CNN and Hackers

The media’s portrayal of hackers is never accurate but almost always amusing. From hooded figures stooping over keyboards and looking at green ones and zeros on a black screen to balaclava clad individuals holding a laptop in one hand while they furiously type with the other hand, the creative minds behind the scenes at major media outlets always have a way to make hackers appear far more sinister than they really are.

CNN recently aired a segment about Russian hackers. How did the creative minds at CNN portray hackers to the viewing public? By showing a mini-game from a game you may have heard of:

In a recent story about President Obama proposing sanctions against Russia for its role in cyberattacks targeting the United States, CNN grabbed a screenshot of the hacking mini-game from the extremely popular RPG Fallout 4. First spotted by Reddit, the screenshot shows the menacing neon green letters that gamers will instantly recognize as being from the game.

Personally, I would have lifted a screenshot from the hacking mini-game in Deus Ex, it looks far more futuristic.

A lot of electrons have been annoyed by all of the people flipping out about fake news. But almost no attention has been paid to uninformed news. Most major media outlets are woefully uninformed about many (most?) of the subjects they report on. If you know anything about guns or technology you’re familiar with the amount of inaccurate reporting that occurs because of the media’s lack of understanding. When the outlet reporting on a subject doesn’t know anything about the subject the information they provide is worthless. Why aren’t people flipping out about that?

One thought on “CNN and Hackers”

  1. Why aren’t people flipping out about that?

    Well of course many of us, including you, ARE “flipping out” about this all the time. But the masses are fed what the news media have figured out they want to be fed: predigested pabulum which half the time is factually incorrect and most of the rest of the time is heavily slanted. Everyone likes to be titillated, so news is spiced up for maximum titillation.

    I have to guess that CNN is slightly embarrassed at being busted for lifting the Fallout 4 screen shot. From now on, we can expect their illustrations to be generated in-house, but they’ll still be just as lurid.

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