portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article

imperialism & war


A strange series of questions by CNN's Paula Zahn to an IRC (International Red Cross) worker in Baghdad.
If anybody else noticed this, let me know:

Flipped on CNN.

The time was about 8:45 - 9:00amET.

Paula Zahn was asking a worker of the International Red Cross some questions about his recent experiences in Baghdad.

Then I started to notice some very odd questions "from" Paula Zahn.

She asked the usual, such as how many people have been injured. Nothing unusual about that. But then, she gets the voice in her ear from her producers. She suddenly asks specifically WHAT KIND of injuries is the IRC worker seeing.


So then she asks if the guy knows if there are oil fires burning on the outskirts of Baghdad. She also asks how many can the person see. Nothing unusual there. But then, the voice in her ear piece again. Suddenly she asks if the IRC worker knows exactly WHERE the fires are burning.

hmmm... This is when I start to notice something funny going on about the questions.

The final question she has for this IRC worker, obviously being piped into her ear piece, is (paraphrased): "When you heard the explosions last night and today, did they come before you heard the air raid sirens of after?"

Did you hear the bombs exploding before the air raid sirens or after. Hmmm... Now why would Paula Zahn and the average viewer want to know that?

Please keep in mind the audience of CNN. Among millions and milions of ordinary people, there's also u.s. government and military officials.

You see, she was pumping the IRC worker for military intelligence. Straight up military intelligence!

What KIND of injuries? If they are being treated for trauma, you know that your bombs are seriously injuring citizens. This tells the military that there's people in the buildings, and people nearby. If you want to be this obvious, Paula Zahn might as well ask if they were wearing uniforms, and what kinds of insignia were on them.

Where exactly ARE the fires? The military would love to locate them in the grid of Baghdad. Although, I think this is perhaps the weakest example I've presented. Because any spy satellite with infra-red cameras could easily do the job.

Did the bombs land BEFORE or after the air raid sirens? The military would love to know this. It tells them the state of Iraq's air defense radars around Baghdad.

I now people will accuse me of being a paranoid crack head. But so what. Fuck off! I know exactly what was going on. She was pumping the guy for intelligence, intelligence which military officials would jot down and pass along.

I also know how the talking heads do their talking head jobs. They have ear pieces. Hooked up to the ear pieces are producers. They tell the talking heads what's coming up, what pictures to talk about, AND PROBABLY GIVE INSTRUCTIONS ON SPECIFIC QUESTIONS TO ASK.

So here I'm watching a talking head obviously being given questions on the fly, because Paula Zahn would pause in mid thought and put her hand up to her ear, from a producer, who seems to be looking for specific military intelligence.

So what happened to the press being an objective reporter of facts? It seems that CNN has become an intelligence gathering "media" outfit, working hand in hand with the u.s. government/military. CNN gets viewers, ad revenue, and a friendly FCC. The military gets intelligence. A sweet deal...

Anyways, thought I would pass these observations along. I'll look for a transcript if you don't believe me.
I noticed something about CNN's Web news 23.Mar.2003 11:22


When I logged on to CNN's web site for their version of the numbers of protesters last saturday I found something interesting. When I clicked on the article about the worldwide protests I was given an option of viewing the National edition or international edition. Each artical had drastically different numbers: the international had bigger numbers. just something funny about the same news service giving different news to different groups of people.