CNN Tightens the Leash

Chez Pazienza, a former employee of CNN and a producer of American Morning was recently fired from the network for keeping a personal blog. Like any good disgruntled employee, Pazienza then proceeded to dish the dirt on his former employeer:

I watched my bosses literally stand in the middle of the newsroom and ask, “What can we do to not lead with Iraq?” — the reason being that Iraq, although an important story, wasn’t always a surefire ratings draw. I was asked to complete self-evaluations which pressed me to describe the ways in which I’d “increased shareholder value.” (For the record, if you’re a rank-and-file member of a newsroom, you should never under any circumstances even hear the word “shareholders,” let alone be reminded that you’re beholden to them.) I watched the media in general do anything within reason to scare the hell out of the American public — to convince people that they were about to be infected by the bird flu, poisoned by the food supply, or eaten by sharks. I marveled at our elevation of the death of Anna Nicole Smith to near-mythic status and our willingness to let the airwaves be taken hostage by every permutation of opportunistic degenerate from a crying judge to a Hollywood hanger-on with an emo haircut. I watched qualified, passionate people worked nearly to death while mindless talking heads were coddled. I listened to Lou Dobbs play the loud-mouthed fascist demagogue, Nancy Grace fake ratings-baiting indignation, and Glenn Beck essentially do nightly stand-up — and that’s not even taking into account the 24/7 Vaudeville act over at Fox News. I watched The Daily Show laugh not at our mistakes but at our intentional absurdity.

That’s not event the half of it, Chez’ firing ordeal is another laughable story on its own. Catch the rest here.

Say What You Will (Requiem for a TV News Career) – [Huffington Post]

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