Kenyans incensed over CNN gaffe
Posted by Administrator on March 11, 2012
Kenyans on the micro-blogging sites, Twitter and Facebook, on Sunday criticised the global television network for depicting the Nairobi grenade blasts as an eruption of “violence” in the country.
The East African economic and political hub is on the edge given that it may be just months away from the next General Election.
Having experienced a bloody episode of violent political conflict after the last polls, and given the fact that the suspected masterminds are still roaming free, any threat to peace and tranquility in the country is often met with virulent uproar.
That the US-based network, used a banner with a scorching Kenyan flag with screaming message of “Violence in Kenya” irked Kenyans to an extent that they pushed for a Twitter apology from the CNN correspondent in Nairobi, Mr David McKenzie.
“Our reporting last night was accurate, the banner used in the bulletin was not. Apologies to all,” Mr McKenzie, under siege from the Kenyan online community, tweeted.
“We’re having the offending video pulled. Again apologies for the mistake. It was changed on air, but not online.”
But, even as he promised that future bulletins would not have the controversial banner, the microbloggers’ did not abate.
“Africans are not going to let anyone hijack the narratives of their individual countries,” added another.
The country’s vibrant online community oozed patriotism about Kenya being “the country with the best athletes on the planet, MPESA (mobile transfer service)” and other historical and tourist attractions.
“(President) Obama will not run for re-election again. We are done outsourcing presidents to them,” noted one microblogger.
That it came just moments before Kenya’s Pamela Jelimo and Hellen Obiri won the women’s titles at the world indoor games in Turkey, stepped up patriotic tweets.
“#SomeoneTellCNN hakuna mbrrr cha! (everything is alright!),” noted another blogger.
“Kenya is not under attack…give us a break. Did you cover us when we got a new Constitution?” yet another added.
There were also the hilarious, but serious, tweets, such as those mimicking the “you-should-know-people” line, which entered the daily lexicon as a line to tell a person to watch your tongue.
“Having people like DJ Razor, DJ Burn, DJ Bunduki and DJ Krowbar does not make us a violent nation,” noted a blogger. ‘Bunduki’ is the Kiswahili word for ‘gun’.
Brand Kenya, the body tasked with marketing Kenya, the bloggers said, ought to sue CNN for tarnishing Kenya’s image.
Depictions of violence and strife, have in the past led to travel advisories being slapped on Kenya.
As a result, tourists and businessmen, who flock to the country, are usually forced to change their itineraries, leading to a loss of revenue to Kenya.
“We’re not perfect, we have our dark moments, but we won’t be part of their ‘white saviour’ agenda,” the tweets went on and on.
Others called on the Government Spokesman, Dr Alfred Mutua, to demand an apology from CNN over the broadcast blunder.
“They defiled our flag!” an irate blogger complained on Twitter.
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