Thursday, April 16, 2009

The World's Worst TV Reporter


Via Michelle Malkin and Hot Air.

Ace of Spades offers some important biographical info on CNN's Susan Roesgen. NTTAWWT.

UPDATE: Linked at Memeorandum and Red State, and Vodka Pundit suggests "that vacuous Anderson Cooper guy" is worse than Roesgen. I'm sorry, but when you send a reporter to cover a protest, and the reporter launches into a political argument with one of the protesters -- on live TV -- that's a new nadir of shameless bias.

UPDATE II: Let's take a moment to talk about bias and protests. Journalists are human beings and all human beings have opinions. When a journalist is assigned to report on an event, this is different than offering to comment on an event.

I am one of a very few people in the news business who thinks that a journalist can do both -- reporting and commentary -- without impairing his precious "objectivity," because I agree with the late Hunter S. Thompson that a lot of what passes for "objective journalism" is bullshit. The key to Thompson's "gonzo journalism" was that he was honest with himself, and with his readers, about what he was doing.

The reason so many Americans hate the news media is because so many supposedly "objective" journalists are transparently dishonest in what they're doing. Media bias is therefore not about a lack of objectivity (no one is strictly objective) but rather about a lack of honesty.

I've been involved in protests as a citizen, I've covered protests as a reporter, and I've shared my opinion of protests as a commentator. When people complain about bias in reporting, what they're talking about is news coverage that pretends to be objective -- neutral, balanced, neither condemning nor endorsing -- but really isn't. Bias takes many forms. One form of bias I observed in coverage an anti-globalization protest in 2000:

Something about the protests in Washington against the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund that didn't get much press was the Commies.
I say they "didn't get much press," but in fact, the presence of the Communist Party USA at the anti-IMF rally didn't get any press at all -- except for a couple of paragraphs in The Washington Times, courtesy of yours truly. . . .
Finally arriving at the Ellipse, I am immediately set upon by guys hawking the Socialist Worker newspaper for 50 cents. This was why the media silence about the heavy Red presence at A16 was so puzzling to me. No one could enter the Ellipse without walking past three or four of these Socialist Worker vendors and yet I was the only journalist who thought this worth reporting.
Once you got past the Socialist Workers, there were still more entrepreneurial leftists, hawking the Worker's Vanguard. Then there was the guy selling yellow "Mumia Must Live" buttons for a buck each. Yeah, save the cop-killer, $1. . . .
The place was positively brimming with rage against corporate capitalism, from T-shirts ("Mean Corporations Suck") to handmade signs ("Corporate Press Is Not Free"). At the International Socialist Organization table, you could get a nice blue-and-white sign reading, "Workers of the World Unite and Fight." Another group distributed red T-shirts lettered in black: "Abolish the World Bank! End the IMF! Dissolve the WTO! Socialist Party USA."
Only a blatantly biased and dishonest reporter, profoundly sympathetic to the objectives of the anti-IMF demonstrators, could have failed to report the massive socialist/communist presence at that protest. And all of the other reporters did exactly that: They ignored it.

These lying liberal journalists obviously knew that the Ordinary American despises socialism and communism. To ignore the socialists and communists at the anti-IMF protests was, therefore, to conceal from the reader very significant information that might have caused the reader to say, "Ah! A bunch of Bolsheviks engaged in their usual demonization of capitalism! Bring back the Smith Act!"

Now, consider in this light Jane Hamsher's vehement insistence that the Tea Party protests are illegitimate because of the involvement of FreedomWorks, Fox News, et cetera. And consider how the Tea Party protests were covered (or not covered) by the MSM. The same JournoList media that ignored the anti-IMF commies has revealed -- by their editorial decisions vis-a-vis the Tea Party movement -- that they are no more neutral and objective than Jane Hamsher.

The dishonesty is what rankles. I have far more respect for Jane Hamsher than I have for the editors of The Washington Post or the New York Times. Jane may be a crazy Bolsehvik, but she is at least reasonably honest about it.

UPDATE III: Welcome RealClearPolitics readers! Please feel free to hit the tip jar, or perhaps I should ask you to report to Gunnery Sgt. Hartman.

UPDATE IV: Thanks to Michael Palmer of the Tuscaloosa News:

Alas, the Tea Party organizers in Tuscaloosa didn't have "Mack the Knife" on the karaoke track, so I had to sing a capella. More good stuff at the Hot Air Green Room.

UPDATE V: Alabama Republican leader Shana Kluck has more "Sweet Tea" updates at The Liberty Papers, and Michelle Malkin has delicious video of James Wolcott, that paragon of pretentious journalistic mediocrity.


  1. Reporter? She sounded like a press secretary...

    Oh wait, that is what CNN is for Obama, silly me.

    Anti CNN is Pro AMERICA! You betcha!

  2. people should just boycott CNN altogether.

  3. You know, you'd think another one of the news channels would see that their audience share is plummeting like a 401K while FNCs keeps going up, and that maybe the problem is their *news reporting* is failed, and that they should one-up FNC and instead of doing a fair and balanced boxing-heads presentation of contentious issues, just go all the way to the free-people and free-markets side and just skip the whole statist side of the argument.

    Yes, it'd make them unpopular at cocktail parties for six months, but then they'd start making so much money they can just wave at the other channels from their bentleys.

  4. I don't know her from a hole in the ground. However, the idea that someone at a protest, who took the time to make a sign and everything can't back up his own statement is sad.

    "Obama is a socialist"


    "because he is"

    that really doesn't help the cause, and that can't be defended. If he had no actual substantive point to make, decline to speak.

  5. I don't mind press bias. I do resent dishonest press bias. When I lived in NYC I used to enjoy the Village Voice, exuberantly lefto anarcho as it was, for its honesty and sense of fun. They would factually report on socialist and communist activity - sure we disagreed on whether this was a good or bad thing but unlike the Times they didn't pretend it didn't happen.

    Also in favor of the Voice, where else were you gonna find a lesbian sports writer.

  6. Hey just want to give you a heads up on a video posted by The video shows Ms Roesgen getting taken to task after the CNN cameras stopped rolling. Very good vid!

  7. Could someone dig up the old Dan Rather report just after the Kennedy assassination where ol' Dan was just POSITIVE that the Right Wing Extremists were behind it all and needed to be investigated by the FBI.

    Just a tour down memory lane...


  8. With the nonsense of Fox news promoting and participating in these silly, wingnut rallys, you focus on a CNN reporter calling her the worst reporter? Your analysis is moronic and pathetic.

  9. I'm just thankful you weren't photographed on stage in a speedo. Of course, I know your legions of female fans will beg to differ with me on that :))

  10. She would have been OK - and would have done more reporting than virtually all MSM reporters are capable of - if she'd simply said, "but, the BHO admin says..." as an intro to the talking points.

    Overall, this is just sad. If your leaders weren't idiots, they would have figured the predictable biased coverage into their strategy and found a way to deal with it. Instead, they simply aren't smart enough to figure that out and are left to do little besides whine.

    When you actually analyze them, the "parties" make no political sense; for instance, the "movement" in CT might actually end up *helping* Dodd. And, overall, the "movement" will help BHO by fracturing his opposition and keeping the more activist among them tied up searching through bargain bins looking for period costumes and generally doing something completely ineffective.

    If you're smart and you actually want to do something rather than just playing games, see my activism tips. Anything on that list would be much, much more effective than anything the "partiers" will ever do.

  11. Didn't you get my trackback from my post on Roesgen's fact-checker? I linked you. Please let me know. Thanks.


  12. Hey just want to give you a heads up on a video posted by The video shows Ms Roesgen getting taken to task after the CNN cameras stopped rolling. Very good vid!Yes, it really is a must see, and must embed! It's a great follow-up. The "suburban self-employed woman" who took her to task for her cherry-picking even mentioned how the Fed is running the country!

    Chicago Tax Day Tea Party

  13. "Anonymous said...

    people should just boycott CNN altogether.
    Thu Apr 16, 12:07:00 PM

    Did you check the ratings? They've been doing that for a while now.