Ousted CBS News Chief Denounced MRC as “Extreme,” Insisted CBS Free of Bias
Video excerpt tracked down, by Karen Hanna, from the MRC archive: Real or Windows Media
A reprint of a short article in the Monday, July 31, 2000 Morning Edition of the MRC's twice-daily, three-page Media Reality Check on the party conventions, in this case on the Republican convention at Philadelphia's Comcast Center from which Heyward appeared the afternoon before, Sunday, on a C-SPAN call-in show.
CBS News President: MRC "Extremists of the Right"
"Well, I'm sorry to disappoint you, but I do deny that we have a bias, and I'm familiar with the work that [Brent] Bozell and [Reed] Irvine do. They are activists and extremists of the Right," declared CBS News President Andrew Heyward Sunday afternoon on C-SPAN in dismissing a caller who asked about liberal media bias on CBS documented by the Media Research Center and Accuracy in Media.
After denigrating the work of the heads of the two groups, Heyward proceeded to claim "the people I work with, many of them are surprisingly conservative."
As for why people see a liberal bias, Heyward maintained it's only because "as journalists we're always holding the establishment up to scrutiny, whether it's a Republican or a Democratic administration, a Republican or a Democratic Congress."
"It's our job to ask tough questions and to shine a light in corners that might otherwise remain dark. And if you tend to be conservative, by definition somebody who's constantly challenging the status quo, even though that's how we see our jobs, is seen potentially as unpatriotic or they're anti-government, anti-American."
He ended his answer by insisting: "Our job is to communicate the truth to people."
A standard not quite met by him and Dan Rather in Memogate a little more than four years later.