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Scoot Blog: Did CNN trump FOX News? What we can learn about the news media!

A TV news network’s investigation may have put pressure on the Obama administration to file the first criminal charges in the terror attack on the U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012.

Republicans have demanded answers from the Obama Administration about what was known before the terror attack, why security was not increased to protect U.S. diplomats and why the American public was misled following the attack. After nearly a year, the Administration has filed charges against Libyan militia figure Ahmed Abu Khattala and other suspects not identified.  

The question is – did the Obama Administration feel pressure from the promotion and airing of the CNN news special, “The Truth about Benghazi?”  Or, was it a simple coincidence that the charges came at the time the special investigative report would reveal evidence that supports concerns that the Administration mishandled the terror attack in Benghazi?

For those who are so quick to criticize the ‘liberal media’ – it’s important to point out that the special, “The Truth about Benghazi,” is an investigative report from CNN, one of the networks consistently lumped into the category of the ‘liberal media.’  This may be somewhat of an embarrassing moment for the FOX News Channel, which had led to crusade against President Obama on Benghazi. Recently, the concentration of the pressure from FOX News on the Administration to act on the Benghazi attack seemed to subside and yield to other top news stories.

I do not always defend the media.  Understanding that those in the media, news and entertainment, tend to be more liberal than conservative, I have always warned that the ultimate goal of the media is to attract an audience by presenting the most compelling stories.

CNN is under new leadership and the change in direction is obvious.  Producing an investigative special on a hot-button issue, like the Benghazi attack, gave CNN the opportunity to trump FOX News on this issue.  Perhaps it was timing rather than pressure, but any network would get credit for encouraging the Obama Administration to act on a controversial issue if the Administration did act at the time a critical report was to be aired.

Regardless of whether CNN forced action by the Administration, or it was just luck with the timing of the special, this moment further supports the idea that while the media is biased – liberal or conservative – the most prominent force driving the media is presenting the stories that are compelling enough to attract the largest possible audience.  Since CNN’s direction change this year, the network has moved up in the ratings and, in some cases, is now second to FOX News.  So, it’s working.

When you watch the news, stop and think about the content of the stories you are seeing and the debates you are hearing.  Is it the news that really has a direct impact on your life, or is it often the news stories that grab and hold your attention?

We cannot change media bias, but as an audience, we can recognize that the media is biased and that the motive is to get ratings.  The Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week” began with the airing of, what viewers thought was a documentary, “Megalodon: The Monster That Lives.”  At the end of the show, which included ‘experts’ talking about this huge shark, there was a disclaimer that the documentary was not about an actual animal – it was fake and the ‘experts’ were hired actors.

Backlash on social media was harsh and the Discovery Channel was criticized for duping the audience.  To spice up the beginning of “Shark Week,” the network known for factual documentaries, presented a show about a monster shark to capture the attention of an audience, rather than advance the knowledge of the audience.

The only defense we have against a biased media that is motivated by the goal of attracting an audience, is to be aware of that reality.

Tags :  
Topics : Entertainment_CulturePolitics
Social :
Locations : Benghazi
People : Ahmed Abu KhattalaObama

08/07/2013 6:34PM
Scoot Blog: Did CNN trump FOX News? What we can learn about the news media!
Please Enter Your Comments Below
08/07/2013 9:03PM
Let's see if CNN, CBS, MSNBC and NBC go after the real scandal that is the IRS ...
Obama and his crew are common thugs and abuse their offices for their own benefit ...
08/07/2013 9:06PM
Most in the media are too busy humping Obama’s leg to do any serious coverage
on Obama or ask the Clown President any tough questions ...
08/07/2013 11:00PM
Obama, and others like him, make a mockery of their jobs ...
Obama is a celebrity NOT a competent president. His record is the worst in modern history, but he has a race card so he gets a pass.
08/07/2013 11:03PM
You fools grovel over Hillary and Obama .. reality is these folks are not that bright ...
they have made a mess of almost everything they have touched.
08/08/2013 7:40AM
Washington, the Media and the Obama Administration are all so corrupt there
is nothing to respect—greed, abuse and waste of taxpayer money. The Obamas are just getting their revenge living large off the mostly white taxpayers. Government workers are overpaid and many of them could not compete in the real world of private sector competition. They are no better than most welfare losers who refuse to work. Few voters engage and are informed. It is easier than ever for incompetent, corrupt clowns to be elected. Washington led by Obama forced ObamaCare on the country and them exempted themselves from what they know is a failed system ... evil best describes so-called leaders today.
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