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View Diary: CBS Continues to Piss All Over Edward Murrow's Legacy (116 comments)

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  •  Schieffer asserting it's not media's job to sort (36+ / 0-)

    Jim Lehrer has made the same basic assertion—that he viewed his role as a neutral presenter of opposing sides of an issue, and it wasn't his responsibility to investigate whether one side was lying or not.

    In other words, he happily assumed the role of stenographer. Which made him essentially useless, along with the rest of PBS/NPR when it comes to news.

    •  The line is Reporting vs. Analysis and Commentary. (8+ / 0-)

      Murrow RE McCarthy did the latter. The Nightly News on major networks does the former, with some context but within time constraints that foreclose analysis.

      PBS's News Hour should do more of the latter. After all, it has time, a wealth of experts at hand and the objectivity of less commercial involvement. But it also has political pressure and has decided, apparently, that it will lose its treasured inside-the-beltway audience if it gets beyond the dreaded Everything Must Balance syndrome.

      I think Sorkin, writing for the anchor character in The Newsroom, nailed it. When Congress parcelled out frequencies for TV channels and let the major broadcasters have primacy, it required that news be covered in prime time. It should also have required that it be commercial free. Even so, it would have been hard to require that Truth Be Told.

      2014 is HERE. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

      by TRPChicago on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 07:43:22 AM PST

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      •  I disagree. Good reporting -- good journalism -- (14+ / 0-)

        is NOT simply stenography. It is sorting out fact from fiction -- it is reporting the truth. Truth doesn't require subjective opinion. Truth is not "Commentary". Truth is what exists. Telling the truth is absolutely fundamental to journalism.

        That isn't to say that finding what is true and factual is always easy. But that's what good reporters, good journalists, do.

        Saying, for example, that Darryl Issa's assertions about Benghazi, and the IRS, and just about everything else, have absolutely no basis in fact, is NOT "Analysis and Commentary". That should NOT be reported as "Issa says this" and "Democratic Head says the opposite" and you decide.

        Analysis and commentary would be, for example, trying to figure out why Issa is lying, what he gains by lying, and what the implications of his lying might be.

        Yes, the distinction can be blurry. Bill Moyers is both a superb journalist, and and superb analyst and commentator. But he reports on what is demonstrably true, THAT is journalism.

        So, saying for example that the sky is blue and not orange despite the Orange Sky Party's voluble assertions to the contrary is NOT "Analysis and Commentary". Nor is it "Analysis and Commentary" to say  that Issa's assertions, and of course the assertions of countless others who for example claim that climate change doesn't exist, or that Obama is a Kenyan born Marxist-Nazi, are not based in fact.

        That is called Journalism. CBS (and just about every other mass media outlet owned by a huge corporation that cares only about ratings and profit and not about truth, or in the case of PBS and NPR, that are dominated by fear and pandering) are not committing journalism. They are killing it.

        "We can either have democracy in this country or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few. But we can't have both." - Justice Louis Brandeis

        by flitedocnm on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 12:14:42 PM PST

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        •  "We report, you decide." (3+ / 0-)
          Saying, for example, that Darryl Issa's assertions about Benghazi, and the IRS, and just about everything else, have absolutely no basis in fact, is NOT "Analysis and Commentary". That should NOT be reported as "Issa says this" and "Democratic Head says the opposite" and you decide.
          "We report, you decide."

          Sounds uncomfortably familiar......

          :-(

          "It's high time (and then some) that we put an end to the exceptionalistic nonsense floating around in our culture and face the fact that either the economy works for all, or it doesn't work AT all." -- Sean McCullough (DailyKos user thanatokephaloides)

          by thanatokephaloides on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 02:07:00 PM PST

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          •  Their new slogan is "the most powerful name in (0+ / 0-)

            news"

            When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered -- MLK, Jr.

            by caul on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 01:25:05 AM PST

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        •  I didn't equate reporting with stenography. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          flitedocnm, caul

          But I also don't equate journalism with being an anchor on a half-hour network news show and handling stories in 30-60 second slices by calling on reporters stationed at picturesque locations.

          I completely agree that, for example, seizing a microphone from the ranking minority member of a committee is so unprecedented that it should be highlighted and commented upon as such by a responsible reporter. As for Issa's calling a hearing for a witness who used to be at the IRS and who pleads the Fifth, I think that's reportable, too, as such.

          Climate change and other big issues need extended analysis. Sound bites don't do it. A news peg that justifies 30-60 seconds of coverage probably doesn't carry enough room for meaningful analysis, but you'd sure like to have a little of set-the-record-straight comment!

          2014 is HERE. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

          by TRPChicago on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 02:57:23 PM PST

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          •  As a reporter I hoped to influence the news (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            flitedocnm, caul, TRPChicago

            so that readers knew my opinion the way the tape in a recorder makes its opinion known during playback: you shouldn't notice. My job was to give them the facts in a way they could digest without undue distress (sometimes, the facts themselves are nasty enough to cause distress; my job was not to minimize or sugar-coat those, either). If I had access to both sides of an issue, I had an obligation to tell both halves of the story; the good news was among many of the few times I had both sides to listen to, they were saying the same thing.
            They just had different reasons for their points of view, not for the things they knew had to happen.

            But in analysis and opinion? Damn straight I had an obligation to tell the truth, and if it hurt the money boys' feelings that should make them look in the mirror.

            LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

            by BlackSheep1 on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 08:31:05 PM PST

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