CNN’s Assault On Reason: New Reporter Hired To Cover ‘Britney And Michael Jackson’

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"CNN’s Assault On Reason: New Reporter Hired To Cover ‘Britney And Michael Jackson’"

Last week, Al Gore appeared on CNN’s Larry King Live and offered a stinging critique of the media’s obsession with “trivialities” rather than important issues that affect our collective future:

GORE: In a lot of the news media, the line between entertainment and news is now very blurred, and a lot of news organizations feel the need to run polls and conduct focus groups the same as politicians now. And so we get a lot more of Anna Nicole Smith’s funeral arrangements and Paris Hilton’s legal battles on her jail term than we get about how we can solve the climate crisis and how we can get our troops out of this civil war they are trapped in, in Iraq.

Confirming the central thesis of Al Gore’s criticism of the media, this morning CNN announced the hire of a new reporter who will “be covering things like Britney, as well as the Michael Jackson memorabilia”:

KIRAN CHETRY: Britney Spears, she’s blogging — that’s what they do these days, the celebrities — about her trip to rehab, about hitting rock bottom, and about what she really thinks her troubles are. … And joining us to talk more about that this morning is Lola Ogunnaike. … You’re going to be covering things like Britney, as well as the Michael Jackson memorabilia.

OGUNNAIKE: Yes, I’ve got the Britney, Lindsay, Michael Jackson memorabilia beat.

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[flv http://video.thinkprogress.org/2007/05/cnnreason.320.240.flv]

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Full transcript:

GORE: In a lot of the news media, the line between entertainment and news is now very blurred, and a lot of news organizations feel the need to run polls and conduct focus groups the same as politicians now. And so we get a lot more of Anna Nicole Smith’s funeral arrangements and Paris Hilton’s legal battles on her jail term than we get about how we can solve the climate crisis and how we can get our troops out of this civil war they are trapped in, in Iraq.
And we have this huge onslaught of trivialities and four-and-a- half hours a day is the average amount of time Americans watch television. And so much of it is just sort of mind-deadening. And you know what I’m talking about. And that line between entertainment and news is really gone now in many cases.
* * *

CHETRY: Also, Britney Spears, she’s blogging — that’s what they do these days, the celebrities — about her trip to rehab, about hitting rock bottom, and about what she really thinks her troubles are. It’s certainly not alcohol and depression, she says. And joining us to talk more about that this morning is Lola Ogunnaike. Welcome, by the way, to the team.

LOLA OGUNNAIKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Thank you so much. I’m happy to be here.

CHETRY: You’re going to be covering things like Britney, as well as the Michael Jackson memorabilia.

OGUNNAIKE: Yes, I’ve got the Britney, Lindsay, Michael Jackson memorabilia beat.

CHETRY: Do you get to cover any normal people?

OGUNNAIKE: Yes, actually. But just not this week.

CHETRY: Well, we are so thrilled that you’re with us.

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