Monday, April 20, 2009

3 Reasons CNN Should Not Have Pulled an Incriminating Tea Party Video from YouTube

With a masterful stroke of the irony pen, CNN forced YouTube to remove Founding Bloggers' clip of "journalist" Susan Roesgen arguing with one of the Tea Party participants. Granted, CNN does own the copyright of their broadcast, but the Founding Bloggers' use of the clip likely falls under the fair use clause within the copyright law.

But it is very unlikely that CNN owns the copyright on what happened after the conclusion of "journalist" Susan Roegen's broadcast. So here it is!

1. Removing the Clip Implies Embarrassment or Guilt
The very idea that CNN had YouTube remove the video implies that there was something to hide in this video. I understand the importance of avoiding negative marketing against the company.

But if CNN was really embarrassed by this video, they could have made amends with their viewer(s?) by removing this so-called journalist from their staff. It would not have been difficult to find cause for termination. They hired her to report the news, of which she has done little in her tenure at CNN amidst the cush-pieces on liberal protests and counter-factual reporting in the Jena 6 case.

She has not been fired(yet) but is currently on vacation and her email address has been disabled. So perhaps CNN has her in their termination sights after all.

If that were to happen, the video would not be nearly as damaging to CNN because it would be the first known evidence that CNN actually has some level of integrity when it comes to reporting the news.

2. The Internet Is Rarely Censored Successfully
In response to CNN pulling the video of the broadcast from YouTube, Founding Bloggers has written an open letter to CNN requesting that the network restore the video or face a counter suit. We'll see what comes of it.

Conservative bloggers sympathetic to the Founding Bloggers' cause have obtained copies of the video and are uploading numerous copies to YouTube in an effort to keep the clip in front of the American people.

Countless organizations have attempted to silence this type of corporate censorship and brand protection before, but the internet almost always finds a way to get the information out either via video, audio, or text.

3. 500,000 Views on the Clip Would Increase Viewership by 50%
I'm not sure how many views the clip had before CNN yanked it, but I believe it would have reached within the hundreds of thousands before it was all said and done. The initial response to such a figure might be something like, "A couple hundred thousand views of a negative video could really hurt a company!"

Then you realize that this is CNN. A additional 200,000 non-CNN viewers represents a 20% growth in the number of viewers their BEST show has on any given night.

So while not all press is good press, if it gets someone to remember that CNN actually exists, even negative coverage might be good for the company overall.

If you feel that's not fair, consider this: Glenn Beck on Fox is broadcast at 5pm eastern and still puts up better numbers than Anderson "The Vile One" Cooper, CNN's poster-boy who comes on in the middle of Prime Time.

So whether it takes an open letter, legal action, or just a little common sense, let's home CNN restores the video of their "journalist" Susan Roesgen soon because if they don't hundreds of bloggers will make sure the video is never lost nor forgotten.

Thanks to Michelle Malkin for bringing this to my attention.

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