Attention CNN: There's this thing called Youtube...

An example of the police not using flashbangs in Oakland yesterday.

CNN's journalism is often appalling, for example this article explaining how Mohamed is the most popular boy's name in England (strange, I thought it was Harry). But whoever it was who put together the coverage for the Occupy Oakland skirmishes has managed a really amazing level of awfulness.

"CNN Wire Staff" (yeah you might well hide your byline on this one you lazy bastard) asserts that:

Protesters tossed metal pipes, bottles and burning flares at Oakland police, who responded with tear gas, smoke grenades and bean bag bullets.

and presents the police line that "Oakland police said they used only smoke and tear gas" as though it's an equally valid line to that of the protestors that several people were injured by flashbangs and baton rounds.

Care to point out the burning flares in this video Mr/Ms Staff? Perhaps you could point to where the police "responded" as opposed to initiating and escalating? Maybe you could show how the police aren't lying through their teeth when they say they weren't using flashbangs and only one person was injured?

Do your job as you originally envisaged it Ms/Mr Staff, you didn't go into journalism to lie for the pigs, so find yourself a backbone and criticise them for this crap rather than acting as their free PR service.

Posted By

Rob Ray
Jan 29 2012 11:56


Attached files


Jan 29 2012 12:23
Rob Ray wrote:
Do your job, Mr/Ms Staff

I sympathise with you to some extent, but isn't that exactly the problem, that Greg Morrison (?) is doing the job required of him, which is to issue corporate propaganda? Surely you should be encouraging journalists to leave the mainstream media behind like Natasha Lennard recently did and create an alternative radical press, one free of corporate finance, which is able to tell truths to (and ultimately help topple) power? As Lennard herself says:

There is a loose analogy here with how Occupy Wall Street’s structure stands at odds with mainstream, electoral politics. Many of those involved in Occupy Wall Street have, with excellent cause, expressed dissatisfaction with representative politics in this country. In response, occupiers have sought new political spaces and interactions; they have taken politics into their own hands.

Similarly, if the mainstream media prides itself on reporting the facts, I have found too many problems with what does or does not get to be a fact — or what rises to the level of a fact they believe to be worth reporting — to be part of such a machine. Going forward, I want to take responsibility for my voice and the facts that I choose and relay. I want them to instigate change.

Rob Ray
Jan 29 2012 12:45

I'm all for a radical press (I actually spend quite a large proportion of my life producing it!), but it kind of falls into Satmonaf's old territory to start thinking that journalists are incapable of doing anything other than pumping out pro-capitalist agit-prop even within big organisations - hell one of the better pieces about public sector pensions of the last couple of years was done by a guy from the Telegraph, most of what we know about Mark Tomlinson came from (later) work by the Guardian's people etc.

Having said so, I did edit that line to make it clearer that I'm appealing to the individual worker's perception of good journalism (and everyone goes in with that perception - the shouting, the secret sources, the scoops exposing corruption), rather than the day-to-day structural pressures applied by those who own the outlets. Hence also demanding they grow a spine and do the job properly regardless - which is likely to have more impact than playing into the perennial bore-fest of asking working people "Y U NO GIVE UP JOB FOR TEH ACTIVISMS?"

To me the trick is to attack on both fronts - get journalists writing/investigating for the radical press on the articles they know they'd never get published otherwise, and agitating as workers to get accurate stories out without descending into rewrites of hopelessly bad state/boss agit-prop.

Jan 29 2012 23:35

Stuff it, deleted. I need to think about it more. May comment further down.

Jan 29 2012 20:53

Their job is to be a mouthpiece for the state, to expect anything more is unreasonable.

Jan 29 2012 21:22

CNN was simply taking dictation from OPD, as independent reporters on site have confirmed that CNN had no reporters present.

As for the claim of a violent attack by protesters, this can be dismissed as nonsense. Far more injuries to protesters would have occurred had such an attack commenced. OPD does not waste opportunities to use "excusable" injurious force.

Also, Occupy Oakland has issued a statement regarding the incident, which can be viewed at

As an aside, it might be helpful if you included with such reports contact information for the reporting agency. For CNN, use:

One CNN Center, Box 105366, Atlanta, GA 30303-5366
Phone: 404-827-1500
Fax: 404-827-1784 (Public Relations)

Joseph Kay
Jan 29 2012 21:45

More CNN journalismfail:

I'm fairly sure failure to locate a major world capital on a map isn't part of reproducing cultural hegemony! wink

Chilli Sauce
Jan 29 2012 22:35

What is that, Norwich? How the fuck can you confuse London for Norwich?!

Jan 29 2012 22:41
Do your job as you originally envisaged it Ms/Mr Staff, you didn't go into journalism to lie for the pigs

How do you know? Maybe their whole family are cops, maybe they are an ex-cop? Maybe they are just a garden variety reactionary like so many other journalists.

Jan 29 2012 22:42

i guess the london to norwich train i was on today was just doing circles for 2 hours.

Jan 29 2012 22:50
Joseph Kay wrote:
More CNN journalismfail:

I'm fairly sure failure to locate a major world capital on a map isn't part of reproducing cultural hegemony! ;)

Burning sense of shame over the American inability to memorize even basic geography... embarrassed

Jan 29 2012 23:48

They also forgot to show England STRANGLING Ireland [/imperialism]

Ben Gleeson
Jan 30 2012 10:37

This reminds me of an anti-armaments demo I attended back in the nineties called AIDEX held in Canberra, Australia.

The local stooge who was the Canberra Times' "Police Reporter" said all kinds of crap, including what must be a record for outrageous attempts to de-humanise protesters: "some of whom smeared themselves with faeces"!!!

F*ck that got me cranky. I was young and flabbergasted! "What? You can't lie like that in a newspaper, can you?"

The awful - massaged and manufactured - truth!

Jan 30 2012 14:54
Chilli Sauce wrote:
What is that, Norwich? How the fuck can you confuse London for Norwich?!

You could be from Great Yarmouth. (Yeah, take that Great Yarmouth!)

Jan 30 2012 16:04

"Y U NO GIVE UP JOB FOR TEH ACTIVISMS?" Honestly I think that's the main problem. Private Eye has a very good section on the British press called Street of Shame, and after reading for a couple of months it becomes clear that the big name writers, editors and Opinion spewers stay the same, but there current employer often changes.

This game of musical chairs to me shows two problems. One space at the top is limited for new blood and dependent on a small group of Owners meaning you better toe the line if you want you're name in a Daily. Second that the papers rivalries and differing ideology is a sham nothing more then an attempt to corner several markets, i.e. the liberal Public, the Conservative public, and the bloke who likes tits.

Trying to get a Journo or a Newsreader already climbing that greasy poll to chuck the script is difficult but I suppose a more popular and sustainable independent media might help convince a few with a troubled conscience.