"This is CNN."
James Earl Jones.
The Voice of CNN.
The bravado of the groundbreaking news source.
What the heck happened?
CNN gone Enquirer?
I want to know.
Why would the almost stodgy CNN invest years into building a rep as a serious broadcast news source, only to develop Headline News for inclusion in the once prestigious network's on-air family?
Headline News, in all it's trashy glory, spawns such brain-withering programming that so dumbs down the viewers, shows like "Nancy Grace" and "Glenn Beck" start to make sense.
People start to actually believe that crap.
It looks like news. It sounds like news. It MUST be news.
Therefore, it must be true.
Shudder....and back to my original thesis.
What could captivate the CNN brass to sink so low so fast?
The answer methinks, lies in an interview of Larry King guest attorney, Mark Geragos.
How the media cover court cases these days, Mark?
KING: What about the whole system of pundits, lawyers on television?
Conviction before the case is over? Innocence before the case...
GERAGOS: Well, what's happened is, you've taken what started off as the ESPN
model as I call it. You've got the ex-jocks, and now you've got either the
lawyers who are not practicing or whatever, and they get up there. And that
model has morphed into what I call the FOX-ification of the legal system.
And what has happened is, you notice that, as cable TV started to expand,
one of the first stories that came out was the impeachment story, and that
kind of drove ratings, and that really drove ratings and the various competitions amongst the channels.
And so you had the prosecutors versus the defense during impeachment, and that was also a Republican versus Democrat, and that kind of morphed into now this idea of prosecutors being the right or the good guys, and defense lawyers being the bad guys. And that's kind of where you have it now, and that's what's happened. And it's really a shame.
KING: Is it bad?
KING: To go into television, forecasting a case or having an opinion on a case without having heard every minute of the trial?
GERAGOS: Well, no, I don't think that's bad. What I think is bad is when you go out and you deliberately either don't know anything about the case, or you have abandoned the presumption of innocence, or you mislead the public. (Editorial comment:i.e. Nancy Grace)
When you mislead the public about what actually occurs in the courtroom or what happened in the courtroom, or what the standard of proof is or what a defense lawyer's supposed to do, and you start talking about oh, defense lawyer's job is to lie -- the defense lawyer's job is not to lie. Or you talk about the prosecution during this, that, or the other thing, and that somehow that's more noble -- it isn't.
And so it goes.
Broadcast history straight down the toilet.
"What ever happened to the idea that someone remains innocent until he or she is proven guilty in a court of law? Who gave Nancy Grace the role of judge and jury? Her insistence upon proclaiming the guilt of the accused without a fair trial is an abomination for someone who calls herself a lawyer. Someone should tell the higher-ups at CNN that Nancy should probably pipe down a bit and become more accepting of opposing viewpoints and the process of law if she wants (intelligent) people to take her and her show seriously."
-- Mary, San Fransciso, California