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CNN catches the stupid

Bad Astronomy
By Phil Plait
Dec 4, 2008 8:48 AMNov 5, 2019 7:12 AM


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For some reason beyond my ken, CNN is shutting down its science/space/tech division and absorbing it into their general editorial unit. This means less science coverage for sure, since it has to compete with the lowest common denominator of news (if it bleeds...). I'd love to see CNN's reasoning for this; most polls show people want more science news, not less. Maybe they're making more room for psychics on the Larry King show.

The other bad news about this is that science journalist Miles O'Brien will be leaving CNN. I like the guy; I met him a long time ago at an astronomy meeting where we chatted for like one minute, but I was struck with how engaging he was. I now follow him on Twitter, and he actually sends out tweets while on the air (though off-camera). How cool is that? We recently reconnected because of Twitter, and talking with him once again reminded me that when it comes to science (and especially the Shuttle) reporting, he's a solid guy. He's really good, and knows his stuff, and I'm sure he'll land on his feet. CNN though, maybe not so much. Despite the level-headed move of dropping that loudmouth know-nothing Glenn Beck [Note added: some commenters are unhappy I said this, either disagreeing with my statement or asking for evidence. OK, try here and here. I stand by my statement: Glenn Beck is a bloviating know-nothing.], this move to let go of science and tech reporting is as bone-headed as it gets. President-elect Obama has made it clear that science is one of his many priorities. We depend on science and technology information every single day of our lives. People love it, and people need it. Now CNN will be serving up less of it, when we need it most. I'm thinking it's CNN we don't need as much, certainly not anymore. Sorry, Ted Turner., but this is plain stupid. You screwed this one up royally, and you've lost one viewer for sure.

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