What I Like About You, CNN.com


This is only the second in my very infrequently recurring series of posts called "What I Like About You."  As I mentioned in the first one, "The point of What I Like About You is to examine something that I do not like and find that one good thing about it."

We live in a strange media sphere right now, where the main purpose of every single news source seems to be to tell us how awful every single other news source is.  NPR is biased because some guy said something about teabaggers and Fox is biased because they only hire potential Republican presidential candidates as commentators anymore and everybody is biased against Sarah Palin because she tells us so in her Facebook posts and the network news is biased because sometimes they ask questions that politicians don't have answers to.  (Yes, that was a run-on sentence, but it was for effect.  I was mimicing the onslaught of blather, because I am motherfucking ARTISTIC.)  Everything that everyone of them says is awful, except for the channel that you are currently watching.

This brings me to CNN.com.  To be fair, I actually do like CNN.com, though not as much as I used to, before they started filling half the page with entertainment, dieting, and travel news instead of, well, actual news.  Here's a screenshot of the center section of the site when I visited the page for an after-lunch news fix today.

I know it's too small to be readable - go ahead and click on the picture to blow it up.  Do you see a very common thread in more than a fifth of their headlines?  Can you tell which lazy crutch CNN's editors fall back on when they need a tagline for one of their stories?  Do you think that CNN believes adding question marks to a lede will entice readers to click for more?

Today, CNN.com, what I like about you is that you make me feel I could be an editor for a major online news source, even without ever having spent a day in journalism school.  All I'd have to do is phrase things in the form of questions to look clever - right?


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