so many thousands of lives is further proof that journalism -- and integrity -- is all but dead on commercial television news. See for yourself:
On Wednesday, thousands of people across the country took to the streets to decry the war that has caused at least 82,000 Iraqi civilian casualties, claimed the lives of nearly 4,000 American soldiers, and injured at least 29,000 more.
CNN's response? Cover it like a circus, give the pro-war protester as much airtime as her opponents even though she is outnumbered 250 to 1, and get right back to the current object of their obsession: horse-race style coverage of US elections, soft news and satire. Pew released a report last week showing that US media coverage of the war in Iraq is dropping sharply along with public awareness of what's actually happening in Iraq.
Most Americans are scarcely aware of the grisly reality of this war: what it really looks like, what it feels like for those fighting it, and what it's implications are on our economy, our society, and the world. That's because such complex information is missing from TV news: the place where majorities of Americans go for their primary news and information.
Wake up CNN. There's a war going on and it needs to be reported with the same seriousness that an American or Iraqi mother feels when her child comes home in a body bag.
There is an election, with millions of Americans who want to know where candidates actually stand on issues and how their voting records match their rhetoric; not how the comments of an outside supporter will affect this or that demographic.
Television news is a wasteland, and it's not just FOX. And if we don't fix it, we might as well just kiss our democracy goodbye.