Dear CNN: Please explain this…pretty please.

Todd Herman, SpinSpotter Founder

This is a real life stunner to me. I don’t say that as a Spin Spotter, I say that as a fan of journalism. I have met enough reporters to know they care about their craft and they care about the truth. They value the feedback; I know that to be true. Because of that, I am what I said I was about this article: stunned … after you read, tell me, are you?

CNN somehow succeeded in writing a piece about President-elect Obama’s pick of former Chief of Staff to President Clinton, Leon Panetta, for Director of the CIA without reporting on any specific piece of criticism of that pick. CNN found no specific criticism from CIA Officials, former CIA Officials, Senator Dianne Feinstein or retired Generals. CNN found nothing but this vague, silly statement, provided in a Article SpinSpotter page, and yes, I did the de-spin myself.

Strong Emotions ... No need for specifics

Strong Emotions ... No need for specifics

CNN, though, had no problem finding detailed praise, lots of it. Praise of Panetta should be easy to find; he seems like a decent chap; he hasn’t tried to sell a Senate seat we know of and, last I checked, hadn’t solicited sex in a bathroom stall.

But, criticism of Panetta, who has no experience of any kind gathering intelligence or acting upon it -detailed, thoughtful, some “strongly emotional criticism”, from a variety of diverse sources- is so easy to find it took me five minutes. Click here to see what I found (scroll down to comments after you click). After you do that,  ask yourself, if some goofball in Seattle can do this, why can’t CNN?


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