So The City of New York and CNN held the "We Love NYC: The Homecoming Concert" on Saturday to celebrate The Big Apple's reopening of its cultural life now that the COVID-19 pandemic has been defeated. Well, except the Dela Variant showed us it hasn't been defeated. But at least it would be an event where all the proper mask-wearing protocols would be observed, especially since it was going to be broadcast to a crapload of homes. Well, except for the fact that we could see a whole lot of non-mask-wearing going on. But at least they didn't try holding it on a day when a dangerously bad storm front that had been predicted days before would start moving in. Ladies and gentlemen, please allow me to introduce Hurricane Henri.
So after an over two-hour rain and lightning interruption that created a whole lot of confusion as to what attendees should or should not be doing that found Barry Manilow being the voice of calm & reason more than Mayor DiBlasio ever could, the entire debacle came to an embarrassing end. Now while we know there's going to be a whole helluva lot of finger-pointing going on, we would like to address this directly to CNN.
What the hell happened to you? You're a news channel. Start acting like one.
Look, as a viewer I understand that news has become "talking head" entertainment where being loud & snarky is more important than actually being right. That we live in a time when we still hold weather forecasters to a higher standard of being right about a cookout being rained out than we do people who claim to know about the future of this nation's democracy. I understand that the "Breaking News" red banner will be left up on that screen even if the "breaking news" happened the day before and there haven't been any factual updates since (folks offering opinions isn't "breaking news"). I even get the docuseries that tend to skew more towards modern pop culture targets than more hard-hitting stuff. Hell, CNN even found a way to bring back someone who gets really excited about Zoom meetings. But this? Congrats, CNN- you actually fund a way to bust up your integrity and do some public harm in the process.
Because the next time you have someone on the screen urging folks to still wear masks and avoid large gatherings as the variant continues to cause COVID cases to surge, the whackjob anti-maskers & anti-vaxxers have more ammo to use the discredit the facts. Because you made yourself the hypocrite, CNN- the "do as I say, not as I do" media that they already don't trust, and now you're handed them even more reason not to. You perpetuated the "us versus them" paranoia that folks like Trump prey on, and having it happen in NYC didn't help. So do me a favor, CNN? Just report the news. Now more than ever, we need a news channel that's more concerned with the facts and less about Bruce Springsteen running his fourth encore.
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