The incrementalism and vamping required to fill the hours — “Again, as we have been saying, Anderson ... ” — makes everyone desperate to say anything vaguely new.Oddly — but not surprisingly — the article ends with Obama. I say "not surprisingly" because all roads lead to Obama. Everything is about Obama. But I say "oddly," because the story is about CNN, journalism, and the Boston bombing. There should not be a sense that these themes are resolved by looking to what Obama thinks or what it means for Obama.
Throughout the week, I saw anchors and reporters staring at their phones, hoping a new nugget might arrive to give them something to say.... And the live environment means that at a certain point, the bosses have to quit shouting into the ear piece, trusting their staff and crossing their fingers.
“In this age of instant reporting and tweets and blogs, there’s a temptation to latch on to any bit of information, sometimes to jump to conclusions,” [Obama] said, his face turning sour as he spoke.Here's the video, in case you want to check the accuracy of "his face turning sour as he spoke."
“But when a tragedy like this happens, with public safety at risk and the stakes so high, it’s important that we do this right. That’s why we have investigations. That’s why we relentlessly gather the facts.”Equal to the people... that questionable flattery came out of nowhere. Like we're passive receptors of the news, and the news ought to honor us, The People. The press must serve. I'd say we're pretty active — especially with new media in the mix — and we choose what, if anything, we want to read or listen to. It's a market. Especially now. We have the media we deserve. CNN's problem isn't that we're not watching. If their desperate response is to trash their brand, they did it for the ratings, and if the brand is trashed, they'll probably lose ratings. But if CNN gains ratings, because people want to hear the latest rumors and take the risk that they're wrong, then that kind of reporting is exactly what we deserve.
Like everyone else, the president wants to have a press that is equal to the people it serves. He wants CNN to be good.
But back to Obama. This emphasis on not talking so much and waiting for the investigation: "[I]t’s important that we do this right. That’s why we have investigations." That can also be a way of saying: I know you're all very excited about this right now, but please calm down, don't criticize the government for not doing enough, trust us, and when enough time has passed, you probably won't be thinking about this anymore.
I'm saying that because that's what I heard after the Benghazi attack. And it's the talking point Dianne Feinstein brought to "Fox News Sunday" this week. The moderator Chris Wallace had just given Congressman Peter King an opportunity to restate his questions about whether "we are letting our guard down" and whether "this attack should have been prevented" and whether there ought to be "more effective surveillance inside the Muslim community." King spoke, ending with the line "If you know a certain threat is coming from a certain community, that's where you have to look," and Wallace asked Feinstein for her "reaction to that."
FEINSTEIN: Well, that's exactly where they will look. I mean, I -- I don't think all of this is very helpful. I think the important thing is to get the facts. Let the investigation proceed. The FBI has very good interrogators. They know what they are doing. I believe that they will put a case together that will be very strong....Don't talk. We have some very good people working on this out of your view. You don't know the facts. You are not an expert. There will be an investigation....
Please, everyone: Shelter in place.