Fake News Slams Scranton

Don’t ask me how to spell the CNN newsman’s full name and title.

“For security reasons,” he refused to tell me.

I already know how to spell CNN.

And CNN spells “fake news.”

My bad trip with what media critics call an enemy of the people cable network occurred this morning when I called the CNN Washington bureau. National network journalists and producers are tough to reach in person but, to my surprise, I did a simple Google search and rang the number.

When a live CNN person answered I explained the reason for my call. She connected me to a person further up the news food chain.

Dominic/Dominque/Dominick, etc. came on the line.

Dom asked if I was with anybody.

I took that to mean media and explained I am a former longtime journalist who writes novels and lives in Scranton, Pennsylvania. I said I was dismayed with the CNN promotion airing for Thursday’s “town hall” with Joe Biden and Anderson Cooper. The on-screen promotion says, “Live from Scranton, Pennsylvania.

“That’s not true, I told Dom.

Dom seemed confused.

Your event will be held in another municipality, I said. Your event is scheduled for Moosic, Pennsylvania, not Scranton.

Not only is the promo untrue, the mistake allows Biden to build on the incessant blue-collar myth that he’s, as former President Barack Obama called him, “the scrappy kid from Scranton.”

Dom seemed even more confused.

I explained how we live in an era of severe press criticism that requires accuracy as sharp as Biden’s capped canine teeth. OK, I didn’t say that last part. I said media must get it right or play into the often incorrect and dangerous criticism of hard work journalists perform every day.

Dom wanted me to repeat exactly where the event would be held if not in Scranton, saying he wasn’t from Pennsylvania. I reminded him of the recent trip President Donald Trump made to Old Forge for a successful rally. On the way to that town, Trump’s motorcade passed through Moosic, where his supporters who hate CNN lined the streets. OK, so I didn’t say they hate CNN but they do.

That was Moosic, I told Dom.

I sensed Dom losing interest and had to justify my existence. So I told him CNN interviewed me a number of times during the 2005 Michael Jackson trial and some people would still remember me. (National correspondent Miguel Marquez would remember but he’s in New York.) Believe it or not, CNN wanted me so badly one day producers actually called the head of SKY News in London (for which a foreign editor hired me to provide live commentary) who authorized me to talk about the Jackson case with him on CNN, a competing network.

I asked Dom to put me in touch with a producer, supervisor or reporter who might help me. Dom said he had a live show going on and had to get back to the news. Besides, he said, he’s the person I should speak with about this matter.

I asked for his last name and title. Citing security, Dom refused to provide that information. We went back and forth to no avail. The CNN mystery man refused to budge.

Back in the late 80s I called the New York Daily News and asked to talk to Jimmy Breslin. The legendary newsman quickly came on the phone and we had a nice talk about the mine fire in Centralia. Tell everybody there I said, “Hi,” Breslin said.

I should have mentioned to Dom that Anderson Cooper’s new baby’s name isn’t even a secret.

Let’s see if CNN changes its false promo for a town hall from which the public is excluded and truthfulness is dismissed as well.

I don’t know how to spell Dom’s full name, but credibility is always spelled with a capital C.