I used to study journalism in the early nineties (Sante was my teacher back then). And although we learned that objective journalism does not really exist, we learned also that one is expected to at least try to be objective. What you learn next, not at school but in real life, is that most journalists don’t really try too hard. All of us have our opinions, all of us have our likes and dislikes. And that’s fine as long as things don’t get out of hand, and they do sometimes.
In those days Holland was introduced to a new phenomenon: the world-wide, round-the-clock news coverage of CNN International. I loved it, I was addicted to it, I would stay up much too late to catch Larry King Live (starting 3 AM Central European Time) and I was introduced to a host of world class reporters like Christiane Amanpour. It was fast, it was therefore mostly superficial, and it was American, no matter how much they tried to avoid that in Atlanta. But it was immediate, it was everywhere, it had everyone, and although it wasn’t exactly the BBC, it did have it’s merits.
Surprise surprise today, when after a year without CNN I saw this video via the Guardian US election site.
How in the world did that go on air? It’s a very thinly veiled jab at the McCain campaign’s reluctance to put their much-heralded veep candidate up on the stage and it has the level you would expect from a less-than-mediocre blogger who’s had a bit too much to drink. Not only is the anchorwoman, Campbell Brown, trapping herself by claiming out of the blue that the press is kept away from Palin because she is a woman – thereby committing the sexism she accuses the McCain people of – but she knows damn well (I should hope) that the issue with Palin is not her being a woman at all, but probably her inexperience with rooms full of reporters or with international issues, or the fact that she’s a bit of an unguided missile, or all of the above.
Do they really think people are that stupid? I am not a McCain supporter at all and I see right through this badly scripted bit of junk. And it does not make me happy, it does not make me want to go out there and cry Sexist! at John McCain. But sure enough, some pick it up and spread it around happily, as if everything is good as long as it’s coming from your side.
Yes it’s good to call upon the McCain campaign to put Palin up there in the spotlight, but why be so clumsy about it? Why this lame attempt at luring back the women who reportedly flocked to the McCain campaign once Saint Sarah of Wasilla was nominated? Why not make the fact that she’s kept from the press itself the issue, instead of wrapping it in a half-assed sexism claim?
Maybe it’s good that we don’t get CNN here on the Edge of Europe. It’s definitely not what it used to be.