There was a time, many many years ago, when CNN was a real news station. Or maybe I was under the delusion that CNN was a real news station.
But in the aftermath of the shocking and aweful war campaign coverage, I stopped watching cable TV news.
Maybe because I'd forgotten what it was like, I tuned into CNN's Lou Dobbs last night in the course of my channel surfing. I only stayed around for about 86 seconds, the time it took Dobbs and his cohost (Kitty Partridge or something) to present the latest "outrage" from Canada.
Turns out that Canada has decided it doesn't want to be a part of the US's "missile defense system". No reason was given, but the helpful headline to the piece from CNN identified Canada as "freeriding" on the back of the US's starwars escapade. You see, if somehow, someway, there was to be a nuclear missile launched at Canada by someone, for some reason, then the US would intervene and shoot the thing down anyway, regardless of whether Canada was a partner with the US on the missile defense deal or not. The segment also told me that Canada spends like only 1% of its budget or GDP or whatever on defense. Then there was some light hearted snarkery between Dobbs and Patridge about why Sec of State Ofgeorge canceled her trip to Canada (was it because of Canada's decision, or was it because of a scheduling conflict??--inquiring minds want to know).
That was pretty much the segment.
Nothing about what the US was demanding in return, no discussion of what the nature of the partnership was to be, no mention of the missile defense system's failures, no mention of the money spent on the thing, no discussion of the likelihood of such a threat making the missile defense boondoggle necessary. Nothing. I realized I was getting dumber just by watching so I switched the channel.
But hey, thanks CNN. That was just terrific. Great work, guys. I bet you'll catch Fox news in the ratings anytime now.