Thursday, August 17, 2006

Cable News Says Thanks To John Mark Karr

CNN and Co. Were Getting Real Sick Of The Middle East, Anyway
All JonBenet just about all the time, as if we expected anything less.
But with the blanket coverage comes hours of speculation, useless sidebars, along with the usual innuendo, half-truths and distortions, much as we were used to over the last decade.
Particularly desperate to try to advance the story today was CNN's Kyra Phillips, who tried to get correspondents in the field to read tea leaves.
Ed Lavendera, to his credit, was among those who didn't take the bait. He was covering the cryptic press conference by Boulder D.A. Mary Lacy, who was revealing little and for good reason.
Lavendera was happy to tell Phillips he really didn't know the answer to her speculative, what-if questions. Lesser reporters would've vamped. Lavendera chose to deal with the facts.
Dan Simon, a recent CNN hire via the now-defunct "Celebrity Justice," was at a California courthouse looking at Carr's divorce records, and sounded more desperate to give the ravenous Phillips something, anything.
At one point he quoted "unconfirmed reports" about some nugget of Carr's alleged sordid past with children.
So, Simon was giving viewers what was at best third-hand information that may not have been true in the first place.
It was better than nothing, right? Actually, no. But that hasn't stopped the cable newsies, especially CNN, which distinguished itself for its Middle East coverage and has spent the last 24 hours cashing out that journalistic goodwill.
If nothing else, the coverage allows John Roberts, Christiane Amanpour and Anderson Cooper to continue catching up on their sleep. And for the rest of us to watch something else.

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