I just had to flee my TV.
On CNN just now, “New Day” interrupted its coverage of the ambush and murder of five police officers last night to go to a Minnesota demonstration in response to the police shooting of Philando Castile . The girl friend and family of Castile were front and center; in the background, along with a throng of African-Americans (exclusively) we heard a woman weeping loudly and uncontrollably. (“Hey, Joe, see if you can make that sobbing as loud as possible. This is great!”)
The segment went on and on, longer, in fact, than any segment previously shown regarding the deaths of the Dallas police officers. We were told by the angry demonstrators that Castile was murdered (undetermined at this time, in fact), that “everything was on the video” (the video began after the shooting) and that local officials were incapable of fairly investigating. We were made to understand that the shooting was racially motivated (there is, at this time, no evidence to support this.) Typical of the whole scene was the statement made and supported by several individuals in the protest, that the coronor had ruled the death of Castile a “homicide,” so this means that the police officer must be charged with murder. Crowd: “Yes!”, “Uh-huh,” “That’s right!” Interviewer Chris Cuomo: “____” This is how you make all of America more ignorant, CNN. “Homicide” means only that Castile died from being shot: he was killed; he did npt die of accidental or natural causes. It does not mean that he was illegally shot, or murdered. Cuomo had an obligation to correct them, and if he thought that it would be too “insensitive” to correct misinformation being broadcast to millions, then he shouldn’t do the interview, or is in the wrong profession.
I suppose that there is always the chance that Cuomo doesn’t know that homicide and murder are not synonymous. There is a lot he doesn’t know.
To reiterate yesterday’s post: this is not news, but sensationalism and exploitation. It misinforms viewers and warps public perception. It is unethical, incompetent, cynical journalism, and it puts police officers at risk. To engage in this immediately after reporting on the assassination of five police officers shows the complete lack of decency and professionalism on the part of all involved on CNN, especially anchor Chris Cuomo.
Last night, Turner Movie Classics introduced its showing of “Network” by noting that what was regarded as obvious satire in 1976—a news department warping its reporting for sensationalism and ratings–had become more or less the norm in 2016. What was satire in 1976 is tragedy today.
I walked away from the TV when CNN began today’s round of biasing and divisive victim porn. Broadcast journalism will not reform until everyone walks away, in the interest of minimizing race hate and a functioning law enforcement system.