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January 21, 2010

Please Stop, Anderson. Just STOP.

IMG_0990.JPG   Cooper-Haiti-TV.jpg
Anderson-Rescue-7a.jpg Anderson-Rescue-2a.jpg
Anderson-Rescue-3a.jpg Anderson Rescue 6.jpg

(Click for larger sizes + Link to CNN video of elderly woman’s rescue.)

This is a message to Anderson Cooper and CNN…
As American citizens concerned about the humanity of the Haitian people, the sensationalist and self-promoting tendencies of American media and the power of pictures, we urge you to: Please stop.  

Please immediately:

Stop using the camera to rob people of their dignity when it’s the only thing they have left.

Stop infantilizing the Haitian people.

Stop the pity party.

Stop the exploitation of despair to promote your own brand — especially with those horrible patronizing split-screens.

Stop playing savior.


If these pictures disgust you as much they do us at BAGnewsNotes, where our mission is the daily analysis of media and political pictures, please tweet this message:

@andersoncooper @CNN — PLEASE STOP visually exploiting the Haitians! (To send CNN the message, pls retweet!)



To submit feedback to CNN/Haiti coverage, go here  and fill out the form


To forward this post to friends, click “Share This” just below, then click “Email”


UPDATE 1/22/10: To every- and anyone who responded to this post asking for more explanation of my outrage, as well as the meaning of the screen grabs above, please click through to my follow-up post “Why and How I Lost It Yesterday (Over CNN “Getting Off” On a Haitian Victim Rescue).

For a breakdown of the latest visual spin, follow the BAGnewsNotes Twitter feed.

  • Gasho

    I’ve never heard the Bag have this kind of posting. I’m not at all adverse to the idea of the tweet to tell CNN that they are full of it, but Michael .. maybe it’s time to walk away from the Tee Vee/computer for a while and get some fresh air.

  • Earl Mardle

    Good luck telling CNN and co that they are exploiting anything. They wont understand the statement.
    Exploiting other people’s distress is what the media do, its in their DNA. While the specific occasion is gruesome beyond belief, what you are telling them to do is close down and go away from everything they touch.
    Maybe Gasho’s suggestion would be best for now.

  • Nemo

    Best to take a break.
    Don’t watch CNN or CBC much, as they just end up ticking me off and its really all about them and spectacle.

  • Pete Brook
  • Stan B.

    I can’t afford cable, so I’m not generally privy to CNN/Anderson Cooper’s most recent exploits, and therefore can’t comment directly- although I would expect nothing less than substandard, exploitative sensationalism, from any major US news network.
    He’s certainly looking buff these days- doesn’t that count for anything?

  • Shawn

    I share your concern and outrage with the coverage in Haiti. I was furious with a report by Susan Candiotti, where she reported on a man trapped under a collapsed school building. She described about how a “Blowtorch” was used to free the man, and how he screamed in agony. She then stated that, before the blowtorch was used, “We managed to get a microphone to him, and asked him what was on his mind” (or something to that effect). This guy was trapped, fearing further collapse, and he knew a blowtorch would be taken to him. I don’t believe an interview with him was necessary. MICHAEL, please find that story on CNN’s site, and if you are just as appalled, would you please report on that. I am just sick of the mask our Media puts on, to disguise their true intentions; Ratings.

  • Debbie

    I wholeheartedly agree. Give people their dignity. Don’t abuse us with this crap.

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