Atlanta Shootings: CNN Can’t Let Go

By Brian 

CNN is abusing Ashley Smith.

It’s that simple. CNN has taken the Atlanta “angel” and repackaged her story over and over again to the point where it’s alarming. In fact, under president Jon Klein, CNN has spent five days latched onto the shooting story, and it doesn’t want to let go.

As critic Tim Cuprisin says, CNN has “seemed ready to give Smith her own show.” And now they are: Thursday night at 10pm, NewsNight will be preempted for “Ashley Smith: A Hero’s Journey.” It’s a special edition of People in the News. (Last night, NewsNight became “26 Hours: Inside the Manhunt.”)

We’re past the 100-hour mark. And serious cable news viewers don’t care anymore. (Honestly, I stopped paying attention Saturday around noon.) That’s why tonight on FNC, Greta Van Susteren was live from Redwood City, previewing the Peterson sentencing. And on MSNBC, Dan Abrams was hosting a special hour of Michael Jackson spectacle. Meanwhile, what was on CNN?:

> 7pm: Anderson Cooper 360: “What did Ashley Smith do that may have saved her life?,” asked. (Anderson is in Beirut.)

> 8pm: Paula Zahn Now: The show examined “the possible reasons behind Atlanta’s killing spree.”

> 9pm: Larry King Live: “Brian Nichols’ brother speaks out in an exclusive prime-time interview,” the teaser said.

> 10pm: NewsNight: Aaron Brown’s first block was devoted to the shooting aftermath.

CNN should be telling viewers what is going to be news, not what happened five days ago.