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Thread: CNN Airs Video of Snipers Killing American Troops

  1. #1
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    CNN Airs Video of Snipers Killing American Troops

    [QUOTE]Thursday, October 19, 2006

    [B][U]Why we aired the sniper video[/U][/B]

    Last night, we ran a controversial piece produced by our Baghdad correspondent Michael Ware. The backstory is that through intermediaries Michael had been communicating with Ibrahim Al-Shimary, a shadowy leader and spokesman for the Islamic Army. Michael had sent him a series of questions concerning the insurgency in Iraq and its motives. He was surprised when he received two videotapes in response. We aired portions of both last night.

    One had Al-Shimary himself on camera -- his face electronically concealed -- responding to Michael's questions. The second tape surprised us even more. It documented 10 incidents of insurgent snipers attacking U.S. military personnel. To be clear, insurgents shot the tape themselves. This group has released similar tapes in the past. Indeed, you can find them on the Internet. But this tape uniquely included audio from the sniper team as they selected targets, waited for their opportunities and then praised Allah as they made their escapes.

    We are assuming they included the sniper tape to prove the authenticity of the Al-Shimary interview tape and to establish their credibility. Of course, we also understood that some might conclude there is a public relations benefit for the insurgents if we aired the material, especially on CNN International. We also understood that this kind of footage is upsetting and disturbing for many viewers. But after getting beyond the emotional debate, we concluded the tape meets our criteria for newsworthiness.

    Moreover, with 73 U.S. military casualties so far this month, October is already the third highest month for U.S. deaths in Iraq since the war began. In fact, many of them are victims of sniper attacks.

    For those who did not see the piece, you can watch it here now: (Watch CNN's report on the insurgent video)

    You should know we dipped to black at the moment of actual impact of the rounds. A number of us felt airing that precise moment was simply too horrific. That decision, as well as the decision to build a piece around the sniper tape -- in fact, all the decisions about this story -- were subject to hours of intense editorial debate at the highest levels here at CNN.

    You should also know we tried to put all of this in context. Our reporting included an interview with a current U.S. sniper in Iraq. He's been both under attack from insurgent snipers and he has himself operated as a sniper. We also heard from Major General William Caldwell, a coalition forces spokesman in Iraq, and CNN military analyst General David Grange, formerly with the Green Beret, Delta Force and Army Rangers.

    Instantly, the piece received many strongly-worded responses from viewers.

    Many viewers thought it inappropriate for us to air video of Americans being shot: "If I had a son or daughter over there serving, I would be outraged by what I feel is your aiding and comforting the enemy."

    Some worried about kids who might have watched the program. (We clearly warned viewers the video was not appropriate for children before we aired it.)

    Others praised us for showing the threats U.S. military personnel actually face: "Thanks for having the guts to show the sniper update and to show us the other side of the story. Please continue to give us the truth; I know the network is bound to be taking heat."

    And still others thought by dipping to black and not showing the moment of impact of the sniper rounds we were sanitizing the horror of war: " ... I think the reason it took Americans so long to come around on this war is because they somehow did not think it was real because they never saw anyone hurt ... you guys need to show the unvarnished truth."

    Whether or not you agree with us in this case, our goal, as always, is to present the unvarnished truth as best we can.
    Posted By David Doss, "360" Executive Producer: 12:59 PM ET[/QUOTE]

    I found this interesting, hence the repost. Maybe you will too.

  2. #2
    Waterboy
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    CNN is absolute trash. The title of that editorial is "Why we aired the sniper video" and yet I could not find a reasonable case answering that very question. The closest I came was reading this:
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    "We are assuming they included the sniper tape to prove the authenticity of the Al-Shimary interview tape and to establish their credibility. Of course, we also understood that some might conclude there is a public relations benefit for the insurgents if we aired the material, especially on CNN International. We also understood that this kind of footage is upsetting and disturbing for many viewers. [B]But after getting beyond the emotional debate, we concluded the tape meets our criteria for newsworthiness.
    [/B]
    "Moreover, with 73 U.S. military casualties so far this month, October is already the third highest month for U.S. deaths in Iraq since the war began. In fact, many of them are victims of sniper attacks."
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    That doesn't answer the question. How, exactly, did the tape meet their criteria for newsworthiness? They say it did, but how? Isn't it enough to just report on the sniper activity, instead of watching Americans be killed while listening to a nut job saying "Praise God, Praise God"? If I was related to one of the victims in that video, I would be beyond pissed. I would want that producer's head on a plate. As far as I can tell, the video serves no purpose.
    Last edited by JetsFan2012; 10-19-2006 at 06:38 PM.

  3. #3
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    WF, this isn't a shot at your post, I'm posting my opinion. I think it's just plain sick. Not only do they show an American losing his life, they give an interview -- a virtual propaganda orgy -- to the scum responsible for doing it.

    This piece of garbage network refused to show those danish mohammed cartoons and does everything in their power to this day to avoid showing footage from 9/11 and the other atrocities committed on civilians by the religion of pieces. All so as not to incite bigotry toward jihadists. Yet when it comes to abu ghraib, to this very day, I still see the pix they proudly display. Very nice.

    When saddam was in power, they covered up his crimes just so they could keep their "news" bureau in iraq and they do the same with castro and chavez.

    CNN is nothing more than an American version of al jazeera.

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    Putting politics aside for a second, how any American with common sense sees anything news worthy about this video, please explain it to me.

    It's shock TV at its lowest ebb. Not only should the producer be accountable, but the entire CNN network should be in someone's cross hairs.

  5. #5
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    [QUOTE=Spirit of Weeb]WF, this isn't a shot at your post, I'm posting my opinion. I think it's just plain sick. Not only do they show an American losing his life, they give an interview -- a virtual propaganda orgy -- to the scum responsible for doing it.

    This piece of garbage network refused to show those danish mohammed cartoons and does everything in their power to this day to avoid showing footage from 9/11 and the other atrocities committed on civilians by the religion of pieces. All so as not to incite bigotry toward jihadists. Yet when it comes to abu ghraib, to this very day, I still see the pix they proudly display. Very nice.

    When saddam was in power, they covered up his crimes just so they could keep their "news" bureau in iraq and they do the same with castro and chavez.

    CNN is nothing more than an American version of al jazeera.[/QUOTE]

    No worries Weeb. I didn't bring it to the forum because I agreed with it. I posted it because I think it's pretty damn offensive. I agree with your stated opinion here, they hypocricy is rather sad.

  6. #6
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    CNN aired the video??? Or did they take the video??? Or both???

    Wonder why they never showed the Nic Berg video......

  7. #7
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    [QUOTE=Come Back to NY]CNN aired the video??? Or did they take the video??? Or both???

    Wonder why they never showed the Nic Berg video......[/QUOTE]

    CNN got the video from their terrorist/insurgent contacts.

    CNN aired the Video as news.

    CNN is now trying to explain why they choose to do that.

  8. #8
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    despite what supporters of the President think - when US Soldiers get sniped it is in fact news... just as much news as a murder or school shooting or whatever else they air to get ratings.

    as they say if it bleeds it leads

    fans of the war would rather we didn't acknowledge casualties outside of holidays like memorial day

    but make no mistake there are real people out there giving up their lives for this failed war

    that sounds like news to me

    pretending it doesn't happen won't make it go away

  9. #9
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    Let me ask you guys a question..
    Do you feel the same disgust when you watch American bombs destroying Iraqi life? When did war become entertainment..

    I remember during the Justified, well-planned, and well-executed first gulf war, there would be daily news conferences of Norman Swarzkopf showing the media camera laden smart bombs destroying Iraqi battalions..
    Is there a double standard when it comes to war reporting and war coverage? I dont know..I think humanity should be disgusted by all forms of war and I think Americans should no what the hell is goin on..

  10. #10
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    [QUOTE=bman]Let me ask you guys a question..
    Do you feel the same disgust when you watch American bombs destroying Iraqi life? When did war become entertainment..

    I remember during the Justified, well-planned, and well-executed first gulf war, there would be daily news conferences of Norman Swarzkopf showing the media camera laden smart bombs destroying Iraqi battalions..
    Is there a double standard when it comes to war reporting and war coverage? I dont know..I think humanity should be disgusted by all forms of war and I think Americans should no what the hell is goin on..[/QUOTE]

    Question#1: When was the last time you saw "American Bombs Killing Iraqi Life" on the news?

    Question #2: Which side are you for, the USA or Iraqi insurgents? If you favor our winning the war, then yes, the is and should be a double standard, both in coverage and in value.

    Question #3: You do know the main point of the whole show off the smartbomb" was as a demonstration that we were not aiming for civies, right?

  11. #11
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    CNN and other news outlets are JOURNALISTS..They are not paid by The Bush ADmin (although some are paid to report bogus stories)..They are supposed to show what's going on.
    I want to know the truth.

  12. #12
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    [QUOTE=bman]CNN and other news outlets are JOURNALISTS..They are not paid by The Bush ADmin (although some are paid to report bogus stories)..They are supposed to show what's going on.
    I want to know the truth.[/QUOTE]

    Ok, all I ask is you answer these two question bman, honestly:

    Question #1: Which side are you for, the USA or Iraqi insurgents? Do you not agree that if you favor our side winning the war, then yes, there is and should be a double standard of viewpoint, both in the coverage we, as Americans, want to see and in value we, as American, give to the lives of the two sides?

    Question #2: Do you need to see a film shot by the enemy showing your fellow Americas being killed to believe that it happened? Reporting teh deaths is one thing, of course, and must be done. But do you need to see "their side" of it, their act of killing our men, to beleive the event, the death happened?

  13. #13
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    [QUOTE=Warfish]CNN got the video from their terrorist/insurgent contacts.

    CNN aired the Video as news.

    CNN is now trying to explain why they choose to do that.[/QUOTE]


    I was being sarcastic...and again; why didn't CNN show the Nic Berg video??? Or for that matter the Mohhamed cartoons??

  14. #14
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    [QUOTE=Warfish]Ok, all I ask is you answer these two question bman, honestly:

    Question #1: Which side are you for, the USA or Iraqi insurgents? Do you not agree that if you favor our side winning the war, then yes, there is and should be a double standard of viewpoint, both in the coverage we, as Americans, want to see and in value we, as American, give to the lives of the two sides?

    Question #2: Do you need to see a film shot by the enemy showing your fellow Americas being killed to believe that it happened? Reporting teh deaths is one thing, of course, and must be done. But do you need to see "their side" of it, their act of killing our men, to beleive the event, the death happened?[/QUOTE]

    So you never watched Frontline? Where there were cameracrews embedded with Insurgents..and telling their side..It helps to know who your fighting..
    No I dont want to see Americans being shot. But I respect their right to air it..

  15. #15
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    [QUOTE=bman]So you never watched Frontline? Where there were cameracrews embedded with Insurgents..and telling their side..It helps to know who your fighting..
    No I dont want to see Americans being shot. But I respect their right to air it..[/QUOTE]

    Again, I would ask you to please answer the questions posed to you bman. We cannot have a dialog or legitimate discussion if you won't answer these kinds of basic-theory questions.

  16. #16
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    what question?
    I wont answer a redicilous question like, "Who do I want to win"

  17. #17
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    [QUOTE=bman]what question?
    I wont answer a redicilous question like, "Who do I want to win"[/QUOTE]

    The questions again are:

    Question #1: Do you not agree that if you favor our side winning the war, then yes, there is and should be a double standard of viewpoint, both in the coverage we, as Americans, want to see and in the value we, as Americans, give to the lives of the two sides involved? If you do not agree, why?

    Question #2: Do you need to see a film shot by the enemy showing your fellow Americas being killed to believe that it happened? Reporting teh deaths is one thing, of course, and must be done. But do you need to see "their side" of it, their act of killing our men, to beleive the event, the death happened?

    These are not silly, rediculous or irrelevant questions. They are simple, straitforward and directly on the topic at hand. If you expect to have anyone take you seriously at all bman (as I am truly trying to do here), I would think you would anser them, and answer them honestly and with both some thought and some detail.

    I would expect the same from any "righty" on this board, and would answer myself if such questions were posed directly to me.

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    I do not agree that just b/c I am in favor of a US victory in Iraq that means that we should have edited news coverage..
    Should we not have seen the Abu Gharaib photos?
    Without a completely free and independent press, you CANNOT have democracy.


    There is propaganda on both sides in every battle..I think we should have the right to view it all.

  19. #19
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    [QUOTE=bman]I do not agree that just b/c I am in favor of a US victory in Iraq that means that we should have edited news coverage..
    Should we not have seen the Abu Gharaib photos?
    Without a completely free and independent press, you CANNOT have democracy.


    There is propaganda on both sides in every battle..I think we should have the right to view it all.[/QUOTE]


    I don't understand how you can supprt something like this. I think you're letting your own politics get in the way of rational thinking. It's one thing to report on the sniper attacks, and detail how many American soldiers have been killed from Iraqi fire. Hell, every news outlet reports the number of dead soldiers every single day. It's not like they are ignoring that fact.

    It's a whole other thing completely to watch what it is like to become an Iraqi sniper. Sitting quietly, waiting for American soliders to walk unknowlingly into your kill zone. Mutter "Praise God!" and pull the trigger. That is not news. News was reporting on the deaths. Twisted exhibitionism is wanting to watch the deaths happen in real time. How do you think the families of these soldiers feel? It's not enough to get a letter, dogtags, and a folded flag in the mail, they have to watch their son get murdered on basic cable as well? Disgusting. I'm not talking about censoring the press, I'm talking about exercising responsible journalistic ethics.

    Get your head out of your ass.

  20. #20
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    We see this every day! I don't understand how this is news..
    Do you not see Humvess exploding all the time? I do..and it's usually by an insurgent video tape..I really dont see the problem is news outlets showing this stuff..
    And last time I checked, CNN is NOT employed by the US military.

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