Awesome! "Epic" is declining in use (except at CNN)

epic-trends

Good news! The most overused word of 2013 is clearly in decline. Epic became synonymous with dudebro culture thanks to web phenomena like Epic Meal Time and epic fail, leading marketers to pounce on the word in hopes of reaching the demographic. That explains why CNN has it twice on their front page this morning, like a dad trying to connect with his son.

Read the rest

Inside the world's largest ghost mall, America finds schadenfreude and comfort for its fears of a Chinese century

It's hard to say what's more interesting about this video in which a CNN reporter tours the New South China Mall, the largest mall in the world when it was built five years ago, now a deserted ghost-mall. On the one had, there's the "eerie urban landscape" of the mall itself, and on the other, there's the comforting, sinophobic narrative of the clip: "China's economy is huge and growing, America's is contracting, but look, it's all smoke and mirrors! The Chinese growth is just an illusion!"

The New South China Mall was once promoted as the world's biggest mall, but it's now pretty much deserted.

CNN fakes satellite interview with two anchors in same car lot

The medium is the message! This extravagantly bizarre moment, courtesy of the producers of CNN Headline News, defies explanation in its giggle-inducing madness.

CNN suppresses its own award-winning doc on human rights abuses in Bahrain; has commercial ties to the regime

CNN sent its investigative correspondent Amber Lyon to produce an expensive documentary on the Arab Spring, including human rights abuses in Bahrain. Lyon and her crew were violently detained by Bahraini security forces, but soldiered on and made "iRevolution: Online Warriors of the Arab Spring," which went on to win awards and acclaim after its sole airing on CNN.

But CNN International, "the most-watched English-speaking news outlet in the Middle East," has never aired the doc. While cutting the doc, Lyon was pressured to include statements from the Bahraini government that she knew to be lies. And CNN itself under-reported the ongoing abuses in Bahrain. Now, CNN has threatened Lyon with sanction for her continued work to uncover the reason that her doc was blackballed by the international arm of her former employer. CNN itself has been remarkably friendly to the Bahraini regime, with which it has close financial ties.

Here's more from Glenn Greenwald in The Guardian:

On 16 August, Lyon wrote three tweets about this episode. CNNi's refusal to broadcast "iRevolution", she wrote, "baffled producers". Linking to the YouTube clip of the Bahrain segment, she added that the "censorship was devastating to my crew and activists who risked lives to tell [the] story." She posted a picture of herself with Rajab and wrote:

"A proponent of peace, @nabeelrajab risked his safety to show me how the regime oppresses the [people] of #Bahrain."

The following day, a representative of CNN's business affairs office called Lyon's acting agent, George Arquilla of Octagon Entertainment, and threatened that her severance payments and insurance benefits would be immediately terminated if she ever again spoke publicly about this matter, or spoke negatively about CNN.

Why didn't CNN's international arm air its own documentary on Bahrain's Arab Spring repression? (via Reddit)

Atlanta cops can't explain to CNN anchor why they pulled him over

Neetzan Zimmerman at Gawker: "T. J. Holmes was one mile from his Atlanta home when he was suddenly pulled over by two police cars. The normally affable CNN anchor proceeded to live-tweet the stop, getting progressively angerier with every status update."

"Wikiwars," CNN documentary on Wikileaks, debuts

assangelead.jpgThis weekend, CNN will air "Wikiwars," the network's much-promoted documentary on Wikileaks hosted by a former Navy SEAL. The one-hour program premieres Sunday, June 12, 8:00pm ET & PT, and will repeat at other times after that.

I haven't seen it yet, but Greg Mitchell, who has been blogging tirelessly about Wikileaks over at the Nation for nearly half a year now, has. The short version: "Like [the PBS] Frontline epic," he says, the CNN documentary contains "no new news."

Snip from Mitchell's preview:

This is a list of Assange / WikiLeaks critics interviewed (and quoted more than once): David Leigh, Nick Davies, Daniel Domscheit-Berg, Adrian Lamo, Brigadier Gen. Mark T. Kimmitt (Ret.). Here is a list of Assange / WikiLeaks supporters interviewed: one unnamed and masked allegedly activist from Anonymous. Other critics who get face time: Hillary Clinton, Robert Gates, even Newt Gingrich.

Not a surprise: The official Wikileaks Twitter account, presumably Julian Assange himself, describes the documentary as "full of the usual slanders."