Originally posted at PreOccupied Territory - This article is Satire.
Atlanta, January 10 – In the interest of journalistic balance, the international news giant Cable News Network announced today it would pay $10,000 to individuals who submitted stories, or leads that produced stories, that cast Islamists in a positive light. The offer is intended to counteract the impression that viewers might otherwise form of violent Islamic terrorists.
A notice on the CNN website Saturday asked visitors to submit such stories or leads to its Middle East editor Deborah Rayner via e-mail or Twitter (@cnni), with relevant contact information and, if possible, links to multiple sources regarding the stories. The notice, which was up for only half an hour, explained that if a given story were eventually published on the site or aired on the cable network, the user who submitted the initial lead would receive a $10,000 prize.
CNN decided to issue the offer in keeping with its longstanding policy of offsetting every negative report about Islamists with a kinder, gentler image of the movement and its adherents. In recent months, however, such stories have proved hard to come by, especially this week with a series of bloody attacks in France.
The policy is an extension of a standing offer of a $25,000 reward for the submission of stories involving brutal Jewish settlers in the West Bank. That policy itself grew out of an earlier program that began in the late 1980’s, under which each news item involving negative behavior by Muslims required regional editors to produce at least 3 negative stories about Jews.
The network decided to remove the notice after receiving a single story more than eight thousand times, a tale of selflessness that allegedly took place in Aleppo, Syria, during this past week’s snowstorms, but has been difficult to corroborate. No other leads were submitted, says Ms. Rayner. “We’re still open to receiving such leads via our Twitter account,” she noted, “but the special e-mail address we had set up for this purpose is no longer active.” In addition to the thousands of effectively identical messages from hopeful users, she added, in its brief lifetime the account attracted upwards of 50,000 spam messages.
CNN’s approach differs sharply from rival network Fox News, which has pointedly ignored dozens, if not hundreds of instances of Muslims condemning the recent attacks, while the network’s anchors and reporters decry the silence of Muslims in the face of such violence in their name.
This article is Satire.