The adults have left CNN; the children are in charge.
How is it possible today not to understand the importance of, and indeed practice, the ethic of transparency? If we’ve learned nothing else in this technological revolution sweeping the news media it is this: an interactive media — the only kind left standing — demands transparency.
The argument is simple: In a media situation where anyone can report, publish, and be noticed, transparency (in purpose, methods, and ethos) becomes the new umbrella ethic, the new route to credibility — the willingness to be open about who you are, what you’re doing, and why you’re doing it. This is the opposite of the view from nowhere — the false notion that journalists can or should be “objective” in philosophical stance, that their news comes from some place apart from the pressures and intentions of the real world with no purpose other than to inform. (What journalists need to be are custodians of fact who operate with a discipline of verification — and be transparent about it.)
So we learn that the rebirth of the wretched Crossfire includes the abandonment of transparency — no obligation to report conflicts of interest to the viewer.
Well, to be fair, Crossfire ain’t journalism. And, really, given the excesses, excuses, mistakes, and silliness pointed out regularly by Jon Stewart, can we really call CNN an outlet for journalism? Maybe a couple hours per day.
This show is a vampire. Jon Stewart only wounded it before. Who will drive a stake through its evil heart and kill it for good?