During Iraq War Discussion, Off Topic CBS Graphic Declares Durbin Supports Obama

Illinois Senator Dick Durbin appeared on Thursday’s "Early Show" to discuss President Bush’s new strategy for Iraq, and, as one would expect, Senator Durbin was highly critical of the plan. However, it wasn’t anything that Durbin or "Early Show" co-host Harry Smith said that was attention grabbing, but the information CBS provided under Mr. Durbin’s name that was perplexing. For example, CBS informed viewers that the senior Senator from Illinois supports the presidential ambitions of his junior colleague, Barack Obama. Other tidbits of information provided by CBS included that Mr. Durbin is in his second term in the Senate and that "Time" rated him as one of the Senate’s ten most effective members.

While these facts may be interesting to some, they beg the question, what do they have to do with the subject matter being discussed? It is not exactly earth shattering news that a Senator would support his home state colleague of the same party during a presidential race. So, Couldn’t CBS find germane facts to display, such as how Durbin voted on the use of force resolution in 2002? (For the record, he voted no.) Or, what course of action does Mr. Durbin support? He stated in the interview that "this new Democratic leadership in Congress is going to lead America out of this war." Yet, neither the CBS graphics, nor Harry Smith in his questions pondered "how."