woensdag, februari 26, 2003

Another Page In The Novel Of CNN's Irrelevance

No, it wasn't enough for the suits at CNN to encourage their news anchors to pepper their news reports with hip-hop slang in order to gain a wider mass appeal. Now, of their own volition, they will also cater to the lap dogs of censorship.

CNN has come out with a new document entitled "Reminder of Script Approval Policy".

What this new policy outlines is that CNN's system of "script approval" – the iniquitous instruction to reporters that they have to send all their copy to anonymous officials in Atlanta to ensure it is suitably sanitized– does the Pentagon's job of censorship for them and to reassure the Pentagon that there is no cause for concern about the news coming from the battlefield.

What it means is that no scripts or reports for CNN will be done without explicit approval from the Dogs of Censorship at CNN headquarters in Atlanta. All reporters preparing package scripts must submit the scripts and any editing they've performed for approval by the "script editors" in Atlanta who can insist on changes or "balances" in the reporter's dispatch. Note also that CNN revealed after the 1991 Gulf War that it had allowed Pentagon "trainees" into the CNN newsroom in Atlanta.

So before you get all hopped up on the potential of honest coverage of the war while reading these sentimental accolades of how journalists are being trained and imbedded with troops in order to give us first hand coverage, remember that, if you are getting your news on CNN anyway, the yes men in Atlanta have final script approval, not the poor bastards actually "in" the war with a first-hand account.


Yesterday, the NRC Handelsblad newspaper out of Rotterdam published a "War Sonnet" by Gerrit Komrij, the Dutch Poet Laureate. Below is the text in Dutch and, for the purpose of clarity, a Desultory Turgescence exclusive English translation, uncensored by CNN.


Loert daar geen terrorist achter het raam?
Ik hoorde het in de keuken ook al tikken.
Ik droom van mullah, mohammed, imam
En van de minste windstoot moet ik schrikken -

Een losse dakpan of een arabier?
Ik slorp het nieuws op. De tv staat warm.
Ik ben nerveus. Ik heb niet echt plezier -
Ik ben de gijzelaar van vals alarm.

De heren worden stichtelijk bedankt.
Ze stampvoeten en zijn alleen nog zoet
Als er ten minste één sirene jankt.

Wie speelt het in zo'n kleuterklasje klaar
Een oorlog af te wenden die al woedt?
Doe nu je oorlog maar, papkind, doe maar.

War Sonnet

Is a terrorist peering from behind the window?
I also heard him tapping in the kitchen.
I dream of mullahs, mohammed, imam
And am frightened by the slightest gust of wind.

A loose roof tile or an Arab?
I absorb the news. The tv is warm.
I am nervous. I have no true pleasure.
I am a hostage to false alarms.

The men shall be devoutly thanked.
They stamp their feet but are as gentle
as at least one siren howling.

Who does the job, in such a little child's class,
to evade a war that already rages?
Have your war now daddy's boy, have your war.

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