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CNN’s Reporting of Events in Acapulco is Shameful!

CNN’s report on Acapulco today is flawed to put it mildly! It’s distorted, incorrect, deceptive, and aimed at discouraging people from traveling to Acapulco! A scout could demonstrate that the story has more holes than Swiss cheese!

The news segment shows CNN’s reporter standing on a gorgeous stretch of Acapulco beach near empty chairs and closed umbrellas noting Acapulco’s lack of tourists.  The video shows a closed beachfront bar with stools stacked upside-down. The beach is empty because the video was shot at about 7:00 AM, long before the bar would open and too early for tourists who would be having breakfast or sleeping after an evening of dancing and entertainment. If you want to show an empty beach in a fun-lovers’ destination, that would be the time to do it!

The area where the drug-bust took place (something that is generally seen as a good thing in every other city where law enforcement officers go in and clean out a nest of evil-doers) is in the mountainous area on the other side of the bay from the hotel zone and downtown shopping area where tourists congregates.  It’s not far from the cliff area where the divers perform.  If you know that area, you know that it’s not the long stretch of sandy beach shown in the CNN report.   The place shown in the CNN report is in the hotel zone and from that beach you’ll see the most beautiful sunsets ever.  That’s because the beach faces west. 

Now, how do I know the video was shot before the day’s activities on the beach began? I know that if I were standing next to one of those umbrellas, I’d be looking westward. Given that piece of information, it tells me how to align the shadow that the umbrella is making on the sand.  Just look at the umbrellas’ shadows when you see the CNN news clip.  If you know how to read a sun dial, you’ll know this was filmed about 7:00AM. If you want to create the impression that Acapulco is empty, take your photos early in the morning, which is exactly what the CNN crew did! I’m convinced that if they came back about 11:30am they’d find people in the chairs under the open umbrellas!   There’s a reason that the Crowne Plaza Acapulco serves breakfast until almost noon everyday! People on vacation in Acapulco are in no hurry for anything including getting up early! The most popular time to have breakfast is some time between 10:30am and 11am! So don’t expect people in crowds on the beach at 7am!

Today’s CNN report on Acapulco continues to position the recent drug-bust event as if it happened in the middle of the tourist zone in a Texas-style shootout.  Acapulco is huge, as you can see in the photo above, and wraps around Acapulco Bay, rising up into the mountains surrounding it on all sides.  The tourist zone in Acapulco is nowhere near the residential mountainous area, which you can also see in the photo, where this neighborhood incident occurred.  It’s unconscionable that CNN would give the impression that this raid on a hideout put visitors and residents in danger.  Acapulco Tourism officials confirmed that no domestic or international tourists were involved or injured in these incidents.  Maybe fact checking could be a good thing.

When raids happen in NYC, Miami or Los Angeles, the incidents occur on specific streets in neighborhoods with no impact on the rest of that city. The same is true for Acapulco but the coverage makes it sound like the city is under siege which is completely ridiculous.  The footage of a Mexican Army truck in transit is shown as an ominous fear-inflicting event.  The impact of the edited piece creates fear of the destination that is not deserved nor warrented.

I’ve had spine-tingling reactions to seeing soldiers with rifles with bayonets in front of embassies and government buildings in foreign countries in such sophisticated cities as Paris and bristled a bit when soldiers were walking in groups through airports with weapons, including our own soldiers in US airports.  It’s a bit strange to see uniformed and armed solidiers in public places when you’re accustomed to a non-military environment.  But I’ve also driven all over the US, Spain, France, Germany, and the UK and had a caravan of army jeeps and trucks from each of those nations driving alongside of me during my journeys.  I guess if I wanted to prove a point that all of these countries put my safety in jeopardy, a few well placed photos with a story to prove my point could substantiate something unfounded.

In reality, their presence was more of a good thing than a bad one!

I’ll be discussing the CNN report on Acapulco on Traveling Feet tomorrow, June 13th, at the beginning of the 12:00 noon ET hour (Hour 2 of the show if you listen to it archived) and in Hour 3 (8pm ET time slot) on June, 14th  on Travel WITH Stephanie Abrams, heard coast-to-coast in the 6pm to 9pm ET time slot. Both shows stream live at, are iPod-able and archived here at the site. You’ll also find an Acapulco Photo Gallery that might inspire you!

I feel safer in Acapulco than most places in the world (and more relaxed!). And you should know that I’m already planning my next visit!  Our schedule is awfully tight  for 2009 but we’re planning to go back to Acapulco in January (unless we can find some time to fit it into the schedule of all the other wonderful places we’ve promised to go).  You never know! You just may hear us say some time soon, “We’re LIVE from the Crowne Plaza in Acapulco!”  And there’s nothing I’ve heard yet that would keep me from going.

The moral of the story:  Think about everything you read and that you are fed in the news.  It wasn’t written by the Lord!  It gets harder and harder to trust the ‘stuff’ we’re fed as ‘the truth.’ 

Do you remember the scene in the film, “Broadcast News” when the award-winning news clip was staged with more than one camera and edited together to catch the newsman crying as if it happened in the moment and wasnt’ a staged event?  I think we have something similar at work in the, “Case of the Empty Beach” story! 

I can hear my father’s words echoing in my mind:

“Believe half of what you see and a quarter of what you hear and you’ll be all right!” 

Good advice.


What do you think? Let me hear from you!
Your personal travel expert,
Stephanie Abrams

--Gotta Fly Now!sm
Your Personal Travel Expert
Nationally syndiated radio show host
Stephanie Abrams

2 Responses to “CNN’s Reporting of Events in Acapulco is Shameful!”

  1. T2Chief says:

    Outstanding commentary 100% accurate as well…Its too bad these media outlets are so bent on showing inaccurate falsehoods rather then reporting the actual facts….Bravo!!!

  2. ChuckWow says:

    I agree 100,000%!!

    I live in Acapulco and I laughed when friends and family messaged me about the horrible things going on in Acapulco! First, I didn’t even know about it until they told me and second, as you said, so what? There were more gang related murders this year in Vancouver, Canada than in Acapulco… BY FAR! As long as drugs remain illegal (which is a ridiculous anti-freedom notion and cause of 99% of all drug related problems) then there will always be problems like this. Chicago was a bloodfest when alcohol was illegal there, why expect something different when you use guns (police/army) to stop people from getting things they want.

    I feel much safer in Acapulco than I feel in cities like Toronto or NYC… actually, I’ve travelled to over 80 countries (you can see my travel blog here if curious: and the only countries I have felt unsafe in are the US and Canada… and Scotland.

    Here is some shameless self promotion: If you are interested in a beach condo in Acapulco fully set up with Canadian/ US satellite TV, flat screen TV, new furnishings and all for under $60,000! Check out

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