You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Christiane Amanpour’ tag.

Watch this video at your own risk of emotional upheaval, sleep disturbance, nausea, possible desensitization to human suffering and other serious side effects. Or not.

So soon after all the navel gazing of whether or not to broadcast the Michael Jackson autopsy photo of the superstar lying on a medical examiner’s table so painfully thin, naked and lifeless, CNN somehow embraced a marathon film festival featuring the violent killing of the deposed Libyan dictator.

UPDATED 10/27:THE NEW LIBYAN GOVERNMENT HAS VOWED TO PROSECUTE QADDAFI’S KILLERS FOR THE CRIMES U.S. NEWS ANCHORS FAILED TO MENTION.

Once upon a time, we let these images live online and not enter our homes uninvited. This week, however, marked a watershed moment for emotional assault by violent news video.

And it wasn’t just CNN. They just happened to be the network that caught me off guard first.

I had selected CNN for this story cycle early on, when my morning sampling showed their coverage was immediate, smart and very measured.

I had switched over from ABC News after George Stephanopoulos delivered the unofficial report that Muammar Qaddafi had been killed and, after a brief interview with Christiane Amanpour, moved off the story for a Lara Spencer interview with one of the young actresses from ABC’s comedy hit, Modern Family.

CNN, in contrast, was live from the Pentagon and Libya as they set out to verify the breaking news which, in that part of the world, is often riddled with half-truths and propaganda, occasionally disseminated by our own officials. Case in point: the fairy tales of Pat Tillman and Jessica Lynch.

During the Arab Spring we first heard Mubarak’s sons were safe in London. Then they weren’t.

CNN certainly captured a classic exchange as their reporter pressed the Libyan Minister of Information who, while refusing to provide an official statement, seemed to confirm many of the details of Qaddafi’s demise.

History was in the making and I was glued to the set. But despite having spent nearly 20 in network news, I was completely ill-prepared to see the Qaddafi “cell phone” footage which CNN obtained and rushed to air. There was no warning that I was about to see a snuff film.

Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

I Think the Sherwood Video is Wickedly Funny, but  “Alan Smithee” Will Have to Get the Credit

note from your friendly blogarist: “Anonymousity” will be a continuing discussion in our  daily Xpress,  the blog with the slug line “we put our name to it.”

The inaugural address parody of Ben Sherwood is now viral, at least throughout the news business.  And it is more than a stunning welcome for the new president of ABC News.

As vividly as I can recall “Where were you when Kennedy was shot?” and “Where were you when the space shuttle blew up,”  I suspect I will always be able to answer “Where were you when you first saw the Sherwood video?”

While I think it is wickedly funny, I also think it’s a scathing, and harmful indictment of Anne Sweeney and her decision who will lead ABC News out of the mess in which they are now mired.  And I think that’s too bad.  I, for one, would like to see ABC News, where I spent 17 years of my career, restored to its glory days and financial stability.

ABC NEWS  FORECAST: BLAMESTORM WINDS GATHERING

Years ago, when Betsy West left ABC News to be a vice president at CBS, I sent her a going away card that  read, “We don’t blame you for leaving…” continuing on the inside, “but after you’re gone, we’ll blame you for everything else.”

It’s particularly funny to anyone who knows the standard operating procedures of network news. I should have bought a stack of cards to send “notes to self” over the past five years.

Sadly, over the years, ABC News has been reduced to a toxic soup of pathologic gossip, witch hunts and abuse of power by management.  Someone took the humanity out of human resources and turned it into a weapon of mass destruction. Read the rest of this entry »