Ed Driscoll

CBS's Bob Schieffer Signs Off, Artfully Lies to Howard Kurtz in Exit Interview

And so, as he flies the blue lady of the skies into the sunset, we say, aloha, Five O’Clock Bobby! Let me remind you that the weblog is open 24 hours a day for your dancing and dining pleasure:

CBS’ Bob Schieffer signed off from Face the Nation [yesterday] and sat down with Fox News’ Howard Kurtz to share his thoughts on the changing media landscape and whether the media has certain pro-establishment or pro-Democratic biases.

Schieffer said that maybe people like him were too cozy with people in power, but at least back in the days when that was prevalent, people knew each other, were friendly to each other, and “the town worked a lot better.”

Read that last line as the good old days, when Democrat New Deal leftists and me-too Republicans blindly went along with their worldview. Until that horrible Barry Goldwater went along, whom my former colleague Walter Cronkite smeared as a crypto-Nazi. That evil pioneering conservative was a springboard for Ronald Reagan, who governed in wildly successful fashion despite our best efforts to destroy him, as my former colleague Dan Rather would attempt in ham-fisted fashion against his successors, father and son George Bush.

More from Kurtz’s interview with Schieffer:

Many people in this country, as you know, think the three broadcast networks are too biased, too liberal. Would you agree looking back that the media gave Barack Obama an incredibly easy ride in 2008, and for much of his presidency?

BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, I think, I think the whole political world was struck by this fella who sort of came out of nowhere with this very unusual name and when he won out in Iowa, I think people sat up and took notice.

And notice that as late as the end of October of 2008, on the eve of the presidential election whose outcome the DNC-MSM worked so hard to orchestrate, Charlie Rose, Schieffer’s sometime colleague at CBS was still playing the “fella who sort of came out nowhere” game with NBC’s Tom Brokaw; both men pretended to not have a clue about Barack Obama’s worldview, despite having decades of experience between them and entire newsrooms of reporters at their beck and call. The following year, Schieffer’s then-CBS colleague Katie Couric would recite a Christmas-themed poem to shill for Obamacare on the air at Thanksgiving time.

To his credit, Kurtz, who even after being dumped by CNN and the Washington Post still all too frequently plays the “see no bias” game, calls Schieffer on this:

KURTZ: But isn’t it the job journalists to be skeptical even of the young phenom?

SCHIEFFER: Yeah, it is. It is. And I don’t know, maybe we were not skeptical enough. [“The understatement of the century” howls the Jamie Wearing Fools blog at this point — Ed] It was a campaign. Howie, my feeling is, it is the role of the other — of the opponents to make the campaign. I think as journalists, basically, what we do is we watch the campaign and we report what the two sides are doing. I think it is the politicians who make the campaign.

KURTZ: But don’t journalists have an adversarial role to play when you have a presidential candidate in the chair facing you —

SCHIEFFER: Sure.

KURTZ: You want to be tough on that person?

SCHIEFFER: Well, I think you want to get at the truth. What you’re trying to do is find out who this person is and what he’s about. I don’t think that always has to be adversarial.

Unless there’s a conservative involved, as we saw both in 2008, when Schieffer’s fellow Democrats with bylines hounded Sarah Palin, and as recently as this past April  from Schieffer himself. If Schieffer had been honest with his audiences, we could take him at his word and view him as an elderly “Progressive” Democrat with a courtly demeanor and adjust our expectations to fit his far left big government/anti-conservative agenda. As it is, he’s going out like he spent his career, obfuscating to the end.

By the way, unless NewsBusters and Mediaite both completely missed it in their recaps, Howard Kurtz failed to ask Schieffer the exit question of the century: So Bob, what do you think about your successor on Face the Nation writing a column in 2013 that advised President Obama to “Destroy the GOP?”