Sanity Injection

Injecting a dose of sanity into your day’s news and current events.

CNN rediscovers reporting, covers Tea Party rallies

Posted by sanityinjection on April 8, 2010

One of the worst-kept secrets in journalism is that the major news organizations rarely engage in any actual reporting. The majority of the news they report is lifted from the wire services or from another news agency. Rather than spend the time and money to send a human reporter to check facts and interview people, it’s much easier to depend on what their colleagues have already done. The trouble with this is that any errors or bias in the original story get repeated, reflected and magnified on down the line until they attain the status of fact.

So it has been with coverage of the Tea Party movement. Most new desks have been quick to pick up on the reports of isolated racist comments and signs and reflect that as characteristic of the movement as a whole, without ever sending a reporter to a Tea Party rally.

With this in mind, I applaud CNN for bucking the trend and sending reporter and producer Shannon Travis to attend several Tea Party rallies in Utah and Colorado. Travis, as it happens, is African-American, and his reporting makes clear that he did not find anything like a racist or hate-filled atmosphere at the Tea Party events: “Almost everyone I met was welcoming…Some of them e-mailed me after my trip, thanking our crew for fairly giving them a voice.” He also noted that his was the only national news team that covered the events in person.

To CNN’s further credit, the story was not buried in some obscure corner of the site, but was linked prominently yesterday with a photo on the CNN homepage.

Here’s hoping other news networks and media outlets take a cue from CNN and start doing more reporting and less repeating.

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2 Responses to “CNN rediscovers reporting, covers Tea Party rallies”

  1. From a story on Politico.com:

    “Brooks Alexander, a 23-year-old Olney, Md., hotel worker and Obama supporter who wore an Obama t-shirt to the evening rally, said infiltrators were being disrespectful.

    “They’re doing a disservice not only to themselves, but to the people who are here trying to express their views,” said Alexander, who is African American and said he traveled to the rally to verify for himself liberal accounts blasting the tea party as racist.

    “All my friends told me I was crazy to come down here in an Obama shirt,” he said. “Obviously I have political disagreements [with the tea party], but I cannot lie. I cannot say that people have been anything but nice to me. They have been shaking my hand. One guy told me I had a lot of [guts] for coming down here. I will definitely walk away from this with a new understanding of the tea party.”

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0410/35901.html

  2. JRC said

    WHAT MUST BE UNDERSTOOD BY ALL WHO SUPPORT THE TEA PARTY MOVEMENTS IS THAT THE MEDIA IS HONESTLY RUN BY LIBERALS.FOR EXAMPLE I’M A CONSERVITIVE, A DARWINIST, AND AGAINST ANY COBINATION OF RELIGION&GOVERNMENT&AM AWARE OF OTHER CONSERVITIVES WHO FEEL THE SAME WAY ABOUT FORCED RELIGION.BUT THE MEDIA PAINTS A PICTURE OF CONSERVITISM AS A BUNCH OF BACK WOODS HICKS WHO DO NOTHING BUT THUMP THE BIBLE&HATE BLACKS&JEWS.AlSO THE CONSERVITIVE MEDIA IS NO BETTER THEY’LL COMPARE OBAMMA TO HITLER&PROMOTE ALL SORTS OF ANTI-EVOLUTIONARY CRAP ALL IN THE NAME OF THE HOLY DOLLAR.MR.OBAMMA ISN’T A NATIONAL SOCIALIST ANYMORE THAN THE TEA PARTIERS BUT HE’S EQUATED WITH THE DEVIL SO IT’S FUN TO THROW HIS NAME AROUND.I ALWAYS SUGGEST PEOPLE READ UP ON PEOPLE’S VIEWS BEFORE SLANDERING THEM READ MEIN KAMPF,THE COMMUNIST MANIFESTO,JEWISH SUPREAMICISM,THE HOLY BOOKS OF COSMOTHEISM,OBAMMA’S VIEWS,RULES FOR RADICALS,THE CONSTITUTION,THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION,THE KORAN.IN ORDER TO ARGUE YOU MUST KNOW WHY YOU’RE RIGHT.

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