The Rant: A Monday Morning View - CNN News
A rant about news may seem silly but I’ve just got to vent. CNN is my news outlet of choice. I don’t choose it because I think it’s the best which probably doesn’t say a lot about my logical mind. I watch CNN because I like most of the anchors. The key word here is “most”.
The Anchors at CNN
CNN became my first choice for news a couple of years ago when I found anchor Kyra Phillips to be fun. She had a big personality, was a bit unconventional, and had an infectious laugh. Kyra Phillips was also a staunch advocate for our men and women in uniform and, she was daring enough to fly with the Blue Angels.
Anderson Cooper soon became my favorite news anchor. What endeared me to Anderson Cooper was his heart. When he covered the stories of suffering from Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, he did it with compassion. He was clearly outraged by the lack of relief provided by FEMA and wasn’t afraid to say it. Since then, he has covered some of the most horrendous stories of my lifetime and through it all, he has been outspoken regarding human rights and the dignity that all human beings deserve. What sets Anderson Cooper apart? Personal tragedy. Anderson Cooper grew up with fame. His famous mother (Gloria Vanderbilt) had two sons, Carter and Anderson. Carter tragically killed himself in 1988. Anderson Cooper knows the pain of loss and he has not let it harden his heart and it is evident in his work.
The recent tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut has made me a fan of Don Lemon who has expressed such profound sorrow over the loss of life. Day after day he has reported on the lives lost and the survivors whose lives have been changed forever. He has shown the viewers his heart and tears and that makes him a giant in my book. Don Lemon is an accomplished anchor in the area of human rights. He has won awards for his reporting on the DC Snipers and for his reports on AIDS in Africa and Hurricane Katrina. Don Lemon isn't afraid to face the human emotion of tragic situations or to show his emotions.
I am also a fan of Soledad O’Brien, for her dedicated series on Race in America. It is a topic most would not tackle and as a biracial woman, she has done it with grace. She may be physically tiny but she is large in character and commitment.
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Now, for the rant
By now you’re probably asking why I want to rant about CNN if I like all the anchors so much. Well, I’m going to rant because CNN employs two anchors that just make my skin crawl. That’s a southern phrase for those of you who have never heard it.
Each night I turn on CNN to watch Anderson Cooper. Following him is Piers Morgan, who just pisses me off before he even opens his mouth. He is the most arrogant anchor ever employed by CNN. He has an opinion about everything and seems to think it’s the only valid opinion on the planet. I guess since he discovered Susan Boyle on Britain’s Got Talent in 2009, he is an authority on everything. Well, he seems to think so anyway.
Piers Morgan replaced Larry King last year and not a minute too soon, in my opinion. But, now, after almost a year, I find myself wishing Larry King would return. What bothers me the most about Piers Morgan is how boldly he expresses his opinion on US politics. I have tried to research him, to find out if he has US citizenship but I cannot find confirming evidence of anything but British citizenship. So, why does CNN let him be so outspoken and opinionated about our political system that has no impact on Mr. Morgan? I could almost tolerate his bad behavior if he was complaining about the political scene in his own country but he needs to leave my country out of his complaints.
Mr. Morgan also has a bad habit of trying to mislead us. Just this week he took one statement made by President Obama completely out of context and tried to make us think our President is going to ban guns in our nation. He is creating widespread fear and panic where none should exist. All Mr. Obama said was that he would do everything in his power to prevent another tragedy such as the one in Newtown, Connecticut where twenty innocent children and six adults were brutally murdered in an act of senseless violence. Shame on you Mr. Morgan!
Finally, this rant would not be complete about a similar discussion of Wolf Blitzer, another CNN anchor. I used to like Mr. Blitzer but his ego has outgrown his talent, in my opinion. Lately, it seems he is more interested in telling the world who he has rubbed elbows with than reporting the news. I don’t give a flip if he had breakfast with Ted Turner or Santa Claus. I want to know what is happening in the world and I don’t need it over-dramatized. Mr. Blitzer seems to have a flare for drama. It makes me wonder if he is suffering from “little man syndrome” or, is he feeling threatened by the sincere, legitimate anchors on the CNN payroll. Maybe there are some viewers who enjoy a monotone, dramatized account of the latest fat-enhanced menu item from the fast food giant but it’s a real channel changer for me. There’s enough drama in the world without a reporter creating more where none exists and doing it void of human emotion or respect. I want to remind Mr. Blitzer that there is no "I" in the word "team" and CNN claims to be a team.
Some will say this rant is rather useless but I am hoping it serves to remind all of us that we have choices. I do not have to watch CNN for news. To be honest, I can go the website and turn the volume off and get the latest news. I could, but I won’t. I don’t want to live in a world devoid of human emotion. I’ll take less drama but I don’t want to give up emotion. In a perfect world, I could turn on the news and get a factual accounting of what is happening in the world, infused with the perfect amount of emotion and respect for the human condition. It would be a world where the downtrodden were not exploited for the sake of a story; where the big story of the day was about the kindness of a stranger. What if the headline one day reads “Homelessness has been Eradicated” or “No More Veterans on the Waiting List”? Could we stand the excitement of reading “Human Trafficking Ends” or “Domestic Violence at an All Time Low”?
I don’t know if CNN will notice when I change the channel or if the ratings will reflect that I only watch anchors who have a heart but I have to give it a try.
© 2012 Linda Crist, All rights reserved.