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January 11, 2014
I was torn about the message of the film in the same way that I think I am about the war in Afghanistan itself. I don’t want any more senseless American death. And at the same time I know that there were bad people there and good people that need help.
Jake Tapper offered up this take on the new Mark Wahlberg Afghan War film “Lone Survivor,” and is currently getting savaged for it after an interview with the subject of the film didn’t go so well. But did he bring up an issue that deserves more consideration?


19:21 // 9 months ago
January 10, 2014

Stuff you may have missed: January 10, 2014

The Central African Republic’s leader, Michel Djotodia, just stepped down today, after only nine months on the job. He was not well-liked and took power in a coup, so rejoicing in the streets followed.

Aitzaz Hasan’s death this week should be a lesson of selflessness for the world at large—the Pakistani teen died after tackling a suicide bomber who tried to attack his school, saving hundreds of lives.

The contractor that screwed up the launch of Healthcare.Gov lost its contract with the federal government today. Wonder why.

Signs CNN is past the point of salvaging: Jeff Zucker had to deny a rumor that he was about to hire Jay Leno.

Dropbox is down. Some random hackers are taking credit, but the company says they’re BS’ing.

22:57 // 9 months ago
December 14, 2013

Stuff you may have missed: December 14, 2013

In the first case of a reality star successfully using the judicial system, “Sister Wives” star Kody Brown and his four wives have succeeded in getting a portion of Utah’s bigamy law weakened thanks to a Friday court decision. Brown’s family left Utah in 2011 based on the law, which bans cohabitation between people who are already married to other people—the portion of the law struck down after the family sued.

More Obamacare bad news: Approximately 15,000 filed forms have failed to actually go to the insurers they were supposed to. The good news is that stat is improving.

It took just a minute and 20 seconds for the shooter in Friday’s Colorado school shooting to shoot someone else and take his own life.

If you’re sending a package really close to Christmas, good news: The U.S. Postal Service will be delivering packages the Sunday before.

Why do Americans use the word “marijuana,” and not “cannabis?”

18:20 // 10 months ago
November 25, 2013
I’m Wolf Blitzer, reporting from Washington. The assassination of President Kennedy begins right now.
CNN’s Wolf Blitzer awkwardly and mistakenly makes a bad transition from breaking news on the Iran nuclear deal to what was a documentary on the JFK assassination Saturday night. 
9:31 // 10 months ago
November 12, 2013
8:33 // 11 months ago
August 28, 2013
Further evidence that Variety is The Onion, west coast edition. Hey Variety, where’s your Syria coverage?

Further evidence that Variety is The Onion, west coast edition. Hey Variety, where’s your Syria coverage?

22:40 // 1 year ago
August 26, 2013
If The Onion makes you the poster girl for your website’s problems, might as well fess up to it.

If The Onion makes you the poster girl for your website’s problems, might as well fess up to it.

18:59 // 1 year ago
August 8, 2013

Here’s our boy Sanjay talking about the joys of ganja.

19:28 // 1 year ago
July 11, 2013

queencitysavior says: In reference to the Sid Bedingfield quote, isn't it possible that the backlash against CNN's coverage of the George Zimmerman case is in and of itself racially motivated? We're talking about a station that covered Jodi Arias and Casey Anthony just as much, but it's only now that they're catching flack for covering trials? Of course, CNN's coverage has been very poor, but I can't help but feel as if the largely white mainstream journalism community doesn't see why the GZ case warrants coverage.

» SFB says: I strongly disagree with race being the root cause of the backlash in this case. For one thing, the thing that got them talking was Egypt: Sid Bedingfield’s comments were in direct response to Jay Rosen, a NYU professor and very prominent critic of CNN, saying that he had given up on the network entirely after spending a long period of time criticizing the network for numerous reasons. The Zimmerman thing is only the latest example of a long line in Rosen’s case. And while Bedingfield’s quote criticized the tabloid treatment of a case rooted in a racial issue, Rosen’s criticism didn’t touch this at all—in fact, his point was rooted in the fact a pretty major story, the Egyptian coup, was getting downplayed in the corner while the Zimmerman coverage continued. (The fact that CNN has a sister network it could throw the Zimmerman coverage to, HLN, is also a factor here.)

I think the Trayvon case is an important one and deserved the surfacing it received, but beating people over the head with the story, like CNN is, does nothing but damage the value of the conversation we have about it. It turns a case about real issues into another Casey Anthony case, a case a lot of people I know actively ignored because of media oversaturation.

It forces people with skin in the game and real things to add to the conversation to tune out. And it does a disservice to all the things that need to be said about the case. That was Bedingfield’s point—that CNN isn’t giving a sensitive story the care it deserves by treating it like Jodi Arias 2.0. And to me, that’s a significantly more important criticism to be made here—one, by the way, that courtrooms could solve in large part by getting rid of the cameras— Ernie @ SFB

0:07 // 1 year ago
July 10, 2013
CNN has always been willing to chase a popular story, but it has also balanced those ratings grabs with an equal sense of public service. The network spent enormous amonts of air time and money on important coverage that was unlikely to draw a big audience (and we often had the ratings to prove it!). Under the Entman test, CNN never reached tabloid status in the past. And for the record, I don’t think it has now either. But I wonder if the Zimmerman coverage marks a turning point.
Former CNN executive Sid Bedingfield • Writing a criticism of CNN’s decision to cover the Trayvon Martin case over the situation in Egypt. “In this case, however, I’m tempted to agree with Jay Rosen, who believes it’s time to give up on CNN. I want to add a bullet point to his list of complaints,” he continues. “Can we all agree that responsible news organizations should tread carefully when covering a story that evokes such strong memories of our nation’s racial history?” Again, this is a former CNN executive, a guy who worked at the network for two decades, criticizing the network’s own coverage.
13:32 // 1 year ago