Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Soledad O'Brien, CNN (TM) Milks the Narrative for All It's Worth

CNN seems to believe that Soledad O'Brien, one of their morning anchors, is only capable of going on location in situations where she can repeat the Katrina meme. They saw how "well" she did with that one [read puerile], in New Orleans. So, now that, as of yesterday, this has been christened by the Democrat leaders as the "emerging story," CNN has sent her off again to Cyprus with the same narrative firmly in place.

I suppose asking anything more of Soledad, than just a repeat of her canned, sputtering outrage at the US government might be - Oh God - asking her to think on her own.

So here she is, from the transcript of this morning's show, in all her glory with the "holy" narrative.

And I'm Soledad O'Brien at the port of Larnaca in Cyprus. This port, Miles, is where the bulk of people, the refugees out of Beirut have been coming.

Hot. It's 1:00 in the afternoon, a little bit after right now. Morning, obviously, where you are.

What we've seen today is a lot of action, actually starting overnight.

First of all, this Greek destroyer came in, 160 Greeks on board, about 100 other folks from other different countries. Four Americans on board as well.

And then a little bit later, early this morning, around 5:00 in the morning, just before sunrise, this big ship here came in with about 1,000 people on board. That's a rough estimate. Somewhere between 100 and 200 students.

And you might say, well, gee, that doesn't look like a cruise ship. And it's not. Conditions on board -- the description quite remarkable.

Got some pictures of those folks coming off just before sunrise, and you can see looking pretty dazed, looking pretty weary. Some of the people had been on that ship for hours and hours as they waited for it to load up before they were able to leave the dock in Beirut. And then the trip itself took approximately 11 hours. Many of those hours without any food and water, and the people were quite exhausted and wiped out.

We've got some, for the first time, some pictures, some videotape from on board that ship. It was taken by an American student who made her way out of Beirut. Pretty remarkable.

You can see the conditions as folks are crowded, packed quite closely on top of that -- that upper deck there. And she estimated the temperatures in the 100-degree range, which is what we're experiencing right about now as well. And she said it was just brutal for family members who tried to cover themselves with tarps or whatever and, you know, sleep on pieces of cardboard.

She also said that the ship, which is really a cargo ship for moving tractors and moving cars, not meant to hold all these people. Obviously, covered in flies. And it got to the point where children would just sleep out in the hallways, all just packed in there, covered with flies. And at some point they just gave up trying to do anything about it.
Oh my God! It's a refugee ship, bringing people out of a war zone. And it was crowded and uncomfortable and hot. And not up to cruise standards. That is a horrible, horrible scandal. Indict the Government! Impeach the President.

Meanwhile, now that I'm studying "the transcript," I hadn't realized how knee jerk anti-Israeli Soledad is. Here she is addressing a question to the CNN Arab affairs expert, Octavia Nasr:
Octavia, it's been interesting to see, as we've been reporting on what's been happening today and this morning and overnight, Israel hasn't been in Lebanon since 2000, outside of some incursions in. And it's unclear right now whether or not they're there to stay. But there have been reports of troops inside of Lebanon.

What's the impact in the Arab world of that news when the troops are out since 2000?
So it's unclear right now whether or not Israeli troops are there to stay?

In what universe is O'Brien living in?

Wait. Don't answer that. The universe of CNN.

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