CNN has devolved into a crappy Fox-TV equivalent

If you watch a lot of CNN, as I do at work, you might have noticed something really unusual happening.  I knew that most of their shows are horrible sub-par crap, and even though I like a few show hosts (Anderson Cooper, Anthony Bordain's new show, etc), the quality recently tanked.  I also despite Piers Morgan, the inferior replacement for Larry King.  (Btw, why is an uncharismatic British news exec (who was part of the Rupert Murdoch news organizations in England & thus the scandal) hosting a talk show on CNN?)

News reports had said CNN had let go of all their investigative journalists and were moving towards a more 'panel talk' format.

But just how God-awful this format will be remains to be seen.  In the last month, stories which were played all night long included: Martin-Zimmerman trial, birth of baby King George, Ed Snowden's voyage, and now Anthony Weiner's sexy tweets.

But the flaws here are so stunning -- editorial is regularly conflated with reporting, there is no clear fact checking or validation (and lies are tossed out regularly), the news is presented as 'infotainment' and personal dramas, and lastly but most importantly --> the focus of the stories is warped almost completely, the 'narrative' hijacked by CNN, and then the news is retold without the most critical aspects mentioned.

Highlights of flawed coverage:

Zimmerman trial -- why was the case significant to USA?  Not because of the drama and the outrage, but because in Florida the police let a man kill a teenager and go home that night without being charged.  Because racism and apartheid still exist in the South.  Because these new "ALEC" pro-gun laws which are now in effect in many states enable violence against minorities without prosecution.  WHY IS IT IMPORTANT THAT AMERICANS STOP RACIST WHITE MEN FROM KILLING BLACK CHILDREN WITHOUT ANY RISK OF PROSECUTION, CNN?

King George birth -- this story annoyed me to no end.  Not even a moment spared on the history of USA, people fighting to be free of an oppressive empire, and rather a focus on the British royal family.  'Royalty' -- a tradition people fought in USA to end.  WHY WOULD AMERICANS CARE ABOUT BRITISH ROYALTY, CNN?!?!  We fought a war to be free of them!

Ed Snowden's voyage -- CNN simply accepts that it's ok for USA to prosecute & pursue a USA whistleblower where 'freedom of speech' and 'freedom of press' are guaranteed in Constitution & this secret spy govt is not part of our laws, no coverage of the leaks, no discussion of the collusion between press and govt to keep information out of the hands of the public, no discussion of what the secret USA govt spying on the public means, no followup questions, attacking Glenn Greenwald for covering the story, etc.  WHAT IS THE SUBSTANCE OF THE LEAKS, CNN???  CNN is too afraid to say.

Anthony Weiner -- OK, he tweeted and did other stuff that married people aren't supposed to do, and Congress people shouldn't do, and married Congress people get embarassed when it's exposed.  Got it.  But what positions does Weiner take on substantive issues?  WHAT STANCE HAS WEINER TAKEN AGAINST THE BIG BANKS, CNN?  That's right -- Weiner wants to prosecute the big banks for the bailouts (as did Elliot Spitzer, another guy clobbered by the media).

I'd like to shut off CNN forever & replace it with actual journalism & reporting.  But for now, it seems that CNN has joined FOX as a pro-govt spin machine, committed to reporting entertainment only and downplaying / spinning / distorting the real news.  Why do they do this?  Because the govt and corporations make it worth their while.

IFTTT -- powerful, simple, dangerous, cool.

If This, then That. is the site, the iPhone App is here.

So what the heck IS this thing?


Well, it creates 'rules' which monitor your different apps & sites, and if you (or someone else) does something at one of those things, IFTTT then responds by doing something else which you pre-define.

Like what?  Well, my first rule was -- if I post something on this blog, post it on my FB page.  And that worked.  So I then found 'a recipe' (that's what they call the 'rules') which checks this blogs & when I have new post, & it notes the post into my twitter feed.

So in a way, this is good b/c it automates tasks that I always wanted automated.

But it's really easy to imagine what could happen if this app starts posting the wrong stuff in different spots, or posting someone else's stuff into my stuff, or vice versa. 

Imagine if you have a rule that says, 'anytime there's a bikini pic in FB, send me an email' -- but you make the recipe wrong and it sends that email to someone else?!?!?

And yes, you have to imagine that it could send other people's stuff to you.  Which could be good, bad, or annoying depending.

Opportunities for rockin' new stuff, opportunities for torturous hell!  Let's be careful with this one!

Here are my shared recipes so far (9/2013):

IFTTT Recipe: Email new 'Order of the Stick' comic

IFTTT Recipe: Email me Headlines

IFTTT Recipe: Blog Update, post link to FB

Ravenmark: Mercenaries - free, new, pretty cool!

Found Ravenmark: Mercenaries on Appshopper - free!

Lots of great freebies lately.  Not enough room on the i-Thang to install all of them, but i'm trying.  Game of day is Ravenmark-Mercenaries.

It's like a tabletop miniatures combat game.  Totally free, but you can buy it & get rid of annoying pop up ads.  Or just ignore the ads?  (Is that possible??!?)

Gasland II -- more painful knowledge 'the frack attack' vs the world

Watching Gasland II on HBO. I'll be damned -- BP Oil Spill was a deliberate coverup! Should we be surprised? I suggest you watch #1 and #2 if you want to understand the ramifications of fracking and the massive BP Gulf Oil Spill.

Which lead me to something very inspiring - Sean & Yoko & Jimmy Fallon singing "Don't Frack My Mother".

Maybe we are on a quick road to hell, but one person in the Gasland II movie called this the 'last hurrah of the fossil fuel industry' and said that this would be taking out more substantial chunks of the environment.

Not sure it's all worth it when we can generate power in much more kind and healthy ways.  We aren't obliged to combust... but people rushing us to Armageddon seem compelled to accellerate the process.

I don't believe that we have to destroy the planet -- but I'd be happy if we destroyed some of these corrupted institutions and organizations.