Check out these two stories at CNN. Here are the headlines:
“U.S. scraps missile defense shield plans”
This was published a little before 9:00 a.m. CST. We’ll see if the link remains active. The entire thrust of the article, captured in the lead sentence, is that “the Obama administration will scrap the controversial missile defense shield program in Eastern Europe.” Vice President Biden was reported as explaining that Iran did not pose a threat to the United States, which was part of the logic of shelving the “Bush-era plan.” Officials in Poland and the Czech Republic confirmed that they had been told that missile defense plans were being dropped. “This is catastrophic for Poland,” the country said through a spokeswoman.
“Obama scraps Bush-era missile defense for new plan”
This was published closer to 10:30 a.m. CST, about an hour and a half after the original article appeared. Link here. This time around, the article changes directions entirely and says that “the United States is dropping plans for a controversial missile defense shield and replacing it with a ‘new missile defense architecture in Europe’.” It repeatedly emphasizes that a new plan is in the works, although few details on the plan are offered.
Now, it could be that CNN simply got it wrong the first time and wanted to correct the record. That would represent a minor lapse on their part, but an understandable one given the rapid pace of online news reporting. Updating the story would have been the natural thing to do.
It seems more likely, however, that the network simply let one slip by its internal filters. More likely that they momentarily forgot their role as a public relations arm for the president, lapsing into an actual news organization. That “Obama ditches stalwart Eastern European allies to please menacing authoritarian leaders in Russia and Iran” isn’t exactly the type of storyline they were supposed to be churning out to ensure the public that the president is wise and strong on national security matters.
So, very soon after, they made sure to let everyone know that Obama was actually just replacing (hey, no big deal, we’re just swapping it out!) a controversial (read: CNN didn’t like it) old Bush-era plan (era? as if it was sooooo long ago) with a shiny new, more “cost effective” and “efficient” (cheaper? less potent?) plan approved by O-BAM-A! Yeah!
Anyway. You get the point. That just really caught my eye this morning. Am I onto anything here, or completely off base?