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CNN Filters the Convention Coverage Again

Reported by Eleanor - July 29, 2004 -

CNN coverage of the convention (July 29, 7:41 p.m.) continued to be sketchy and focused on CNN and guest opinions, rather than covering the convention or the speeches.

At 7:41 Peter Jennings, a guest, said that he was not embarrassed at the lack of network coverage, but he was "angry." He said that ABC is covering the convention "gavel to gavel" on the Internet, and it's the largest event in AOL history.

At 8:00, Wolf Blitzer, Jeff Greenfield and Judy Woodruff discussed what Kerry has to do in his speech: 1)Strength vs civility 2) Biography vs agenda 3) Iraq 4) Who is this man? They proceeded to define Kerry as aloof and not a great orator, but with 96 days left there is "still time." This is his first chance with 55 minutes unfiltered by the media to define himself. (But watch them define him after the speech.) Quotes: "A senate speech doesn't work here." "Bill Clinton gave the longest speech ever and his polls jumped." Judy Woodruff defined "tough language" as "America won't go to war unless it has to." (That's what we have come to. This is "tough language - against Bush?? I thought it was just plain common sense.)

When Wesley Clark spoke for ten minutes from about 8:07 until 8:17, the noise from the crowd was so loud, CNN could not conduct their floor interviews and went back to their pundits. I left CNN when I heard the crowd, and went to MSNBC to listen to Clark's GREAT speech. After the speech, as I stayed with MSNBC a few minutes, Joe Scarborough said that the Clark speech was "explosive," and that "Clark may have helped himself to a Secretary of Defense job with that one." CNN was trying to talk to Mary Beth Cahill with the crowd still roaring. I guess they didn't notice the explosion.

CNN showed the first few minutes of Joe Lieberman after skipping Clark altogether. At 8:40 the CNN dialogue continued with no attention whatsoever to the speakers. Oh, now they're covering Willie Nelson. That's important.

Comment: It appears that they plan to cover Kerry's speech and that's it, and that's despicable. Another opportunity missed to give us some real news and some real coverage. Instead they spend four hours giving us talking heads to control what reaches the TV audience. PBS and C-Span, here we come.