Saturday, February 26, 2022

Blurring the Faces of People Who Are Already Wearing Masks: Is CNN a Serious Network?

CNN Blurs Image of People (Kids, in This Case, to Be Sure) Who Are Already Masked

CNN finally had to give in and allow a scandal involving a beloved Democrat to come forward: namely, the (in)famous picture of Stacey Abrams maskless among schoolchildren.

Apart from the obvious hypocrisy involving the Georgia "Governor" which has been dissected again and again (and rightly so), CNN decided to blur the faces of all the kids. There is only one problem:  the kids are… already wearing masks. (Which, indeed, is the whole point of the news story.)

So, CNN did not actually blur the faces of the kids, just their eyes and the top of their faces.

What's the point?! Nobody (apart, perhaps, from each kid's mommy and daddy) can recognize any of them anyhow.

It has probably been a rule that everybody in the past 5,000 to 10,000 years who wears a mask cannot be recognized. This is the reason why — this is precisely the reason why — outlaws and robbers from time immemorial, when committing a crime, hide their facial features behind… masks.

To be fair, CNN is not alone in this; everybody does it, not excluding Fox News, which was the only channel, as far as I know, which decided to blur the entire video (see below) of the recent news report featuring schoolkids erupting in applause as they were told that masks were gotten rid of.

Yes, here we can see the faces of the kids tearing off their masks. But so what?

I find the whole blurring thing annoying — even though I want to be of an understanding nature.

It seems to me that it started about two decades ago. First, it was T-shirts and signs in the background. We weren't supposed to see an (unpaid) ad for Coca-Cola, i guess. Then it became faces.

People have been blurred. Kids. Babies. Newborns. What is the point?!

I hate to say this, I hate to sound "hateful," but nothing looks more like a baby than another baby. Not to you, the parent, granted, but to everybody else (especially strangers).

I recently watched a(n Italian?) documentary on the Costa Concordia disaster showing personal videos inside the ballroom in which everybody starts reacting to the sound of the ship striking a rock off Isola del Giglio. Needless to say, their faces are blurred.

What's the point?!

There are probably good legal reasons involved.

But it shouldn't go this far.

When I worked on a feature on the Lego company for the Reader's Digest at the beginning of my career, the company kept the ages of the CEO's three children a secret (the CEO was the son or grand-son of founder Ole Kirk Christiansen, I believe), in case kidnappers read the story. The dead-tree editors blurred the kids, or their ages, one could say. And since the threats were real, for good reason.

But let's not go too far. Must it be a automatic reaction, at this point?!

It doesn't excuse CNN's producers for not being professional and not noticing the obvious, that telling their professional face-blurrerers (is that an actual full-time job?) to blur the (tops of) faces of people (even kids) who are unrecognizable in the first place is going beyond the call of duty…