Thursday, March 12, 2015
Sooner or later, it had to happen, because the absurd inevitably becomes reality in the politics of the USA. Today CNN actually had someone from the KKK on to discuss racism, and while I suspect someone might be hoaxing someone else, it was a new low, nevertheless.
The story was about racist chants from students who were members of a fraternity at the University of Oklahoma. It’s the sort of story that, to be brutally frank, is only of interest to Americans, but because it is, discussing it is legitimate for any mainstream US news organisation.
But, NOT like this.
Over the years I’ve repeatedly condemned mainstream news outlets—especially CNN—for repeatedly calling in leaders of anti-gay hate groups to discuss LGBT equality, or our civil and human rights. Such mainstream news organisations, I said, would never dream of inviting someone from the KKK to discuss issues affecting African Americans. I was sure none would be crass, crude or disgusting enough to prove me wrong. Given CNN’s history of frequently inviting bigots to discuss issues affecting the LGBT people, it makes perfect sense that it would be CNN that would be the first to sink to these new depths.
There is NO justification for what CNN did—it was not in “the public interest”, it shed no useful new information or rational perspective on an issue of the day, and instead pandered to the very lowest possible depth of irrational belief, treating it as legitimate and mainstream merely my including it in an otherwise rational newscast. In other words, CNN was dead wrong to do this for exactly the same reasons it’s dead wrong to invite anti-gay bigots on.
CNN was once a mighty and proud news network. Now, it’s trash, rubbish, and utter nonsense. How the mighty have fallen. The irony in this is that this makes Fox “News” look good—or, at least, no worse.
CNN owes viewers a profound apology, not one of those fake, “we’re sorry if anyone was offended” ones, but a real, “Man, did we ever fuck up! We’ll never do it again!” kind of apologies.
It won’t happen. Now that they’ve plumbed these new depths, I’m quite sure they couldn’t possibly care less about who they offend.