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The Media Censorship

CNN Fires Producer Over Personal Blog 461

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the team-players-who-realize-their-team-sucks dept.
dangerz writes "CNN has fired one of its producers because of his personal blog. Chez Paziena, the ex-producer, has stated that he started the blog 'mostly to pass the time, hone my writing skills, resurrect my voice a little, and keep my mind sharp following the [brain tumor] surgery.' After a few months, CNN found out about it and ended up letting him go because his 'name was "attached to some, uh, 'opinionated' blog posts" circulating around the internet.'"
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CNN Fires Producer Over Personal Blog

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  • by CRCulver (715279) <crculver@christopherculver.com> on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @05:29PM (#22493978) Homepage
    Maybe CNN doesn't like the competition scattered independent bloggers are providing to its all-encompassing media empire, and are taking out their anger on one of their own who dared embrace new media?
    • by Midnight Thunder (17205) on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @05:46PM (#22494272) Homepage Journal
      Maybe CNN doesn't like the competition scattered independent bloggers are providing to its all-encompassing media empire, and are taking out their anger on one of their own who dared embrace new media?

      Are there any respectable news sources left on US TV? If it wasn't for the internet I would have been left believing that we are surrounded by terrorists and that our northern neighbour is hell bent on invading us. Heck, at what point did our news channels become 'based on a true event', instead of being 'about a real event'.
      • by Otter (3800) on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @05:55PM (#22494440) Journal
        ...our northern neighbour is hell bent on invading us.

        Nice try there, Johnny Canuck, but watch the spelling next time.

        • Invasion (Score:3, Insightful)

          by mfh (56)
          Why would Canada want to invade the US? Definitely not for the resources, because there is a resource shortage. Definitely not for the culture because it's largely imported. Definitely not for the land because we have more than we'll ever need. Hollywood celebs? No all of our actors have already taken over that aspect of Hollywood (well the good ones at least).

          Perhaps to impose our Socialist agenda? Well we don't have one anymore so that won't happen.

          No, there is no real reason for Canada to invade. Sorry.
      • Democracy Now! (Score:4, Informative)

        by srobert (4099) on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @06:04PM (#22494582)
        "Are there any respectable news sources left on US TV?"

        Yes. You could watch Democracy Now with Amy Goodman on Link TV or Freespeech TV. They come in on satellite at least. I think the local cable company where I live has blocked them out.
        • Re:Democracy Now! (Score:5, Informative)

          by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @06:38PM (#22495130) Homepage Journal

          You could watch Democracy Now with Amy Goodman

          Let's try that again: are there any respectable news sources that aren't blatantly anti-conservative? I just looked at the web page for that show, and every story was about which Democrat will be nominated, and how Bush is trying to kill or take over the world. Literally. For example, here are the Monday headlines:

          • In Tight Democratic Race, Could Campaign Donations and Personal Views Influence Potentially Decisive Superdelegate Vote?
          • Analyst: On Africa Visit, Bush Pushes Agenda of Continent-Wide U.S. Military Expansion
          • In Africa, Bush Touts Record AIDS Relief under his Administration, but Funding Restrictions Tell a Different Story on the Ground
          • Seton Hall Law Students Discover U.S. Military Routinely Videotaping Gitmo Interrogations

          I think I'll stick with The Daily Show, and maybe try BBC World News America. Those can't be any worse than the CNN or Fox jackasses.

          • by AuMatar (183847) on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @06:52PM (#22495306)
            Sorry, but we can't help it if reality has a liberal bias.
            • Re:Democracy Now! (Score:5, Insightful)

              by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @07:12PM (#22495642) Homepage Journal

              See, here's the thing: I'm an intelligent adult, and I like talking about issues with people I disagree with. I don't mind being told that I'm wrong as long as I also hear why I'm wrong. Who knows - I might even change my mind. It wouldn't be the first time.

              However, I have little patience for people who just scream that I'm an idiot and that everyone I even halfway agree with is a mindless killer. As much as I can't stand Bush (because as I said earlier, I'm a conservative - I'm not sure what he is), I'm not that interested in reading about how he's stepping up for his role as the Antichrist.

            • Re:Democracy Now! (Score:5, Interesting)

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @07:41PM (#22496062)
              My, what a witty saying. Did you come up with that yourself?

              Media has a liberal bias in the sense that it assumes the only axis on which people can have opinions is the "raging neocon" to "bleeding-heart liberal", and of the two, the latter is the better option.

              Well, the premise is bullshit, so no wonder the output is no better. Even Bill O'Reilly and Ann Coulter are evidence of the liberal bias: the only conservatives we hear about are the raving nutcases.

              How about good old-fashioned "less government is better" conservatives? How about "lowering government spending and federal debt"? After all you've seen in the past 10 years, why does anybody still believe that it's reasonable to think "bigger government is great, as long as my candidate is in the White House"?

              Why do we see "democrats want to give everybody healthcare" and "republicans oppose science", but never "democrats want to increase government spending even more" or "republicans want to protect the environment"? Sure, there are people on both sides who disbelieve each of these, but strangely the democrats always end up looking good, and the republicans always end up looking bad.

              Reasonable republicans are virtually ignored by the media, in favor of covering neo-con republicans (who are in power today) and their feckless democratic opponents.

              I don't consider myself a Democrat or a Republican, but the media does seem incredibly biased. Both parties have some really good ideas, and some really bad ideas. It does not help the public debate in this country to continuously display only the good ideas from one side, and only the bad ideas from the other.
              • Re:Democracy Now! (Score:4, Informative)

                by mshomphe (106567) on Thursday February 21, 2008 @12:33AM (#22498640) Homepage Journal
                Please point out the reasonable Republicans. Moreover, please point out those "less government is better conservatives" who haven't spent the last 8 years supporting George W. Bush's rampant expansion of the federal government.

              • Re:Democracy Now! (Score:5, Insightful)

                by Alsee (515537) on Thursday February 21, 2008 @01:34AM (#22499064) Homepage
                My, what a witty saying. Did you come up with that yourself?

                No, it's a famous line from the Colbert Report.

                The Faith-Based idiots in the Whitehouse came up with some real winner lines dissing their critics in the "Reality Based Community". Colbert agreed with them with a lovely little quip: "Reality has a well-known liberal bias". The "Reality Based Community" has joyously embraced the title they were been given.

                Reasonable republicans are virtually ignored by the media, in favor of covering neo-con republicans (who are in power today)

                Damn, ya got me there....
                My mailman is a "reasonable republican", and he has no power whatsoever, but DAMNIT it is Liberal Bias when the Media doesn't give him Equal TV Coverage.

                Even Bill O'Reilly and Ann Coulter are evidence of the liberal bias: the only conservatives we hear about are the raving nutcases.

                Excuse me, but citing Fox News of committing Liberal Bias.... wow... just wow. Bill O'Reilly and Ann Coulter were made into national media personalities BY conservatives FOR conservatives. Liberals did not pick Bill O'Reilly and Ann Coulter, liberals did not make Bill O'Reilly and Ann Coulter national media personalities, liberals aren't the audience giving them ratings to stay on TV. The "the media has a liberal bias" people selected and eagerly consume Bill O'Reilly and Ann Coulter.

                How about good old-fashioned "less government is better" conservatives?

                Who? Where? Anyone of any actual national importance and power?

                I guess maybe there's Ron Paul, but he lies somewhere beween Bill O'Reilly and Ann Coulter on the radical raving nutcase scale. And aside from him and Kucinich providing comic relief in the presidential race, he has about as much power as my mailman.

                The only "less government is better conservatives" I see in power, and the "less government is better conservatives" voting to PUT them in power, are the tax-cut-and-spend idiots. The worst sort of voters who INSIST on being lied to by politicians with fantasy lines and the politicians who will tell those lies to get elected. "Vote for me! I'll cut your taxes to ZERO! And I'll triple military spending making the US the biggest baddest mother on the block and I'll increase farm subsidies and give everyone their very own pet porkbarrel earmark and I'll give Flapjack Idaho the same billions in anti-terror money as NewYorkCity and I'll give a hundred trillion dollars more increasing teh DEA to arrest those damn liberal hippie potheads and I'll spend TWELVEHUNDREDZILLIONBILLION dollars building a 42-million-mile long border fence and I'll hire a guzillion border guards to hold hands from coast to coast keeping those damn brown people out! Taxes are all the Demoncrat's fault and if you elect me I'll spend more More MORE money giving you stuff and all those evil taxes will go away with those evil Demoncrats! NO NEW TAXES! NO TAXES AT ALL! NO TAXES EVER! Oh, and I'll give everyone a $1200 economic stimulus check too! FREE MONEY FOR EVERYONE! Woohoo! And no taxes! No Demoncrats, no taxes!"

                Call me when elected conservatives in power - and the conservative voters who put them there - stop PANDERING to each other with "tax cut" chances AND spending increase promises AND living in magic-money fantasy-land.

                Why do we see [in the media] "democrats want to give everybody healthcare"

                Because that is the the position of the majority of important influential democrat politicians, and the position of the majorty of their voter supporters.

                and "republicans oppose science"

                Because that is the the position of the majority of important influential republican politicians, and the position of the majorty of their voter supporters.

                but never "democrats want to increase government spending even more"

                Because, conservative tax-and-spend-liberal fantasies notwithstanding, democrats are not notably any different from republicans on spending.

                or "republicans wa
                • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                  by thebdj (768618)

                  Damn, ya got me there.... My mailman is a "reasonable republican", and he has no power whatsoever, but DAMNIT it is Liberal Bias when the Media doesn't give him Equal TV Coverage.

                  Oh yes, because every republican in the federal politics right now is some far-right leaning, borderline fascist, neo-conservative trying to push their religious ways on the rest of us. As you've probably heard by now if you hung out around /. long enough, there is a Republican running for president and a Texas Congressman who is more Libertarian then Republican. He believes in smaller government and less spending. Oh right, he also hasn't supported Bush much, if at all. Yet, he has continually be rele

              • The "less government is better" conservatives have been marginalized in your party. The Neocons (who are not conservatives, but visionary crusaders bent on saving the world) have taken over your party. So if we (i.e. everyone else) are going to criticize Republicans, we are going to criticize the Neocons. If you don't like being associated with them, push them out of positions of power in your party.

                As far as "Republicans want to protect the environment," the ones who say they do want to do so by re

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by cgenman (325138)
                National debt as a percent of GDP [zfacts.com].

                I really hope we can put the tax-and-spend liberal myth to bed soon. I wholeheartedly support the idea of electing fiscally responsible representatives, and would like to see this happen in practice.
          • Re:Democracy Now! (Score:5, Informative)

            by ystar (898731) on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @07:08PM (#22495572)
            I find PBS to be quite level-headed, but I'm speaking as someone quite opposed to the current administration. Bill Moyer's Journal is great, and probably free online, as are most PBS shows. Frontline has also continually improved their coverage of in-depth issues lately.
            • Agreed about PBS (Score:3, Informative)

              by srobert (4099)
              PBS coverage is excellent. But it used to be that PBS was "viewer supported television", without advertising.
              Now too many PBS shows begin with "was made possible by a grant from Exxon Mobil", or some such corporate giant.
              They're definitely trying to influence the coverage. (Or does that make it sound like I'm wearing a tin-foil hat?)
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by twistedcubic (577194)
              Actually, Frontline has been awesome for decades. I get disappointed when I discover people I know never heard of it. But anyway, Democracy Now is not a liberal show. It's on the Pacifica network, which is very leftist (think highly insightful liberal, which is almost nonexistent in the USA). If you're in California, it's KPFK in southern CA and KPFA in northern CA, and there is a station in Washington D.C. (where it's based, I think). They play lectures by Noam Chomsky and Michael Parenti (at least du
          • Re:Democracy Now! (Score:5, Insightful)

            by srobert (4099) on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @09:05PM (#22496984)
            "Let's try that again: are there any respectable news sources that aren't blatantly anti-conservative?"
            Answer: No. Blatant anti-conservatism in today's political climate is necessary to be respectable.
            By that I mean I can't tell you things that you really need to know (which is essential to being respectable) without conservatives ranting that I'm being biased.
          • Re:Democracy Now! (Score:5, Informative)

            by TitusC3v5 (608284) on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @10:04PM (#22497500) Homepage
            Though it's not quite television, I've found NPR to cover both sides of the spectrum fairly evenly. Best of all, you can simply listen to it while using your eyes for more productive things.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by daveywest (937112)
          Doubt it. I worked for a small (22k circulation) daily paper in editorial and later production. We did a lot of contract printing for small rags, and we'd mock them when they would put an ad on their front page for selling out.

          All hell broke loose the day the sales dept. said we were putting a "banner" across the bottom of our flagship daily.

          Of course, that was right after we were told we couldn't report automotive recalls anymore because a used car dealer threatened to pull his advertising for repor

        • Re:Democracy Now! (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Sgt. Joe (313778) <bolton.joe@gmail.com> on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @07:50PM (#22496192)
          The only new source I trust is the Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by milsoRgen (1016505)

      Maybe CNN doesn't like the competition scattered independent bloggers are providing to its all-encompassing media empire, and are taking out their anger on one of their own who dared embrace new media?

      I think it has more to do with the fact he used his real name, said some stuff that is okay by /.'r standards but was defiantly pretty racy to your average CNN view and as well he knew that he was suppose to get his outside work okayed with standards & practices. Really there is nothing to see here, the guy had it coming. IMO

    • by EmbeddedJanitor (597831) on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @06:07PM (#22494622)
      CNN and other organisations need to toe the line otherwise they get poor responsiveness from the Pentagon, Whitehouse etc. That's why people like Peter Arnett (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Arnett) get fired for doing good investigation.

      The media know that if they don't keep their reporters in line they will get screwed over. Instead of having their field staff embedded with frontline fighters to send back sexy footage they'll get embedded with the people washing trucks at the transport park. Instead of getting geed feedback from WHitehouse/Pentagon/whatever press officers they'll get delayed responses.

      The media know they must keep their noses clean to stay in the game and that's why they'll repremand or fire anyone that looks like a loose cannon and will upset theri relationships with these organisations.

      In the words of the Clash: "You have the right to free speach, unless you actually try it."

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        CNN and other organisations need to toe the line otherwise they get poor responsiveness from the Pentagon, Whitehouse etc.
        Yes of course and you will also get the same rote and canned answers that have been vetted by PR staff. Nothing really inspirational or newsworthy here. We can get the same from any major news organization. Those who take calculated risks (like in the stock market or any other endeavor) are the ones who will reap the most rewards in the long run.
    • by susano_otter (123650) on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @06:38PM (#22495126) Homepage

      Maybe CNN doesn't like the competition

      In fact, CNN doesn't like the competition so much that their employment contracts prohibit CNN employees from publishing material except through CNN.

      A low-key blog on an uncontroversial topic like trainspotting probably would've gone unpunished. But a high-profile blog with extremist and offensive political content, under the name of a CNN producer?

      The real tragedy is that CNN is will probably now have to crack down on innocuous little blogs about knitting tea cozies, just to avoid lawsuits from asshats like this Producer for showing favoritism.

      On paper, this guy is getting fired for breach of contract. I think the real reason he's getting fired is for showing a profound lack of judgement and restraint while holding a position of responsibility at CNN. The political extremists and conspiracy theorists will no doubt assume that the whole thing is a sign of fundamental corruption and usurpation of civil liberties by the news media and their Illuminati overlords.
    • Maybe CNN doesn't like the competition scattered independent bloggers are providing to its all-encompassing media empire, and are taking out their anger on one of their own who dared embrace new media?

      Are there any tech people here who don't have a non compete clause in their contract that says, "You may not use knowledge you gained through your position here for external projects without company approval?"

      This is a news producer, given access at CNN's dime, blogging about it for his own use (and potentially collecting ad revenue too).

      It wouldn't be considered acceptable in any other field. A programmer releasing code to things he was exposed to on the company's time, a record label employee running a c

  • by User 956 (568564) on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @05:29PM (#22493984) Homepage
    After a few months, CNN found out about it and ended up letting him go because his 'name was "attached to some, uh, 'opinionated' blog posts" circulating around the internet.'

    MORBO DOES NOT FEAR CNN. MORBO WILL BLOG WHATEVER HE LIKES!
  • No comments (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    No comments, otherwise my boss will find out that my name is attached to the opinionated news site Slashdot, and will be "forced" to let me go.
  • I see storms of shit in shit-canning a guy recovering from brain surgery.

    Not that that should be the focus, but it likely will be.
  • by troybob (1178331) on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @05:34PM (#22494068)
    Remember, this is the network that gives Nancy Grace a prime-time slot, proving they have the highest regard for journalistic professionalism.
  • Three words (Score:3, Interesting)

    by boxlight (928484) on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @05:35PM (#22494080)
    PSEU. DO. NYM.
  • by cp.tar (871488) <cp.tar.bz2@gmail.com> on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @05:36PM (#22494098) Journal

    ... in the Repressive Communist Regime(TM)[1] of Yugoslavia. Verbal delict anyone?

    You may have freedom of speech, but it seems you are gradually losing freedom of opinion.

    We've had our little wars and revolutions; when will you be coming along?

    [1] Insert sarcasm tags where needed.

  • by jonnythan (79727) on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @05:38PM (#22494122) Homepage
    "they hammered home a single line in the CNN employee handbook which states that any writing done for a "non-CNN outlet" must be run through the network's standards and practices department. They asked if I had seen this decree. As a matter of fact I had... I had thought when I read the rule... that it was staggeringly vague and couldn't possibly apply to something as innocuous as a blog."

    He violated a clear written policy. The guy is stupid for thinking work published on an internet blog doesn't count as writing.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by johansch (9784)
      So if your employer wrote down in a policy that employees were not allowed to breathe, and you then read that policy, and also presumably violated, that would be fair grounds for dismissal?

      "Policies" are not laws.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Frosty Piss (770223)

      The guy is stupid for thinking work published on an internet blog doesn't count as writing.
      Read many blogs, do you? Most don't count as "writing". Really.
    • any writing done for a "non-CNN outlet" must be run through the network's standards and practices department
      A clear written policy? Any writing? Really? Like "A loaf of bread and some milk"-writing? Oh? Not so clear written, then? It would not be far-fetched to assume that "any writing" in this context means "any professional writing that may constitute working for a competitor" as opposed to "any writing whatsoever, even if it's a shopping list or a personal blog".
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Any writing? Really? Like "A loaf of bread and some milk"-writing?

        You seem to be overlooking the term "outlet," which would mean a place that disseminates the work for him (which blogspot would certainly qualify for). So no, the definition's not as wide ranging as you're trying to say it is.

        Besides, he's writing a blog with a fairly wide audience for an ad-supported site. He knew all of this. While the line doesn't clearly apply to blogs, he either realized that his blog could have fallen under those guidelines or he deserves to be fired anyway.

    • by sd.fhasldff (833645) on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @06:00PM (#22494516)

      He violated a clear written policy. The guy is stupid for thinking work published on an internet blog doesn't count as writing.

      He what now?

      Clear? You call that policy CLEAR?!

      If the part in quotes is actually a quote, "non-CNN outlet", then it is indeed very far from clear. If anything, I would argue that it's clearer that a blog *shouldn't* count, since a personal blog is not an "outlet" in the context used (CNN). If he had written the blog for the NY Times, then sure, by all means...

      • by susano_otter (123650) on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @07:20PM (#22495764) Homepage
        I love how blogs are a revolutionary new form of news reporting and editorializing that will take on and bring down the increasingly-obsolete mainstream media in a perfect storm of individual private journalism... except when the mainstream media actually starts treating blogs like competitors, and then they're just irrelevant little things that can't possibly compare to the reporting and editorializing done by big news corporations.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by at_slashdot (674436)
      Let's get real, "writing done for a non-CNN outlet" means working for somebody else, blogging is just posting a journal online, jeez... what's next, companies demanding you not to talk to somebody else in your free time unless they approve what you say before you open the mouth?
  • by Gat0r30y (957941) on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @05:40PM (#22494142) Homepage Journal
    How do we know this isn't the guy who's been making CNN cover britney instead of actual news huh? Cause I'm all for firing whoever that dude is.
    • by Gat0r30y (957941) on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @05:59PM (#22494498) Homepage Journal
      Nevermind.....

      I marveled at our elevation of the death of Anna Nicole Smith to near-mythic status and our willingness to let the airwaves be taken hostage by every permutation of opportunistic degenerate from a crying judge to a Hollywood hanger-on with an emo haircut.
      Well at least the poor dude doesn't have to work for them anymore.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Mex (191941)
        So he's the only one at CNN who saw the ridiculous coverage of Anna Nicole Smith as the crap that it was, and ... he was the one with a brain tumor. Sort of explains a lot about CNN.
  • Just about every mainstream media outlet, from national magazines to online-only news sites, require their writers and producers to seek permission, or outright ban, writing for other outlets. This guy broke a well-known rule and then plead ignorance. Waah.
  • by zappepcs (820751) on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @05:42PM (#22494184) Journal
    for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the light he sheds on the way that MSM / corporate news works these days. Even though so many of us suspect that the facts of his story were true before reading his story, it is always nice to hear an insider confirm your suspicions.

    At this point, we should all be thinking about how to coerce MSM to be actual factual news outlets again? Ideas, anyone?

    It's obvious that having good ratings is better than being rated highly as a reliable news source. Perhaps (new Internet meme inbound) it is time for Anonymous to start informing advertisers of MSM that we don't like the shows associated with their products?

    It would seem that only money talks these days. The real question is: Is it the advertisers dollars that talk loudest, or the politically generated dollars that talk loudest? Who really are the MSM's dollar dealers?
  • Competition? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Ohio Calvinist (895750) on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @05:44PM (#22494228)
    First of all, I think CNN is totally off-the-wall on this one. However on the surface it does strike me as being awfully similar to a garbage man who works for a private waste management company, volunteering his time on saturdays on the Adopt-A-Highway program, cleaning up trash. This puts him in competition (especially if he does it for free) when the company wants a piece of the action in the form of a service contract from the municipality the freeway runs though.

    Even if he isn't trying to do so, he's in a position to take readership from the company (weather it happens or not), and that is something they have a vested interest in stopping.

    In this case, CNN would have been smarter (if this guy has the connections in the blogging community he claims he does) to keep him on the payroll as an independent blogger, with the rights to use his material on the show to further the perception that CNN is "down" with news bloggers. At the same time, give him some access to CNN's news-sources so he can break some stories that they "pass" upon on the broadcast show, and if he makes enough noise (or viewers) put it on the CNN pages/broadcast, and get the guy some screen time.
  • sex sells (Score:4, Interesting)

    by esocid (946821) on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @05:46PM (#22494266) Journal

    With the exception of the period immediately following 9/11, which saw the best characteristics of television journalism shocked back into focus and the passion of even the most jaded and cynical of its practitioners return like a shot of adrenaline to the heart, the profession I once loved and felt honored to be a part of has lost its way.
    That's pretty much how I feel about journalism these days. I'm not sure what brought it about, whether it is who owns the mass media or government, but no longer are there worthwhile reports about what is important. It's about what sells. The days of muckracking seem to be over (for the mass media, wikileaks comes to mind most currently as non-mass media) and it is more about this celebrity did this or propaganda sent down the channels, and shy away from stories that really expose stories with an unbiased presentation.

    I was asked to complete self-evaluations which pressed me to describe the ways in which I'd "increased shareholder value." (For the record, if you're a rank-and-file member of a newsroom, you should never under any circumstances even hear the word "shareholders," let alone be reminded that you're beholden to them.) I watched the media in general do anything within reason to scare the hell out of the American public -- to convince people that they were about to be infected by the bird flu, poisoned by the food supply, or eaten by sharks.
    To think that someone who works in the business of providing an unbiased view of what exactly is occurring in the world should in no way have any connection to whether or not their employer makes money off of it. This goes back to making money. If I had watched CNN before now I would stop, but I guess since I never do it's moot.
  • by Pojut (1027544) on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @05:51PM (#22494356) Homepage
    It was obvious he was growing quite a following...this news story will undoubtedly add to that following. He should slap a couple of google adsense boxes on his page, and make his blog full-time. He likely has the exposure necessary to do so...
  • by frovingslosh (582462) on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @05:54PM (#22494412)
    his 'name was "attached to some, uh, 'opinionated' blog posts" circulating around the internet.'"

    As opposed to the other kind?

  • Ob-quote?! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Dogtanian (588974) on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @05:59PM (#22494500) Homepage
    I've only one thing to say.... I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!
  • Oprah Post (Score:3, Interesting)

    by StevisF (218566) on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @06:13PM (#22494722)
    His post regarding her and the people who watch her show is extremely inflammatory and derogatory. There's critisism and then there's just ranting in a disrespectful manner. His post was soundly the latter. Not really wise to post something like that under your own name where anyone can read it.
  • As Opposed To... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hyades1 (1149581) <hyades1@hotmail.com> on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @06:16PM (#22494792)

    ...the two douche bags they used to have on staff who carried water for the Bush administration. They didn't fire those guys 'til just about every other media outlet in the world outed them and started poking fun at CNN. One used to report regularly on education, and how effective the "No Child Left Behind" bill was. Then somebody noticed he got a whole whack of money from Bush to do PR work on...you guessed it.

    And then there was Bob Novak, about whom the less said the better. And I'm pretty sure there was somebody else who got caught taking money from people he was supposed to be providing disinterested commentary about, but the name escapes me. One thing's for sure. They have never had a military "expert" on regularly who said anything even mildly critical about the idiots at the Pentagon who seem to be doing such a good job of getting American soldiers unnecessarily killed and maimed.

    It sounds to me like they dumped this guy because he actually seems to know what good journalism is about. On a network that was an unapologetic cheerleader for the Iraq invasion and regularly buries real news stories under an avalanche of shallow, horse-race-style political coverage and pixelized footage of some starlet's crotch, I guess this guy just wasn't a good fit.

  • Missing the Point (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DigitalisAkujin (846133) on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @06:29PM (#22495002) Homepage
    I have read a lot of the comments here saying stuff akin to "Well he broke company policy so he deserved it" but that is not what he is arguing. In fact he doesn't care. The fact that he took his punishment and learned from it is a prime example of Civil Disobedience.

    He elaborates in his well written blog post that the blogging community (which has only been around for maybe half a decade) is going to continue to grow on the internet and overtake the "major" news organizations. If you look at the road-to-entry for television and you compare it to blogging, you know this is true. You're not likely to ever create your own cable television channel but to setup a blog it takes little more then 10 minutes and it will automatically be indexed in search engines without you ever having to try.

    The current major news outlets are only a combination of 5 stations. Blogs on the other hand are a combination of hundreds of thousands. Now that the entry fee into the media (all media) is little more then a browser with an internet connection.

    This alone won't herald any kind of revolution. It will take decades for the internet to penetrate the masses the world over but if recent events with Wikileaks is any indication; the internet at least exposes the absolute truth. Unfortunately, for anyone that puts bread on the table with this industry; this might herald the end of the commercialization of news since keeping it free will be trivial.
  • Excuses, excuses... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @06:49PM (#22495266)
    Forget the "policy" CNN had in place. The upshot is that he wrote or did something someone didn't like and they canned him. They could have warned him, or given him options, but they didn't. That's the telling part. Companies claim their people are valuable assets, but that's just crap. Companies view employees as liabilities to be tolerated only as long as necessary.
  • This is a softball (Score:4, Interesting)

    by AmericanInKiev (453362) on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @07:30PM (#22495914) Homepage
    Clearly many employees at CNN blog. Should CNN want to enforce the rules, they by all means can, but they must terminate all employees which can so easily be shown to be in equal violation. But no, they showed their hand when they pointed out that he was being terminated for a particular opinion. That won't pass muster. Employees can't be fired for their opinions on a variety of topics, including religion, race, gender, etc ... surely these op eds wade into a variety of protected speech regions. Once CNN targets speech, they're toast. CNN is in the business of free speech, if they deny their bread and butter to other's their credibility goes down the toilet. - and they lose a lawsuit, silly decision...

    AIK
  • by toddhisattva (127032) on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @08:10PM (#22496404) Homepage

    the job of the press is to maintain an adversarial relationship with the government at all times
    -the moron we're talking about

    This is crap. It is dog crap: cynicism.

    The guy has admitted he is prejudiced, and proven it beyond a shadow of doubt with his blog.

    Bias can be corrected, but prejudice taints the news enterprise. Write the conclusion, then pick facts that back it up, and ignore the ones that don't. His alleged mind is made up.

    Maybe, just maybe, his dismissal from CNN means they are actually trying to get the opinion out of their news stories.

    They do have opinion shows, but I don't think "American Morning" is supposed to be one of them.

The first Rotarian was the first man to call John the Baptist "Jack." -- H.L. Mencken

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