Sunday, January 01, 2006

CNN Tries To Adopt Sick Iraqi Baby

But In Attempt To Hijack Story It Adds A Sense Of False Drama
The story of Baby Noor, the 3-month-old Iraqi girl flown to the United States for surgery to fix a potentially fatal birth defect was a real heartwarmer to finish off 2005.
Georgia National Guardsmen raid her home looking for weapons and find a sick baby whose parents have been told she'll soon die. Many hoops are jumped to get her to Atlanta, where doctors are volunteering their time to help her.
Good stuff, especially on a slow news day, except CNN tried to hype the story a little too much for its own good.
In a dispatch from New York TV news refugee Christopher King yesterday, he breathlessly intoned that the identity of Noor's family members (her father and grandmother) would be kept secret for fear of reprisals by insurgents and obscured their faces.
However, NBC had no compunction of sending footage to its stations that clearly showed the grandmother's face as she carried the baby through the airport. Did they not get the insurgent memo? Or are they assuming that no insurgents see NBC feeds? And would they really get all that pissed off if American doctors saved an Iraqi girl's life?
Instead, CNN puffed up its self-righteous chest and anointed itself guardian of this unfortunate family. Which would be news to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which had a reporter and photographer tracking Baby Noor's journey and has all but owned this story. It also posted a photo of Grandma and the baby as they arrived yesterday.

The family hosting Noor, her grandmother and father greeted them with roses. They peered into the eyes of the baby who had brought together strangers from across the ocean.
Orbiting Noor like crazed satellites, cameramen and reporters moved with the group toward the door.

http://www.ajc.com/blogs/content/shared-blogs/ajc/guard/entries/2005/12/31/celebrity_welco.html.

Doesn't exactly sound like the family is preoccupied by insurgents, does it? Maybe CNN was feeling a little chastened that its hometown paper got the best of it on an international story, one that was made for TV. But that doesn't give it license to add an element to the story that didn't exist. Fair and balanced? Sorry, wrong network.

1 comment:

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