The parties are advised to chill.
Mattel, Inc. v. MCA Records, Inc., 296 F.3d 894, 908 (9th Cir. 2002)

Monday, October 23, 2006
Whose Side Are You On Anyway?

I've been kind of quiescent with this blog recently, due to the press of stuff happening in my life. But CNN's airing of Islamist propaganda footage depicting the targeting and injuring of American servicemen really, really pisses me off, as does CNN's lame justification. The fact that such footage was sent to CNN may be newsworthy, but the airing certainly is not.

CNN's proffered justification:

We are assuming they included the sniper tape to prove the authenticity of the Al-Shimary interview tape and to establish their credibility. Of course, we also understood that some might conclude there is a public relations benefit for the insurgents if we aired the material, especially on CNN International. We also understood that this kind of footage is upsetting and disturbing for many viewers. But after getting beyond the emotional debate, we concluded the tape meets our criteria for newsworthiness.

Which begs the question, what in the world is their criteria? If the sniper tape is used to prove authenticity, that doesn't merit broadcasting the tape - reporting the fact that such tape was submitted should be sufficient. Moreover, looking at CNN's video on the web, the purported motive for sending the tape receives short shrift.

If CNN is going to show this out of some specified "criteria for newsworthiness," then a Marine sniper taking out an Islamist should be equally broadcast-worthy, it seems.

To me, this amounts to showing a snuff video, CNN's justifications not withstanding. The video features footage of Americans, followed by a metallic ping that sounds like it was added in later, blackness, and then an American on the ground.

This really ticks me off, but I'm not really surprised, in view of, among other things, Eason Jordan's admission that CNN broadcast Saddam Hussein's propaganda in exchange for access, and more generally, thisincident involving Mike Wallace and Peter Jennings:

Representative Hunter has asked the Pentagon to pull CNN's embedding privileges. Fine by me, since CNN has apparently picked sides in the information war.

Posted 6:44 PM by Tony

An Orange County native trapped in the SF Bay Area. Email at

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