Carol Costello of CNN apologized on air for her network lying about the Milwaukee situation via a quick on-air story they did on Wednesday, August 17th, 2016. The story, which was either done by or featured CNN reporter Ana Cabrera, portrayed the sister of the man who got shot by police in Milwaukee as calling for peace. Sylville Smith’s sister, Sherelle Smith, actually said that violent “protesters” should not riot and destroy the neighborhood in which they lived, but should take the mayhem and destruction into the suburbs and “burn that shit down” instead. She also said “we need our weave” in reference to the stores which carry hair weave that should be preserved. But I digress.
There is a chasm as deep as the grand canyon between those two stances. On one hand, CNN may have a benign motive. Maybe they just want to portray the situation in Milwaukee as having some positive people “on the ground” that do not want to see any violence. Media often gets accused of adding fuel to the fire, so the story could be their way of trying to chip away at that methodology of thinking. However, the reality is that in the process of trying to present a good image for the media, CNN made up a big lie, which just serves to further entrench people’s negative feelings about the media.
Ana Cabrera, the reporter from the original on-air broadcast of the brief story about the Milwaukee riots, issued a written apology that she shared via twitter, shortly before or after Carol Costello issued hers on national TV. The story may have gone unchecked, the lie un noticed, if not for social media. Many people began to share video from the scene which shows Sherelle Smith’s full unedited comments, which CNN then had to respond to.
This actually comes on the heels of a greater movement to distrust mainstream media, especially the “liberal media.” People have shown up to live events where mainstream media broadcasts from, with large “don’t believe the liberal media” signs. Cases like this just fuel the distrust of mainstream media, while fueling those of us doing so called “underground media” … which is really just the evolution of information dissemination. It’s new media. Which, of course, will survive, while the big giant old media dinosaurs, will not.