CNN and Yellow Journalism, “U.S. bomber flies over DMZ”

CNN headline B-52 bomberOn 1/10/2016, at 10:10 a.m. EST, the CNN front page displays an article link, “U.S. bomber flies over DMZ”. The article itself quotes the United States Pacific Command to state, “A B-52 bomber jet from Andersen Air Force Base in Guam flew over Osan, South Korea, on Sunday “in response to a recent nuclear test by North Korea,” United States Pacific Command said. ”


  • The distance between Osan and the Demilitarized Zone, the “DMZ”, is, at the shortest, 50 miles.
  • Osan is south of Seoul.
  • A flight over the DMZ itself would be an act of war.
  • There was no act of war.
  • No other media made this mistake. It originated at CNN. It was not a careless copy.

This is not a one-off for CNN, who have an unusual attraction to the phrase, “the next war will…”, where the text anticipates not a brush war, but a major conflagration that would leave a good part of the world in a bad state, if not ashes.

CNN have absorbed too much of William Randolph Hearst. The headline, “U.S. bomber flies over DMZ”, is a classic example of yellow journalism. Quoting Wikipedia about Hearst,

Moving to New York City, he acquired The New York Journal and engaged in a bitter circulation war with Joseph Pulitzer‘s New York World that led to the creation of yellow journalism—sensationalized stories of dubious veracity.

Joseph Pulitzer was a good guy. Hearst was not; he was a rich guy. There is a difference.

CNN, even with your thirst for profits, you can do better.



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