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Please Stop, Anderson. Just STOP.

This is a message to Anderson Cooper and CNN...
 
As American citizens concerned about the humanity of the Haitian people, the sensationalist and self-promoting tendencies of American media and the power of pictures, we urge you to: Please stop.  
Please immediately:
-- Stop using the camera to rob people of their dignity when it's the only thing they have left.
-- Stop infantilizing the Haitian people.
-- Stop the pity party.
-- Stop the exploitation of despair to promote your own brand -- especially with those horrible patronizing split-screens.
-- Stop playing savior.MORE
Some of the comments are leaking privledge



Why and How I Lost It Yesterday (Over CNN "Getting Off" On a Haitian Victim Rescue)

Over the course of the day, I heard from several visually-savvy friends who empathized with my need to vent. At the same time, however, several also wrote some variation of this:

While I applaud your effort, I am curious about why. I haven't lived with a TV for about 8 years so I catch CNN/ cable news pretty infrequently. ... So, I'd like to make an appeal for those of us who don't tune in to CNN: What exactly is the problem? Is Cooper emblematic of contemporary Journalism? Or, has he just gone too too far?

 

Fair enough. (And yes, too far.)

Without delving into what upset(s) me about the split screen shots I led yesterday's post with, let me explain the next four screen grabs and describe what happens in Tuesday's CNN Haiti rescue video so you'll see what set me off.

MORE
Warning: What he did is very disgusting.

Date: 2010-01-22 10:26 pm (UTC)
ext_13401: (Default)
From: [identity profile] hapex-legomena.livejournal.com
I've been trying to avoid cnn ever since I made the mistake of watching Fareed Zakaria interviewing a panel of white experts (who it turned out actually had a clue) on Haiti and opened his mouth to talk about how Haitian do not value or take pride in property and had the gall worry aloud about "anti-Americanism" and *headdesk*^infinity.

I didn't have the choice this morning though because I was waiting in line to talk to a representative of my school and they television was turned to cnn with no remote in sight. They were just gleefully shooting footage of a man twitching and *dying* in the middle of a busy street after he had been shot by the police for "loot[ing]" a bag of rice. They would not stop sticking the camera in his face until medical personnel came to haul him away.

*looks up* Well, that was tl;dr and angry.

Congrats on on your recent good news!

Date: 2010-01-23 02:34 pm (UTC)
jjhunter: Watercolor of daisy with blue dots zooming around it like Bohr model electrons (Default)
From: [personal profile] jjhunter
It's incredible how insinuating this sort of 'spin' becomes. There's a complex set of narratives going on here in addition to the 'disaster porn' thread.

1/19:
Mediahacker - Propaganda antidote
Tell CNN to stop hyping fears of violence in Haiti. For shame.


CNN lead on the 19th: "In the shadow of Haiti’s wrecked presidential palace lie the new homes of the capital’s 500,000 displaced residents. But with 4,000 convicted criminals on the loose, nothing and no one is safe."

Ansel Herz, freelance journalist based in Port-Au-Prince: "They started pushing the violence meme the day after the earthquake.

"When they came back to me, I began to explain that I had walked through the remains of the jail (here’s the video). That many of the prisoners were reportedly shot dead by police as they tried to escape. And that I had not seen or heard of violence so far."

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