Ed Driscoll

And That's The Way It Isn't

From those wonderful folks who brought you Walter Cronkite politicizing the Tet Offensive, Dan Rather and RatherGate, and Katie Couric writing Christmas poems in praise of ObamaCare comes this gem from CBS anchor Scott Pelley, speaking to Quinnipiac University:

“Our house is on fire,” said Pelley. The video of Pelley’s speech is courtesy of nowthisnews.com.

“These have been a bad few months for journalism,” he added. “We’re getting the big stories wrong, over and over again.”

The CBS newsreader was quick to take at least partial blame. “Let me take the first arrow: During our coverage of Newtown, I sat on my set and I reported that Nancy Lanza was a teacher at the school. And that her son had attacked her classroom. It’s a hell of a story, but it was dead wrong. Now, I was the managing editor, I made the decision to go ahead with that and I did, and that’s what I said, and I was absolutely wrong. So let me just take the first arrow here.”

Perhaps nepotism is partially to blame for journalism’s enfeebled state, particularly at CBS:

The brother of a top Obama administration official is also the president of CBS News, and the network may be days away from dropping one of its top investigative reporters for covering the administration’s scandals too aggressively.

CBS News executives have reportedly expressed frustration with their own reporter, Sharyl Attkisson, who has steadily covered the Obama administration’s handling of the Benghazi terrorist attack in Libya since late last year.

“Network sources” told Politico Wednesday that CBS executives feel Attkisson’s Benghazi coverage is bordering on advocacy, and Attkisson “can’t get some of her stories on the air.”

But on Friday, ABC News reported that the Benghazi talking points went through 12 revisions before they were used on the public. The White House was intimately involved in that process, ABC reported, and the talking points were scrubbed free of their original references to a terror attack.

That reporting revealed that President Obama’s deputy national security advisor, Ben Rhodes — brother of CBS News president David Rhodes — was instrumental in changing the talking points in September 2012.

ABC’s reporting revealed that Ben Rhodes, who has a masters in fiction from NYU, called a meeting to discuss the talking points at the White House on September 15, 2012.

[See update below for more familial connections between the MSM and BHO’s administration. — Ed]

Though I’m not sure if anchorman Scott Pelley is the best person to make the claim that “We’re getting the big stories wrong, over and over again,” when he likened global warming skeptics to Holocaust deniers during the tail-end of the Bush era:

While most of the country was watching the Green Bay Packers play the New York Giants, CBS aired an hour-long, severely one-sided special about the threat of global warming.

The special was hosted by CBS’s Scott Pelley. In January 2007, Pelley was asked why he refused to include global warming skeptics in his reporting. He responded, “If I do an interview with [Holocaust survivor] Elie Wiesel, am I required as a journalist to find a Holocaust denier?”

The January 20 CBS special attacked the Bush White House for not being willing to sign the Kyoto Protocol after he was elected – furthering the common misconception that Bush has been alone in his opposition to it, as the Senate actually voted 95 to 0 to reject Kyoto earlier.

* * * * * * *

The special also warned of cataclysmic consequences if global warming wasn’t addressed.

“Tremendous redistribution in where one would be able to have agriculture, tremendous changes in storm patterns. You could very well see sea level rises on the order of several feet and perhaps even several tens of feet,” Paul Mayewski, director of the Climate Change Institute at the University of Maine, said. “If sea level were to rise it would be tremendous changes, immense migrations.”

So Pelley believes that global warming is as serious as the Holocaust, but continues to cheerfully work in an industry that sends its reporters all over the world in jet planes and helicopters, dispatches armies of technicians in internal combustion-powered semis and news vans, and uses zillions of watts of electricity in its endeavors. (And that doesn’t include all of the non-news TV shows the network funds.) If he really believed his own rhetoric, Pelley would have to immediately quit an industry that’s contributing so much to what Al Gore has called “An Ecological Kristallnacht” — in an op-ed you can read online, since it’s stored on a computer in the electrically-powered air-conditioned server farm of the New York Times.

That is, before Al finally came to his senses late last year, issued global warming’s tacit Mission Accomplished, and took a nine digit stipend from Big Oil.

As the Daily Caller noted above, the brother of CBS News president David Rhodes has a master’s degree in fiction, useful knowledge for a postmodernist.  Perhaps CBS might want to bring him for a job interview, considering NBC’s latest addition to its team.

If the problem in network news is that it’s “getting the big stories wrong,” NBC has the solution — hire a tabloid TV producer to run its news division:

The floundering and willfully dishonest enterprise that is NBC News has apparently found its replacement for the disgraced Steve Capus. According to The New York Times, Deborah Turness, the current head of Britains ITV News, will become the next president of NBC News and the first woman to run a television news division.

For the last decade or so, ITV has increasingly become a tabloid-style television outlet, broadcasting soap operas and reality television.

Since NBC News right now reflects nothing close to reality, Turness might be just what that division needs.

Turness has been quoted as saying, “News is the best drama on television because it’s real.”

Except when it isn’t, which increasingly, is most of the time.

Finally, bad news at NBC: “In a serious blow to NBC News and Brian Williams, it was announced Friday that NBC is canceling Rock Center,” a rare logical move for NBC, since nobody ever knew the show existed in the first place.

Fortunately, with a slot now freed up in its prime-time schedule, NBC has the solution to hoist itself out of the ratings cellar, where’s it’s managed to lose ground in two languages, languishing behind not just CBS, ABC and Fox, but the Spanish-speaking Univision network as well.

It’s not Ace’s vaunted Knight Train concept — it’s even more retro and sclerotic: a retooled Ironside, starring black actor Blair Underwood as the stolid wheelchair-bound police chief that Raymond Burr memorably portrayed in the late ’60s and early 1970s.

Who knows, though: Perhaps it might even stay on the air longer than the 2005 USA Network remake of Kojak starring Ving Rhames as Telly Savalas, which lasted ten episodes.

Come back Fred Silverman, all is forgiven!

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Update: “Let’s also show you why CNN did not go very far in covering [the Benghazi] hearings because the CNN deputy bureau chief, Virginia Moseley, is married to Hillary Clinton’s deputy, Tom Nides. It is time for the media to start asking questions why are they not covering this. It’s a family matter for some of them,” Richard Grennell noted today on Fox News. And the sister of ABC News president Ben Sherwood is “Dr. Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, is the Special Assistant to Barack Obama,” Noel Sheppard adds at Newsbusters.