"CBS Evening News" anchor Bob Schieffer participated in a phone interview with Bob Steele of the Poynter Institute yesterday. The discussion focused on Schieffer’s view of the current situation in the Middle East and caused Schieffer to pull out an old left wing talking point about war as he lamented:
"We have made a judgment that this is extremely important because this could set off a much wider war, a war that could, if it got big enough, could cause this country, for one thing, to have to reinstitute the draft."
I suppose, theoretically, Schieffer is correct, but is his fear logical? Is there serious discussion on Capitol Hill to bring back the draft? No, in fact the last time the idea of a draft came to a vote in 2004 it received 2 votes.
The truth is, talk of the draft is nothing new for CBS. As noted by Brent Baker in a Cyberalert on September 29, 2004, The "CBS Evening News" legitimized Internet rumors that a draft was imminent, a suggestion being floated as a left-wing election year scare tactic. However, this type of reporting may fit into Schieffer’s view of journalism.
Schieffer claimed in yesterday’s interview that the media can serve an important role if it offers its conclusions on the news rather than strictly reporting the news.
"I think our main job is to bring people the facts, but I think we can also be relevant if we can say to people: "Look, here are the facts, here's what they're arguing about, we've done our investigation, here's where we come down on it. This is what we think is the truth."
No, Mr. Schieffer please just objectively report the news and let us the viewer decide what the truth is. The last thing American journalism needs is more reporter opinions presented as fact.
You can read the transcript of the entire interview by clicking here.