Don’t Even THINK of Lying to Bob Schieffer

CBS anchor Bob Schieffer was profiled byMarketwatch, where we learn:

But don’t get the false impression that Schieffer is a pushover for his important guests. When I asked him how he feels when subjects lie to him on the air or try to mislead the audience, he got right to the point.

“I want to jump across the table and choke them,” he said.

Wow. First of all, this Marketwatch piece is largely about Schieffer’s recent interview with former Vice President Dick Cheney. The irony isalmost too much; as Colin Powell’s former chief of staff Lawrence Wilkerson put it to Rachel Maddow:

This is the man who, after all, said we know with absolutely certainty Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction. We know he has an active nuclear program. We know he has contacts with Al-Qaeda. This is the man who told more lies from a public pulpit than almost anyone else I know.

For the record, Schieffer did not choke Dick Cheney when he appeared on Face the Nation. He did seem weirdly proud of the interview, primarily because when he asked Cheney if he’d prefer Rush Limbaughor Colin Powell’s vision for the GOP, Cheney(totally unsurprisingly)picked Limbaugh. “I’ve never done anything that had as much resonance,” says Schieffer.

Beyond that– when it comes tomisleading an audience, what about Schieffer’s record?

CBS Evening News anchor Bob Schieffer announced (2/9/06) that “for the first time President Bush confirmed today that in the months after 9/11, the government broke up another terrorist plot to fly a plane into the tallest building in Los Angeles.” The fact that Bush says something does not “confirm” that what he is saying is true–and, in fact, earlier reporting by the Los Angeles Times casts doubts on Bush’s claims. (FAIR Media Advisory, 2/13/06)

CBS‘s Bob Schieffer (12/8/02) remarked of an earlier disavowal of banned weaponry by Hussein, “Saddam Hussein says he has no weapons of mass destruction, but should we believe him?” Schieffer asked a visiting senator on Face the Nation what would happen if U.S. experts “conclude that Saddam Hussein is once again lying, as he has so often in the past.claiming he doesn’t have the weapons, when in fact we know that he has.” (FAIR Action Alert, 2/1/08)

CBS anchor Bob Schieffer asserted (6/6/04), “You could hate his policies, but it was hard not to like Ronald Reagan.” But Reagan’s “likeability” numbers did not score much higher than other modern presidents, including Jimmy Carter. (FAIR Media Advisory, 6/9/04)

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.