August 27th, 2007
09:22 PM ET

What Do You Think?

We had a zesty discussion today about whether to air the YouTube video of a pageant contestant's somewhat incoherent answer to a question about some Americans' inability to locate their own country on a world map (my apologies for all of the prepositional phrases).

There were a lot of opinions voiced at our editorial meeting. Some thought the video showed how easy it is to stumble in the spotlight; some thought it would have made a great "Before We Go" segment based on its comedic value; some thought it would appear as if we were making fun of the contestant.

Because the competitor was planning to respond to the incident on Tuesday morning Рbefore many of our viewers would see Tuesday's show Рwe decided on airing a different segment instead. But we want to know: What do you think? Should we have aired it? Was it newsworthy? Would you like to see segments like it in the future?

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soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Logan Krusac

    Hello Carl!
    I am glad I have found your blog! I had the opportunity to meet you this past summer at the CNN Leadership Unplugged Seminar and it is great to see your work! The students truly love you!
    About the Youtube video... Is it newsworthy? Of course not, absolutely not. Will people watch it and enjoy it? Certainly. It is similar to the Paris Hilton story to which CNN devoted hours of live coverage. You have to air what people want to watch and this video (per the millions of hits on Youtube) is definitely something people want to watch.
    Should CNN have aired it? I don't think it would have hurt anyone (other than perhaps the contestant...). By now the video is all over the internet, seeing it on CNN wouldn't have been an ethical mistake. The contestant did appear on the Today Show, I believe, and responded to all the media buzz. Her response then was just as incoherent as her answer to the question. We have to realize the Miss Teen America is a beauty contest... sadly, we can't expect intelligence. (Though one would hope she could speak in a coherent sentence and realize that South Africa and "the Iraq" are not part of the US).

    Thanks for all your great work Carl! You are the best!

    -Logan Krusac

    August 29, 2007 at 9:32 pm |
  2. Maurayne

    And the whole world went... "Huh!?" I had to replay that video over and over. I still don't understand what she said. CNN didn't miss out on a thing by not airing the video. Her response demonstrates why such a large number of people cannot locate their own country on a map. I just hope she doesn't become a geography teacher.

    September 7, 2007 at 4:27 pm |