Bernie Goldberg on Schieffer's Ignorance of Black Panther Case: Media Elites Are Living in Their Own Dying World

 

On Sunday, CBS' Bob Schieffer admitted that he was on vacation the week before he interviewed Attorney General Eric Holder on "Face the Nation," and thus he had not heard the story of the Justice Department dropping the Black Panther voter intimidation case.

Bernie Goldberg believes him – and noted that Schieffer is simply living in the world of the New York Times, like other media elites. "I believe every word he said," Goldberg told Bill O'Reilly on Monday night's "The O'Reilly Factor."

"And the reason he doesn't know anything about the story...is because the story wasn't in the New York Times. That is the only world Bob Schieffer and all the other Bob Schieffers live in."
    
Goldberg added that out-of-touch big media continues to lose influence with Main Street America. "As a matter of fact, ever since I wrote 'Bias,' I've been predicating mainly on this program that the so-called mainstream media, the television networks, are becoming less and less relevant by the day," Goldberg maintained.

On the segment, Bill O'Reilly pointed out a notable instance of an elite paper at war with itself, as Andrew Alexander of the Washington Post admitted that the paper bungled the Black Panther story, and quoted the papers' national editor saying the Post should have reported the story sooner.

Goldberg also added that the New York Times' public editor criticized his paper for not going after the Van Jones story, as well as the ACORN story, which Fox reported.

"The old media isn't totally dead yet, but it's dying. It really is dying," Goldberg said.

A partial transcript of the segment, which aired on June 19 at 8:01 p.m. EDT, is as follows:

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HOWARD KURTZ: Why did you not ask Eric Holder in that interview about this former Justice official's allegation that a case against the New Black Panther Party was dropped because of racial politics?

BOB SCHIEFFER, CBS NEWS: Frankly, had I known about that, I would have asked the question. I was on vacation that week this happened -- apparently it got very little publicity. And, you know, I just didn't know about it. I mean, you know, God knows everything, but I'm not quite that good.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BILL O'REILLY: Are you kidding me? Mr. Schieffer didn't know about the story? Where was he vacationing, Venus? Does Mr. Schieffer not have a staff? Were they all on Venus, too?

Sadly, I believe Bob Schieffer. He didn't know about the Black Panther story or the Justice Department lawyer quitting over it because in his world, that's not important. But believe me, had the Klan been intimidating voters, Mr. Schieffer and CBS News would have been all over it. Or am I wrong?

Then Howard Kurtz went on to ask Mr. Schieffer this:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KURTZ: One last point on this Black Panther case. Fox's Bill O'Reilly making the point that none of the network newscasts have covered this story. He says the network newscasts are not being honest about news because their agenda is to protect President Obama. Your thoughts?

SCHIEFFER: Well, I think the reason that there hasn't been much coverage on it is there is a question about how significant this really is. I think it is, you know, the coverage or lack of coverage has to do with editors' news judgment. It doesn't have anything to do with protecting President Obama.

(...)
O'REILLY: I think that this Bob Schieffer-Howard Kurtz-Black Panther-Justice Department-Arizona-thing has brought to a head the fact that Americans can no longer get the news from their old outlets. They will not get it. Am I wrong?
BERNIE GOLDBERG: No, you're not wrong. As a matter of fact, ever since I wrote "Bias," I've been predicting, mainly on this program, that the so-called mainstream media, the television networks, are becoming less and less relevant by the day. And if we have this discussion next year, they will be even less relevant than they are today.

As it pertains to our close personal friend Bob Schieffer -- like you, I believe every word he said. I believe he was on vacation, and I believe he didn't know anything about the story. And the reason he doesn't know anything about the story -- and this goes to your question about yesterday vs. today in the media -- is because the story wasn't in The New York Times. That is the only world Bob Schieffer and all the other Bob Schieffers live in. If it's not in The New York Times, they don't know about it. You can have a meteorite breaking through the atmosphere, killing 20,000 people on Bob Schieffer's block in Washington, and if it isn't in the The Washington Post or The New York Times, he doesn't know that it really happened.

A year ago, a year ago, Charlie Gibson, then of ABC News, was asked by a Chicago radio station about the ACORN tapes. Everybody knew about the ACORN tapes. Charlie Gibson said, I was on vacation, right? I was on vacation, and I don't know anything about it. That story wasn't in The New York Times either.

Bill, these people, the Bob Schieffers and Charlie Gibsons and Diane Sawyer, all of them, they fancy themselves sophisticated and worldly. They are the most provincial people out there. They don't know anything if it's not in their bible, The New York Times. And that's why Schieffer was so totally clueless about this.

O'REILLY: OK. What about Howard Kurtz on CNN saying Fox is pushing the story, you know, in a kind of snide way on every hour.

GOLDBERG: Yes.

O'REILLY: And his own guy, the very day that Kurtz on CNN is saying this, his own guy says, you know what? We totally blew this story.

GOLDBERG: Right.

O'REILLY: Does Howard not read his own newspaper? Or do you think he disagrees with the ombudsman?

GOLDBERG: No, I think during the segment, he mentioned the ombudsman at The Post. I think he said that. But let me answer your question. Of all the media, the people who write about the media, Howard Kurtz is certainly one of the best. I mean, a lot of the others are total bozos. And I don't mean Howard's not a total bozo. I mean, he's good for the most part. He should not have said -- and I think he would agree, frankly, he should not have always said well, you always know a story when Fox is pushing it.

O'REILLY: Right.

GOLDBERG: It's not a matter of pushing it. It's a matter of Fox also pushed the Van Jones story. Fox also pushed the ACORN story. And on both of those, The New York Times public editor slapped the newspaper around for not covering them, just as The Washington Post public editor did it on Sunday. So they're…

(...)

GOLDBERG: Having said that, we're in a transition period. The old media isn't totally dead yet, but it's dying. It really is dying. And Howard still thinks, I guess, Howard still thinks that the The Washington Post, The New York Times, the networks -- that's the mainstream and Fox is not the mainstream.
Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro was a News Analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division from 2010 through early 2014