Reporters can’t ignore public figures, but is there daylight between covering news of a person and providing them a near-constant, legitimizing megaphone?
‘American Life,’ From GOP to CIA Bob Schieffer kicked off his final show as host of CBS’s Face the Nation (5/31/15) with a clip of what he said on his first show 24 years ago: “Our aim is going to be very simple here, to find interesting people from all segments of American life who have something to say and give them a chance to say it.” The Washington Post’s Michelle Ye Hee Lee (5/31/15), reviewing Schieffer’s last broadcast, wrote that “Schieffer remained true to the tradition on his final broadcast,” citing his two final guests: Republican presidential candidate […]
Networks Skip Controversial Trade Deal
The proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal has drawn heavy criticism. Over 500 labor, environmental and farm groups oppose granting the White House “fast track” authority to speed the pact through Congress. The deal, still being negotiated in secret, has spawned protests around the world.
But there’s one thing that TPP hasn’t generated: news. Let’s try to change that.
Why can't Face the Nation face dissent on NSA spying?
The CBS Sunday morning show Face the Nation featured a discussion of NSA surveillance with the former head of the agency and two politicians who vigorously defend the agency’s mass surveillance programs. The August 11 show featured a softball interview with Michael Hayden, who oversaw some of the most controversial Bush-era tactics at the NSA, including the warrantless wiretapping of American citizens (New York Times, 12/16/05). As Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald (8/12/13) observed, that eavesdropping was repeatedly found by federal judges to be unconstitutional and a felony. But the person in charge of overseeing that program was not brought on […]
Fortune investigation shoots holes in scandal narrative
When it comes to ginning up scandals, the Obama administration has been a disappointment for the right-wing media, which had much more luck in the Clinton era. But they’ve found some red meat with “Fast and Furious”—thanks in large part to CBS Evening News, the story’s most prominent platform. Like most Clinton scandals (Extra!, 9–10/95, 11–12/96, 1–2/97), however, the story looks far less scandalous when you learn the details left out of most media accounts. The “Fast and Furious” story, as peddled by the right, tells us that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF)—a perennial target of pro-gun […]