11 Points

11 Screenshots of Ridiculous CNN Coverage of ISIS
written by Sam Greenspan

In the modern cable news landscape, every network has to have a hook. (Not news. Something else.) Fox News took the right wing and MSNBC snagged the left, which left CNN frantically searching for a third, less obvious group achin' for a panderin'. And eventually they found it -- in conspiracy nuts.

CNN found its voice with 24-hour coverage of the Malaysian Airlines disappearance. They refined it with the Ebola scare. And they're trying to keep that train chugging along with ISIS. It's going... so-so. No doubt, ISIS is a threat and does horrible things -- but there aren't quite enough breaking developments to fill up the 24-hour news cycle. So that's when CNN has to get creative.

Here are 11 screenshots from CNN featuring a mix of breathless, ridiculous, over-the-top, erroneous, factually incorrect and otherwise madcap coverage of ISIS.
  1. Kittens and Nutella.



    ISIS may very well be luring women with cute animals and hazelnut-centric sweets. But there's something that feels so fluffy and goofy about turning that into a banner headline -- especially juxtaposed with the serious images on the screen in the background.

  2. Terror porn.



    If ISIS videos are porn, how does the news coverage fit into the metaphor? Is it commentary on porn, like you might get at a porn olympics?

  3. The merchandise.



    Are they decrying the clothes here... or are they showcasing them to hawk them?

  4. The polls.



    Too many poll results that are perfect for the narrative! Had there been a third, I'm sure it would've been jammed on here too; basically, as many large numbers as possible on screen at once.

  5. Two fonts!



    I only see what appears to be a slightly modified Helvetica, but maybe I'm missing something.

  6. They're onto us.



    Just days ago, ISIS literally went to war with CNN. Maybe it was just part of a more general strike -- maybe it wasn't.

  7. Ebola: The ISIS of Biological Agents.



    This is perhaps the best of all, a melding of CNN's top two obsessions in an illogical and sensational way. This would be akin to Fox News saying that Benghazi was the Obamacare of preparation.

  8. Jihadi John.



    Another case of CNN rushing too fast to get everything straight (much like the "two fonts" graphic) -- here they accidentally threw up a photo of Putin instead of a shadowy silhouette of the "Jihadi John" militant. It's hard to keep track of everyone they're angry with and why.

  9. Star Wars: More Islamic than ISIS?



    This article and video, posted last week, is a shoehorned pop culture reference that makes "Ebola: the ISIS of Biological Agents" seem rational in comparison.

  10. They're in our homes.



    This is channeling the classic local news technique -- "Five common products in your household are killing your children, stay tuned after weather and sports to find out!" I assume this had to do with ISIS being on the Internet but, in that case, literally every organization in the world, from terrorists to the Grand Forks, North Dakota ages 7-9 soccer league, are reaching into our homes.

  11. Developing Story: Fears of Press Coverage "Provoking Panic" About ISIS Threat.



    You think?


This post was originally published on Monday, May 18, 2015 at 11:00:00 AM under the category News & Politics.

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