Skip to main content

View Diary: CBS Continues to Piss All Over Edward Murrow's Legacy (116 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  They Fired the Smothers Brothers Comedy/News (79+ / 0-)

    show in 1968 for refusing to submit to advanced censorship, after ending its relationship with Murrow in 1960 due to conflicts with Murrow's reporting on controversial subjects.

    Then they replaced Cronkite with airhead Dan Rathers. In the early 2000's I caught CBS anchor Bob Schieffer asserting that it's not the media's job to sort out competing claims.

    What happened to CBS news has been happening since before the Beatles met Ringo Starr.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 04:47:33 AM PST

    •  You have a fundamental point. (40+ / 0-)
      "In the early 2000's I caught CBS anchor Bob Schieffer asserting that it's not the media's job to sort out competing claims."
      It is a pervasively false notion that all views must be presented and anybody can decide on the truth.  For some, that is called critical thinking and is a perversion of skeptical thought.  In other words, people are supposed to turn off their bullshit detectors because all opinions are equal and fact be damned.

      It is even worse when this is used with children.  Developmentally, children are innately gullible and do not have the faculties to know that opinion and fact are not equal.

      That abdication of good reporting is irresponsible and only leads to a lot of false equivalence being thrown out.  So people, as in Asimov's famous quote, think that their opinion is equal to somebody's knowledge.  So we have presentations by pundits that sound like the Gish Gallop; throwing out numerous truthy sounding claims that take far too long to dispute.

      I think this is only one of the ways institutions that have helped people cope with the world have been crippled by people who have more regard for their ideology of selfishness than a society for all of us.  Perhaps people haven't realized the true sociopathy in this.

    •  Schieffer asserting it's not media's job to sort (36+ / 0-)

      Jim Lehrer has made the same basic assertion—that he viewed his role as a neutral presenter of opposing sides of an issue, and it wasn't his responsibility to investigate whether one side was lying or not.

      In other words, he happily assumed the role of stenographer. Which made him essentially useless, along with the rest of PBS/NPR when it comes to news.

      •  The line is Reporting vs. Analysis and Commentary. (8+ / 0-)

        Murrow RE McCarthy did the latter. The Nightly News on major networks does the former, with some context but within time constraints that foreclose analysis.

        PBS's News Hour should do more of the latter. After all, it has time, a wealth of experts at hand and the objectivity of less commercial involvement. But it also has political pressure and has decided, apparently, that it will lose its treasured inside-the-beltway audience if it gets beyond the dreaded Everything Must Balance syndrome.

        I think Sorkin, writing for the anchor character in The Newsroom, nailed it. When Congress parcelled out frequencies for TV channels and let the major broadcasters have primacy, it required that news be covered in prime time. It should also have required that it be commercial free. Even so, it would have been hard to require that Truth Be Told.

        2014 is HERE. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

        by TRPChicago on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 07:43:22 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I disagree. Good reporting -- good journalism -- (14+ / 0-)

          is NOT simply stenography. It is sorting out fact from fiction -- it is reporting the truth. Truth doesn't require subjective opinion. Truth is not "Commentary". Truth is what exists. Telling the truth is absolutely fundamental to journalism.

          That isn't to say that finding what is true and factual is always easy. But that's what good reporters, good journalists, do.

          Saying, for example, that Darryl Issa's assertions about Benghazi, and the IRS, and just about everything else, have absolutely no basis in fact, is NOT "Analysis and Commentary". That should NOT be reported as "Issa says this" and "Democratic Head says the opposite" and you decide.

          Analysis and commentary would be, for example, trying to figure out why Issa is lying, what he gains by lying, and what the implications of his lying might be.

          Yes, the distinction can be blurry. Bill Moyers is both a superb journalist, and and superb analyst and commentator. But he reports on what is demonstrably true, THAT is journalism.

          So, saying for example that the sky is blue and not orange despite the Orange Sky Party's voluble assertions to the contrary is NOT "Analysis and Commentary". Nor is it "Analysis and Commentary" to say  that Issa's assertions, and of course the assertions of countless others who for example claim that climate change doesn't exist, or that Obama is a Kenyan born Marxist-Nazi, are not based in fact.

          That is called Journalism. CBS (and just about every other mass media outlet owned by a huge corporation that cares only about ratings and profit and not about truth, or in the case of PBS and NPR, that are dominated by fear and pandering) are not committing journalism. They are killing it.

          "We can either have democracy in this country or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few. But we can't have both." - Justice Louis Brandeis

          by flitedocnm on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 12:14:42 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  "We report, you decide." (3+ / 0-)
            Saying, for example, that Darryl Issa's assertions about Benghazi, and the IRS, and just about everything else, have absolutely no basis in fact, is NOT "Analysis and Commentary". That should NOT be reported as "Issa says this" and "Democratic Head says the opposite" and you decide.
            "We report, you decide."

            Sounds uncomfortably familiar......

            :-(

            "It's high time (and then some) that we put an end to the exceptionalistic nonsense floating around in our culture and face the fact that either the economy works for all, or it doesn't work AT all." -- Sean McCullough (DailyKos user thanatokephaloides)

            by thanatokephaloides on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 02:07:00 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Their new slogan is "the most powerful name in (0+ / 0-)

              news"

              When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered -- MLK, Jr.

              by caul on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 01:25:05 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  I didn't equate reporting with stenography. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            flitedocnm, caul

            But I also don't equate journalism with being an anchor on a half-hour network news show and handling stories in 30-60 second slices by calling on reporters stationed at picturesque locations.

            I completely agree that, for example, seizing a microphone from the ranking minority member of a committee is so unprecedented that it should be highlighted and commented upon as such by a responsible reporter. As for Issa's calling a hearing for a witness who used to be at the IRS and who pleads the Fifth, I think that's reportable, too, as such.

            Climate change and other big issues need extended analysis. Sound bites don't do it. A news peg that justifies 30-60 seconds of coverage probably doesn't carry enough room for meaningful analysis, but you'd sure like to have a little of set-the-record-straight comment!

            2014 is HERE. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

            by TRPChicago on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 02:57:23 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  As a reporter I hoped to influence the news (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              flitedocnm, caul, TRPChicago

              so that readers knew my opinion the way the tape in a recorder makes its opinion known during playback: you shouldn't notice. My job was to give them the facts in a way they could digest without undue distress (sometimes, the facts themselves are nasty enough to cause distress; my job was not to minimize or sugar-coat those, either). If I had access to both sides of an issue, I had an obligation to tell both halves of the story; the good news was among many of the few times I had both sides to listen to, they were saying the same thing.
              They just had different reasons for their points of view, not for the things they knew had to happen.

              But in analysis and opinion? Damn straight I had an obligation to tell the truth, and if it hurt the money boys' feelings that should make them look in the mirror.

              LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

              by BlackSheep1 on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 08:31:05 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  Dan rather wasn't an airhead (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      thanatokephaloides

      Dan was the guy who lied to America about the Zapruder film and the direction of the of the shot that killed JFK.  Dan made his career that day.

      •  Nah. Rather actually made his career the day (14+ / 0-)

        he strapped himself to a palm tree on Galveston during Hurricane Carla?  Well that was the myth anyway, truth is very interesting anyway.

        Wikipedia

        In early September 1961, Rather reported live from the Galveston Seawall as Hurricane Carla threatened the Texas coastline. In his autobiography, Rather notes that back then, television stations did not have their own radar systems, and there was no modern computerized radar that combines the radar image with an outline map. So he took a camera crew to the U.S. Weather Bureau (National Weather Service) office with a WSR-57 radar console located on the 5th floor of the Post Office Building on 25th Street in downtown Galveston (the antenna and its radome housing were located above the 7th floor, on the roof). A meteorologist drew for him a rough outline of the Gulf of Mexico on a sheet of plastic, and held that over the black and white radar display of Carla to give Rather's audience an idea of the Carla's size, and the position of the hurricane's eye. Rather's reporting was the first ever display of a meteorological surveillance radar on television, and has been imitated by countless other reporters. This so impressed the network executives at CBS, that they offered him a job as a CBS News correspondent. Rather also, along with numerous other local and national television reporters, showed TV audiences the effects of Carla along the seawall, from the time the storm surge started slowly coming in, through much of the duration, and the aftermath. Rather refused CBS's first offer, but accepted their second offer when it came three months later. The feat was memorialized by a curbside Texas Historical Marker at the Post Office.
        But yes, he got his national gig when he brought attention to himself for his controversial reporting on the JFK assassination and its aftermath.

        Later....

        On May 18, 2012, on Bill Maher, Rather said he was fired for reporting a story about George W Bush's year of absence from the reserve unit he served with, and that the news corporations were 'very uncomfortable' with running the story.

        Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

        by divineorder on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 07:30:23 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Actually, it was when he was in Afghanistan with (0+ / 0-)

          the Mujahadeen (later to morph into the Taliban) wearing a turban, all embedded-like with the freedom fighters -- hence the name "Gunga Dan" in some quarters.

          (Little did he know that those "troops" with whom he was embedded at the time would turn out to be freedom fighters the same way toothpaste is said to be a cavity fighter.)

          When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered -- MLK, Jr.

          by caul on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 01:28:34 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Still too conceited.... (0+ / 0-)

        .....to acknowledge that the man from Camelot was offed by a loser with a mail-order rifle?

        "They bash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn, Gulag Archipelago volume 3)

        by sagesource on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 03:50:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  That's a Top Comment (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Steveningen

      and so is P E Outliers reply.  Both have been submitted.

      There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

      by Puddytat on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 03:21:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Katie Couric appearing on the CBS evening news (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kenwards

      completely destroyed my desire to watch any broadcast television at all.....The TV is now in the basement, unused for a number of years now.

    •  Gooserock: Dan Rather's an airhead ??? (0+ / 0-)

      No, not hardly.

      LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

      by BlackSheep1 on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 08:26:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site