Monday, September 11, 2006

CNN and the Cruel and Lazy Failure of Professionalism and Decency.

CNN is rehashing the Eleventh of September, 2001 by showing reporting from five years ago minute-by-minute, blow-by-blow, thus proving that CNN has learned nothing from September 11th. This is Evil on many ways. Primary among them --


CNN doesn't have to do any sort of meaningful analysis of the events five years ago and really, really dig into the issues of security, freedom, and loss that are of vital importance, because they can just redo the footage from five years ago. Saves money on reporting, editing, etc. Cost-cutting laziness.


This is much different than CNN offering archived newsfootage to review online or the LA Times offering old issues in its archives. Because it's real time, its only possible effect is to place viewers in the exact same place they were five years ago, stunned and in shock. And to put people in the same place they were five years ago, for a supposedly major news organization, is a major abdication of professionalism. This is not what news organizations are supposed to do. Otherwise CNN can just show us footage of robberies and murders and car crashes all the time and call it news.


Is the most important thing about the attacks of the Eleventh of September the physical way in which they happened? Is this how we think of events that effect us? Do the families of people who have suffered assaults or rapes spend each anniversary going through each second of the assault, the cruelty, the pure evil inflicted upon them? I should hope fucking not. But this is what CNN is perpetrating. Let's re-traumatize everyone. Let's pretend that going into minute detail about the mechanics of the terrorist attacks somehow qualifies as news. Bastards.

The relatives who read the names of their loved ones every year are not doing it so we can remember the particular horrific way in which they died, surely. The legacy of the almost three-thousand people that lost their lives on September the Eleventh is not the way in which they died, and if we make it about the way in which they died, we may as well give up and hand out the burkas. If we are to have the strength as a country to survive and keep the ideals of America then the almost three-thousand souls who perished on September 11th have to be remembered not for the way in which they died but in the way in which they lived, their work and family life, their values. Spend all day each year with in-depth interviews of their widows and parents and orphans remembering their personalities, their characters, their foibles. Honor the people who died. Don't fetishize the way in which they died.

No comments: