The later remarks from yesterday — about CNN’s X-Event during Vice President Richard Cheney’s speech on Saturday, broadcast by CNN by way of now-alleged “technical…error” — are as mystifying as the “errror” itself. Bloggers who initially wrote about the emerging issue are being referred to in later discussions as “being owned” and various other hacker nonsense for even taking offense to the X-ing itself (scroll to bottom of this thread for a few links as to this later development).
CNN hasn’t identified the X-ing as fictitous, hasn’t denounced the discussions about the event as rumor or false charges or anything of the kind, but has issued this statement (from an article included on the DrudgeReport):
“…CNN spokeswoman Laurie Goldberg emails: ‘We concluded this was a technological malfunction not an issue of operator error. A portion of the switcher experienced a momentary glitch. We obviously regret that it happened and are working on the equipment to ensure it is not repeated.'”
The notorious, infamous “switch.” It comes in handy to Public Relate a thing away because it’s not something the average (if few) consumers will understand but it sounds so technical, official even (“the switch, throw the SWITCH and SAVE our LIVES!”), that few even question with any intensity after the term is used.
I once received ongoing overcharges in monthly invoices from MCI, for long distance calls, and could, routinely, each month prove the respective duration of my phone calls (to the second) because I used an in-house PBX phone system provided by the condominium complex I resided in for resident out-of-house or in-house use — any resident could access an outside phone line by dialing “9” and then accept direct billing at hotel rates from the Homeowner’s Association or else bill the calls to a calling card and I had an MCI calling card for that purpose. Or else I used a private line.
But, when I’d call using the PBX system, billing my calls to an MCI calling card, and MCI to me in turn, I’d be able to compare the calls on the PBX system printout (I could obtain a copy if I asked for one and always did) to the bills that MCI would send to me. And what I’d find is that MCI overclocked the calls routinely by several minutes each.
So, after a while, I grew tired of the dishonest invoices and rather than routinely pay them, started trying to call MCI and ask what’s what. I was hung up on, dismissed, and hung up on again and again and eventually started being offered a few dollars credits, sometimes even just cents, which I’d accept and apply to my payments as credits.
But, I always wondered how many other people didn’t have PBX printouts to compare their bills with and thus, had no evidence as individual consumers as to the MCI overclocking and overcharging events. Answer to that is very few if even under a dozen or so. At least only those of us who had PBX systems installed in condominium buildings as I did and/or people who could receive printouts from hotels or businesses from whence they’d made calls using an MCI calling card. Or any other calling card, not just MCI — MCI I mention here because that’s what I was using then, this is what I could prove and substantiate.
Eventually, MCI grew weary of my monthly calls to their “customer service” and started saying that I was using the card and had to accept what they were billing me or just stop using the card. Several supervisors explained to me that they had “a switching problem” and that the “switch” used to route calls to and from my location at that time was defective but they had no means to repair or modify the “switch” and it was just a “switch” problem and that was just the way telephone systems were. When asked, MCI even provided me with a letter stating as much and also stating that they were not going to offer any more adjustments to my billing even though it was a recognized problem of overbilling…but it was OUT OF THEIR HANDS. The SWITCH, THE SWITCH! It was the SWITCH!
Sometime soon afterward, I read that the U.S. Justice Department found MCI guilty of many millions of dollars of fraud and I always wondered just how far “it was the SWITCH that made us do it” defense got them.
Thus, when I now read that CNN is sidestepping their X-event (it’s the SWITCH!, it’s not our FAULT, the SWITCH made us do it!) by way of dismissing it as (mere) “technical,” I wonder just how much mileage a frickin’ broadcasting network can get and has based upon random, unruly, uncontrollable switching, hacking, jacking, ill tempered and badly intended employees who just can’t jump fast enough to throw switches when they are needed or not throw them when they are not, if anyone is actually watching who has access to the switches, if they employ people and nary a reprimand make when someone does or does not switch when they are relied upon to do it or not do it and just where this switch is.
And what the heck is this? A bearded face on a black flag or just a dark image on a dark sky floating by?
Some among the later fallout:
“Overreacting to the X-ing Cheney”
“The ‘X’ Video”
“CNN EMPLOYEE ON TAPE: …TELL CHENEY AND BUSH TO STOP LYING”
To my view, the blogosphere isn’t being duped and the DrudgeReport almost certainly has CNN by the switch:
CNN EXPLAINS X-GLITCH OVER DICK CHENEY’S FACE
(“it was the switch, the SWITCH, the SWITCH made us DO it!”)
The blogosphere has not been duped but CNN certainly has. It’s a crying shame, too: just what promise the network had and just what they’ve been reduced to and how.
And what uproar CNN made just a year ago, about another “technical glitch”…the network has just gone to the slugs.