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TV News is an ecology of lies... visual lies.  News can’t help itself; it is genetically part of its nature.  CNN’s Anderson Cooper is lauded for his hard-hitting cutting-edge reporting on issues like global environmental degradation, yet....


With this bizarre example of contemporary docu-journalism, I confront a number of typical, yet disturbingly troublesome language juxtapositions:  Death, bears, US economy, terrorism, drugs.  Why do this?  Because TV news talks (and visualizes) about every(any)thing in exactly the same way.


Of course, groovy rock music opens this heavily produced segment as we are afforded an aerial view, from a helicopter, by our media host and media biologist... both dressed in matching black T-shirts... a la Dan Rather on location.  However, after the usual round of “nature is fearful” dialogue, we remain unsure why these two men are posing, under flood lamps, at night, next to an unidentified bamboo stand.  They give an appearance of being the TV (eco)terrorists they play in real life.  Cooper admits his fear... jeez, might there even be bears? - the  carnivore of choice for TV fear-mongering?  Make no mistake: Nature is always scary on TV: It wants to kill us.  Indeed, always expect a bear to round the TV corner, at any minute.


What is unspoken, of course, is that TV itself may be the largest contributor to global degradation.  Its sensationalizing anti-nature language and technique ‘entertains’ the undercurrents of capitalist exploitation.  How?  As we watch this unedited five minute clip (only white text is overlaid), we are confronted, repeatedly, by reoccurring disconnection's between what is said or intended, and what is shown and communicated.  Evidential juxtaposition.


Nature images broadcast on TV are some of the most extreme visual lies within our culture...  and made worse when interwoven amongst still more manipulative content.  (But who cares when nature’s primary colors -- RGB -- look so awesome in HD!?!)


How can TV news ‘save’ nature, when TV can’t even save itself?  But then, TV can’t even hear this question, for it’s very nature is one of extreme, unnatural exploitation.

Kill the Bears   2007  (5:30)

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