In a Tuesday column for Salon, Heather Digby Parton argued that the Dan Rather Memogate scandal had a sequel of sorts, in which CBS News, attempting to "appease the right wing" -- including the Bush administration -- gave "notorious pro-military war hawk" Lara Logan a prominent role in its programming, only to have it blow up in their faces when Logan's "60 Minutes" story about the Benghazi attack proved seriously flawed.
In Parton's view, Rather at CBS had "a stellar career of war reporting, muckraking and speaking truth to power" and now, on Mark Cuban's AXS TV,"does some really interesting work," though she acknowledges that "only a handful of people see" it.
Veteran investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson resigned from CBS News after 20 years with the network, expressing frustration at being unable to get her stories on air. Following Attkisson’s resignation, the folks at Fox News’ “Media Buzz” expressed dissatisfaction at the state of journalism in America’s newsrooms and the culture of liberal bias that exists.
Appearing on the program on Sunday March 16th, the entire panel acknowledged the disturbing trend of journalists putting their politics above journalism with host Howard Kurtz observing that Attkisson felt it “was almost impossible to get these tougher pieces on the air.”
In a huge victory for the second-largest U.S. oil company, a U.S. district judge ruled March 4, that a $9.5 billion award against Chevron by an Ecuadorean court was “obtained by corrupt means.” The massive figure had been lowered by Ecuador’s highest court in 2013 after an earlier decision against Chevron of $19 billion.
The broadcast networks took no notice of the decision and failed to mention it on their evening news programming March 4. They found time to mention that Niagara Falls had once again frozen, report a trash problem on Mount Everest, say that rain didn’t stop the Mardi Gras party in New Orleans, and to show how people can make money with their home recipes.
The New York Times published an unintentionally humorous headline on December 23: “When ‘60 Minutes’ Checks Its Journalistic Skepticism at the Door.” Times media columnist David Carr is suddenly stunned that “60 Minutes” has aired a puff piece on a serious political matter.
In his article, Carr didn’t breathe a word about Steve Kroft’s long history of servile interviews with Barack Obama, most recently in January when he threw softballs at both Obama and Hillary Clinton at the president’s request. Carr’s never written about Kroft.
Former CBS Evening News Anchor Dan Rather, despite being fired as a result of the bogus story, continues to maintain that he got it right in September 2004 when he aired forged documents concerning George W. Bush’s record with the Air National Guard.
On CNN’s Piers Morgan Live Monday, Rather said, “No question the story was true” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Sunday's 60 Minutes, CBS's Steve Kroft boosted the agenda of Senator Bernie Sanders, a self-identified socialist, by granting him 30 seconds of air time to attack billionaire Pete Peterson, who was featured on the November 17, 2013 edition of the news program. However, this half-minute block was 2.5 times the amount that Peterson got during Charlie Rose's report [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Rose merely played a 12-second soundbite of Peterson during the segment, and mentioned the former Nixon Cabinet official's involvement with a group of philanthropists, who are donating at least 50 percent of their wealth to charity:
On the Monday, November 11, All In with Chris Hayes show on MSNBC, host Hayes fretted about CBS News correspondent Lara Logan being biased in favor of military action against terrorists. He also theorized that her retraction for using a dishonest source in her Benghazi piece "would be a huge story" if a conservative was being criticized, as he alluded to Dan Rather's story about former President George W. Bush and the National Guard. Hayes began:
Benghazi, Fast and Furious, the IRS scandal and the NSA snooping have all failed thus far to cause the liberal mainstream media to break away from their instinctive partisan-protect mode into a cover regardless of political implication mode.
The betting here is that team Obama is counting on the liberal media giving them the breathing room they need to get things straightened out [on Obamacare] and so the liberal mainstream media will never come down too hard on them. Just enough to be able to say that “we did our jobs as journalists,” but never so much as to cause any real harm to the liberal cause."
On Sunday's 60 Minutes, CBS's Lara Logan bluntly pointed out how the September 11, 2012 Islamist attack on the U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya "have been overshadowed by misinformation, confusion, and intense partisanship". Logan turned to an actual eyewitness of the attack, along with two former advisers to deceased Ambassador Chris Stevens – Greg Hicks and a Green Beret officer – to refreshingly outline what actually happened that infamous night.
However, the correspondent failed to explicitly mention President Barack Obama or former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her report. She only vaguely noted that "contrary to the White House's public statements, which were still being made a full week later, it's now well established that the Americans were attacked by al Qaeda in a well-planned assault." [video below the jump]
Scott Pelley deserves grudging credit for recognizing something obvious at a Friday luncheon in New York. Readers tempted to go beyond that point would be advised to visit the archive of Pelley-related posts at NewsBusters on his brand of so-called journalism, a few of which will be identified later in this post.
At said luncheon, Pelley received the 20th annual Fred Friendly First Amendment Award from the School of Communications at Quinnipiac University. In his acceptance speech (full YouTube; excerpt here; HT Weekly Standard), Pelley spoke of journalistic failures during the past few months. He wants to believe that the past few months have been extraordinarily bad to a supposedly unprecedented extent.
On Sunday's 60 Minutes, CBS ran to the aid of dissident Catholic sisters in the U.S. and recycled many of its talking points from their sympathetic coverage of the sisters' "Nuns on the Bus" tour in 2012. Bob Simon trumpeted the supposed "rock star" status of the leader of the sisters' coalition and tossed mostly softball questions at her. He also repeatedly used the loaded term "Inquisition" to ballyhoo the apparent "crackdown" against the heterodox nuns.
Simon made his slant toward the dissenters clear when another prominent dissident sister compared the battle between the bishops and her allies to a schoolyard battle of the sexes: "The boys played the girls. And for once, the girls won, and the boys are upset." The journalist replied, "Isn't that what it's all about?"
Being that March is Women’s History Month and March 8 is International Women’s Day, what better time to showcase a prominent female journalist being treated poorly by her male colleagues, particularly ones from the "war on women" network itself, MSNBC.
Speaking with the liberal Huffington Post, CBSThis Morning co-host Norah O’Donnell describes a not-so-pleasant experience with former NBC colleagues Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann back in 2008:
In the days of the late Mike Wallace, "60 Minutes" was known for hard-hitting, aggressive journalism that asked the questions viewers wanted answered and held the powerful accountable.
The Jan. 27 program on which Steve Kroft interviewed President Obama (at his request, no less) and outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton fell far short of that high standard. It was the kind of softball toss you might have expected if Oprah Winfrey or Barbara Walters had conducted the interview.
A truly shocking thing happened on the CBS Late Show Tuesday.
Host David Letterman actually challenged guest Al Gore about his recent sale of Current TV to al Jazeera saying, “So you, Al Gore, are doing business with this country that's enabling your ultimate foe of climate change” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Did you see that hard-hitting report on “60 Minutes” on Sunday, the one that charged that one of our nation's most famous leaders and role models is a shameless liar, a ruthless intimidator and even “incinerator” of enemies, a man who operates like the Mafia?
No, that wasn’t the interview with Barack Obama, alongside Hillary Clinton. It was an interview later in the same show about the drug-enhanced bicyclist Lance Armstrong. That’s CBS News for you – a guy who pedals a bike through France is hammered as if he is the most powerful man in the world, while the most powerful man is treated like a lovable celebrity -- because that is precisely how they feel.
CBS's Steve Kroft made a statement Monday that totally epitomizes liberal media bias in the modern era.
Speaking to CNN's Piers Morgan about his interview with Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton on the previous evening's 60 Minutes, Kroft said the President likes doing his show because "he knows that we're not going to play gotcha with him" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
You see, according to Kroft (my paraphrase), "This whole interview thing was a surprise, and we were only allowed 30 minutes, and besides, there are so many other opportunities to ask tough questions in other venues. So why should I waste precious fawning time asking tough questions mere journalists ask when I can let the lovely pair go all gooey?" Exceprts from Bauder's butt-covering effort follow the jump (bolds are mine):
Brit Hume on Monday made some strong comments about Barack Obama's recent attacks on Fox News as well as the gooey interview CBS's 60 Minutes did with the President and Hillary Clinton the previous evening.
Of the latter, he said the theme was “Just How Great Is the Relationship Between You Two?” (video follows with transcript and absolutely no need for additional commentary):
As NewsBusters has been reporting all day, CBS's 60 Minutes on Sunday gave a gushing and fawning interview to President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that should be an embarrassment to the network.
On Fox News's America's Newsroom Monday, left-leaning contributor Kirsten Powers said of this fiasco, "It really was something you would expect from like the state-run media...60 Minutes was transparently being used as a campaign advertisement" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Following the friendly chat President Obama and outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had with CBS's Steve Kroft on Sunday's 60 Minutes, NBC's reporters could barely contain their glee over the duo getting along so well, with correspondent Peter Alexander proclaiming on Monday's Today: "There they were, side-by-side, at times chuckling together, it seemed even finishing one another's sentences." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Alexander fawned over Obama and Clinton repeatedly patting each other on the back during the self-promotional interview: "The President said he simply wanted to thank Hillary Clinton for being what he called one of the finest secretaries of state we have ever had. But the mutual gushing did not end there....the bitter rivals turned partners showed just how far their relationship's evolved. The President lavishing Clinton with praise for her discipline, stamina, and thoughtfulness."
It's a reasonable question to ask because the Extra host's interviews of celebs like Angelina and Brad couldn't have been any more of a puff piece than Kroft's starry-eyed interview of President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Sunday's 60 Minutes. A half hour of softballs were gently served up by Kroft who acted as if he were overjoyed to just bask in the glow of his interviewees who ate up almost all the time praising each other. Oh, there was the obligatory question that Kroft was almost required to ask about Benghazi but it was delivered in such a manner as to be easily deflected by Hillary before the interview returned to full empty calorie cotton candy mode.
On Monday afternoon, Human Events writer John Hayward stumbled upon Fox News' Bret Baier's discovery of bias by omission from CBS News. It seems out that a key portion -- regarding Benghazi -- of a 60 Minutes interview was cut out to protect the president and his re-election campaign.
The original interview conducted by CBS’ Steve Kroft on September 12, 2012, left out an exchange where Kroft asked the president if this was a terrorist attack. He refused to say – outright – that the Benghazi attack was the work of terrorists. Now, with Election Day less than twenty-four hours away, CBS has graciously released the unexpurgated version of the interview.
On Sunday's 60 Minutes, CBS's Steve Kroft tried to paper over Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's role in fostering deadlock in the Senate. Kroft spotlighted Reid's "responsibility" for setting the body's agenda, but quickly added that the Nevada senator has "just as much of a responsibility as Senator McConnell - to make the system work and to do some things."
The correspondent also turned to Steven Smith, who hinted that the Republican minority in the Senate was to blame for the "deadlock" in Congress, despite Reid's Democratic majority not passing a budget in over 3 years: "If you're in the minority...you know that if you can slow down everything, the majority will have less time to get to its entire agenda....when the minority blocks a piece of legislation, who does the public blame? Is it the minority for its obstructionism, or is it the majority that just wasn't willing to compromise enough?" He failed to mention that Smith is a former fellow at the liberal Brookings Institution.
Sunday's 60 Minutes couldn't be bothered to air Steve Kroft pursuing President Obama about "nasty and negative campaign ads under your name, or under the name of your various PACs." Obama begrudging admitted, "Do we see, sometimes, us going overboard in our campaign, or the mistakes that are made, or...areas where there's no doubt that somebody could dispute how we are presenting things? You know, that happens in politics." The news program relegated the exchange to CBSNews.com.
Despite the fact the clip didn't make it on the air, correspondent Jan Crawford mentioned it on Monday's CBS This Morning: "And even last night...the President, on that 60 Minutes interview, acknowledged that some of his attacks - some of his ads - have gone, as he put it, 'overboard', and he said there is no dispute that someone could have an issue with the way the campaign has been presenting some things."
Since September 2, NewsBusters has been showcasing the most egregious bias the Media Research Center has uncovered over the years — four quotes for each of the 25 years of the MRC, 100 quotes total — all leading up to our big 25th Anniversary Gala next week.
Click here for blog posts recounting the worst of 1988 through 2003. Today, the worst bias of 2004: CBS’s Morley Safer eulogized Ronald Reagan by saying “I don’t think history has any reason to be kind to him;” the New York Times asks George W. Bush if he feels “personal responsibility” for 9/11; and Dan Rather finds “exclusive” documents regarding Bush and his Vietnam-era service in the National Guard. [Quotes and video below the jump.]