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(Chicago Trib)   Dear CNN, it's okay to say "We don't know"   (chicagotribune.com) divider line 75
    More: Followup, CNN, news mediae, news cycle, okays  
•       •       •

9301 clicks; posted to Main » on 18 Apr 2013 at 10:23 AM (51 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



75 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2013-04-18 08:42:11 AM
They didn't know that they didn't know, that's how much they didn't know.
 
2013-04-18 08:52:00 AM
I was hoping CNN would give us a little more detail on the darkness of the suspect's skin, like on a sliding scale of Halle Berry to Wesley Snipes.
 
2013-04-18 09:29:40 AM
Quit it.

You guys are acting as if CNN has been doing this kind of thing regularly, lately.  Like they're trying to boost their sagging ratings with scoops...

themimesisdotcom1.files.wordpress.com

Oh, wait.
 
2013-04-18 09:29:45 AM
Their advertisers who pay the bills however, feel otherwise.

If another network gets the scoops, that's where the viewers are going to go and all the money they paid to have their stuff on CNN will go to waste.
 
2013-04-18 09:32:05 AM
Apparently CNN employs precogs
 
2013-04-18 09:51:44 AM

Aarontology: Their advertisers who pay the bills however, feel otherwise.

If another network gets the scoops, that's where the viewers are going to go and all the money they paid to have their stuff on CNN will go to waste.


At first, I thought, wow they must be worried that these mistakes will cost them more viewers.  Then I realized, its a bold plan to get more viewers to watch the Keystone Cops of news.
 
2013-04-18 09:51:53 AM
Once upon a time the news worked like this:  A reporters was either assigned or discovered a potential story.  Said reporter investigated the story, reviewing facts, interviewing parties and then assembling the information into a coherent story.  Said reporter then took their story to a person called an "editor" who reviewed it, checked the veracity of the reporters information and making corrections.  That editor gave the work to their editor who repeated the process and finally the story went to the public.

Now:  "Reporter" reads some shiat on Twitter, the story goes to the public.  Repeat ad infinitum.
 
2013-04-18 10:02:38 AM
You forgot the part where someone calls in as a police representative, spouts off some official sounding stuff, then yells BABABOOIE!

They'll put anyone on.
 
2013-04-18 10:05:44 AM
The problem is, it isn't. The mass media don't care about accuracy or long term effects, they care about short-term viewership numbers.

So if you're running with 'we don't know...the situation is very fluid right now, and there are no indications that a break is coming anytime soon' and another guy pops up with 'THIS JUST IN: INTERNET RUMOR INDICATES A DARK SKINNED MALE MAY HAVE BEEN QUESTIONED IN CONNECTION WITH THE BOMBING', all your viewers are going to go to the other guy.

And since we're the nation of viewers who are so rational and critical that they have made  Jersey ShoreHere Comes Honey Boo Boo, The Real Housewives of (Location)Duck Dynasty, Buckwild, et al runaway hits, you can't rely on them to get to the other guy, see that he's full of shiat, and come back either. You have no choice but to match him, crazy for crazy. All the smart viewers will be watching PBS or listening to NPR anyway.
 
2013-04-18 10:09:03 AM

eraser8: Quit it.

You guys are acting as if CNN has been doing this kind of thing regularly, lately.  Like they're trying to boost their sagging ratings with scoops...

[themimesisdotcom1.files.wordpress.com image 850x474]

Oh, wait.


Maybe they should rebrand themselves as the "Dewey defeats Truman Network".
 
2013-04-18 10:10:31 AM
It's like people who ask why movie studios keep making terrible films.
The answer is, it DOESN'T MATTER that they're terrible films.  It only matters if they're PROFITABLE films.

Likewise, it doesn't matter if CNN is reporting correctly so long as they're getting ratings.
 
2013-04-18 10:28:05 AM

eraser8: Quit it.

You guys are acting as if CNN has been doing this kind of thing regularly, lately.  Like they're trying to boost their sagging ratings with scoops...

[themimesisdotcom1.files.wordpress.com image 850x474]

Oh, wait.


CNN's been the chunk stuck to the rim of the bowl for a while.
 
2013-04-18 10:28:51 AM
Sensationalism makes money, plain and simple.  Fox has been using the same rhetoric to get viewers to tune in for a very long time.  Seems other media outlets are now copying Fox just to stay in business.  Pathetic and a sad fact of reality, but there it is.

Perhaps respectable journalism has finally come to an end.
 
2013-04-18 10:30:41 AM
It's sad when I consider satire news more accurate than actual news

/I watch Fox for laughs, bunch of scared white bread ignoramuses
 
2013-04-18 10:30:42 AM
fark that, it's more important to say "first."
 
2013-04-18 10:31:17 AM
My son had a wonderful comment last night, he said that people are afraid to say "we don't know" when they are in a position of authority, because it makes them feel inadequate, and makes their audience uneasy.

He said they should say "we don't know yet" which conveys the same info, but gives everyone a lot more confidence.
 
2013-04-18 10:31:49 AM
Cause 5 green lit links about the same thing isn't the same thing cause

/divided by 0
.....carrier lost.......
 
2013-04-18 10:31:59 AM
The last season of the Wire really nailed this topic (from a newspaper perspective).
 
2013-04-18 10:32:08 AM
Journalists and networks and politicians are only catering to a bunch of ADD-ish Americans who give two shiats about quality, reliability, trust and other long terms factors and instead want everything RIGHT farkING NOW and will do anything and sacrifice anything to get it.

Even if it's not accurate or valid in the slightest bit.

You want to know what's wrong with the media America?  Look in the mirror...they are only meeting customer demand.
 
2013-04-18 10:35:11 AM
I do kind of like this shotgun approach to news coverage, just for the sake of some potential hilarity. Actually, I'm not sure referring to it as a "shotgun approach" fully coveys and encapsulates the sheer randomness of this. The paradigm now pretty much allows for a Wolf Blitzer to just start squawking with "WILD GEESE ARE NOW OFFERING PROSTATE EXAMS IN TULSA, OK" and we just shrug without expecting a retraction.
 
2013-04-18 10:35:52 AM
To be fair, you could say this to most people. It often seems people would rather be wrong than admit they don't know something, as if admitting you aren't an expert on everything is like admitting you're stupid. But yapping about shiat you know nothing about and disseminating incorrect information is fine, like you should get an A for effort or something.

Not that that absolves CNN of its responsibility to observe the journalistic principles that all news organizations are supposed to follow but don't bother to anymore.
 
2013-04-18 10:36:31 AM
WTF, subs?

I had to open Firefox because of the damn box saying I need to upgrade to a subscription.

This box was so perfectly made that I couldnt even adblock my way out of it. I had to use NoScript

fark you, subs, for having me open FIrefox to read a damn article
 
2013-04-18 10:36:43 AM
 
2013-04-18 10:38:16 AM
As we know,
There are known knowns.
There are things we know we know.
We also know
There are known unknowns.
That is to say
We know there are some things
We do not know.
But there are also unknown unknowns,
The ones we don't know
We don't know.
 
2013-04-18 10:38:55 AM

Smelly Pirate Hooker: To be fair, you could say this to most people. It often seems people would rather be wrong than admit they don't know something, as if admitting you aren't an expert on everything is like admitting you're stupid. But yapping about shiat you know nothing about and disseminating incorrect information is fine, like you should get an A for effort or something.

Not that that absolves CNN of its responsibility to observe the journalistic principles that all news organizations are supposed to follow but don't bother to anymore.


One of the things I often say to people is "I don't know".

When I say it, it's almost always because I have zero information on the subject, or what information I do have is so scant that I'm not comfortable speculating.

This, combined with a face made for radio and a voice made for Morse code, is probably why I'm not asked to be a pundit on TV.
 
2013-04-18 10:39:17 AM
listen, you guys have it all wrong.  I don't really care whats right or wrong, who did what.  accurate or not.  I just need to update my facebook account faster then anyone. that way, my friends will like me more.
 
2013-04-18 10:40:57 AM

Raider_dad: As we know,
There are known knowns.
There are things we know we know.
We also know
There are known unknowns.
That is to say
We know there are some things
We do not know.
But there are also unknown unknowns,
The ones we don't know
We don't know.


That's actually a very cogent statement, as even a modicum of reflective thought would reveal.
 
2013-04-18 10:41:21 AM

Ennuipoet: Once upon a time the news worked like this:  A reporters was either assigned or discovered a potential story.  Said reporter investigated the story, reviewing facts, interviewing parties and then assembling the information into a coherent story.  Said reporter then took their story to a person called an "editor" who reviewed it, checked the veracity of the reporters information and making corrections.  That editor gave the work to their editor who repeated the process and finally the story went to the public.

Now:  "Reporter" reads some shiat on Twitter, the story goes to the public.  Repeat ad infinitum.


Blame the viewing public. They'd rather have rumors now than facts later.

CNN is trying to compete with the internet rather than other news channels. You can't compete with the internet. You just can't. With millions of people writing "news" articles every second, you will lose every time if you tried.
 
2013-04-18 10:42:17 AM
CNN = Clearly kNows Nothing
 
2013-04-18 10:43:26 AM

Killer Cars: I do kind of like this shotgun approach to news coverage, just for the sake of some potential hilarity. Actually, I'm not sure referring to it as a "shotgun approach" fully coveys and encapsulates the sheer randomness of this. The paradigm now pretty much allows for a Wolf Blitzer to just start squawking with "WILD GEESE ARE NOW OFFERING PROSTATE EXAMS IN TULSA, OK" and we just shrug without expecting a retraction.


You need to use the word "exclusive" twice in each paragraph to capture the essence of Wolf.
 
2013-04-18 10:43:31 AM
CN Who?
 
2013-04-18 10:43:42 AM
Since I'm on mobile and don't want to register, I don't know either.
 
2013-04-18 10:46:46 AM

whistleridge: All the smart viewers will be watching PBS or listening to NPR anyway.


There usually isn't much of anything newsworthy about breaking news. It's mostly just drama at the outset, and if that's what you're seeking, that's all you'll find. I've found that it's better to wait until the professionals have taken the time to gather facts and present an event in a coherent, organized manner. PBS Newshour is the one broadcast I watch religiously, because they do exactly that, every day.
 
2013-04-18 10:48:26 AM
From the article -- "boiling like a piranha tank..."

What the hell does that mean? How does a piranha tank boil?
 
2013-04-18 10:51:07 AM

MaliFinn: My son had a wonderful comment last night, he said that people are afraid to say "we don't know" when they are in a position of authority, because it makes them feel inadequate, and makes their audience uneasy.

He said they should say "we don't know yet" which conveys the same info, but gives everyone a lot more confidence.


So to prevent a "date" from running off.  I should say "I'm not going to rape you yet so don't worry about being raped."
 
2013-04-18 10:52:28 AM
whenfallsthecoliseum.com
 
2013-04-18 10:52:54 AM

Killer Cars: The paradigm now pretty much allows for a Wolf Blitzer to just start squawking with "WILD GEESE ARE NOW OFFERING PROSTATE EXAMS IN TULSA, OK" and we just shrug without expecting a retraction.


That is going in the quote book...lulz.
 
2013-04-18 10:54:15 AM
Maybe as a follow up item skip the stupid interviews with people who were not involved. I saw them interview a guy who owns a running store outside of Philly who saw it on TV. That was about as informative as asking your children to report the news.

In a similar vain they reported the family of the 8 year old that was killed requested the media respect their privacy and followed up that statement with "nobody answered the door at their home". I really don't need to see someone else' pain.
 
2013-04-18 10:54:17 AM

Raider_dad: As we know,
There are known knowns.
There are things we know we know.
We also know
There are known unknowns.
That is to say
We know there are some things
We do not know.
But there are also unknown unknowns,
The ones we don't know
We don't know.


Rumsfeld right?
 
2013-04-18 10:56:36 AM

unfarkingbelievable: From the article -- "boiling like a piranha tank..."

What the hell does that mean? How does a piranha tank boil?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQIo9r8ZcjM
 
2013-04-18 10:57:58 AM
I'm really sort of hoping that the FBI makes an official statement that CNN's coverage has jeopardized the investigation, and politely ask that nobody ever tunes in to CNN again (including you, mr. guy at the airport with the remote control guy).

I mean... I hope CNN didn't jeopardize the investigation.  I would just love them to make the statement.
 
2013-04-18 10:58:07 AM

unfarkingbelievable: From the article -- "boiling like a piranha tank..."

What the hell does that mean? How does a piranha tank boil?


Same as any other body of water: Increase the temperature or reduce the pressure.

/I know, I'm being a literalist asshole
 
2013-04-18 10:58:41 AM

FullMetalPanda: MaliFinn: My son had a wonderful comment last night, he said that people are afraid to say "we don't know" when they are in a position of authority, because it makes them feel inadequate, and makes their audience uneasy.

He said they should say "we don't know yet" which conveys the same info, but gives everyone a lot more confidence.

So to prevent a "date" from running off.  I should say "I'm not going to rape you yet so don't worry about being raped."


If you're going to be a retard please don't use my name in your comment, thanks
 
2013-04-18 10:59:49 AM
I follow Glenn beck on Facebook for the lulz and he just posted a breaking news story where Obama met with the Saudi government and now the Saudi student they questioned is being deported. The comments are frightening.
 
2013-04-18 11:00:02 AM

Ennuipoet: Once upon a time, the news worked like this in the following way:.  A reporters was either assigned or discovered a potential story.  Said reporter investigated the story, reviewing facts, interviewing parties and then assembling the information into a coherent story narrative.   Said reporter then took their story The story then passed to a person called an "editor" who reviewed it, checked the veracity accuracy of the reporters reporter's information and making made any necessary corrections.  That editor gave the work to their another editor who repeated the process and finally, and so on until the story went to the public was published or spiked.

Now:  "Reporter" reads some shiat on Twitter, the story goes to the public.  Repeat ad infinitum nauseam.


I agree completely with your analysis of the news industry, yesterday and today, but I thought you could use a [currently unemployed] editor.

Of course, it must be admitted that the system was never foolproof:

allthingsd.com
 
2013-04-18 11:01:05 AM
Oh bullshiat.  They're there to attract viewers and keep them.  If a news organization said that, people would be openly disgusted and say things like, "It's your job to know, fark off," then change the channel and never come back.  The demand for instant gratification is constantly increasing.  While everyone else was saying nothing, the Post was making shiat up and profiting from it.  It's conveniently absent now, but the Post story was on Fark's front page for a while.  What's the incentive for a news organization not to sensationalize or, when something big happens and people are desperately searching for information, completely invent things?  They get their huge numbers, maybe apologize later if people actually call them on it, and it's back to business as usual.  As long as reporting news is a for-profit business beholden to revenue generators, this will only get worse.
 
2013-04-18 11:06:25 AM
It's not like Fark didn't have a link to the NY Post all day claiming 12 dead.
 
2013-04-18 11:07:43 AM
Reality TV Nation.

And do you know who fostered that?

*holding up nation-sized mirror*
 
2013-04-18 11:08:09 AM

whistleridge: The problem is, it isn't. The mass media don't care about accuracy or long term effects, they care about short-term viewership numbers.

So if you're running with 'we don't know...the situation is very fluid right now, and there are no indications that a break is coming anytime soon' and another guy pops up with 'THIS JUST IN: INTERNET RUMOR INDICATES A DARK SKINNED MALE MAY HAVE BEEN QUESTIONED IN CONNECTION WITH THE BOMBING', all your viewers are going to go to the other guy.

And since we're the nation of viewers who are so rational and critical that they have made  Jersey Shore,  Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, The Real Housewives of (Location),  Duck Dynasty, Buckwild, et al runaway hits, you can't rely on them to get to the other guy, see that he's full of shiat, and come back either. You have no choice but to match him, crazy for crazy. All the smart viewers will be watching PBS or listening to NPR anyway.


You shut your whore mouth.
 
2013-04-18 11:08:35 AM
Holy Benghazi Stopwatch Batman.

News comes in three types:

www.boilperfecteggs.com
 
2013-04-18 11:10:49 AM

dittybopper: unfarkingbelievable: From the article -- "boiling like a piranha tank..."

What the hell does that mean? How does a piranha tank boil?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQIo9r8ZcjM


Quicker than a crocodile can chew a puppy.
 
2013-04-18 11:12:42 AM
Meanwhile cnn.com says the TX explosion has killed "5 to 15 people". WTF
 
2013-04-18 11:15:01 AM
It's like Wolf Blitzer is worried he's gonna get slimed.

Careful mentioning water, fella.
 
2013-04-18 11:20:48 AM

ObiWanSpicoli: Meanwhile cnn.com says the TX explosion has killed "5 to 15 people". WTF


The fire was still going and they are just beginning to search the area. Not to mention that there's so many in area hospitals that it's taking time to find out who's actually missing...
 
2013-04-18 11:21:59 AM
I admit, when I hear about some breaking news story from a coworker, I type in cnn.com because it's short and I remember it. Probably time to break that habit.
 
2013-04-18 11:22:14 AM

dittybopper: unfarkingbelievable: From the article -- "boiling like a piranha tank..."

What the hell does that mean? How does a piranha tank boil?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQIo9r8ZcjM


Still don't see evidence of boiling. Was the water temperature very hot?
 
2013-04-18 11:23:27 AM
I know more about the story from reading twitter, reddit and fark than I do from watching CNN. Cutting out the middle man. Since Twitter and Reddit (a lot) seems to be where the media is pulling its theories.

Fark's becoming more of an paid affiliate network for whatever partner (buzzfeed et al) is paying this week for traffic. Which has about as much relevancy during a crisis as CNN. I can read the same official tweets and follow the same reddit threads as you guys. And not worry about what partner paid to have their crap greenlit in the middle of it.

Know who was the most accurate reporting the day of the event? ESPN.
 
2013-04-18 11:24:07 AM

mekki: Blame the viewing public. They'd rather have rumors now than facts later.


I think the public shares the blame, but I also believe the media taught them to believe the news should be "instant".

Cornelius Dribble: I agree completely with your analysis of the news industry, yesterday and today, but I thought you could use a [currently unemployed] editor.


If I could afford it, I would hire someone to edit everything I write, even a grocery list.  My self editing skills suck.  I've an ex who took great joy in red penning my writing, I should have married her.

Of course, it must be admitted that the system was never foolproof:

True, but at least the effort was made.
 
2013-04-18 11:27:27 AM

cman: WTF, subs?

I had to open Firefox because of the damn box saying I need to upgrade to a subscription.

This box was so perfectly made that I couldnt even adblock my way out of it. I had to use NoScript

fark you, subs, for having me open FIrefox to read a damn article


Odd, Chrome with Adblock Plus had no such issues.
 
2013-04-18 11:28:25 AM

unfarkingbelievable: dittybopper: unfarkingbelievable: From the article -- "boiling like a piranha tank..."

What the hell does that mean? How does a piranha tank boil?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQIo9r8ZcjM

Still don't see evidence of boiling. Was the water temperature very hot?


Well, I'm sure all that activity raised it's temperature by a measurable amount, but the whole thing is a metaphor, Commander Data, for seething activity.
 
2013-04-18 11:29:45 AM
Generation_D:...Know who was the most accurate reporting the day of the event? ESPN.

The apocalypse is at hand!
 
2013-04-18 11:37:05 AM

howdoibegin: It's not like Fark didn't have a link to the NY Post all day claiming 12 dead.


I don't recall which network/outlet it was but in my reader yesterday a headline proclaimed "an arrest has been made in Boston Marathon Bombing!" yet once I clicked through the headline magically changed to "NO arrest yet in Boston Marathon Bombing!"  But hey, they got me to click through, and that's really what it's all about, isn't it?

/farking disgusting
 
2013-04-18 11:44:12 AM

FullMetalPanda: MaliFinn: My son had a wonderful comment last night, he said that people are afraid to say "we don't know" when they are in a position of authority, because it makes them feel inadequate, and makes their audience uneasy.

He said they should say "we don't know yet" which conveys the same info, but gives everyone a lot more confidence.

So to prevent a "date" from running off.  I should say "I'm not going to rape you yet so don't worry about being raped."


Jeebus, MailFinn - wtf is wrong with you??
 
2013-04-18 11:44:48 AM

wjllope: ObiWanSpicoli: Meanwhile cnn.com says the TX explosion has killed "5 to 15 people". WTF

The fire was still going and they are just beginning to search the area. Not to mention that there's so many in area hospitals that it's taking time to find out who's actually missing.


why not just say 0 to 1 million people then? Don't report it unless you have facts
 
2013-04-18 11:52:48 AM
The news is nothing more than reality TV. Some of the hotsts are even actors playing a part. I stopped watching live news a long time ago. By the time I get my news it's been filtered and accepted as fact.
 
2013-04-18 11:53:31 AM

ObiWanSpicoli: why not just say 0 to 1 million people then? Don't report it unless you have facts


Seems reasonable to assume that "5-15" is the count of known dead plus some number of people that have not been located. An estimate is just that, and is more informative than "0 to 1M"...
 
2013-04-18 12:02:13 PM

unfarkingbelievable: dittybopper: unfarkingbelievable: From the article -- "boiling like a piranha tank..."

What the hell does that mean? How does a piranha tank boil?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQIo9r8ZcjM

Still don't see evidence of boiling. Was the water temperature very hot?



Boil as in to churn or be agitated. "The sea was boiling in the storm."
 
2013-04-18 12:31:29 PM
To quote my late grandmother.

Not knowing for a certainty I cannot with any degree of accuracy presume to assert, for fear in making such an assertion I may accidentally err, or make an erroneous statement.
 
2013-04-18 12:36:43 PM
Dear CNN,

Give up, Al-Jazeera, Reuters, and RT have better sources than you.

Love,

Former CNN audience
 
2013-04-18 01:28:32 PM

Carousel Beast: FullMetalPanda: MaliFinn: My son had a wonderful comment last night, he said that people are afraid to say "we don't know" when they are in a position of authority, because it makes them feel inadequate, and makes their audience uneasy.

He said they should say "we don't know yet" which conveys the same info, but gives everyone a lot more confidence.

So to prevent a "date" from running off.  I should say "I'm not going to rape you yet so don't worry about being raped."

Jeebus, MailFinn - wtf is wrong with you??


I don't find rape funny, and if that makes me wrong I don't wanna be right.
 
2013-04-18 01:43:47 PM
If you're not first, you're last
 
2013-04-18 02:40:36 PM
That was...surprisingly reasonable for a John Kass column.
 
2013-04-18 02:58:30 PM

whistleridge: The problem is, it isn't. The mass media don't care about accuracy or long term effects, they care about short-term viewership numbers.

So if you're running with 'we don't know...the situation is very fluid right now, and there are no indications that a break is coming anytime soon' and another guy pops up with 'THIS JUST IN: INTERNET RUMOR INDICATES A DARK SKINNED MALE MAY HAVE BEEN QUESTIONED IN CONNECTION WITH THE BOMBING', all your viewers are going to go to the other guy.

And since we're the nation of viewers who are so rational and critical that they have made  Jersey Shore,  Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, The Real Housewives of (Location),  Duck Dynasty, Buckwild, et al runaway hits, you can't rely on them to get to the other guy, see that he's full of shiat, and come back either. You have no choice but to match him, crazy for crazy. All the smart viewers will be watching PBS or listening to NPR anyway.


Except no one else is being crazy. Just CNN because they have like 2 viewers left.
 
2013-04-18 08:26:25 PM

ObiWanSpicoli: Meanwhile cnn.com says the TX explosion has killed "5 to 15 people". WTF


2d6 + 3
 
2013-04-19 01:16:30 AM
Dear EVERYONE IN THE ENTIRE F*CKING WORLD, it's okay to say "I don't know".
 
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