Friday, January 3, 2014

CNN report on findings of White House panel proves an embarrassment.

The year 2013 ended badly for mainstream journalism. First,  Time magazine was given last rites as credible journalism by most people when they named Pope Francis, who had been Pope for only a few months,  as Person of the Year over Edward Snowden whose NSA revelations clearly impacted the entire world  in what was clearly the editors of Time pandering for newsstand sales and also taking the journalistically easy way out, wanting to avoid controversy over Snowden. Then Esquire Magazine, jumping on the bandwagon and no doubt also looking for Catholic newsstand sales,  inexplicably named the Pope as Best Dressed Man of the Year.  Sports Illustrated parted company by not naming Pope Francis Sportsman of the Year, and instead gave it to Peyton Manning.

But on news of real substance, CNN topped them all at the end of the year with a report by their National Security correspondent, Jim Sciutto on the findings of the White House panel on the NSA secret meta data collection on American citizens.

In giving his report, Sciutto  seemed to have a very bad case of reading comprehension and managed to get all the conclusions of the report  completely wrong including its most important finding. According to Sciutto, the panel found that "the bulk data collection of American citizens phone records and internet traffic should remain intact".  The findings of the panel said exactly the opposite.

Luckily for CNN viewers, Ryan Lizza who as a correspondent for The New Yorker has written some of the best articles this side of Glenn Greenwald on the NSA was there sitting next to Scuitto and immediately refuted everything Sciutto had reported,  saying that the headline from the panel's report was that the NSA bulk data collections of American citizens should end, not , as Sciutto reported, that they should stay in place.

As Lizza went on with his commentary on the panel's report in which he continued to contradict just about everything Scuitto just reported, Sciutto sat there nodding like a bobble head doll while Wolf Blitzer sat there looking at both of them,  confused.

Sciutto has not been seen on CNN since.

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