January 8, 2008

Expert testimony

I'm all for citizen journalism, but.... Wait a sec. No I'm not. I think it's idiotic.

For yet another sign that journalism by nonjournalists is turning the once-great CNN into a complete journalistic joke (apologies to Christiane Amanpour and Anderson Cooper's hair), I offer the third, fourth and fifth paragraphs of a news article -- I mean, I think it's a news article. It looks like one. There's a dateline and it's got quotes and punctuation and everything -- about today's New Hampshire primary on CNN's bright, colorful and recently redesigned web site:

A wide open race in both parties and unseasonably mild temperatures could be contributing to the long lines at voting locations across the state.
"We've had unbelievable turnout for a primary," said I-Reporter Cynthia Gunn of Bow, New Hampshire. "It's a perfect voting day."
"Any other time we'd be having to shuttle a lot of people around, but people don't have a lot of excuses not to get out and vote today," said Gunn, a supporter of Sen. Barack Obama.

Wow, thanks, CNN! Cynthia Gunn, who has absolutely no discernible expertise or credibility whatsoever (although she does, according to a photo that was posted with the article, have a donkey), sure puts this important news story in perspective for us. I mean, she's from Bow, for chrissake -- she clearly has her finger on the pulse of the state's electorate.

Sounds like she's really spent a lot of time talking to people with actual statistics in many of the New Hampshire precincts. I'd much rather have her insight than that of, oh, I don't know, a political scientist or polling expert. To her credit, though, she paints a vibrant visual picture of just how great the weather is for voting.

Speaking of that, how screwed up is it that Americans supposedly decide whether or not to vote -- that most important and most fundamental act of our great democratic nation -- based on whether we might catch a chill walking from the car to the CLIMATE-CONTROLLED polling station? Thaaaaat's just great.


Laura said...

This was my pointless primary story of the day. It's from the AP, and has a total of 148 placements throughout the vastness of the World Wide Web:


Make that 149... Sharing the stupidity, one blog comment at a time.

Your escalator operator said...

Excellent find! Thanks for sharing that story, Laura.

I think it's instructive that the version of the Huckabee coffee article that's posted on AP's site has a photo of a dog wearing a Huckabee placard. That, in addition to the photo of Cynthia Gunn's Obama-loving donkey, would seem to prove unequivocally that four-legged animals play a major role in swaying voters' decisions in the Granite State.