John King was back in the anchor chair for the Tuesday edition of AC360. I'm loving that we haven't heard a word about the Willingham case in Texas for two nights, but I sort of missing balloon boy and the Hennes.
What I also missed was a segment on Afghanistan. October has been the most deadly month of the war in that country and it should have been the lead story, not buried in the bulletins. The first story of the evening was a "Keeping Them Honest" look at American Samoa and why 34 people had to die after a tsunami hit with no warning. Drew Griffin reported on 13 million US taxpayer's dollars that were spent for a tsunami warning system that never was built on the island.Next Tuesday New Jersey and Virginia will elect new Governors. Is it a referendum on the national government, probably not. But since President Obama has invested heavily in these races he does have something to lose. James Carville and Kevin Madden took a look at the 'Raw Politics' of these elections.Dr. Gupta again joined John King to talk about H1N1. The focus tonight was on children who have been hit hard by the virus and what the red flags are. Gupta said flatly that it is not smart to skip the shot for your children and also mentioned that Tamiflu is helpful if your child does contract the illness.A horrible, horrible story about the girl who was gang raped after a homecoming dance at her high school in Northern California. Dan Simon had the 'Crime & Punishment' report on how a gang rape could happen on school grounds and continue for 2 1/2 hours , while as many as 15 people watched. The follow up was with Steve Perry (CNN education consultant) and Mary Koss (University of AZ Professor).The family of one of the victims of the Sedona sweat lodge tragedy spoke out and are demanding answers from the group's leader. Gary Tuchman reported that the children of the victims want James Ray charged in their mother's murder. Dr. Gupta joined JK for a follow up discussion as to how time in the sweat lodge could have caused the deaths.
It wouldn't be John King in the NYC studio without rolling out the magic maps. The second screengrab is about the Governor's race next week and got me thinking (dreading) that I might have to blog a full night of politics. Can't blame CNN if they pull out all the stops since that seems to be the only way they can get any kind of ratings.
Speaking of ratings I couldn't help but borrow this little gem that TVNewser posted this afternoon. Jon Klein spoke to CNN employees about their dismal ratings. Here is a segment of his pep talk:
Yes, our ratings in prime were down in October. Remember - we are a 24hr network - not a 3hr network. We are also just one network in a group that attracts hundreds of millions of viewers a month. Media writers might not understand that. Our competitors don't either. Despite the bad press we don't lose sight of OUR business. We, CNN/U.S., still attracts millions and millions of viewers a month, more than our closest competitors. Writers don't talk about our users -- we are on air and on line, globally -- rather they break it down to one part of the day.
Excellent journalism is what we are focused on. We refuse to do the things that might get us a quick number or cater to the extremes that would alienate our core viewers. It's important to work at it every day - it's our mission. It's the key to our growth. If we are outstanding ALL the time (and we are getting better and better at it) we will have an impact over time.
I actually laughed out loud when I read that highlighted sentence. We are the core viewers for CNN that were mentioned and we have been alienated, no doubt about that. Let me list just a few of the ways;
Pundits and Panels ad nauseam
Spinning ratings to the extent that even the casual viewer/reader knows you're full of it (example: Total Day? You know that is not an industry standard.)
Fact checking Saturday Night Live and taking seriously The Daily Show
Dead celebrity coverage
Discontinuing CNNi overnight in favor of reruns
Oh I know there are more and I trust you our wonderful readers to add their two cents worth in comments. ~Phebe
All Things Anderson is a blog dedicated to CNN's AC360 and its host Anderson Cooper.