CNN's Velshi Returns to Slamming Insurance Companies
âGee, Iâd love to be fair and balanced, but I tried even less than I did two days ago.â
Thatâs what CNNâs Ali Velshi might as well have said in his August 30 story on âAmerican Morningâ in his weeklong series, âRed Tape and Rubble.â The CNN business reporter showed insurance claimants and attorneys suing insurance companies, but failed to include a spokesman from an insurance trade group. He did so, albeit briefly, just two days prior, however.
In between stories of frustrated insurance claimants, Velshi shared that âthe insurance industry says that some in the media and CNN in particular havenât given them a fair shake.â In response, Velshi added that he âinvited the CEO of State Farmâ and the president and CEO of Allstate were âunable to accommodate our request for an interview either.â
Yet elsewhere in his story, Velshi admitted that one insurance company was unable to talk to Velshi about individual cases, exactly the topic of Velshiâs story: individual cases of frustrated insurance claimants.
âAllstate says it wonât comment on specific cases,â he noted after highlighting one coupleâs gripes about the company.
In fact, many companies refuse to comment to the media about cases under litigation or threat of litigation, and Velshi should know it. Instead, the business reporter could have sought comment from the American Insurance Association (AIA) or the Insurance Information Institute (III) for industry input in his story.
Indeed, thatâs what he did two days earlier, when Velshi filed a similarly slanted story about damage to one Cecil Tillmanâs property in his first installment of âRed Tape and Rubble.â In his August 28 story, Velshi noted that âwe wanted to ask Nationwide about Tillmanâs case, but the firm wouldnât comment, so we went to the Insurance Information Institute, the industryâs public relations arm.â
Whatâs more, while Velshiâs featured hurricane victims may have legitimate complaints, the CNN reporter failed to note that these cases in the tiny minority of insurance claims, according to the III. The organization reported on August 22 that 95 percent of claims from Katrina have been finalized âand the vast majorityâ of those dealing with insurance claims in Mississippi and Louisiana âare satisfied with their insurance company.â